CONCORD, N.C. (May 15, 2009) – Colin Braun was having the race of his life Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but it ended too soon. Braun led 43 laps, the most of any driver in the race, but was turned by Kyle Busch on lap 88 which ended his night with a 26th-place finish.
Braun was pleased with his truck in practice that morning and looked forward to the race. He qualified his No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 and was in third place when the rain began to fall which halted track activity. NASCAR was not able to resume qualifying, so the field was forced to start by owners’ points, which put Braun in 17th place to start the race.
When the race began Braun’s truck was handling well and he was patiently working his way through traffic. The first caution of the race came on lap 27 and crew chief Mike Beam opted to pit for fuel only. This strategy gave Braun the track position he needed and he restarted the race in second place on lap 34.
Only a few laps later the race was halted for a scary accident which put point leader Mike Skinner on his side. The race resumed on lap 41 with Braun still in second place behind Chad McCumbee. The Con-way Freight Ford was fast and Braun passed McCumbee on the outside on lap 45 to take the lead. Despite being on older tires, he held off his competitors and led the race for the next 43 laps.
On lap 88 Braun moved to the inside of Brian Scott to put him a lap down with Busch in second place. As he moved inside Scott, Busch tried to follow him to the inside but clipped Braun in the right rear which spun him into the outside wall on the backstretch. As he slid down the track he hit the inside wall as well which ended his night. With too much damage to repair, he was unable to return to the race and finished 26th after leading the most laps of the race, and the most laps he has ever led in his NASCAR career. NASCAR penalized Busch for aggressive driving and forced him to restart from the tail end of the longest line which turned out to be 11th. Ron Hornaday won the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 while Busch was second.
“It’s just disappointing,” Braun said. “All the guys on my Con-way Freight team put so many hours into this truck to get it ready to come race here so it’s pretty disappointing that something like this had to happen. We were having a great race and we just got taken out. I guess that is just part of racing and we’ll go on to Dover in a few weeks.”
The No. 6 Con-way Freight team fell two positions and is now 19th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings. The next race will be on Friday, May 29 at Dover International Speedway. It will be tape delayed on SPEED at 8:00 p.m. (ET).