While most NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers were gearing up for their second trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway this season, Eric McClure was preparing for his first. When the series made its initial trip to CMS in May, McClure was on top of the pit box rather than behind the wheel of his No. 14 Camry as he was still recovering from injuries sustained in an accident three weeks prior in Talladega. This trip would be much more enjoyable for the 33-year-old driver, especially after posting a career-best qualifying effort of 25th at the 1.5-mile speedway and posting his best finish since 2010.
23rd- Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap®/National Breast Cancer Foundation® Toyota Camry
On the initial start, the cars on the inside lane in front of McClure checked-up, and as a result he lost two positions in the running order before the field could complete one circuit around the speedway. Moreover, the chain reaction caused one car to puncture its radiator, which resulted in the event’s first caution.
In the early stages, McClure battled a car that was tight in the center and on exit of the turns. Despite running as low as 32nd during the first 50 laps, he was able to work his way back into the 28th position by lap 52.
Green flag pit stops began one lap later with McClure bringing his all-pink Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap®/National Breast Cancer Foundation® Camry to the attention of his Wes Ward-led crew on lap 54. In an effort to pacify the car’s tight-handling condition, the team changed four tires, added fuel, and made a chassis adjustment. Despite falling outside of the top 30 when he reentered the competition, McClure was able to climb his way to the 26th position by lap 75.
When the event’s third caution flag waved on lap 82, McClure informed the crew that the adjustments made on the previous stop helped the car’s handling on the short run, but it faded quicker than before. Therefore, Ward called for four fresh tires, fuel, and the removal of a spring rubber from the left rear spring in an effort to help the car’s drivability. Once the stop was complete, McClure was scored in the 26th position for the lap 87 restart.
Two laps later, McClure reentered the top 25 and would remain there through the halfway point of the race.
As the race continued, the car’s handling remained consistently tight in the center and on exit of the turns. In what would be a last ditch effort to help pacify the car’s handling, Ward called for four tires, fuel, and an air-pressure adjustment during the event’s fourth caution period on lap 131. When the race resumed on lap 136, McClure was scored in the 25th position.
In the final 50 laps, McClure worked his way up to the 22nd position before visiting pit road on lap 183 for fuel. Even though McClure fell to the 25th position during the round of green flag pit stops, he never gave up and was able to regain two of the positions lost in the closing laps to finish the Dollar General 300 in the 23rd position.
Tristar Motorsports PR