HAMPTON, Ga. (October 25, 2008) – Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit and it takes a near-perfect setup to remain competitive all day. With very limited practice on Saturday morning, Colin Braun and the No. 6 Con-way Freight team tried everything they could to find the perfect setup that eluded them all day. Despite great effort, Braun and the team had to settle for 20th place.
For the second consecutive week rain canceled all of practice on Friday, and teams were forced to make due with a brief practice the morning of the race. Braun was not pleased with the truck during practice, so the team made considerable changes to the setup before the race hoping to improve the handling.
Braun started 15th based on point standings since qualifying was canceled as well. From the drop of the green flag he told the team his Con-way Freight Ford F-150 was loose. He fell back to 25th place within five laps and just held on until he could pit for adjustments. That chance came on lap 17 when he pitted under caution for a wedge adjustment. The team knew NASCAR would have a “competition caution” on lap 25 so they elected to wait until then for new tires.
Braun restarted 17th, but the truck was still very free. He fell back to 25th again within a few laps. He pitted on lap 26 for four tires and another wedge adjustment. When the race resumed on lap 30 he was in 22nd place.
Unfortunately the adjustments created new issues for Braun. By lap 47 he was free in the center of the corners, but tight off. He lost a lap to the leader on lap 53, but fought to stay in the “lucky dog” position. The handling would not allow him to keep the leaders in sight, so when the next caution came on lap 59 he remained one lap down.
Despite two more pit stops to make adjustments, the team could not get the truck much better. Braun did his best and showed great patience not to overdrive an ill-handling truck. His day ended with a 20th-place finish, two laps down. Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman won the race in his first truck series start.
“We struggled all day,” Braun said. “We started out in practice and just fought being free the whole day. We fought being free in practice. We threw a setup out there for the race and I guess we just didn’t get it right. I can’t fault my crew chief, Mike Beam, for it. He worked really hard and my guys did a great job. They threw everything they had at it there, but I guess some days you just miss it and other days you get it right.”
The No. 6 Con-way Freight team remains 13th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings, and Braun continues to lead the rookie standings. The next race will be on Friday, October 31 at Texas Motor Speedway. It will be live on SPEED at 9:00 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.