(CHARLOTTE, N.C. - August 27, 2012) - Matt Lofton and the No. 16 Strutmasters.com/Coulter Motorsports Chevrolet team finished 11th Sunday in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison International Speedway.
Heading to Wisconsin’s “Fastest Half Mile” for the first time, Lofton kicked off his race weekend with a pair of practice sessions Saturday afternoon. Working closely with crew chief Skip Eyler, Lofton and crew focused more on long green flag race runs instead of the typical short speed runs. Lofton ended the first session with the 13th fastest time at 19.110 seconds at 94.192 mph. He followed suit in final practice with the 14th quickest lap of 19.009 seconds at 94.692 mph. Pacing the high-banked track in Menards Pole Qualifying, Lofton placed his No. 16 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet 11th for Sunday’s main event with a fast time of 18.513 seconds at 97.229 mph.
As teams and drivers arrived at the track Sunday morning, they were met with an unpleasant surprise from Mother Nature, persistent rain showers. ARCA officials worked diligently with track personnel and after a three and a half hour delay, waved the green flag to kick off the racing action.
Having opted to work on the car longer before Saturday’s qualifying effort, ARCA officials forced Lofton to forgo his 11th place starting position, instead rolling off in 22nd. Lofton wasted little time moving forward, however, and found himself back in 11th after the first caution of the day waved on lap 30. Letting the crew know his Chevrolet was just a touch tight in the center of the turns, Lofton resumed his fight towards the front.
With the day’s second caution waving on lap 74, Lofton brought his No. 16 machine to pit road for four fresh Hoosier tires, fuel and a small air pressure adjustment. Racing resumed on lap 80, with Lofton up to the seventh position. Knowing patience is key on the short tracks, Lofton put himself into conservation mode, saving his tires and brakes. Lofton would ride in seventh until the next caution on lap 130, where he once again came to pit road, this time for right side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. As the race restarted on lap 137, Lofton found himself in fifth, once again on the move. The Roxboro, N.C., native wasted little time, pushing himself into the third position by lap 143 and would ride steadily in the top-five for the next 20 laps. With worn tires Lofton’s car became tight once more, forcing him to slide to seventh before an on track incident on lap 197 with a competitor saw him receive body damage. While the damage was not severe, Lofton was forced a lap down, trapping him outside of the top-10. He would cross the checkered flag on lap 208 in 11th in the No. 16 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet.
Next up for Lofton and the No. 16 Strutmasters.com Coulter Motorsports team in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Monday, September 3.
Also please be sure to support Coulter Motorsports sponsors at:
Rip It Energy Fuel: www.RipItEnergy.com
Shell Shock: http://shellshock.homestead.com/
Wiley X: www.wileyx.com
Tempest Cycles: www.tempestcycles.com
Strutmasters.com builds automotive struts and springs for cars and SUVs equipped with air suspension. They also provide both replacement air ride suspension parts, including air springs, air struts, compressors, air bag suspension and dryers, and conversion kits that, convert your car to high quality passive suspension systems. Air shocks, air springs, air struts and other air ride suspension parts wear out. Strutmasters.com gives you the option of replacing them with top quality passive suspension parts engineered to fit your specific application. They have been designing and building suspension kits and conversions since 1999 when they produced their first Lincoln air suspension kit. Strutmasters.com also maintains a fleet of test cars that they try out new products on.
About Darrell Gwynn Foundation (DGF):
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation (DGF) is a certified non-profit 501(c) 3 agency. DGF exists to prevent, provide for and ultimately cure spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. To expedite specific cures, the Foundation assists in the funding of targeted research. DGF is also dedicated to injury prevention, with special emphasis on programs targeting children. The Foundation helps improve the quality of life for those already afflicted with injury or illness, by providing necessary equipment or special services. DGF is an official charity of the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and has a close affiliation with NASCAR and the NASCAR Foundation.