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Eric McClure Finishes 30th in Sharpie Mini 300

Eric McClure
Eric McClure
Bristol, TN (March 15, 2008) — The NASCAR Nationwide Series visited Bristol Motor Speedway this past weekend for the first short track event of the 2008 season. The concrete surface of Bristol Motor Speedway, known as the “World’s Fastest Half Mile,” serves as a home track for Abingdon, VA –based driver Eric McClure. After a promising start to the event, rain showers and damage from another machine would damper the event for the Hefty® Racing™ team as McClure finished the Sharpie Mini 300 in the 30th position after the event was declared official shortly after 150 laps were complete.

Qualifying for Saturday’s Sharpie Mini 300 was canceled due to inclement weather and the field was set by the NASCAR rulebook, which placed McClure in the 28th position for the green flag. When the first caution flag flew on lap three, McClure had advanced to the 25th position. By lap 45, when the NASCAR “competition” caution was displayed, McClure was reporting an “extremely loose” race car. The Emory & Henry College graduate brought his No. 24 Hefty® brand Chevrolet to pit road on lap 48 where air pressure and chassis adjustments were received. McClure restarted the event in the 29th position.

Over the next 100 laps, McClure reported the handling on the No. 24 machine went from “very loose on entry” to “very tight in the center,” yet McClure was still able to maintain the 29th position, despite losing a second lap to the leaders. On lap 117, the No. 40 car made contact with McClure which caused damage to the left front of the Hefty® Racing™ machine. McClure was able to save the car from hitting the wall, but not before flat-spotting the right front tire. With the rain coming, McClure took the car to the bottom lane to try to ride out the problems until halfway. Therefore, on the 7th and final caution, which was displayed due to rain, McClure brought his car to the attention of his crew, on direction from crew chief Cal Boprey, to receive tires, fuel, and another chassis adjustment. McClure returned to the track in the 30th position, where he would eventually finish after the remainder of the race was canceled due to the inclement weather.

With this finish, McClure sits 28th in NASCAR driver standings and 31st in NASCAR owner standings.

The Hefty® team will return to action this Saturday, March 22, 2008 in the running of the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Eric McClure, driver of the No. 24 Hefty® Chevrolet quotes:
“We started off ok. We spun the tires on the first couple of starts which cost us a few spots, but we weren’t bad. We over adjusted a bit on the first stop, which cost us a couple of laps, but got the car to where it was the best it had been but, unfortunately a car got into us and knocked the toe out and the fender on the tire. Then I flat spotted the right front tire trying to keep it out of the wall. I rode around on the bottom trying to get to halfway or get a caution, but we ended up losing a bunch of laps. I think we lost a spot when we pitted before the red flag, but it looked like we were going to get to finish the race, so we felt we had no choice. The Hefty® Racing™ team worked hard today and we made some gains, but we’re disappointed in the finish.”

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