CONCORD, NC (June 3, 2012) Avoiding every obstacle standing in his way, Rev Racing’s Bryan Ortiz achieved his career best finish, of third place, in Saturday’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 150, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, at historic Bowman Gray Stadium.
After a qualifying lap of 14.895 seconds, Ortiz started this race in his No. 4 Toyota/ Toyota Racing Development Camry, just seven positions behind teammate, Kyle Larson, who took the pole after posting a record qualifying lap of 14.696 seconds.
As many in the almost sold out crowd expected, this race didn’t lack in the excitement department with the first of ten caution flags thrown in the first 20-laps of this extended 153-lap race. Avoiding the first of many destructive wrecks, Ortiz fell back to ninth and held this position until a two car spin allowed him to slip into the top seven, behind teammate Ryan Gifford, on lap 41.
Ortiz continued to keep his No. 4 Toyota/Toyota Racing Development Camry out of trouble and within the top seven throughout this race. With five laps to go, Ortiz weaved his way into the top four and thought he would hold this position until the finish. After points leader Chase Elliott spun on lap 148, narrowly missing Ortiz, the race would go into overtime with a green-white-checker finish. This opened an opportunity and, on the last lap, Ortiz took his chance to jump into the top three by making his way around the No. 15 of Carlos Iaconelli.
“In the end it was time to go around. It was the last lap and I could not let him stop me from finishing as close to the front as possible,” said Ortiz. “It was a crazy race, especially in the end. Fortunately, my spotter did a great job, which led to this finish.”
Teammate Kyle Larson also finished this race in the top five with teammate, Jorge Arteaga, in eleventh. Unfortunately, teammate, Ryan Gifford, experienced the “curse of the madhouse”, which led to an eighteenth place finish.
Gifford kept his No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota Camry within the top 10 until lap 105, when he was tagged from behind going into turn two and ended up stuck in the infield needing repairs to his No. 2 Toyota. After returning to the race 10 laps down, Gifford crossed the finish line in eighteenth.
“I was really disappointed,” said Gifford. “My Rev Racing team worked hard all day to give me a great car. I tried hard to stay out of trouble all night and someone just got a little too aggressive and took me out. I’m from this area and come to this track often to watch the modified’s race. I see that same thing happen to good drivers and cars every week here. I guess that’s one reason they call it the ‘mad house’. It’s frustrating to say the least”.
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