MADISON, Ill. (September 6, 2008) – Colin Braun started the Camping World 200 at Gateway International Raceway with the word “patience” taped to his dashboard. It served as a reminder to the young rookie that patience was going to be the key to a solid finish. That is exactly what he got, but it did not come easily. Braun not only used patience, but determination and talent to earn a ninth-place finish.
Braun started the race in fourth place but fell back a bit when the No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 was free everywhere on the track. The team used a caution on lap 22 to bring him down pit road for right-side tires and a track bar adjustment. A quick stop helped him gain one spot and restart in ninth place on lap 26.
Now the truck was a bit tight and Braun fell back to 13th. He was able to work his way back to 10th by the next caution on lap 61. This time crew chief Mike Beam brought Braun to pit road for four new tires and no other adjustments. He felt the four new tires would fix the tight handling. After slight contact with another truck exiting pit road, Braun returned to the track in eighth place when the race resumed on lap 65.
Braun told Beam the truck was much better and it showed in his lap times. He worked his way through the field and was up to fifth place on lap 93. When a caution for debris slowed the race again on lap 104, Braun brought the Con-way Freight Ford F-150 to pit road for the final time. Beam opted to put four tires on the truck while other teams only took two. Although he lost some track position, Beam felt confident that with nearly 50 laps remaining in the race, four tires was a better choice.
When racing resumed on lap 109, Braun was 10th. He worked his way up to eighth within a few laps, but during a restart on lap 121 he was involved in a multi-truck accident. A lapped truck spun in front of the field which started a chain-reaction accident. Braun stopped on the track to avoid the mess, but was hit from behind by T.J. Bell. Only the rear bumper was damaged, so Braun was able to continue without pitting, but was forced to restart the race in 17th place on lap 127.
Now was the time for Braun to display the patience and discipline he needed to finish the race. The truck was tight off of turn two, but he continued to move forward. He was up to 16th with 22 laps to go, but was not willing to settle for that. He was 12th with 10 laps to go and kept charging forward. He took over the 10th place with eight laps remaining and got by former champion Ted Musgrave for ninth place in the closing laps. The top-10 finish also made Braun the highest-finishing rookie of the race. Ron Hornaday won after leading the most laps.
“It was a good run for everybody on the No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150,” Braun said. “We had a fast truck there at the start. We managed to stay in the top 10 most of the day. Coming off pit road once, a truck ran into our door and that kind of screwed us up for a little bit, but then we got back going. We were real fast in the middle of the race after we got four tires. We got up into the top five before the caution came out. After that, I just kind of kept driving around there and on one of those restarts some lapped trucks got screwed up and wrecked. We came to a stop and everybody else just decided to pile into the back of us and we kind of got involved in that wreck. I had to go to the tail end of the line and drove back up through the field, which was a lot of fun. But certainly, it felt like we had a solid top-five truck there. We were pretty quick and it just makes for an interesting day when you’ve got to drive back up through the field.”
The No. 6 Con-way Freight team remains 15th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings, and Braun continues to lead the rookie standings. The next race will be on Saturday, September 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It will be live on SPEED at 3:00 p.m. (ET).
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil, John Wes Townley and Bobby East; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.