CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 17, 2011) – Things were looking great through practice, qualifying and the early parts of the New England 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Friday for three of the four Revolution Racing NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers.
Darrell Wallace Jr. and his U.S. Army Toyota Camry qualified second, Sergio Peña and his Freightliner/U.S. Army Toyota Camry qualified third and Ryan Gifford in the TRD Toyota Camry qualified 12th.
When the field of 36 cars took the green flag, Gifford took off passing four cars on the start to move into the eighth spot behind teammates Wallace and Peña.
Michael Cherry in the Fueling Your Dreams Toyota Camry battled engine issues and was only able to produce a 30th-place qualifying effort. His day would eventually be cut short at lap 14 when the engine expired.
Wallace and Peña each lead early and traded the top spot with pole winner and eventual race winner Max Gresham in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry. As most of the leaders came to pit road early during a caution period for tires and fuel, the Revolution Racing cars stuck to their strategy of getting beyond lap 60 before taking on fresh Goodyear tires. With varying strategies up and down pit road, it would ultimately come down to the timing of caution flags to help determine track position.
Wallace, who continued to show strength throughout the first half of the race, had a distributor go bad on his U.S. Army Toyota and was forced to the garage for a change, which cost him 22 laps. He finished his day in 30th.
At lap 77 Peña came to pit road for tires, but was penalized following a violation involving a pit gun and hose which was pulled outside the pit box by exiting Freightliner Toyota. The resulting pass through penalty cost him valuable track position and he was forced to restart at the tail end of the field in 28th position. Despite this, he was able to finish eighth which moved him up one spot in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East point standings to fifth. Wallace fell one spot to fourth.
Gifford, who took the lead on lap 51 but was unable to maintain the spot, finished 12th and moved into 10th in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East point’s race.
Cherry is 18th in the standings.
Four races remain in the season with the next event coming Saturday at Columbus (Ohio) Speedway.
Three Revolution Racing D4D NASCAR Whelen-All American Series teams took to the Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway Friday night while their teammates were in New Hampshire. Bryan Ortiz, Tayla Orleans and Jessica Brunelli battled the tough concrete track at Kingsport with only Puerto Rico’s Ortiz coming out of the race without significant damage to his Toyota Camry. He would finish fifth after a disappointing 12th-place qualifying effort.
Orleans, from Randleman, N.C. finished ninth after qualifying seventh of 19 cars and Brunelli of Hayward, Calif. finished 18th after qualifying 17th.
Both Orleans and Brunelli were involved in accidents at Kingsport that caused significant damage to their Toyota Camry’s, with only Brunelli’s able to be repaired in time for Saturday night’s race at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Ortiz qualified fifth at the historic Hickory track and finished ninth, while Brunelli had a much better night qualifying ninth and finishing 11th in the 16-car field.
The Revolution Racing Whelen All-American Series late model program will compete in more than 140 races with six drivers as part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program. Four NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, six NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and multiple youth racing teams are supported by NASCAR, the U.S. Army, Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota Racing Development (TRD), Goodyear, Freightliner Trucks, Wix Filters, Castle Products, Logitech, Play Seat, iRacing and others.
The New England 125 can be seen Thursday night at 6 p.m. (ET) on SPEED.
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