Hefty Racing Team Posts 28th-place Finish at CMS

Starting his 150th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series event from the 34th position, Eric McClure hoped to have a career-high finish at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval.  However, after an untimely caution following a green flag pit stop, the team was only able to bring the No. 14 Hefty® BlackOut™/Reynolds™ Chevrolet home in the 28th position.  As a result, both McClure and TriStar Motorsports owner, Mark Smith, remain in their respective NASCAR Driver and Owner Standings positions of 20th and 29th following the event.

“I really wish we could have had a better day.  I ran well here last year in the “new car” and thought we could back it up this time but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  We were just very tight all weekend and never could get the car to loosen up to where we needed it to be.  We got better in the first half of the race, but it seemed to get worse in the second half.  We will keep working on it.”

McClure started his day from the 34th position and settled in to the 30th position by lap eight of the 200-lap event.  Lacking “front grip”, it didn’t take long for him to realize the difficulty of running his preferred line at the bottom of the racetrack.  Slipping one position on lap 20 and running one lap down to the race leader, the competition caution flag waved on lap 25 which allowed the No. 14 Chevrolet to visit pit road for four tires with an air-pressure adjustment, fuel, and a wedge adjustment.  Losing one position on pit road, the Hefty Racing® team was scored in the 32nd position, one spot behind the next “lucky dog” recipient, when the race resumed on lap 30.

As the three cars scored one lap down to the leader were racing hard for the “lucky dog” position, contact was made between the No. 28 and No. 23 cars on lap 33, which forced McClure to make an evasive move to the inside to avoid contact with the two cars.  When the second caution flag waved immediately thereafter, McClure was in position to be the “lucky dog” recipient.  Bringing his car to pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment, the team was scored on the lead lap in the 30th position when the race resumed on lap 38.

By lap 50, McClure had advanced one position despite his continuing battle with a tight handling car in the center and on exit of the turns.  When the event’s third caution flag was displayed on lap 72, the Hefty® BlackOut™/Reynolds™ Chevrolet returned to pit road for four tires with an air-pressure adjustment to the left and right rear tires and fuel.  Following the service, the team advanced one position on pit road and was scored in the 28th position when the race resumed with 123 laps remaining in the event.

Over the next 50 laps the Virginia driver not only continued to fight to find the right line around the racetrack that worked for his Chevrolet, but also continued to battle an extremely tight race car that progressively worsened throughout the long green flag run.  Green flag pit stops began on lap 129 with McClure bringing his car to pit road on lap 130 for four scuffed tires and fuel.  Once the field cycled through, the team was scored in the 29th position, three laps down to the race leaders.

Following the service, McClure quickly reported back to his TriStar Motorsports team that the car was, unfortunately, showing tighter handling characteristics than before.  When the event’s fifth, and final, caution flag was waved on lap 147 the No. 14 Chevrolet returned to pit road for tires with an air-pressure adjustment and fuel.  Maintaining the 29th position on the lap 154 restart, McClure was able to advance one position in the final 46 laps to finish the Top Gear 300 in the 28th position.

TriStar Motorsports PR