Justin Lofton and the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com (http://www.collegecomplete.com) Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team had a solid run at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night with their newly unveiled Chevrolet Silverado. The Fast Five 225 was the first race for the team since switching to Chevrolet. The run was a successful one, as the team used the race to learn the new truck and ready for the remainder of the season. After a 15th place finish, Lofton says the team has a good starting point.
"I'm really happy for everyone on the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet Silverado team. I'm really excited about the manufacturer switch," Lofton said. "We had a tire going down that last run and lost about 40 pounds of air pressure. But it was a learning experience. The switch is all for next year. We are almost pre-testing right now and building for next year."
Lofton kicked off the day at Chicagoland in an impressive way after putting his No. 6 Chevrolet third on the speed chart following the first practice session. After a second practice session later in the afternoon, followed by qualifying, Lofton claimed the 15th starting spot for the race.
Under a yellow flag just 10 laps into the event, Lofton radioed to crew chief Dan Bormann, "We'll be good. I'm just learning it," referring to his new Chevrolet.
By the time Lofton made his first pit stop on lap 42, he had told the crew he was running loose off of the corners. Crew chief Bormann called for a track bar adjustment and four fresh tires.
20 laps later, the yellow flag flew yet again, allowing Lofton and Bormann to talk things over. Lofton said that after the adjustment, the truck felt "overloaded" and had a bit of an awkward feel. Bormann replied, "Keep doing what you're doing. We're learning a new truck. We'll get it figured out."
On lap 78, Lofton made his second pit stop of the night, with the No. 6 team reversing the earlier track bar adjustment on the CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet, in addition to adding a rubber in the left rear.
After finding a more comfortable way around the track in the outside groove, Lofton maintained a strong run within the top-15. His final pit stop came with just 18 laps remaining. Bormann opted to mix things up, calling for fuel only.
With nine laps remaining, Lofton informed the team that the truck felt like it was plowing on the older tires. He held on to finish 15th.
After climbing from his No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet, Lofton and his team noticed that the right rear was going flat. After checking air pressures, they discovered that the tire was down 40 pounds of air pressure.
"We got lucky there," Lofton said. "If the race had gone a few laps longer, that tire would have gone completely flat. Overall, it was a good race. We learned a lot about this new Chevrolet. The horsepower is incredible. I'm excited about the rest of the season."
Justin Lofton PR