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Eric McClure Finishes 21st at Gateway

Eric McClure
Eric McClure
Madison, IL (July 19, 2008)—Eric McClure returned to Gateway International Raceway for his second career NASCAR Nationwide Series event with hopes of improving on a disappointing performance in his first visit. After fighting a tight handling car and “spongy brakes” in Friday’s practice sessions and posting a 38th- place qualifying time, McClure knew a challenge would be facing him and the team during Saturday’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250. However, after all was said and done, the Hefty® Racing™ team’s hard work, and a timely “Lucky Dog” free pass, netted the team a 21st- place finish, their second highest result of the season.

When the 200-lap event finally commenced after a short delay, the Virginia native, as he was working his way through the field, reported, “the car is driving pretty well; I just love this track”. However, by the time NASCAR displayed a competition yellow flag on lap 20 McClure had changed his tune and was reporting brake issues on the No. 24 Hefty® brand Chevrolet. The team used this caution to service the car and make necessary adjustments. McClure restarted the event in the 28th position.

Over the next 50 laps, McClure continued to battle the brake issue, causing him to lose a lap to the race leader. However, on a lap 72 caution, McClure received the “Lucky Dog” award, which positioned the team back on the lead lap.

Throughout the remainder of the event, the team continued to work on the car’s handling as the brake issues progressed. Forced to compete at a more cautious level, the young driver would lose a pair of laps in the final 60-lap run, bringing the car home 21st in the final rundown.

With this finish, McClure remains 22nd in NASCAR Nationwide Driver Standings and FRM sits 29th.

The next stop for the Hefty® Racing™ team will be Saturday, July 26 in the running of the Kroger 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

Eric McClure quotes:
“It was a good night for the Hefty® Racing™ team. We had the best car, chassis-wise, that we’ve had all year. Unfortunately, we had brake issues that prevented us from slowing the car down properly, which hurt us in qualifying and the race, so we couldn’t drive the car as hard into the corners as we needed and still get it turned. We ran out of our tires about halfway, so we had to use older tires in the second half and that, with the brake deal, probably cost us a lap and possible top 20. Nevertheless, Carl (Long, crew chief) sent a good car up here and Tim (Weiss, consultant) and Andy (Shaver, car chief) and the guys worked very hard, made good pit stops and, overall, we’re pretty happy with it.”

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