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Jul 15, 2014 - 06:07 AM
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Brennan Newberry Makes His NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut On the Magic Mile
Posted by: newsla on Jul 15, 2014 - 06:04 AM
Brennan Newberry Makes His NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut On the Magic Mile and Finishes Strong

Brennan Newberry awoke on Wednesday morning with a call that every driver hopes for. As he prepared to travel to Loudon, New Hampshire to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event, he was told to prepare himself for many more laps than he had planned. A representative from SS-Green Light Racing, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, reached out to NTS Motorsports and asked for Newberry's assistance going into their event at the Magic Mile. As Newberry boarded a plane headed for the east coast, he was as anxious as ever to get to the track. "It is every race car drivers dream to keep moving up the NASCAR ladder as professionals. I'm definitely one of those drivers who gets to conquer another goal and dream. I am at a loss for words as to how excited I am about making my first NASCAR Nationwide Series start" said Newberry upon arriving in The Granite State.


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After meeting with the No.55 Chevrolet Camaro Team and Crew Chief Jason Miller, Newberry prepared to strap in for the first of two practice sessions on Friday as one of his primary sponsors, Qore-24 Antimicrobial Hand Purifier jumped on board with him. "It was great meeting everyone and seeing how excited they were to go out and show that we could compete and a few of our NTS Motorsports guys from the K&N (Pro Series) teams stayed over and helped out, which gave us an even better advantage", said Newberry in an interview with Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio on race day. As practice began, Newberry acclimated himself to the car quickly. After running 22 laps, Newberry posted a fast time of 30.489 and was the only car to run ten consecutive laps on track in preparation for a race that is prone to long green-flag runs. After final practice, Newberry felt confident in his car going into knockout qualifying the next morning and he finished practice inside the top 20 with a fast speed of 127.176 MPH. In total, Newberry ran 48 practice laps and had learned quickly how to get the most out of his new ride.

As the only driver to compete in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Nationwide Insurance Series over the course of the weekend, Newberry had more on track time than any of his fellow rookie drivers going into the qualifying sessions. As teams lined up on pit road, ready with ice to cool down the car as much as possible to create the highest possible amount of horsepower, spotter Josh Williams navigated his driver through traffic and gave him a clear track to log his fastest lap. After making his first run of the session, Newberry and Miller were able to secure a spot inside the top 24 after the first of two rounds of qualifying. The No.55 Chevrolet was fastest on the second time around and logged a lap in 30.336 seconds, with a top speed of 125.554 for a starting spot of 24th. Newberry said, "The car felt really comfortable in qualifying, I wish that we had been using the 3-session knockout procedure, because we could have transferred and I think the car would have only gotten better, because we didn't fall off as much as some of the cars around us did on older tires."

After walking across the stage for driver intros, and lots of hugs and well wishes from friends and family, Newberry strapped himself in for what would the longest event of his career. 200 laps around New Hampshire Motor Speedway amounts to 211.60 miles and the young driver was focused on making it to the finish, gaining experience and bringing home a strong showing to the North Carolina based team. As the green flag was displayed for the race, Newberry started on the outside of row 12 in the 24th spot. After two quick cautions, Newberry was running 23rd and reported that the car's entry was great, but too tight in the center. With Crew Chief Jason Miller and Newberry's K&N Pro Series Crew Chief John Monsam, atop the pit box, they devised a strategy to adjust what they could until they were able to put their hands on the car. On lap 94, Newberry navigated his way to pit road and had to swing wide to miss a competitor, who had pulled far forward in his pit box, costing the No.55 crew precious time on the stop. With just 95 laps remaining, Newberry restarted in 30th going into the closing segment of the event.

On another restart at lap 106, a multi-car crash ensued in front of the No.55 Qore-24 Chevrolet and Newberry struggled to slow his Chevrolet before being caught up in the incident. After making slight contact with the car in front of him, Newberry sliced his way through traffic and was able to maintain his position on track. Bringing his car to the assistance of the pit crew, repairs were made and Newberry relayed to his crew chief and spotter, "I think we are okay here, guys. It fe els fine and I don't see any smoke. We'll be okay to the finish." With just 60 laps remaining Newberry made his final trip to pit road for four tires and fuel and Williams instructed his driver to start saving fuel.

As Newberry raced for position on track, he knew he was running two races at one time. A race against his competitors and a race with the fuel cell. After taking a wave around on lap 143, Newberry would need to save enough Sunoco Racing Fuel to make it the final 60 miles of the event in order to make it to the checkers. By lap 175 Newberry had picked his way through traffic and held strong in 24th. As the checkered flags waved, the young driver had successfully crossed the start/finish line knowing he had gained valuable seat time and could begin to build on the next step of his career. Brennan Newberry is set to make additional NASCAR Nationwide Series starts with SS-Green Light during the 2014 season but his schedule remains tentative.

Brennan Newberry's Post-Race Thoughts:
"Making my first NASCAR Nationwide Insurance Series start could not have been made possible without Bobby Dotter and the entire SS-Green Light team. Working with Crew Chief Jason Miller was a great experience and I thought we gelled quickly. It was awesome to get Qore-24 Antimicrobial Hand Purifier some exposure on a very grand stage as well. I have to thank Todd Bodine for his help and experienced advice and also my NTS Motorsports team for helping out in every way they could. I look forward to getting back behind the wheel for SS-Green Light in the NASCAR Nationwide Series very soon!"

Jason Miller's Post-Race Thoughts:
"I really enjoyed working with Brennan and everyone at NTS Motorsports this weekend. I would like to say thank you to Qore-24 and everyone from SS-Green Light racing for all their hard work. I can't wait to work with Brennan again in the future, as I know he has a bright career ahead of him and I am just glad to be a part of it. I would like to send a special thank you to John Monsam, Todd Bodine, and Bob Newberry for making this great weekend possible.

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