Jason White, driver of the No. 23 GunBroker.com Chevrolet, was on the fast track to being the biggest mover in Saturday afternoon’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway until a flat tire with three laps remaining in the 250-lap event derailed the freshmen team to a 22nd-place finish in the fourth event on the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule.
While the end result missed the mark of expectations, the Joe Denette Motorsports team moved up four positions to 26th in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner point standings, a mere one point outside the top-25. As a result, the No. 23 machine will be required to qualify in the field on time at Nashville Superspeedway.
White, who struggled in qualifying due to engine woes, would start the 13th Annual Kroger 250 from the 35th position because of an unapproved adjustment on the GunBroker.com Chevrolet. Gaining modest ground on the competition, White was sitting in the 27th position just 14 laps into the event. However, struggling with a tight handling Chevy Silverado, White made a quick trip down pit road during the first of 13 cautions for a chassis adjustment. When racing resumed on lap 22, the GunBroker.com machine was scored in the 32nd position.
Making his way around the .526-mile oval, White began to complain about brakes and was still not happy with the handling of his No. 23 Chevy. Crew Chief Chad Kendrick made the call to bring White down pit road during the afternoon’s second caution at lap 45 for another chassis adjustment, four tires and fuel. When the field went back to green at lap 47, the GunBroker.com machine was sitting 28th.
Finally pleased with the handling of his No. 23 Chevy, White ran consistently in the top-10 over the next 90 circuits, running as high as second. When the field was slowed for the seventh time for an accident in turn-1, White made his way down pit road for what should have been the last stop of the day for a chassis adjustment, four Goodyear tires, including an air pressure adjustment, and fuel.
The Virginia-native restarted 14th with just over 100 laps left in the event, and was set-up nicely for a top-5 finish considering the leaders still had to pit. However, the handling on the GunBroker.com machine went away and White was forced to pit at lap 162 under caution for a chassis adjustment and fuel.
Continuing to run in the top-15, but battling a loose handling machine, White held on to his GunBroker Chevy for the next 40 laps and was forced back down pit road under caution at lap 204 for a used set of Goodyear tires. Due to the unscheduled stop by the JDM team, White started 18th with 40 laps remaining in the 250-lap event.
Running in the 12th position with three laps remaining, a left rear tire went down on the GunBroker.com Chevrolet leading White to a 22nd-place finish, one lap down to race winner, Johnny Sauter.
“Our bad day started off in qualifying.” said White, “Plug wires were crossed on our GunBroker.com Chevrolet and we weren’t running on all eight cylinders when we took the green flag. The mishap caused us to start in the back of the field which is never a good place to start at Martinsville. We did a good job all day in the pits and were positioned for a good finish at the end, but when our left rear tire went down with three to go it really hurt us. This finish does not reflect the effort that we put in this weekend and it’s hard to swallow that we are this far back in points. I know this team will bounce back, and a solid run at Nashville will put us back in contention.”
Joe Denette Motorsports PR