Rockingham: Tim George Jr. post-race notes
WHIRLWIND season FINALE At Rockingham Speedway for Tim George Jr. RCR's No. 31 Team Finishes Season Ninth in ARCA Racing Series Diver's Point Standings Mooresville, N.C. (October 12, 2010) - Saturday's season finale for the ARCA Racing Series ...
WHIRLWIND season FINALE At Rockingham Speedway for Tim George Jr.
RCR's No. 31 Team Finishes Season Ninth in ARCA Racing Series Diver's Point Standings
Mooresville, N.C. (October 12, 2010) - Saturday's season finale for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards didn't start - or end - the way Tim George Jr. wanted.
After starting 24th at Rockingham Speedway, he was involved in a late-race accident in the American 200 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Series that dropped him to a disappointing 34th-place finish.
For George, the incident capped off a frustrating weekend at "The Rock". Already forced to a back-up No. 31 Chevrolet following an open test session accident, the Richard Childress Racing development driver was without crew chief Gere Kennon for the main event as he was stricken with flu-like symptoms and taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Shock specialist and spotter P.J. Bryant filled in as the temporary crew chief, while car chief Frankie Allen and NASCAR driver Scott Wimmer worked together calling the shots. Bryant and Allen sat atop the No. 31 pit box during the race, as Bryant handled most of the decision making.
Together they helped secure George's ninth-place finish in the ARCA Racing Series standings.
"Unfortunately my crew chief, Gere Kennon, was unable make the final race of the year, but the strength of our team was shown with the strong foundation he created," said George. "I felt his presence during the race as he helped me learn a lot this season."
"If not for the foundation Gere created, we wouldn't have been able to proceed so smoothly. Our primary concern was his health. We're glad he's all right, and if not for his work, we wouldn't have been able to carry on without any glitches."
In Friday's time trials at the North Carolina historic track, George's black and white Chevrolet covered the 1-mile oval in 25.437 seconds at 141.526 miles per hour.
With the race underway at sunny Rockingham, George quickly improved to 20th place in the first nine of 200 laps.
Running in the 22nd spot, George radioed Bryant that the car needed help with the entry. On Lap 50 the second caution of the race waved, and Bryant brought George down pit road for the first stop of the day taking on four fresh tires with an air-pressure adjustment, track-bar adjustment and fuel. With a fast stop by the No. 31 RCR Development crew, George was on point to gain position exiting pit road when blocked in by another competitor, stalling the car on exit. Following a push from the team, George was able to return to the track. As varying pit strategies of fuel only or two-tire stops and teams opting to stay on track began to take shape, George restarted the race on Lap 61 in the 18th spot.
Moving back into the top-20, George was running 18th when the third caution waved on Lap 74. Deciding to stay out under the caution, Bryant radioed George that he needed to conserve the tires, and the team began devising a plan for changes on the next scheduled stop. The race restarted on Lap 80 with George 17th.
"The Rock is such a great place to race," said George of his third-career start at Rockingham Speedway. "The driver talent really begins to show when the tires wear out."
Continuing to click laps off from the seventeenth spot, the New York City native was able to stay in the top-20 as the 200-lap event progressed. He was extremely quiet on the radio throughout the green-flag run, as he and spotter, Wimmer, worked through traffic and moved up the leaderboard. As a long green-flag run approached, teams began making scheduled green-flag pit stops. Running solid, fast laps, George was able to get as high as 14th. George's strong run took a turn when his misfortune was triggered on lap 145 as the No.53 of Steve Park leaked oil on to the track from a broken oil line.
"We had a great racecar on old tires at The Rock," said George."It is too bad we didn't get a caution flag a bit earlier, as my tires got in the oil and that was the end of the race. The guys worked really hard, and we had great pit stops."
"I had a blast this year racing with RCR in the ARCA Racing Series," the 29 year-old driver said. "I need to thank everyone on the team for all the hard work this season."
George, in his second full year of ARCA Racing competition, carried the mantle as the full-time RCR development driver behind the wheel of his No. 31 RCR Development Chevrolet Impala. George finished the season ninth in the 2010 ARCA Racing Series driver's point standings with two top-five and five top-10 finishes while leading a total of 37 laps.
-source: tim george jr. PR