Joliet, IL —Eric McClure and the Hefty®/Reynolds® Team traveled to their sponsor’s home track, Chicagoland Speedway, for the third NNS stand-alone event of the 2013 season. After picking up a second from Saturday’s practice session to post the 20th fastest time in qualifying, a flat left rear tire with 35 laps remaining in the 200-lap event ultimately relegated the team to a 28th-place finish. With this finish, the TriStar Motorsports team is tied for 23rd in NASCAR Owner Standings while McClure is tied for 17th in NASCAR Driver Standings.
Starting the race from the 20th position, McClure slipped to 22nd early in the race as he battled a car that was loose on entry and exit of the turns. A welcomed caution on lap 47 allowed McClure to bring his car to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air-pressure adjustment. Once the stop was complete, McClure was scored in the 23rd position for the lap 53 restart.
Several cars in front of the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds® Camry stacked-up on the restart and, with nowhere to go, McClure slipped to the 30th position. By the halfway point of the race, McClure had worked his way up to the 26th position as the adjustment previously made seemed to have helped the car’s drivability on entry and exit of the turns. After making a green-flag pit stop on lap 106 for four tires, fuel, air-pressure and track-bar adjustments, McClure was able to maintain the 26th position when all competitors had visited pit road.
As the laps trickled away, McClure slipped several more spots to the 30th position and reported that something was amiss with the car, as it was now “wrecking loose” in the turns. Not wanting to risk a damaged race car, crew chief Todd Myers called the orange and blue Camry to pit road on lap 165, under green flag conditions, for four tires and fuel. Once the service was complete, McClure returned to the track in the 30th position where he was later informed by Myers that the culprit was a flat left rear tire.
Not giving up, McClure was able to advance two positions in the closing laps to finish the STP 300 in the 28th position.
Driver, Eric McClure Quotes: “It was a disappointing result for us again today. We made large gains in practice on Saturday and were able to put down a good lap in qualifying. We started the race well and got behind on a couple of restarts. We were still in position to have a good finish when we had a flat left rear tire that cost us eight spots. It’s just frustrating. The positive of the weekend is that we were fast and have been fast the past several weeks, but the results just don’t show it. We will regroup and go on to Indy.”
-Hefty Reynolds Racing PR