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Feb 18, 2014 - 06:24 AM
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Brennan Newberry Battles Hard To A Strong Top-15 Finish In Season Opener
Posted by: newsla on Feb 18, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Brennan Newberry Battles Hard To A Strong Top-15 Finish In Season Opener

Brennan Newberry and the #24 Qore-24 Hand Purifier Chevrolet Impala team started off the season strong fighting a race track that changed many times throughout the day. Newberry and Crew Chief John Monsam showed that they have what it takes to bounce back from the season's first start.


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The weekend kicked off with a four hour open test session and the Qore-24 team ended the day with the notes and information they needed to catch a changing racing surface. "We knew the conditions would change significantly so we tried to simulate as many possible scenarios as we could so our setups to be able to race not only the competition but the track as well", said Monsam after the sessions had ended.

On race day, the teams took to the track for the first time with duel 60 minute practice sessions in the Florida heat. Newberry spent most of the sessions inside the top-10 on the speed charts - clocking a fast time of 18.582 after 51 laps in session number two.

With 30 cars lined up to take to time trials, Monsam drew the ninth spot to get on the race track to set the hot laps. After two circuits, Newberry would start mid-pack in 16th with a time of 18.810. "We had a car that took a few laps for the setup to really click. We need to work on our qualifying effort and give Brennan a car that comes in quicker" said Monsam.

When the season starting green flag dropped at New Smyrna Speedway, Newberry began a course of action to make his way to the front. The #24 Qore-24 Chevrolet Impala battled side-by-side with many different drivers battling back and forth, swapping positions, and racing clean with the competition. Newberry, still in heavy traffic, was in 19th when the first caution for debris came at lap 30.

On the lap 36 restart, Newberry restarted on the outside of the ninth row setting up a side-by-side battle with the #99. After running both groves and swapping positions Newberry made his way past the #99 into 17th spot at the halfway break at lap 75.

During the five minute intermission Newberry gave feedback to Crew Chief John Monsam to try and help the car turn and was desperately in need of forward bite. Monsam made changes to compensate for the grip needed with trackbar and tire pressures. Per the rules package, no tires were changed during the stop.

During the last 75 laps, Newberry fought hard for every inch gained on the racetrack and found himself in a "hornet's nest" working through both lap traffic and drivers for position. After searching the race track for a line with needed extra grip, Newberry moved his line up and found new marks that brought the #24 Chevrolet to a faster pace than the drivers he had been battling all night.

The third caution flag of the evening flew at lap 136, with Newberry holding on to a 15th position for a restart that set up a five-lap shootout to the finish. After running most of the night in heavy traffic Newberry found his way around cars racing hard in front of him and brought home the #24 Qore-24 Chevrolet in a hard fought 13th position.

Brennan Newberry's Post-Race Thoughts:

"It was a good first race and foundation that we can build off of for the season. I am happy that the car came home with very minimal damage that can be fixed and ready for the Battle at the Beach. It was my first race with John Monsam leading our crew and I feel that he and I will only get better together as the season continues"

John Monsam's Post-Race Thoughts:

"I feel like the evening was a success in many ways. Brennan drove an awesome race! New Smyrna is an extremely difficult place to pass. He ran side-by-side for what seemed like a third of the race, fighting for position. At the end, Brennan picked up three spots by sheer determination alone. Starting so far back, it is difficult with these cars because they are so even. I learned a lot and look very forward to the Battle at the Beach at Daytona tomorrow."

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