Brennan Newberry returned to competition behind the wheel of his No.9 Qore-24 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and arrived at Dover International Speedway excited for a weekend of battling The Monster Mile. After finding a near perfect setup in only 60 minutes of total practice time before the Lucas Oil 200 green flag, Newberry piloted his truck at a blistering pace and seemed poised to fight for the top spot on track. The Monster, notoriously known for striking in an instant, unfortunately had other plans.
Crews descended on the battle ground in Delaware on a cloudy Thursday morning, surrounded by the glitz and glamor of Dover Downs, and prepared themselves for a fight that Crew Chief Ryan McKinney knew his team could navigate to victory lane. After yet another day of watching the skies and weather forecasts, the rain settled over the mile-long racing facility. After a brief window gave NASCAR the first chance to display the green flag, teams were given only a moment to hit the track before the weather altered the schedule once again. With only four total laps on track and a fast time of 24.50, Newberry and McKinney knew they had a truck with speed and that it had potential to find more.
Friday began with anticipation to get on track as officials made a call to replace Knockout Qualifying with a single 60 minute practice session with the field for the Lucas Oil 200 would be set by Owners Points, which would give the No.9 truck a 16th place starting position. Without having to worry about setting up for a mock qualifying run, Newberry and McKinney focused on finding the most speed and attempted longer runs than normal, to test how much speed the truck would lose under green. The answer to that question, was not much. Sorting through a variety of tire pressure and chassis changes and sealing the nose of the truck to the track as much as possible without scraping the surface through Dover's famous bumpy turns, Brennan Newberry laid down a time of 23.43 and was 13th on the board. Toward the end of the session, McKinney asked for a consecutive lap run and instructed Newberry to run the truck until time expired. After 38 total circuits the NTS Motorsports No.9 team posted very consistent speeds during a ten lap run. From laps 20 to 29 Newberry posted an average speed 151.70 and was inside the top three on the consecutive laps chart.
As the green flag drew closer, Crew Chief Ryan McKinney talked with his driver as he strapped into his Chevrolet Silverado. "We've got us a very fast truck here, buddy. Just let us know what you need, we'll work on it, and we have a real chance to get this one", said McKinney as the command to fire engines roared the Camping World Truck Series to life, a roar that would awaken a monster made of concrete. The Lucas Oil 200 was underway and Newberry immediately was happy with his truck, "This thing is wicked fast, boys!" said Newberry under the first caution of the day after passing three trucks and moving into 13th in just 11 laps.
After running a total of 47 miles, Newberry kept picking his way through traffic and found himself inside the top ten in ninth. "I'm going to need a little help on exit... it's getting tight toward the end of this run", Newberry relayed to his crew chief as the team prepared for a green flag pit stop sometime within the approaching laps. Then, working on the 74th mile of the event, the monster handed a devastating blow to the NTS Motorsports Chevrolet.
Working through lapped traffic and keeping close tabs with another competitor battling for eighth position, Newberry was playing it safe before the start of green flag stops. Coming out of turn two, the competitor in front of Newberry missed the corner and slowed alongside the Qore-24 machine on the exit of the corner. With no time to react, Newberry got pinched underneath another truck and was taken for a wild ride into the inside retaining wall for a hard hit. Having to accept an abrupt end to a promising weekend, Newberry and his team finished 27th. Through the weekend, Newberry and McKinney displayed their chemistry and working relationship of working together in the ARCA racing series and have a lot to build on going into their next event at Texas Motor Speedway.
Brennan Newberry's Post-Race Thoughts:
"We definitely had the truck and the speed to contend for a really good finish. I am very proud of my NTS Motorsports team and it was great to be able to work along Ryan once again. Unfortunately our day ended prematurely and we couldn't truly show how strong our Chevrolet Silverado was and get it to the finish we deserved. My Qore-24 team and I will get our shot at the checkered flag again once again this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway."
Ryan McKinney's Post-Race Thoughts:
"It was great to be able to work with Brennan once again. We unloaded with a solid Chevrolet Silverado right off of the hauler and it only got faster during practice on Friday. The Qore-24 truck was incredibly fast and Brennan was comfortable behind the wheel. We were really good on long runs and didn't seem to lose much speed after turning several laps. Unfortunately, we got caught up passing another truck and it really is a shame because we had a top-5 finish within our reach. Now, all of the focus turns to Texas and the NTS Motorsports guys are working hard so we can show up in The Lone Star State with another fast truck and get a good finish."
NTS Motorsports PR