It was a difficult weekend in the pits for Key Motorsports, which resulted in a 28th place finish for Scott Wimmer and the No. 40 StopRepairBills.com Chevrolet.
Wimmer was forced to qualify on time after a DNQ at Texas Motor Speedway dropped the No. 40 to 36th in the owner point standings. A lap time of 29.985 was good enough to make it into the show, with Wimmer taking the green flag from the 29th position.
Feeling good about his car heading into the race, Wimmer worked his way up to 17th during 30 laps of racing on a green racetrack, before a competition caution brought teams down pit road and allowed crew chief Gary Showalter to examine tires and make any necessary changes to the No. 40 StopRepairBills.com Chevrolet. Unfortunately, the pit stop did not go smoothly, and Wimmer emerged from the pits in 26th. Fighting with heavy traffic for position, Wimmer hovered around the top-25 before eventually being passed by the leaders and going a lap down on lap 111.
Trouble struck the No. 40 again when the team was forced to make an unscheduled green flag pit stop due to a flat right front tire. During the stop, the catch can became stuck to the rear of the car, finally dropping onto the track as Wimmer exited pit road, bringing out the caution on lap 124. The incident left the team three laps down and knocked the StopRepairBills.com Chevrolet into the 35th spot.
Over the course of 100 laps, Wimmer struggled with traffic and the setup of his car, but slowly picked off his competitors. The No. 40 was running 29th when a dramatic multi-car wreck sent the 87 of Joe Nemechek rolling down the frontstretch and brought out the red flag on lap 220, with cleanup halting the race for over four minutes. When the field took the final restart of the day, Wimmer was ultimately able to pick up one final position, crossing the finish line in 28th place. The finish bumps the team up to 33rd in the owner point standings, up 3 positions from last week.
"Obviously our first goal was to make the race and we did that, and we had a real good car," said driver Scott Wimmer. "We drove up to 17th before the first stop, then we had a little issue on the first stop that got us behind and we ended up going a lap down. We were trying to make the car better and never could get it quite right, then we ended up having a right front go down, and had some issues on pit road with leaving the catch can in. That made us three laps down and kinda ruined our day after that, and we were just out there trying to finish. It felt like we had a real good top-20 car, just unfortunately had our problems. The good thing was we went there, we made the race, and we raced real good at the beginning, just didn't get the results we wanted."
Next on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 17.
Date: April 11, 2009
Track: Nashville Superspeedway
Event Name: Pepsi 300
Laps Led: 0
NEXT ON SCHEDULE:
Date: April 17, 2009
Track: Phoenix International Raceway
Event Name: Bashas' Supermarkets 200
TV: ESPN2, 9:00 PM EST
Radio: MRN, 9:15 PM EST