Justin Lofton and the No. 6 Lofton Cattle team's night came to an early end in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway when the No. 6 Chevrolet suffered terminal damage in a lap 95 accident. After leading laps and racing inside the top 10 throughout most of the night, Lofton's championship battle took a hit as a result of a 31st-place finish.
With two practice sessions over two days, Lofton worked closely with the Lofton Cattle team to fine-tune the handling of their Chevrolet. Extremely pleased with their machine in race trim, the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team knew that their Lofton Cattle Chevrolet would be one to contend with during Saturday night's race.
Lofton rolled off 13th in the American Ethanol 200 after recording a 23.267-second lap during qualifying. With his truck initially a bit tight, the Lofton Cattle team utilized the lap 24 caution period to make a chassis adjustment to increase the forward bite in their Chevrolet. The team also serviced the No. 6 machine with four tires and fuel, enabling him to remain on track when most of his competitors came down pit road during the lap 36 caution period.
By lap 56, Lofton inherited the lead under caution and led the field to the green for the lap 59 restart. As a result, the championship contender gained a pivotal bonus point that is sure to be important in the 2012 championship hunt. With many close competitors on fresher tires, Lofton held the lead for just five laps before falling back a few positions.
Still running in the seventh position on lap 95, Lofton was racing through lap traffic when the No. 07 spun off turn two in front of the Lofton Cattle Chevrolet. The other truck cut a right front tire and rode along the outside wall and Lofton went low on the track hoping to avoid the incident. However, when the No. 07 turned across the track he caught the right side of Lofton's machine and turned him into the outside retaining wall. The incident resulted in terminal damage to Lofton's No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet and a 31st place finish.
"Obviously we're disappointed about our finish," commented Lofton. "We had a great truck and were able to lead some laps in the Lofton Cattle Chevrolet. It's just frustrating when you're running for a championship and the guys are all working so hard to be taken out in the middle of the race."
Justin Lofton PR