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Aug 18, 2014 - 06:50 AM
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2014 Michigan: Jimmy Weller NASCAR Truck Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Aug 18, 2014 - 06:45 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Michigan: Jimmy Weller NASCAR Truck Race Recap


Jimmy Weller had one of the busiest days of his career yesterday as he took on the challenge of racing in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Michigan International Speedway and the big block dirt modified division at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway. It was the first time in Weller's career that he raced at two different speedways in the same day, which also carried the obstacle of transitioning from asphalt racing to dirt racing over the span of just a few hours.

 

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"Today was a really special day in my career," commented Weller. "Ever since I was a little kid, I always thought that it would be cool to race two different cars at two different tracks in the same day. When I saw the schedule for this season and realized that it could be a possibility during the Michigan International Speedway race weekend, I was determined to make it work."

Following a busy morning, Weller made his first career start at the fast Michigan International Speedway in the No. 08 Geneva-Liberty Steel / Engine Parts Plus / Hopek Hardware Plus Chevrolet Silverado for SS Green Light Racing. Rolling off 22nd, the Sunoco Rookie contender spent the early laps giving feedback to his team to allow them to plan adjustments for their Chevrolet as the race progressed. Despite his truck being free from the center off, Weller was able to improve his lap times by more than a half-second during the opening 30 laps at the two-mile speedway.

On lap 36, Weller called into the team to report a burning smell in the cockpit. The driver immediately brought the Geneva-Liberty Steel / Engine Parts Plus / Hopek Hardware Plus Chevrolet Silverado down pit road and to the attention of his crew. The SS Green Light Racing team made the decision to pull Weller behind the wall to allow further inspection of the truck and to diagnose the problem. Noticing a mechanical failure within the engine, the team officially retired from the event to be scored with a 24th-place finish.

"Our Geneva-Liberty Steel / Engine Parts Plus / Hopek Hardware Plus team had a really challenging weekend at Michigan International Speedway, but the guys did a great job staying focused on the task at hand and not giving up," Weller said. "Actually their determination really helped me stay focused. Most drivers get a little down after a mechanical failure keeps you from the finish line, but with the second race coming up, I still had to stay focused. I really am surrounded by a great group of people at SS Green Light Racing; the determination and focus of that team is second-to-none and I'm really excited to be in the truck a few more times this season."

Weller had no time to focus on the challenges of Michigan International Speedway, and instead he immediately got in his streetcar to begin the 230-mile trip to Hartford, Ohio, for his big block dirt modified race at Sharon Speedway. Weller arrived at the 3/8-mile dirt track just in time to look over his car and make final adjustments for the night's heat race. After finishing fourth in his eight-lap heat race, the inversion was picked and Weller was assigned the seventh starting position for that night's 20-lap feature event.

The big block dirt modified division set a quick pace in a race that stayed green the entire time and featured passing across the entire field. Weller initially fell to the eighth position, but quickly moved into fifth by the halfway point before picking up an additional spot to cross the finish line in the fourth position.

"Sharon Speedway is such a special track to my family," Weller continued. "My dad and I race against each other in the big block dirt modified division almost every Saturday night, which always makes it a fun family event. It was such a great race tonight--a lot of passing and a lot of competition. Dad did a great job bringing home the win. If we would have had a caution, I think we would have been able to be right there with him racing. We got held up in traffic early, but our car was really handling well by the end of the race. We still have a few more races left there this season, so hopefully Dad and I are able to have a few more close battles."


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