GREENVILLE, SC. (March 31, 2012) – While the Rev Racing drivers didn’t leave with the on-track results they had expected here last night, three of the four now find themselves in the Top-10 in Standings for NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East.
Ryan Gifford, driver of the #2 Universal Technical Institute/NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota Camry is now fourth in points and two behind the leader, while his teammates, Bryan Ortiz, driver of the #4 Toyota Racing Development Camry and Kyle Larson, who pilots the #6 Rev Racing Toyota Camry find themselves in ninth and tenth respectfully. Both Ortiz and Larson are Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders.
The night started with rain halting qualifying and leading to the starting grid being set based on 2011 Owners Points. This placed a number of rookie drivers in the front of the field, some of which were in their first NASCAR K&N Pro Series event. While this would put Larson on the front row, it meant the start of the race was going to be an adventure for the entire field.
“On the very first lap, the #99 ran into my left side and on lap four, the #16 gave me a hard hit from behind,” said Larson. “I knew we were going to have a long night but the damage didn’t help the handling of my #6 Rev Racing Toyota.”
The first of six cautions flew on lap 4 of 150 when the #1 car came to rest on the Turn 4 wall with an engine failure. The second caution came out on lap 10 and found Larson in sixth position, Bryan Ortiz in ninth, Gifford in tenth and Jorge Arteaga in nineteenth.
The third caution of the night was brought out on lap 18 of 150 when Gifford was clipped by the #07 going into Turn 2. Ortiz also suffers car damage in a separate incident on the same lap and both he and Gifford would restart near the rear of the 29-car field.
“ It really is a shame we didn’t get to qualify,” said Gifford “ We really had a fast car and I think we would have started much further up if it hadn’t rained. You never want to have to try and come from the back to front and especially not here.”
Ortiz was able to come from the rear of the field and move up to as high as ninth position before finishing the night in eleventh.
Gifford would find himself at the rear of the field for a second time when he and Larson were caught up in a spin by the #15 in Turn 3. The wreck resulted in the tire rubbing the left front of Gifford’s car and required him to pit for repairs. He would get back on the lead lap when he received the “Lucky Dog” during a caution brought out on lap 121. However, the damage and tire wear were too much to over come and he would finish the night in thirteenth position, one lap down. Larson would finish the night two laps down in seventeenth position.
Arteaga, who was having a solid run and moving up inside the Top-20, had a right rear go down on lap 60 and would end up going five laps down before finishing the night in twenty-fifth.
The next event for Rev Racing and NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity drivers is April 26, at Richmond International Raceway in the Blue Ox 100.
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