Justin Haley made his NCWTS Talladega Superspeedway debut from the fourth position in the No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet in Saturday’s Fred’s 250. Working with teammate Johnny Sauter he moved into the second position on lap one and held that spot until the first caution of the day on lap 20. With the first stage ending under yellow, Haley picked up valuable stage points before pitting for fuel only. He returned to the field in the fourth position, lining up behind Sauter for the restart.
Teamwork prevailed once again as Haley retook second on the lap 27 restart. Stage Two stayed green for all 25 laps, with the Winamac, Ind., native finished the stage in second. He visited the Fraternal Order of Eagles team on pit road for four tires and fuel, lining up sixth for the start of the final stage.
Knowing fuel mileage would become a factor at the end of the event, the GMS trucks pitted together under green on lap 61, returning to the track before the fourth caution of the day occurred. Worried about having driven through debris, crew chief Kevin Bellicourt brought Haley back to pit road for tires and to top off on fuel. He rejoined the field in the 12th position and worked his way back to Sauter on the restart to make a move for the top two positions on lap 87.
A caution with five laps remaining placed Haley in the third position for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. As the race went green for the final time, Haley made a move for the lead but dropped back without any help. He regrouped before falling too far back but made contact with another competitor creating a chain reaction. Not being able to continue to the finish line, Haley was scored with a 16th-place finish in his first NCWTS start at Talladega.
“The No. 24 team brought a great Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet this weekend. We were fast and had the speed and teamwork needed to stay up front in this type of race. Coming down to the end, we felt we’d have to make a pretty big move to go for our first win but it just didn’t work out. Overall it was a really strong performance for our team and I’m happy we were able to run well for Fraternal Order of Eagles.”
- With a 16th-place finish at Talladega, the No. 24 team did not advance in the NCWTS Owners Playoffs, missing the cutoff by 15 points.
GMS Racing PR