Jason White Powers Through Adversity to Finish 17th at Pocono
Jason White and Joe Denette Motorsports were able to bounce back from two laps down, due to a lap-six incident, to finish 17th on the lead lap in Sunday morning's rain delayed Good Sam RV Emergency Road Services 125 at Pocono Raceway.
White began the weekend by posting the ninth-fastest time in Friday's practice session. In just his second start at the "Tricky Triangle", the double-duty driver posted the 20th-fastest time in qualifying.
From the drop of the green flag, White showed signs of a strong GunBroker.com Chevrolet as he advanced to the 16th position by lap two. However, on a restart at lap six, trucks in front of the No. 23 machine checked-up, causing an accordion effect. As White slowed down to avoid running into the back of Brendan Gaughan, the No. 6 machine of Justin Lofton tagged the left rear quarter panel of the GunBroker machine, causing White to spin out. With a flat left front tire, White made his way down pit road for left side tires only. When the field went back to green at lap eight, White was scored 29th.
Troubles continued for the rookie team when just two laps later, a left front shock broke, ultimately cutting the left front tire. White made his way down pit road twice over the next five laps to change four tires, replace the left front shock and fix the left rear quarter panel damage. The extensive time on pit road under green-flag conditions left the GunBroker machine two laps down when the field was stopped just one lap later, at lap 15, for rain.
When racing resumed on Sunday morning at lap 21, the GunBroker.com Chevrolet was scored 25th, two laps down to the race leader. White maintained his position over the next 22 circuits while taking every opportunity to work on the handling of his Chevrolet and the damage on the left rear quarter panel.
White's luck seemed to take a turn for the better after receiving two "lucky dog" awards at laps 37 and 43, respectively. With just five laps remaining in the 50-lap event, White would restart 24th on the lead lap. Making a final sprint to the finish the Richmond, Virginia native gained seven positions en route to a 17th-place finish behind race winner, Kevin Harvick.
Jason White Quotes:
About the lap six incident:
"We didn't qualify where we wanted to, but our truck was fast. We started picking them off, one by one and making our way through the field. During that restart, everybody bunched up; I lifted and just got run into the back of. If that hadn't have happened we would have been really good. My air pressures were just starting to come in and I was happy with this GunBroker.com Chevrolet."
"It's a shame, this entire team has worked so hard, but we have had some bad luck the last couple of weeks with people running into us. Last week, lap one, this week, lap six. It's tough. This was a brand new truck we brought to Pocono and there were a lot of high expectations for us this weekend. These unfortunate events have hurt us in points, just when we thought we were making forward progress, we've been slowed down."
After the race:
"I'm really glad we were able to get the entire race in this morning. It took the remaining laps to work on our strategy to get this GunBroker.com Chevrolet back on the lead lap and in contention to salvage a good finish, and we did. Everyone on this team worked really hard today and never gave up. It obviously wasn't the finish we were looking for but to finish on the lead lap with a top-20 after everything we went through really shows you how strong this team is. We will regroup and look forward to Michigan in two weeks."