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Eric McClure Finishes 33rd in Diamond Hill Plywood 200

Eric McClure
Eric McClure
Darlington, SC (May 9, 2008) — Eric McClure and the Hefty® Racingä team headed to Darlington Raceway on Mother’s Day weekend for the first NASCAR Nationwide Series race on the newly resurfaced “Lady in Black”. However, misfortune began early and came often and left the No. 24 Hefty® brand Chevrolet with a disappointing 33rd-place finish.

Due to an early engine failure, ignition problem and “Darlington stripe”, McClure only saw eight laps on the newly resurfaced track during Thursday’s three practice sessions. As a result, McClure went into qualifying not knowing what to expect from his car, and was instructed to use the two laps to get a feel of the car’s handling.

Once the race began, McClure began advancing from his 42nd starting position. By the completion of lap one, McClure was sitting in the 37th position. When the first caution flag flew on lap two, the call was made to bring the car to the attention of the crew to remove a brake duct hose (from another car) that had lodged itself under the right front fender and receive four tires and fuel. When McClure exited the pits, the field had just taken the green flag to resume event, thus putting McClure a lap down to the field. However, McClure received the “lucky dog” award on lap eight when the second caution of the night occurred. When the race resumed, McClure was sitting in the 37th position.

On lap 18, McClure’s night worsened as he received a severe Darlington stripe in turn three. “I have no brake pedal at all”, stated the Virginia native. He immediately brought the Hefty® brand machine to pit road where the team worked on the right front fender and bled the front brakes. McClure returned to competition on lap 31, several laps down to the race leader.

Five laps later, McClure found himself in the garage as there was no improvement in the brakes. The team worked furiously to rebuild the brake system and sent McClure back on track on lap 86 to salvage what they could of the weekend. After McClure had completed the laps required to gain the maximum number of positions, he brought the Hefty® brand car to the garage for the final time and was credited with the 33rd position.

The Hefty® brand racing team returns to action on Saturday, May 24, 2008 for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Eric McClure quotes:
“This is the most frustrated I think we’ve ever been. This was the weekend that, as a small team, we’ve been dreading. In five or six laps, we broke a motor, hit the wall and had a miss in the other motor, and the guys changed the electrical system and about everything else, so we didn’t get any meaningful track time to work on the car. The good news is we found the engine problem from Texas.”

In the race, the engine was better but we couldn’t get the car slowed down with the brakes and I hit the wall pretty hard early on trying to get probably too much out of the car before we could work on it. We went to the garage and the guys changed the brakes and got it fixed enough to where we were able to run enough to get some spots. With our problems we never had a chance to work on the chassis, which is a shame. My guys work too hard for this. They were non-stop all weekend and we have nothing to show for it.”

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