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Eric McClure Posts Career Best Finish in Aaron's 312

Eric McClure
Eric McClure
Talladega, AL (April 26, 2008)—Eric McClure has always claimed his favorite track on the Nationwide Series circuit is the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. His favoritism was apparent this past weekend where he posted his career best finish of 15th during the running of the Aaron’s 312.

The 29-year-old driver began the race in the 29th position after posting a time of 52.795 seconds during time trials. McClure, though disappointed with his starting position, felt that his No. 24 Hefty® brand Chevrolet was a much better drafter than qualifier, which is a key to success at any superspeedway.

When the 312-mile event began, McClure immediately reported that his Hefty® brand Chevrolet was tight in the corners, although his speed was among those in the top 10. The team took advantage of the first caution on lap 10 to bring the racing machine to pit road to receive fuel and a track bar adjustment. McClure restarted the event in the 22nd position.

For the next few laps, McClure continued to race three and four wide. However, the Hefty® brand Chevrolet began to drop back from the main pack before eventually cutting down a right rear tire and spinning off of turn four, bringing out the third caution of the event on lap 42. The team tried to avoid losing a lap to the leader by staying on track, but the tire damage was so severe, McClure had to limp around the 2.66 mile speedway and was eventually passed by the race leader before coming to pit road on lap 44. McClure restarted the event in the 36th position.

Shortly thereafter, McClure made an unscheduled pit stop on lap 59 for a vibration in his No. 24 Hefty® brand Chevrolet. The team changed four tires and checked for a fender rub before being sent back on the track in the 35th position, three laps down to the race leader.

For the remainder of the event, McClure continued to fight a vibration, but was fortunate to miss “the BIG ONE”. As a result, McClure was able to survive and post a top 15 result, his first in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

With this finish, McClure sits 24th in NASCAR Nationwide Series driver points and FRM advances one position to 29th in owner points. The NASCAR Nationwide Series returns to action on Friday, May 2 with the running of the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond International Raceway.

Eric McClure quotes:
“The Hefty® (brand) Chevrolet was really pretty decent, especially at the beginning of the race. We had the tire failure and ultimately lost two laps because of having to limp around to the pits. We had some damage in the rear and developed a pretty severe vibration underneath the car which really hurt the car’s speed, and we pitted under green to make sure nothing was out of order with the tires or fenders, but we couldn’t do anything about it and just had to ride it out. Fortunately, we stayed out of trouble and came home with a good finish and solid points day. It’s hard to think what could have been, but it could have been much worse, too. I’m proud of our team.”

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