Daytona, Florida (February 18, 2019)
Race 1 of 33: NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway
Track Details: 2.5-mile tri-oval / 120 laps
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 34th
No. 07: Ray Black Jr. Result: 30th
Team 08 PURE Chevrolet Camaro:
Gray Gaulding made a statement early at Daytona International Speedway after he qualified his No. 08 PURE Camaro in the fifth position. Gaulding’s qualifying effort sparked momentum across his team as they prepared for battle in Daytona.
The No. 08 team were sporty early on as they ran in the top 15 for the majority of the opening stage. Team owner Bobby Dotter made the call for the 08 to drop back when things started looking dicey up front.
On lap 63 the No. 11 of Justin Haley made contact with Gaulding on pit road, causing damage to the 08 PURE machine. The damage sustained eventually forced the 08 team to go behind the wall and replace the rear bumper cover. The team was able to repair the wounded Chevy Camaro and sent Gaulding back on track. The leaders managed to go the distance without incident, avoiding the expected “big one” that we are so accustomed to seeing at these Superspeedway races. Gaulding would finish his day in the 34th position.
“We had a great car at Daytona. I know we had a car capable of winning the race. Qualifying in the top five and showing everyone that our team has fast race cars was a great confidence booster for the guys. I was informed before race time to fall back and ride, which I didn’t 100 percent agree with, but I trust my guys so that’s what we did. Unfortunately it didn’t work out in our favor, but that’s just a product of this type of racing. It’s definitely hard to swallow after having such a great car, but we will put this one behind us and go after it in Atlanta. Thanks to everyone who supports us. We will move on!”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“As an owner I made the decision for Gray to drop back in effort to preserve our car for the end. Daytona is usually the product of multi- car wrecks and this time it just never happened. It’s a disappointing finish to the day, but I was extremely proud of our qualifying effort. We know we still have a very fast car and driver for Talladega. We’ll start focusing on Atlanta now.”
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Ray Black Jr. started his day off from the 33rd position in his No. 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevy Camaro. The plan for Black and the 07 team was similar to that of their teammate.
Black wasted no time making his way forward from the drop of the green flag. Black quickly weaved his way inside the top 20, where he settled in to click off some laps. Crew Chief Jason Miller continued fine tuning the 07 machine and everything was going as planed. On lap 81, the 18 of Jeffery Earnhardt mistimed his move, clipping the 07. Black spun down the Daytona backstretch and into the infield grass. Black did an exceptional job of not hitting anything during the slide, but contact from the grass caused slight damage to the front splitter.
The No. 07 team went to work preparing the car on pit road and kept Black on track. The team kept themselves in contention to gain positions, pending the big crash, but no luck. When it was all said and done Black brought home the 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro in the 30th position.
Ray Black Jr:
“I’m really proud of the effort my guys put into this weekend. It’s unfortunate our result didn’t reflect our performance; however, that’s part of racing. We made our way up there pretty quickly and were just biding our time when I got clipped on the backstretch. We were actually going to be in a decent position if those guys started wrecking each other, but it just didn’t play out that way. Thanks to Bobby, Jason, and all my guys for working so hard. We’ll put this one behind us and get ready for Atlanta.”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“I’m very pleased with the way Ray and the team performed. They did a great job recovering from their incident with about 40 to go. I’m excited to have that car to tune on for Talladega.”
SS Greenlight Racing will put Daytona in the rear view as they now shift their focus to next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Coverage of the Rinnai 250 will begin Saturday February 23rd at 2:00 PM ET on FS1.