Race 27 of 33: Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway
Track Details: 0.75-mile D- shaped oval / 250 laps
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 22nd
No. 07: Ray Black Jr. Result: 18th
Team 08 Panini Chevrolet Camaro:
Last week a late gamble on fuel by Crew Chief Patrick Donahue nearly earned the 08 team a spot in the playoffs. Although they did not win the race, the call proved successful with Gaulding bringing home a seventh place finish. If anyone thought not making the playoffs would kill the spirit of this small under dog team, you are sadly mistaken. The 08 team showed up in Richmond, Virginia with an attitude of something to prove. In the one and only practice session of the weekend, Gaulding went out and posted the fastest lap in practice. After a fantastic practice session, the team backed up their speed by qualifying in the ninth position for the race.
The race began and the first caution of the day waved almost immediately. After a quick clean up the race resumed and Gaulding fired off as expected. Gaulding worked his way up to as high as the sixth position in the opening 40 laps. Two more cautions waved on lap 52 and lap 61, slowing the pace down. During the second caution, it seemed like something was a miss on the 08 car. Gaulding had just started dropping through the field and something wasn’t right. At the conclusion of the first stage Gaulding had dropped all the way back to the 18th position.
The team attempted to diagnose Gaulding’s issue during the stage break; however, they could not find the cause. The entire second stage went caution free, as Christopher Bell completely dominated the stage. After 150 laps Gaulding was in the 19th position and two laps down to the leader. The final stage got underway and the goal of the 08 team was to simply finish the race and run as competitively as possible with their undiagnosed troubles. Christopher Bell continued to dominate the race. The final stage went the distance without any yellow flags. At the conclusion of 250 laps, Gaulding managed to still bring home a 22nd place finish. The result was only the team’s fourth finish outside of the top twenty for the entire season. With only six races remaining in the 2019 season, Gaulding holds a 15 point advantage over the 51 of Jeremy Clements for the 13th position in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
“ It was a tough night finishing 22nd after qualifying 9th. Our SS Green Light team will diagnose the problem and will have us ready for the Roval next Saturday! Shout out to Panini for helping us turn some heads today!”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“It was great to see that no. 08 on top of the board after practice. It’s unfortunate our finish did not reflect what kind of speed we had; however, it is very encouraging to see that we can have speed competitive to the leaders. We’ll be ready for the Roval!”
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Ray Black Jr started off his day from the 18th position for the 250 lap dash. Four cautions including the one for the stage break plagued the opening stage at Richmond Raceway. At the end of the first stage, Black had gained one position and was up to the 17th position.
After an eventful stage one, the second stage was as calm as could be. The 75 laps flashed by quickly with Christopher Bell setting the pace. At the conclusion of stage two, Ray Black Jr. found himself back in the 18th position, one lap down. The team nearly received the lucky dog, but needed to be in front of the 51 car to claim it. As the final stage got underway the 07 team seemed to stall out a bit. The entire length of the third stage went caution free, giving teams only limited opportunities to work on their race cars. At the end of 250 laps, Ray Black Jr. brought his No. 07 Chevy home in the 18th position. The result marked the team’s ninth top 20 finish in the last ten races. Ray Black Jr. currently sits in the 16th position and trail the 86 of Brandon Brown by just 14 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
Ray Black Jr:
“It was a tough night having such few opportunities to adjust the cars. I think we made the best out of our situation. We’ll take this and get ready for the Roval!”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“Ray did a great job tonight. I think this team is really hitting their stride since the middle of the season and it’s great to see the consistency. Excited to finish out these last six races strong!”
SS Green Light Racing drivers Gray Gaulding and Ray Black Jr. remain thirteenth and sixteenth respectively in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings. With only six races remaining in the 2019 season, the teams will prepare next for the Charlotte Roval next Saturday. Coverage of the Drive for the Cure 250 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval will begin Saturday September 28th at 3:30 PM ET on NBCSN.