Mooresville, N.C. (June 11, 2013) – Friday’s practice sessions posted a comfortable car and fast lap times for Cole Whitt and the No. 44 Ferguson Toyota Camry. Whitt qualified 19th at Iowa Speedway, but Mother Nature had different plans for what was supposed to be a Saturday night short track showdown. After postponing the start of the DuPont Pioneer 250 to Sunday, the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers’ saw the green flag wave at 10 a.m.
On what was now a ‘green’ race track, 40 cars took to the 7/8 – mile oval. Just after completing two laps, Whitt was caught up in someone else’s mistake as he was driving into turn one. “I had nowhere to go. It was unfortunate, but I was lucky to have minimal damage,” said Whitt. After coming to pit road twice to make minor repair and put on fresh tires Whitt and Crew Chief Randy Cox regrouped.
When NASCAR called a competition caution at lap 50, Whitt said, “the car seems tight in the center.” So he and Cox decided to take four tires, make a track bar adjustment and fill the tank with some Sunoco race fuel on their next pit stop. Whitt made two more pit stops throughout the race switching from scuff tires to sticker tires, then making tire pressure and track bar adjustments.
For more than 45 laps, Whitt held on to the 16th position. The No. 44 Ferguson Camry couldn’t shake a ‘tight in the center’ condition; Whitt claimed his second consecutive 16th place finish.
After the DuPont Pioneer 250, Whitt said, “I had high expectations for our efforts at Iowa Speedway. We were aiming for a top-10, but finishing 16th without much damage is still a good outing. We were battling a really tight race car at the end, so gaining positions was difficult. I greatly appreciate Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. coming on board for the weekend. Also, the continued support from Ingersoll Rand really helps TriStar Motorsports and our No. 44 team; I’m excited to work with them again.” Whitt continued, “I just can’t thank Mark and Kathy [Smith} enough for giving me the opportunity to sit behind the wheel again. I look forward to learning and growing with TriStar.”
Whitt helped the No. 44 team maintain their 27th position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series owner point standings. Looking ahead to the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway, Whitt has competed in two previous events and has not placed out of the top-10.