Despite a month-long break in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition, Justin Lofton and the No. 6 College Complete (http://www.collegecomplete.com, 877-543-2655) Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team were able to keep the momentum from their third place finish in Daytona rolling this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Lofton and team had a strong weekend from start to finish, which left them with an impressive fourth place effort on Saturday.
"I am so proud of the guys on this College Complete team. Dan (Bormann, crew chief) followed great strategy and our pit crew picked up positions in the pits every time. It was a lot of fun out there. The truck was dialed in and I can't thank all of the guys enough for the hard work in preparing this College Complete Chevrolet Silverado," Lofton said.
Lofton turned his first laps of the week during two practice sessions at the paper-clip shaped Martinsville short track on Friday. The No. 6 College Complete Chevrolet showed eighth in the first session, and fifth in the second session. On Saturday, rain delayed the start of qualifying temporarily, but once underway, Lofton again found his way to the top of the speed chart by qualifying sixth for the Kroger 250.
Once the green flag waved, Lofton maintained a seventh place run through his first pit stop of the day on lap 77. At that point in the race, Lofton noted that his College Complete Chevrolet needed help in the center. After getting an air pressure adjustment on his four new tires, Lofton rejoined the race in sixth.
As the race hit the halfway mark on lap 125, Lofton maintained the sixth position. Within laps, he picked up another spot, re-entering the top-five.
40 laps later, Lofton drove his College Complete Chevrolet down pit road for the team's second pit stop of the day. Again, Lofton added that he needed a bit of help through the center. After another tire change, the crew sent him back on track in the fourth spot. The team made two pit stops throughout the race and both times Lofton's over the wall crew gained positions.
Shortly after the restart, Lofton made good use of his fresh tires and wheeled his way to third. He muscled his way around the half-mile Virginia short track within the top-five through the remainder of the race.
With 40 laps left to run, Lofton radioed to his crew that he felt as though the brakes were fading in his No. 6 College Complete Chevrolet due to the constant braking around the dicey short track.
Two more caution flags waved as the laps clicked down. A late race caution flag with less than 15 to go gave the field a six-lap run to the finish. Lofton took the final restart from the fourth spot and showcased the speed in his machine and his talent as he drove home to his second top-five finish in as many races.
"I am really happy to leave Martinsville with a top-five. I've had decent runs here before, but always seemed to get caught up in something. Today, everything hit just right and we got a good finish," Lofton added. "To get such good runs at Daytona and Martinsville, tracks that are hit or miss and really tough, it sets a good tone for our season."
Lofton and the College Complete team will observe an off week in competition before heading to Rockingham Speedway on April 15th.
Justin Lofton PR