June 15, 2008 8:52 PM

Braun Earns Fourth Top-10 Finish in First Start at Michigan

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2008) –   Colin Braun earned his fourth top-10 finish of the season Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.  In front of a crowd of over 400 Con-way Freight employees and guests, Braun fought his way up from a 19th-place starting position to a sixth-place finish.

     After an early caution, Braun started his march to the front of the field.  He was up to 15th by lap 20 and told crew chief Mike Beam that his Con-way Freight Ford F-150 was tight through the center and off the corners.  Without another caution since lap three, teams began making green-flag pit stops by lap 35.  Braun brought his truck to pit road on lap 36 for four new tires, air pressure and wedge adjustments.  The team had a quick 15.3-second stop and when everyone had cycled through the pits Braun was in 14th place.

     The truck was better, but still a bit tight.  When the next caution came on lap 47, Braun pitted for new tires and a track bar adjustment to free-up the truck.  The crew had another great stop which put Braun in 13th place when the race resumed just past the halfway point on lap 51.

     He moved up to 12th before the next caution on lap 60.  The team used this caution as an opportunity to pit one final time for four fresh tires and an adjustment to get Braun to the checkered flag.  Since several teams used different pit strategies of taking two tires, or fuel only, Braun was 16th despite fast work by the Con-way Freight team.

     During the next green-flag run, Braun was running lap times faster than the leaders.  He moved into 10th place on lap 74 and continued picking off positions.  He was up to seventh with 20 laps to go, and moved into fifth place three laps later.

     One final caution came on lap 95.  The leaders stayed on the track to maintain their track position.  Braun was prepared for a shootout in the closing laps and that is exactly what he got.  The green flag waved with three laps to go and Braun fought to gain a few more spots.  As the drivers battled to the finish, he fell back to sixth place when he crossed the finish line.  His Roush Fenway teammate Erik Darnell won the race over Johnny Benson by the closest margin in the history of the Craftsman Truck Series.

     “First I have to congratulate my teammate Erik Darnell,” Braun said.  “He drove a great race and I’m happy for the whole team.  My Con-way Freight Ford F-150 was tight for a lot of the race, but Mike Beam and the guys just kept adjusting on it all day to make it better.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get a top five, but we were better than we’d been in practice and it was a good rebound for qualifying 19th.  Our truck was pretty fast in that last long run.  We didn’t need that last caution, but in the end you can’t complain about a top 10 in your first start at any track.”

     The No. 6 Con-way Freight team fell one spot to 15th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings.  Braun continues to lead the rookie standings.  The next race will be on Friday, June 20 at The Milwaukee Mile.  It will be live on SPEED at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

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