Stellar Day Thwarted By Late Race Attrition

Race 28 of 33: Drive For The Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
Track Details: 2.28-mile Roval / 67 laps
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 29th

Team 08 Lunsford’s Sardis Auto Chevrolet Camaro: 

The weekend started a bit eventful for the 08 team after experiencing some mechanical issues during practice on Friday. Once the team was rid of the gremlins, Gaulding put some laps down and finished 14th fastest in final practice. Group qualifying took place early Saturday afternoon and Gaulding posted the 17th fastest time. Due to ‘unapproved adjustments’ the team would surrender their starting position and drop to the rear for the start of ‘The Drive For The Cure 250.’

The first caution of the day waved early and by lap 3, Gaulding had managed to advance up to the 24th position. The remainder of the stage went caution – free. When the green and white checked flag waved, signaling the conclusion of stage one, Gaulding had worked his way to the 16th position. Crew Chief Patrick Donahue went to work making adjustments after Gaulding stated he needed more rear grip. Despite the aggressive racing on track, the second stage managed to remain green for all 20 laps of the stage. Gaulding was much happier with his car and finished stage two in the 12th position.

As the final stage got underway, the fourth caution of the day immediately waved after several cars stacked up on the restart. Gaulding was able to snake his way through the mayhem and settle in the 10th position. As the laps counted down, Gaulding patiently crept further up the leader board as far as the 8th position. Inside the final ten laps of the race chaos broke loose with three more cautions. Although Gaulding was shuffled back to just outside the top ten, the 08 team was poised for another solid run. On the final lap of the day, Gaulding reported he had a flat tire. The 08 crawled around the track for the final time and limped across the finish line in the 29th position.

Gray Gaulding: 

“It stinks to say we had a top 10, well I think we had a top 10 pretty locked up. On the restart I got under the 19, but the 23 was behind me and drove through me. I just couldn’t turn. When the rear wheels are lifted off the ground there’s nothing you can do and I spun the 19 out. I hate it for those guys, but the 23 he’s got one coming for sure. It’s about the fourth time he’s done it this year and you can count on I will get him back. But looking at the positives, I have a lot to be thankful for. I can’t thank Patrick and all my guys enough for giving me a good race car. Look out for the 08 guys in the next couple weeks.” 

Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:

“Much like Ray, Gray also did a great job of keeping his nose clean throughout the day. It looked like we were going to get another top 10 finish, until Gray came over the radio and said he had a flat on the last lap. Tough finishes today for both of our guys; however, I am very pleased with the effort and where we were running before the incidents occurred.”