Daytona Beach, FL —Coming off a 23rd-place finish last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Eric McClure and the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds® Race Team couldn’t wait to return to the site of their eighth-place finish from earlier this season, Daytona Int’l Speedway. After losing a lap to the race leader during a green-flag pit stop early in the race, McClure eventually earned it back with 30 laps remaining in the 100-lap event. Posting times as fast as the leaders, the Virginia native was back in contention and in position for another strong finish. However, during the event’s green-white-checkered finish, McClure was shuffled out of the draft and came home in the 24th position.
McClure started Friday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 from the 24th position and raced inside the top-20 for the early portion of the race, utilizing the draft and working all lanes around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Green flag pit stops began on lap 30 when the 34-year-old driver brought his orange and blue Camry to pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment to help the car’s stability. Unfortunately, few cars pitted with McClure. As a result, he didn’t have a drafting partner when he returned to the track and quickly lost a lap to the race leader. Once all the pit stops cycled through, McClure was scored in the 35th position, one lap down to the race leader.
With a lot of racing left to go, McClure remained focused and was able to advance to the 32nd position by the time the event’s first caution flag waved on lap 48. Deciding against the wave around, Myers brought McClure down pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air-pressure adjustment to help combat the issue his driver was having with the front-end of his Camry. When the race resumed on lap 52, McClure was scored in the 35th position.
Despite being scored a lap down to the leader, McClure continued to show he had a fast race car as he was running with competitors in the top-10 for the next several laps. A welcomed caution on lap 70 allowed McClure to receive the “lucky dog” award, placing him back on the lead lap in the 32nd position for the lap 77 restart.
In the closing laps, McClure worked his way up to 12th and was in position for another strong finish, until he was shuffled out of the draft during the green-white-checkered finish. In the end, McClure was credited with a 24th-place finish.
Driver, Eric McClure Quotes: “We had a really fast car tonight, but unfortunately we were shuffled out of the draft at the end and weren’t able to get the finish we were hoping for. We got behind a little bit early on when we pitted under green and didn’t have a drafting partner when we came back out, so we lost a lap to the leader. We fought back and got our lap back and put ourselves in position to have a good finish. It just didn’t work out that way but at least we were fast.”
-Hefty Reynolds Racing PR