Race 22 of 33: Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Details: 0.533 mile oval / 300 laps
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 6th
Team 08 Panini Chevrolet Camaro:
Gray Gaulding and his No. 08 Panini team came into Bristol full of confidence after a 14th place finish last weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Gaulding considers Bristol Motor Speedway one of his favorite tracks and last night proved no different.
Gaulding would roll off from the 13th position for the Food City 300. It didn’t take long for the first caution of the night to come out after the 68 car made contact with the wall on lap 8. On lap 38, ‘the big’ one took place on the back stretch. The wreck collected front runners Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, and Joey Logano. The caution came at a perfect time for the 08 team as they thought they had a tire going down. Crew Chief Patrick Donahue called Gaulding to the pits under caution for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to tighten up the Panini Chevy. Gaulding restarted from the 23rd position and began picking his way back through the field. Cautions waved for the 23 car spinning, debris, and the 2 car spinning before the end of the stage. At the conclusion of the first stage Gaulding sat in the 8th position, collecting three stage points.
After pitting, Gaulding started the second stage from the 17th position. On lap 120, the race was red-flagged for the 90 car spinning into the wall after losing a tire. Gaulding restarted from the 12th position on lap 125. The remainder of the stage went caution free. Leader Kyle Busch was forced to retire from the race after his engine let go as he claimed the stage two victory. Gaulding was in the 11th position after the second stage.
Gaulding started the final stage from the 8th position on lap 178. The seventh caution of the night waved on lap 221 after the 1 car made contact with the wall. Crew Chief Patrick Donahue made the call to leave his driver out on old tires with hopes of getting a late race caution. Gaulding restarted from the third position, but was quickly overtaken by fresh tires. On lap 279 the eighth and final caution of the day waved. Donahue called Gaulding in for tires with only 20 laps remaining. Gaulding took advantage of a couple of the leaders struggling late and was able to pilot his No. 08 Panini Chevrolet to a sixth place finish. The result was Gaulding’s third top ten of the season for SS Green Light Racing. Gaulding remains 13th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings and trails Ryan Sieg by 97 points for the final playoff spot.
“It was an unbelievable night. I just can’t thank all our partners enough: GPS Pure, Panini, and Patrick Mahomes for being on the hood! We’re a small organization at SS Green Light Racing and this is what I work for. This is what these guys work for. We’ve got five guys and moments like this is what we cherish.”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“I’m extremely proud of Gray and the entire 08 team. Patrick brought a very fast Panini Chevy to the track this weekend and Gray took advantage of it. Despite all the attrition, I think we had a top ten car on speed alone, which says a lot for our small team. This was a great result and an awesome points day. I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into the next couple weeks.”