Whitt leads BK Racing to checkered flag with 26th-place finish in Texas
Cole Whitt led his BK Racing teammates to the checkered flag with a 26th-place finish in the No. 26 Speed Stick GEAR Toyota Camry at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday evening. Whitt was followed by JJ Yeley in the No. 83 ZAK Products Toyota Camry who finished 31st, and Alex Bowman who finished 42nd in the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry.
Racing at Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season, Whitt rolled off 40th for Sunday's 500-mile event. After early reports that his car was 'sideways loose,' Whitt worked closely with his Speed Stick GEAR team to make a series of air pressure and chassis adjustments to his Toyota Camry throughout the early stages of the race. However, with track and air temperatures quickly cooling, most teams were chasing the balance of their racecar throughout the night and Whitt's BK Racing team was no exception. Taking advantage of several wave-around opportunities to regain lost track position, Whitt rejoined the lead lap of competition during the late stages of the event and was able to race to a 26th-place finish. The result marked Whitt's 24th top-30 finish of the season.
"It was a challenging race weekend in Texas," commented Whitt. "The weather conditions were a bit different from what we usually experience, and the track changed as the air temperatures cooled. It seemed like a lot of guys struggled to get their setup just right, and like everyone else, we were left chasing our car to keep up with the handling. We did a great job with our strategy to allow us to capitalize on opportunities to regain track position. I'm proud of the effort of my team, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the car next weekend in Phoenix."
With ZAK Products on the hood of his Toyota Camry, Yeley rolled off 39th for Sunday'srace at Texas Motor Speedway. Needing more grip, especially through the center of the turns, Yeley and his BK Racing team worked through a series of air pressure and chassis adjustments to improve the balance of their racecar. Unable to get ahead of the changing track conditions, Yeley was able to maintain his overall position and take advantage of several wave-around opportunities to regain lost ground. By the time the checkered flag waved, Yeley was scored in the 31st position in his No. 83 ZAK Products Toyota Camry.
"The balance of our ZAK Products Toyota Camry was just a bit off from where we needed it today," commented Yeley. "My BK Racing team did a good job keeping up with the changes and making adjustments throughout the race. We were also able to take advantage of a few wave-around passes and regain some track position we lost. All-in-all, it was a good effort by our ZAK Products Toyota Camry team."
Rolling off in the 35th position, Bowman called into his crew early to report that his car lacked overall grip. After making a series of adjustments to the Dr Pepper Toyota Camry the balance of Bowman's car improved slightly, but his car also developed an intense vibration in the drive train of the car. Bringing his Toyota Camry behind the wall, Bowman's Dr Pepper team diagnosed an internal issue within the motor to bring an early end to their afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. As a result, Bowman was scored with a 42nd-place finish.
"The race this weekend was just full of ups and downs," commented Bowman. "We fought the balance of our car during the early stages of the race, and while my team did a great job combating those issues, there wasn't anything we could do with the internal mechanical issue that occurred in the engine. We came here with the goal of finishing all the laps, so it's unfortunate when you aren't able to do that. We'll take what we can and learn from it, and most importantly, we'll look to bounce back with a strong finish next weekend in Phoenix."
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