Justin Lofton and the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team had a strong day in the desert on Saturday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but a late race wreck a little over 20 laps from the finish dropped the team to 19th at the finish.
"We had such a good truck out there. I had a lot of fun. We just ran out of luck there at the end. It's a shame because we were on our way to a top-five. The good news is we are running stronger every week and everyone knew that we were here," Lofton said.
Lofton initially took the green flag from the 14th position for the Sam's 350. As temperatures inched toward the 100-degree mark, he reported early that the truck needed just a little bit of help staying towards the bottom of the race track. On lap 12, under a caution flag, he made his first pit stop of the day, as crew chief Dan Bormann called for fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Another caution flag waved on lap 23, with Bormann this time opting to keep Lofton on track. The call moved Lofton to third for the restart. Laps later, on lap 31, a multi-truck wreck broke out forcing a red flag period for cleanup. Once the red flag was lifted 10 minutes later, Lofton drove his No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet down pit road yet again, this time taking on four fresh tires and a track bar adjustment.
Following the stop, the California native settled in for an extended run, holding steady just outside of the top-10. By the time his next stop fell on lap 60, he reported that the truck was just a little bit loose in the outside lane. To help remedy the problem, Bormann called for another wedge adjustment.
As the race approached the halfway mark, Lofton's green and white CollegeComplete.com machine showed in the third position. At the time, only one other truck, that of leader Ron Hornaday, was on the same pit strategy as the No. 6 team.
Once lap 100 clicked off the board, teams began making a green flag exchange of pit stops. Lofton stayed on track until lap 106. The team swapped out all four tires, added fuel, squeezed in another quick chassis adjustment, and sent their truck back on track.
Laps later, a caution flag waved, setting the field up for a late race restart. Lofton lined up from the fifth position on lap 121.
Unfortunately, just a few laps later, Lofton had troubles on the backstretch, with the CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet suffering heavy damage. He ended the event 19th after displaying a strong run for the majority of the event within the top-10.
Lofton and the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet team will next hit the track at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, October 22nd. In 2009, Lofton earned the ARCA Racing Series win at the famed 2.66-mile track.
Justin Lofton PR