Ray Black, Jr. and the No. 07 ScubaLife Chevrolet Silverado team finished 13th on Saturday afternoon at the historic Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. After a mid-race spin, great pit strategy and strong driving helped Black quickly return to the lead lap of competition and allowed him to race back through the field.
Making his first return-visit to a track on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit, Black made his second career-start at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon. The ScubaLife team made over 140 laps in practice to notice that their lap times were able to remain consistent, even on old tires, and knew their Chevrolet Silverado would be exceptionally strong on long runs.
After qualifying 25th for the 250-lap race, Black struggled to gain track position on the narrow short track where passing can be exceptionally difficult. However, a decision to stay on the track during the lap 143 caution period moved Black inside the top 15 and allowed him to return to the lead lap of competition. A second caution just 10 laps later both solidified Black's position in the top 15, and allowed him to visit pit road for tires and fuel without losing a lap.
Another caution flag waved on lap 187 as Black spun while exiting turn two. After driving in the corner deep, Black knew he was going to spin, but opted to spin himself rather than taking out any additional competitors. The decision proved to be the right choice, as Black was able to correct himself and continue on in the event without any contact. Continuing with a strong pit strategy throughout the rest of the afternoon, Black and the ScubaLife team were able to maintain the track position needed for a solid finish. By the time the checkered flag waved, Black was scored in the 13th position.
"Our ScubaLife team had a lot of fun at Martinsville Speedway this weekend," Black said. "We ran a lot of laps during practice, and knew that we would have a very strong truck during the long runs. We didn't qualify as well as we had hoped, but knew we could make up for it during the race. Jason [Miller, crew chief] made some great calls during the race that helped keep us in contention all afternoon. I've learned a lot over the last few weeks, and to know that we're currently inside the top 10 in both the owner and driver standings with our ScubaLife Chevrolet is awesome. Our goal this season is to finish inside the top 10 in the season-long point standings, and it looks like that goal is within our grasp. I can't wait to get back in the truck in just a few weeks in Kansas."
Ray Black Jr. PR
Ray Black Jr. brings home top-15 finish, improves points ranking in Martinsville
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