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May 05, 2014 - 02:08 PM
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Perseverance Pays Off for McClure at Talladega
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2014 - 02:07 PM
Perseverance Pays Off for McClure at Talladega

After posting a 35th-place finish in Daytona, the season's first superspeedway race, Eric McClure and the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® team headed to Talladega Superspeedway looking for redemption. Starting 18th, McClure and the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® team showed great perseverance throughout the 117-lap event to post the team's best finish of the 2014 season. With this finish, McClure advanced two positions in the driver point standings, while owner Mark Smith advanced one position in owner standings.


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When the green flag fell it didn't take long for the field to spread three and four wide across the racing surface at Talladega Superspeedway. Running the high line, McClure advanced several positions early, but the high lane quickly stalled and he found himself back in the 32nd position by lap four. With his water temperature rising, McClure fell to the back of the main pack to allow his engine to cool off before making a charge to the front. Just as the water temperature began to decline, McClure radioed the team and informed them of a bad vibration in the car. Not knowing the exact cause of the vibration, McClure brought his car to pit road, under green conditions, on lap 17 for four tires and fuel. When McClure returned to the track, he was scored one lap down to the race leader in the 36th position.

The event's first caution flag waved on lap 28 and this allowed McClure to return to pit road so his team could further examine the car in hopes of determining the reason for the vibration. When the team couldn't visually see the cause for the vibration, McClure returned to the track for the restart on lap 33.

Down but not out, McClure continued to race in the main pack and during the lap 61 caution he was awarded the "lucky dog" and placed back on the lead lap. When the race resumed on lap 69, he was scored in the 24th position.

As the race continued, McClure worked the middle and high line around the 2.66-mile speedway and was running in the 19th position when he reported that the car had suddenly gotten very loose. Two laps later, the left rear tire went flat causing McClure to spin and make contact with another competitor, thus bringing out the event's fourth caution. After pitting twice under yellow to make repairs and change four tires and add fuel, McClure restarted the event in the 24th position.

During the remainder of the event, the caution flag waved three additional times, one of which brought out the red flag. With three laps remaining, McClure was running in the 19th position, but in the final two laps, the Virginia driver advanced two additional positions to finish Saturday's Aaron's 312 in the 17th position.

Eric McClure Quotes:

"It was a crazy day all around. We had a really fast car early and then had a series of things happen that put us behind. We fought back and ended up getting damage from a flat tire and spin. After that we had to just hang on. All the credit goes to our guys. They worked hard all day long. It was an uphill battle and we never got a chance to race the way we needed. But, we never gave up and ended up with a respectable finish all things considered."

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