Racing under the lights of Atlanta Motor Speedway, Eric McClure matched his best starting position at the 1.5-mile speedway of 30th and battled back from a mid-race accident to finish the NRA American Warrior 300 as follows:
21st-Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Toyota
- Surviving two quick cautions, on lap three and 10 of the 195-lap event, McClure advanced to the 25th position by lap 15.
- Reporting that the car was loose on exit, McClure slid back to the 27th position before his routine green flag pit stop on lap 44. Although the team was scored in the 31st position upon returning to the track, they were able to regain the 25th spot after all cars had received service.
- Still battling a loose-handling car, a caution on lap 64 for a two-car incident allowed McClure to return to pit road where the Wes Ward-led crew changed tires, added a spring rubber, and topped-off the fuel cell. Following the service, the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Racing™ team was scored in the 22nd position when the race resumed on lap 72.
- When the event’s fourth caution flag waved on lap 81, McClure was in position to take the “wave around”, but he reported that his oil temperature had risen to 300 degrees, while the water temperature was holding steady at 245 degrees. Unsure if it was a result of a faulty gauge or potential problem, and not wanting to cause damage to the engine, McClure forfeited the “wave around” opportunity and came down pit road so the team could remove tape from the front grille and add fuel to the orange and blue Camry. As a result, he lost two positions in the running order and the chance to advance several positions when the race resumed on lap 86.
- Nevertheless, the team continued to fight hard and was able to maintain the position over the next 30 laps. Unfortunately, on lap 118, the No. 14 machine made contact with the wall off of turn two, bringing out the caution. Limping around the apron of the 1.5-mile track, McClure finally made it to pit road where the crew quickly went to work repairing the minimal right-side damage. Once repaired, the car was sent back on the track in the 25th position for the lap 126 restart.
- Although the car was out of alignment and a handful to drive, according to the 33-year-old driver, the team was able to advance four positions in the remaining laps to post the driver’s best finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Eric McClure Quotes:
“We had a respectable car tonight and I was running the best I have ever run at Atlanta (Motor Speedway). We had a top 20 car, but we couldn’t take the wave around when everyone else did because our engine was running hot. That put us on a lap with only a couple of cars rather than nine. It was still going to work out until we hit the wall. We had to spend an extended period of time on pit road fixing the damage, and I lost a lot of laps after that because we weren’t up to speed. But the guys were awesome and we were able to salvage a decent finish.”
TriStar Motorsports PR