Gaulding Gambles For Gold in Vegas
Team 08 JT Marine Chevrolet Camaro:
Go for it. This was the mind set that Gray Gaulding and his No. 08 team embraced for the last race of the regular season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With points no longer being relevant, it was a must win for Gaulding and his team to make the 2019 playoffs. Gaulding would roll off from the 16th position for the 200 lap race in Sin City. The first stage was completely dominated by Christopher Bell, as the 20 car set a blistering pace for the first 45 laps. The first stage went caution free and Gaulding found himself in the 17th position, one lap down early. Gaulding radioed to Crew Chief Patrick Donahue that his car was just too loose and needed to be tightened up.
The second stage was a close reflection of the first. Christopher Bell once again dominated the stage and all 45 laps went green without incident. At the conclusion of the stage, Gaulding was in the 18th position and two laps down. Gaulding was overall happy with the feeling of his car. The driver of the 08 was confident that with some fresh tires and a slight adjustment, he would be right where he needed to be.
Gaulding started the final stage from the 18th position and two laps down. On lap 112 the first on track incident of the day brought out the third caution. Having driven to the 17th position, Crew Chief Patrick Donahue made the call to stay on track during the caution in order to receive a wave around to become only one lap down. The gamble paid off. On lap 128 the fourth caution of the day waved and Gaulding was the beneficiary of the 'lucky dog'. Donahue called Gaudling to the pits under caution to top off on fuel and would restart on the lead lap. As the final 70 laps clicked by, the 08 team were gambling for the gold. All lead lap cars with the exception of the 2 car would have to stop under green for fuel. As the laps continued to wind down and cars continued to pit, Gaulding suddenly found himself in the 2nd position. The bold strategy call by Donahue put his team in contention late to shock the world. The worn tires and fuel conservation was unfortunately no match for a few of the leaders with fresh tires. Despite getting passed by a few of the leaders late, Gaulding was able to hang on to a seventh place finish, which marked the 08 team's fourth top ten of the year.
“P7 in Las Vegas! We’re in Vegas and we knew we wanted to roll the dice so we stretched it on fuel there at the end and came away with a top-10! Hats off to all my guys at SS Green Light Racing and team owner Bobby Dotter. Although we aren’t a part of the playoffs, I’m still living my dream and having the most fun I’ve ever had behind the wheel. This success couldn’t be possible without my family and my great partners, Barry Tisdale with SMG, JT Marine Inc., PURE, NASCAR Racing Experience and Panini. Thanks to all the fans who believe in me and have supported me through this journey.
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“I couldn't be more proud of Gray, Patrick, and the entire 08 team. This little team has proved that they can run with the big boys on any track and they did it again today. Patrick made some great calls to put us in position late and Gray did his job. I'm looking forward to finishing out these final seven races of the year strong!"
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Coming off a 20th place finish last weekend at Indianapolis, Ray Black Jr. and the 07 team came into Las Vegas looking to continue their streak of consistent finishes. After a 20th place qualifying effort, Black was set for 300 miles of racing. The first stage went caution free and the 20 car was relentless with his pace early on. At the conclusion of stage one, Black was in the 21st position, one lap down.
The second stage was the same song, different verse. The 20 car continued to dominate the race. Like the first stage, stage two went incident free for all 45 laps. At the conclusion of stage two, Black was still in the 21st position, two laps down.
As the final stage began, Crew Chief Jason Miller was hoping for a window of opportunity to play some strategy. He got it. On lap 112 the caution waved and Miller elected to take a wave around. Black would restart only one lap down. Caution waved again on lap 128 and Miller called his driver in to top off on gas. When it was all said and done Ray Black Jr. was able to bring home his No. 07 Chevy in the 19th position. The result marked the team's eighth top 20 finish in the last nine races.
Ray Black Jr:
“It was a solid effort by our 07 team. It's been a good consistent run for us the last several races. Looking forward to Richmond!"
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“Ray, Jason, and the 07 team continue their consistent streak of runs with another top 20 finish. Looking forward to going to Richmond next week, which is a great track for both of my drivers!”
Despite not making the playoffs, 2019 has been the best season in the history of SS Green Light Racing. Drivers Gray Gaulding and Ray Black Jr. are 13th and 16th respectively in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings. The series will make their next stop in Richmond, Virginia. Coverage of the GoBowling 250 from Richmond Raceway will begin Friday September 20th at 7:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
SS Green Light Racing PR
Latest from Speedway Digest Staff
- McIntosh Dominates In USAC At Gas City I-69 Speedway
- Billy Whittaker Cars Leads Way in Sponsorship of OktoberFAST Divisions
- Big-Block Supermodifieds Return To Thompson For World Series
- Nevada Donor Network and Joey Gase Team Up To Raise Awareness for Organ Donation and Honor 12 Individuals
- Rowdy Energy to Sponsor Ken Gushi for Remainder of Formula Drift Pro Season