Brennan Newberry and the No.24 Qore-24 Hand Purifier team headed traveled to Loudon, New Hampshire looking to build on a string of strong showings in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule, especially after being one of the fastest cars on the track during their last event in Langley, Virginia. Throughout the two day event in New Hampshire, Newberry and Crew Chief John Monsam, worked hard to find a setup that would hold up against a notoriously rough surface at “The Magic Mile”. However, with just a handful of laps remaining, the hard work of the NTS Motorsports No.24 team was negated by a blown right front tire.
Brennan Newberry started his Loudon weekend with the news that he would be doing double-duty, after being slated to pilot the No.55 Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event, in addition to his K&N Pro Series start. On a beautiful and bright Thursday afternoon, the track was opened for the first of two NKNPSE practice sessions. After the first run Newberry relayed to John Monsam that the car was comfortable on the entry of the turns, but was just too tight in the center and exit of the corners. This was a common theme for most teams on an uncharacteristically hot afternoon, which created an incredibly slick surface that made grip a rare commodity. At the end of the first session, Newberry and the rest of the Qore-24 team knew their work would be cut out for them to get it right in the final practice session, before qualifying later that day. Newberry sat nineteenth on the board with a lap time of 30.589 following first practice.
The final 60 minutes of practice saw Newberry and Monsam making wholesale changes to their setup, to get faster through the center of the corners and to give Newberry the ability to get on the gas earlier as well. Two of the hardest working pieces of equipment during the last hour of practice were the track-bar wrench and the tire pressure gauge, as Monsam chased a changing track between cloud cover and sun, in an attempt to give his driver a solid car no matter what the conditions were, when the green was displayed the following day. After running a number of laps higher than most of his fellow competitors, Newberry improved his time of over the first practice with a 30.040 which placed him eleventh on the chart.
The final order of business for the first of a two day event was 2 laps of pole qualifying for the Granite State 100, to set the starting lineup for the tenth event of the season. Newberry would be the 23rd of 31 cars to take time on the mile long venue. After his second lap on track, Newberry posted his fastest lap time on the track of 29.924, which would give him a starting position just outside the top ten in 12th. The cars were then covered and impounded and would wait to be rolled out onto the track the following evening for 100 circuits around New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
On Friday evening, after interviews, drivers meetings, autograph sessions, and driver introductions, the NKNPSE drivers were finally given the command to fire engines around 6:00 PM ET. Newberry was the only driver in the NKNPSE field that had any made laps on the track on Friday, prior to the race, as he piloted the SS-Green Light No. 55 Chevrolet in the two NASCAR Nationwide Series practices, that he would make his debut in on Saturday, competing in his first NNS race. The green was displayed for the Granite State 100, after 4 pace laps, and the field roared into turn one for the first time. Starting in 12th, Newberry had made his way inside the top ten after just seven of 100 laps. Newberry relayed to Monsam that the car was sliding on the exit of the corners. This was an issue for teams up and down pit road as the caution was displayed at lap 18, when a fellow competitor lost a right front tire, another reoccurring event throughout the day for multiple drivers.
Restarting 11th on the outside of row six, proved to be a challenge and Newberry fell back to 14th before getting back down into the desired low groove. With just ten laps remaining until the halfway break for tires and fuel, Monsam was telling his driver to hold until he could get it to the pits as Newberry fought to stay inside the top 20. When the caution was displayed at lap 51 for a short break for crews to make adjustments and changes, Newberry was running in 17th and was thankful to be able to get to the assistance of his crew. Once the green was displayed Newberry could tell the changes had made his car better, but as more and more cars dropped out of the field with tire issues, Monsam coached his driver to save the right front as he began to get tighter and tighter through the center.
With just 15 laps remaining until the checkered flag, Newberry was holding on and looking to capitalize on the late race cautions and issues for other drivers. However, going into turn one on lap 85, as Newberry dove into the center of the corner, he heard the sound he was hoping he could avoid. Running in the top half of the field for the entirety of the event, Newberry suffered a blown right front and was sent hard into the outside wall. Newberry was able to drive his wounded Chevrolet Impala back to the pits, but was unable to join the field after the damage was deemed critical for the No.24 team. With a battered car, Newberry ended the event with a 28th place finish. As eyes turn to Columbus Motor Speedway for the JEGS 150, Crew Chief John Monsam and Brennan Newberry look forward to a chance to show that they will continue to show up strong even after tough luck strikes. The next event on track for the No.24 NTS Motorsports team will be this Saturday, July 19th, in Columbus, Ohio.
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