Race 31 of 33: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
Track Details: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval / 200 laps
No. 07: Ray Black Jr. Result: 12th
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 13th
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Ray Black Jr. battled through a wild night in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night in route to his third top-12 finish of the 2019 season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Black strapped into his No. 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet for the first time this weekend on Friday afternoon. The 07 ran a total of 24 laps in two practice sessions with a fastest lap time of 29.728 seconds, which put him 21st quickest on the board. Black laid down a lap of 29.140 seconds Saturday evening, which earned him a 17th place starting position for the 200 lap race.
Black wasted no time making his way forward as the race got underway. On lap 19 the first caution of the night waved after the 66 car wrecked in turn 2. Black was able to work his way up to the 16th position at the time of the caution. At the end of 45 laps, Black had slipped back to the 22nd position.
During the stage break, Crew Chief Jason Miller called his driver to the pits for four fresh tires, fuel, and some minor adjustments to help the handling on the No. 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet. The third caution of the evening waved on lap 60 after Brandon Brown made contact with the wall. On lap 79 the caution would wave once again after the 52 of David Starr went spinning through the infield grass. Miller elected to stay out under the caution to gain some valuable track position. After 90 laps of racing, Black was in the 20th position.
At the end of the second stage, Miller brought Black to the pits so that he would start the final stage with four fresh tires. The final stage of racing from Texas Motor Speedway was eventful to say the least. Four cautions were displayed in the final 100 laps of the race. Black was able to slowly pick his way forward during the final stage, all the while avoiding several incidents around him. With 30 laps remaining, Black restarted in the 14th position. With a combination of great strategy by Jason Miller and an excellent display of driving by Ray Black Jr, the No. 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys team was able to secure a 12th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ray Black Jr:
“We had an awesome weekend from start to finish at Texas. The guys brought a really fast race car to the track and Jason did a great job fine tuning it for the race. Our goal coming into the weekend was a top-15 and we did just that with a 12th place finish. I’m really proud of our effort and I’m looking forward to Phoenix next weekend.”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“It was a great weekend in Texas. The 07 team unloaded with a lot of speed during practice and were able to carry over that speed into the race on Saturday. We’ve been chipping away at it throughout the year and I thought tonight was one of the best performances I’ve seen out of Ray and the 07 team this season. Looking forward to carrying this momentum into Phoenix.”
Team 08 ‘The Country Network’ Chevrolet Camaro:
Gray Gaulding secured his sixteenth Top-15 finish of the season for Bobby Dotter and SS Green Light Racing after finishing in the 13th position at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Gaulding made his first laps of the weekend around Texas Motor Speedway Friday afternoon for two practice sessions. The 08 ran a total of 23 laps in two practice sessions with a fastest time of 29.789 seconds, which put him 22nd quickest on the board. Gaulding laid down a lap of 29.354 seconds Saturday evening, which earned him a 22nd place starting position for the 200 lap race.
As the race began the 08 car began steadily moving forward. When the first caution of the day waved on lap 19, Gaulding was up to the 20th position. The remainder of the stage went caution free and when the green and white checkered flag signaled the conclusion of the first stage, Gaulding remained in the 20th position.
Crew Chief Patrick Donahue called Gaulding to the pits for service. After four fresh tires, fuel, and adjustments to the 08 Chevy, Gaulding was ready to tackle stage two. The on track action continued heating up with caution flags flying on lap 60 as well as lap 79 for two separate incidents. On lap 81 Donahue made a strategy call to bring Gaulding to the pits under caution, so they could stay out at the conclusion of stage two. By the end of the stage Gaulding was able to work his way up to the 15th position.
The 08 car would start the final stage from the 7th position. On lap 128 the caution waved for the 98 of Chase Briscoe. Gaulding had slipped back to the 15th position, but was still running competitive lap times. Donahue called Gaulding to the pits on lap 130 and sent him back out on track. After an incident on lap 140, Gaulding stayed out on track once again and would restart from the 4th position with 55 laps to go. After a treacherous final 50 laps, Gaulding was able to escape the late race carnage and pilot his No. 08 Chevy to a 13th place finish. After an impressive run at Texas Motor Speedway Gray Gaulding was able to surpass the No. 51 of Jeremy Clements in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings. Gaulding now sits in the 13th position and has a 12 point lead over Clements.
“We came away with a 13th place finish here at Texas Motor Speedway. We’re pretty happy with that considering where we were with practice on Friday and where we qualified. Thanks to my guys at SS Green Light Racing. Thanks to LokaMedia.com, Oil Fire, the Country Network, OT Tavern and all our great sponsors for being on board for Texas. We’ve got some great partners and we couldn’t do this without their support.”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“Gray and the 08 team fought hard all night and were able to come away with another top-15 finish. It was a wild night of racing, so I knew if we could stay out of trouble we were going to end up having a good night. Really proud of all the effort from both of my guys. It’s been a fantastic season and I’m looking forward to these last two races.”
SS Green Light drivers Ray Black Jr. and Gray Gaulding both earned solid top-15 finishes Saturday night in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Gaulding was able to take advantage of the No. 51 team’s misfortune and move back into the 13th position in the point standings. Ray Black Jr. remains in the 16th position; however, the 07 team was able to close the point deficit and now trail the No. 86 of Brandon Brown by only ten points for the 15th position in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings. The series will head west for their next to last race of the season at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. Coverage of the ‘Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200’ from ISM Raceway will begin Saturday November 9th at 3:30 PM ET on NBC.