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After Hard Crash, McClure Finishes 33rd in the Nicorette 300

Eric McClure
Eric McClure
Hampton, GA (March 8, 2008)—Winter conditions welcomed the NASCAR Nationwide Series as they competed on the racing surface of Atlanta Motor Speedway for the only time this season. Hefty® brand Chevrolet driver Eric McClure started the Nicorette 300 in the 30th position after qualifying was canceled due to snow showers that fell Saturday morning. Although McClure battled an ill-handling car throughout the 195-lap event, he was on his way to finish the event unscathed until a late race crash (six laps remaining) relegated McClure to the 33rd position in the finishing order of the Nicorette 300.

One lap before the 43-car field took the green flag to commence the Nicorette 300, the No. 24 Hefty® brand Chevrolet entered pit road, on NASCAR’s request, to secure the right side window on the car, forcing McClure to the tail end of the field to begin the event. By the completion of lap one, McClure had advanced to the 40th position and continued to advance until the first caution flag flew on lap 10. The Virginia native was fighting an extremely loose condition so the Hefty® team took advantage of this caution to bring the Hefty® racing machine to the attention of the crew to receive four tires, fuel, and air pressure and track bar adjustments. McClure restarted the event in the 35th position.

Over the next hundred laps, and six caution flags, the handling on the Hefty® Chevrolet went from “extremely loose” to “extremely tight” and back to loose. Chassis adjustments were received under each caution period but nothing seemed to be the perfect “fit” for the racing machine. Therefore, the team’s goal was to learn from each adjustment and to bring the car home in one piece. However, the team’s goal was shattered with six laps remaining as the No. 5 Chevrolet got underneath McClure, sending his car up the track and collecting the No. 41 in a hard crash. As a result, McClure finished the Nicorette 300 in the 33rd position.

The Hefty® racing team returns to action on Saturday, March 15, 2008 with the running of the Sharpie Mini 300 at McClure’s home track, Bristol Motor Speedway.

Eric McClure quotes:
“I’m really disappointed for my team. We missed virtually all of practice with a broken transmission and an engine that was hitting the track. As a result, we guessed on the setup and I made the wrong call. We fought it all day and were actually getting it a little better there at the end. I’ve never been so excited to see Bristol in my life. Our team works too hard for these things to happen and we’re going to try to get it better here as some of my favorite tracks come up.”

“I thought we had a tire going down the way the car snapped around. I don’t know if something happened or if it was the air off of the spoiler when the 5 car got behind us. I’ve never had that happen before in that type of situation. I wish the 41 hadn’t gotten into the mess. We had run the low groove all day when the leaders were around, with no problems, and I’m not sure what was going on there. I thought they should have gotten around us with no problem, even in the middle, but I guess not.”

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