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Gale Earns First Career Top-10 Finish in Nationwide Series

Cale Gale
Cale Gale
 
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 24, 2008) — For the first stand-alone event of the year, the NASCAR Nationwide Series headed to the Country Music Capital, Nashville, Tenn. The No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet unloaded at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway looking to earn its fifth top-five finish and maintain the Owner’s Point lead with driver Cale Gale behind the wheel.

With team co-owner and KHI teammate Kevin Harvick stepping aside, Gale jumped behind the wheel of the No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet for the first of 11 races this season.

Arriving Friday, teams were scheduled for two practice sessions before returning Saturday for qualifying and 300 miles around the concrete track of Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway for the Pepsi 300.

For the first practice session on Friday, Gale ran the 16th quickest lap with a time of 30.262 (158.575 mph). The car was a little tight in the middle of the turns and up off the corner. The team made adjustments prior to final practice to help with the handling of the car. Gale returned to the track for final practice and improved to eighth quickest with a lap time of 29.941 (160.275 mph).

Nationwide Series qualifying took place on Saturday morning with Gale rolling off second. With a lap time of 29.807 (160.996 mph), Gale was placed 13th on the starting grid.

With the race underway, Gale wasted no time moving into the top-10 by lap three. The first of three cautions waved on lap nine with Gale in the eighth position. Gale quickly let crew chief Wally Rogers know the car was turning good, but a little tight off. Spotter Rick Carelli radioed to Gale letting him know when he ran the bottom, he was as good as anyone else. The race restarted on lap 21 with the No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet in eighth place.

Continuing to run green-flag laps, Gale maintained his position between eighth and 12th place. The second caution flag of the day waved on lap 59 for debris. Gale pitted on lap 61 for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment to the left side tires. The team restarted on lap 64 in the 11th position.

Two laps later, Gale got loose exiting turn two and lost several spots falling to 17th. Gathering himself, Gale began his move back toward the front. Concerned about losing a lap, Gale inquired about the position of the leaders as he continued to run laps comparable to those of the front-running cars. The spotter assured him he was doing a good job and to continue driving the car hard.

On lap 122, green-flag stops began with Gale pitting on lap 128 from the second position. The team changed four tires and added fuel. The No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet returned to the track in the 11th position. Driving hard to stay on the lead lap, Gale watched the leader in his rear view mirror as he worked lapped traffic to maintain his position on the lead lap.

The final caution flag of the day waved on lap 155 with Gale in 10th place. Rogers made the call to pit on lap 156 to take on four tires and fuel. Gale restarted on lap 159 with the No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet in the ninth position. By lap 165 Gale had moved into eighth place before falling to 10th with 12 laps to go. With about 10 laps to go, several teams began pitting for fuel to ensure they made it to the end. Gale moved back into the eighth position on lap 220 and maintained his position for the final five laps of the race.

Gale crossed the finish line in eighth place, marking his first career top-10 finish in the Nationwide Series and the second time this season he has received the Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors. This marks the fifth straight top 10 for the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Chevrolet, which still maintains the Owner’s Point lead.

Nationwide Series teams will enjoy a weekend off as the Sprint Cup and Truck Series take to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway next week. In two weeks, the Nationwide Series will return to action at the Great American Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly 300.

After the Race with Gale:
“We had a really good car today,” said Gale. “Wally (Rogers) and the team worked hard and gave me a good car. Rick Carelli (spotter) helped me on the track and I’m just glad I was able to get us another top-10 finish. This is my first top 10 in the Nationwide Series. Coming into the race, there was a little added pressure because this is the first time that I have been in the No. 33 car this season. Kevin (Harvick) has proven what this car is capable of and obviously he was able to put the car at the top of the Owner’s Point standings. I just wanted to come here and run good and walk away still leading the Owner’s points. We were able to do that and it’s just great for everyone at KHI and for this team.”


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