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Mar 24, 2014 - 05:32 PM
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Brennan Newberry Fights Adversity and Finishes Strong
Posted by: newsla on Mar 24, 2014 - 05:30 PM
NASCAR News
Brennan Newberry Fights Adversity and Finishes Strong at Greenville Pickens Speedway


Brennan Newberry and the #24 Qore-24 Hand Purifier Chevrolet Impala team faced and triumphed over adversity at one of NASCAR's most historic tracks at Greenville Pickens Speedway Saturday night. The Kevin Whitaker 150 marked the first ever start for the California native in Easley, South Carolina and the fifth of 2014 in NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition. Saturday started with beautiful weather and dual forty-five minute practice sessions to test the setup and see where each team stood for the main event. The NTS Motorsports Number 24 team unloaded chassis 202 for the first time since The Battle at the Beach in Daytona. After the first session, Newberry and Crew Chief John Monsam knew they were in need of more grip on a track infamous for being tough on tires. 40 total laps on track put the Qore-24 team 22nd on the charts with a fast lap of 21.624. Before the second session, a plan was made to keep the car fast after a full tire run to make sure Newberry had ample speed left as the race grew closer to the end. This decision made the car fast on long runs but sacrificed speed early in a session. A round of chassis and suspension changes gave Newberry and his team confidence going into a seventy-five mile race at a track that has long been known as tough to tame. For qualifying, Newberry and his Chevrolet Impala rolled off of the grid 22nd to put down a lap for starting position. After two circuits on the half-mile flat track, a time of 21.036 placed the 24 on the outside of row eight in 16th.

 

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With some of racing's most adoring fans in attendance, and after a chance to meet them all on the front stretch during the meet-and-greet, Brennan Newberry strapped in for what he knew would be a battle regardless of setup and speed with everyone fighting for every inch of real-estate on the track for every position. The green was displayed just after 8 o'clock and Newberry held his own, side-by-side with many different cars, swapping positions, for the entirety of the first half of the Kevin Whitaker 150. Caution was displayed at lap 35 for a spin back in the pack and Newberry had made his way to 14th, but could already tell the affect the storied surface of Greenville Pickens had on his Goodyear tires. After a restart on the outside, Newberry battled hard within a swarm of competitors, raced everyone clean, and kept the car in one piece until he could make his way to his NTS Motorsports team for adjustments. When the caution was displayed for the halfway break at lap 76, after going two and three wide for most of the first portion of the event, Newberry was 19th and ready for new tires and was never happier to see his pit stall.

Asking for more grip on entry, Newberry and Monsam went to work for the full ten minute break and made chassis and tire pressure changes as they, like most of their competitors, tried to find what the track wanted in a setup with cooler temperatures and more tire rubber laid down. The engines were re-fired just before 9:00PM and the final 75 laps were setting up to be a duel between more than twenty different teams. Newberry restarted on the inside of row 10 and could quickly tell the changes made in the pits were exactly what his car needed. After only six trips past the flag-stand Newberry had made his way into 13th and could feel his car hooking up for the finish. After a multi-car crash in turn two, Brennan Newberry made a daring escape to the inside and "threaded the needle" in a move worthy of the highlight reel and drove through what would have been a hard impact if not for the reflexes and car control of the Qore-24 driver. Once the debris was cleared, Newberry would restart in 13th with only six laps remaining until the finish. With the checkers displayed, Newberry survived a wild night and found a solid finish of 13th in his first ever run at Greenville Pickens. After a day of chasing the changing race surface and saving tires at a track that is in the history books for being a challenge, Newberry and his NTS Motorsports team head to Richmond International Raceway with confidence chasing their first win of the season.

Brennan Newberry's Post-Race Thoughts:
"Saturday was my first time visiting Greenville Pickens Speedway and all I had ever been told about the track is that it was a tough, flat, slick half mile that is always a challenge. I found out during my first laps that its reputation is well deserved. Practice was difficult and qualifying wasn't what we wanted but the Qore-24 guys gave me a good Chevrolet Impala for the race. We survived the 150 lap event with minimal damage and a solid finish. Our eyes are now on Richmond for some more short track NASCAR K&N East Series fun."

John Monsam's Post-Race Thoughts:
"Greenville Pickens presented a tough challenge for us this weekend. I know that we will learn from our day there and be better when we return later in the season. The efforts of the crew and Brennan were outstanding! We all look forward to Richmond and know that we can go there and contend for the win."

Start: 16th Finish: 13th
Drivers' Points Standing: 9th (-36) Owners Points Standing: 9th (-36)

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