Chicagoland: Ricky Carmichael race report
Thirteen was certainly not a lucky number for NCWTS driver Ricky Carmichael at Chicagoland Speedway Friday night. The driver began the evening in the 13th-position in a brand new truck -- chassis number 13 -- but an engine failure ended his evening ...
Thirteen was certainly not a lucky number for NCWTS driver Ricky Carmichael at Chicagoland Speedway Friday night. The driver began the evening in the 13th-position in a brand new truck -- chassis number 13 -- but an engine failure ended his evening early, relegating him to a 28th-place finish in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225.
A big fan of 1.5-mile race tracks, Carmichael was very optimistic in his return to Chicago. With two productive practice sessions under his belt, his two-lap qualifying effort landed him in the 13th-starting position for the race.
In his first run of the night, Carmichael reported to crew chief Doug Randolph that he was "a little free everywhere," and, prior to his first pit stop, turned off his right front brake fan to help tighten the truck up.
Fortunately, the first caution flag of the race was displayed a few laps later, on lap 28, with Carmichael running in the 17tth-position. He brought his Chevrolet to the attention of his Monster Energy team for four tires, an air pressure and track bar adjustment. The speedy service on pit road allowed him to re-start the race in the 13th-position.
Within one lap of the re-start, Carmichael moved into the top 10, and remained there for the next 20 laps. Though he was running in the 11th-position and starting to "get tight," he ran the same lap times as race leader Kyle Busch on lap 69.
With only eight laps until a scheduled green-flag pit stop, the caution flag was displayed for the second time of the night on lap 77. Carmichael reported that his truck was "10 times better for 20 or so laps, then went away." He came down pit road for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and a full tank of Sunoco race fuel.
Misfortune hit only two laps after the re-start when Carmichael's truck began billowing smoke. In order to stay on the lead lap, Randolph had Carmichael make two pit stops in an effort to determine the origin of the smoke, but the team eventually had to bring the truck to its garage stall for further inspection. With smoke continuing to flow from the truck, the team was forced to call it a night early with a still undetermined engine failure.
Kyle Busch was the race winner at Chicagoland. Todd Bodine, Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter and Justin Lofton rounded out the top-five.
RICKY CARMICHAEL: "What a run of bad luck we've been on. I think if something could go wrong, we've had it go wrong in the last couple of weeks. And the worst part about it is that we've had strong trucks and running up in the top-10 when something has happened. I feel like if we can catch a break out there, we'll really see strong results on the track. Until then, the guys will take the truck back to the shop, tear the engine down and figure out exactly what happened and we'll just get ready to go to Kentucky from there."
The Turner Motorsports team will take the next week to prepare for the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday, September 3rd.
-source: turner motorsports