Lofton 13th In New Hampshire After Battling Late Vibration
Justin Lofton and the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team had a solid weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, resulting in a 13th place finish in the F.W. Webb 175. The race was only the second event for Lofton behind the wheel of a Chevrolet.
"We've gained a lot on this No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet Silverado over the last two weeks. We had a really good qualifying run here, and we had a good truck, but we fell off early and with it being only a two stop race, we just didn't have time to dial it in," Lofton said.
After practicing and qualifying under overcast skies, the weather conditions switched drastically for the start of the race on Saturday afternoon. Lofton took the green flag from the seventh position, which was his highest qualifying effort to date this season, but early on noted that the sunshine altered the track and the truck's setup quite a bit. The end result left Lofton struggling with a tight condition. Despite the issue, he maintained the eighth position through the first round of pit stops following a caution flag on lap 60.
Under the stop, crew chief Dan Bormann called for four tires and a slight air pressure adjustment. However, under the stop, the team had an issue with the nozzle on the gas can, dropping Lofton to 11th for the restart.
Once back under the green flag, Lofton noted that the changes altered the truck's entrance to the turns. Even though the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet didn't feel as though it was handling the best, Lofton laid down his fastest lap of the race, up to that point, on lap 77.
An extended green flag run led up to lap 130 when Bormann called Lofton down pit road for his second and final pit stop of the day. The call was for two tires in order to gain some track position, but as Lofton drove towards his pit stall, Bormann opted to go for four fresh tires for the final 45 lap run.
Less than 10 laps later however, Lofton radioed to Bormann that he felt a vibration. After describing the feel and response of the truck, the two, along with championship driver turned spotter David Green, diagnosed the problem as a warped rotor.
Lofton kept on digging and went on to finish 13th.
The result allowed Lofton to maintain 15th in the driver point standings while boosting team owner Eddie Sharp to 18th in the owner standings.
Justin Lofton/ESR PR