Tire Failure Shortens Day for Whitt at Phoenix

Tire Failure Shortens Day for Whitt at Phoenix Getty Images for NASCAR
It was a hard fought day in the desert heat for Monster Energy NASCAR Series (MENCS) Drive Cole Whitt. Whitt qualified 32nd to start the Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.  Whitt battled an ill handling Standard Plumbing Supply No. 72 for the entire duration of the 256 laps he completed. During a long green flag run, leading up to the conclusion of Stage 1, he reported the handling was increasingly getting tighter. At the completion of Stage 1, lap 70, the handling required Whitt to use an excessive amount of break to turn. Pitting for adjustments and returning to the field, Whitt continued to run in the mid-30's. As Stage 2 progressed, the handling worsened to lacking grip.
Despite the handling, Crew Chief Frank Kerr opted to keep Whitt out on track under caution to take the wave around and placed the Standard Plumbing Supply No. 72 one lap down from the leader.  Under the next caution for an on-track incident, Crew Chief Frank Kerr made a series of adjustments sending Whitt back out to resume running in the mid-to-upper 30's. Early into Stage 3, Whitt was running in the 32nd position when the right front tire failed causing significant right front damage.
The No. 72 crew worked feverishly making repairs, sending Whitt back out to rejoin the field. Upon leaving pit road, Whitt radioed brake failure requiring the No. 72 to go the garage. Whitt completed 256 of 312 laps and finished 34th at Phoenix International Raceway.
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Steven B. Wilson

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