Spencer Gallagher, driver of the No. 23 Alamo Rent A Car Chevrolet, turned in a workman-like effort in his debut at Chicagoland Speedway. After posting the 20th fastest lap in practice on Friday morning, Gallagher developed into a front runner throughout the rain-delayed event and finished eighth, his fifth top-10 result of 2015.
After Mother Nature claimed pole qualifying on Friday afternoon, Gallagher took the green flag in the American Ethanol E15 225 on Saturday morning from the 19th position. The Las Vegas product ran inside the top 20 until the first caution on lap 15. Crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz brought Gallagher down pit road for four tires and spring rubber adjustments under the caution to alleviate a tight balance. Getting off sequence with the leaders allowed Gallagher to take fuel only under the competition caution shortly thereafter on lap 32.
The strategy call by Stankiewicz and the Alamo Rent A Car team vaulted Gallagher into the top 10. The rookie driver maintained position inside the top 12 until the event’s third and final caution on lap 83, despite a tight condition. The GMS Racing team’s quick pit work for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment advanced Gallagher three positions to sixth. During an extended cleanup under yellow, Gallagher moved to second for the lap 96 restart as some competitors fell victim to pit road penalties and employed varying strategies.
Gallagher ran solidly in the top five before a loose condition hindered his efforts to battle for the lead. However, Gallagher overcame the handling balance to stay inside the top 10, until his final pit stop for two tires and fuel on lap 135. Fuel strategy dominated the race’s landscape over the final 55-lap run to the finish. Gallagher took advantage as other competitors ran out of fuel in the closing laps, and crossed the line in eighth position.
This marks the second time in 2015 that Gallagher has scored two-consecutive top-10 finishes, and maintains his ninth-place position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.
SPENCER GALLAGHER QUOTE:
"It’s a good deal. This, right here, was a day where we rebounded. We struggled in practice, and had to start (19th) because qualifying rained out. We rebounded and got a very good finish out of it. We finished in front of a lot of good guys. I’ve got to count this as a good day for our GMS Racing team. We came so far from where we were in practice (Friday). Once we got our Alamo Rent A Car Chevrolet some track position, we put ourselves in good position for a solid finish. The fuel strategies that go on at the end of these races can always shake up the results, but it’s great to earn another top-10 finish in our first start (at Chicagoland Speedway).”
GMS Racing PR