Race 19 of 33: U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway
Track Details: 0.875 mile oval / 250 laps
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 14th
No. 07: Ray Black Jr. Result: 11th
Team 08 WALK-ON’s Chevrolet Camaro:
After finishing in the 14th position at Iowa just six short weeks ago, Gaulding was optimistic coming into Iowa Speedway this weekend. Gaulding would roll off from the 19th position for the 250 mile event. The first stage of the race consisted of 60 laps. The first caution of the day waved on lap 45 after the 22 car made contact with the wall. The 08 had just gone a lap down before the caution, but would be the beneficiary of the free pass. At the end of the first stage Gaulding was in the 18th position.
Gaulding started the second stage from the 16th position. On lap 74 the caution waved after the 18 lost control, collecting the 51 car. The 08 would restart from the 13th position, as racing resumed. The remainder of the stage went caution free. Gaulding finished the second stage in the 14th position. The biggest struggle Gaulding told Crew Chief Patrick Donahue was that he felt the car was lacking mechanical grip.
Gaulding would start the final stage from the 12th position. On lap 153 caution would wave after the 52 car stalled on track. The sixth caution of the day would wave on lap 162 after the 00 made hard contact with the wall. On lap 170 Gaulding restarted from the 11th position with eyes set clear on the top 10. On lap 202 the 1 car went spinning, bringing out the seventh caution of the day. Gaulding was sitting in the 10th position at the time of the caution. With no fresh tires remaining, the 08 team stayed out under caution and would restart from the 7th position. With 32 laps remaining, the 86 car blew an engine. After a 20 lap shootout, Gaulding would bring home his No. 08 Walk On’s Chevrolet in the 14th position. With only 7 races remaining until the playoffs, Gaulding remains (13th) the first car below the cut line. Gaulding trails 12th place Brandon Jones by 101 points after Iowa.
“It was a pretty solid day. Unfortunately that caution came out and killed us. We ran out of tires and had to come put on old scuffs, but that’s just part of it. We just can’t seem to catch any breaks here as of late, but it was still a great points day. I really appreciate Walk On’s being on board. I’m ready to get out of here and go road racing.”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“The 08 team continues to perform and show great consistency every single week. We were destined for a top 10 finish today if those last couple of cautions didn’t come out. We will take a 14th place finish and move on to the road course. Very proud of everyone’s hard work today.”
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Ray Black Jr. rolled into Iowa Speedway this weekend confident after his team finished in the 16th position here back in June. The 07 would start from the 24th position for the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Black quickly made his way up the running order. On lap 45 the first caution of the day waved and Black was in the 18th position. Crew Chief Jason Miller elected to take a wave around to get back on the lead lap. At the end of the first stage, Ray Black Jr. was in the 17th position.
Black started the second stage from the 17th position. On lap 74 the caution waved after the 18 lost control and spun. With no where to go, the 51 slammed into the 18 car and Black just missed hitting the 51 car. The 07 scraped the wall avoiding the accident, but the damage was just cosmetic. Black would restart from the 23rd position after making sure there was no crucial damage to the 07.The remainder of the stage went caution free and Black was able to drive back up to the 15th position.
On lap 202 the 1 car brought out the caution. Ray Black Jr. sat in the 15th position and was the first car one lap down. Crew Chief Jason Miller called for four tires and fuel. Black was overall very happy with his car. Over the last 40 laps of the race, Ray Black Jr. was able to fight his way even further up the running order. When the checkered flag waved, Ray Black Jr. wheeled his way to an 11th place finish at Iowa Speedway, which tied his best career Xfinity Series finish.
Ray Black Jr:
“Really proud of everyone’s effort today. The guys gave me a great car and we were able to capitalize on it. We were so close to getting that top ten, but I know it’s just around the corner!”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“What a great day for the 07 guys. They improved all day long and put themselves in position at the end to have a great finish. Ray was able to tie his best career finish, so just a great day overall.”
SS Green Light Racing drivers Gray Gaulding and Ray Black Jr. are currently 13th and 16th respectively in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings. The teams will now begin their road course swing starting at Watkins Glen International. Coverage of the Zippo 200 at the Glen will begin Saturday August 3rd at 3:00 PM ET on NBCSN.