CONCORD, N.C. (June 11, 2008) - The last two weeks of racing have not been too kind to Erik Darnell and the Northern Tool + Equipment team. The No. 99 Ford F-150 finished outside the top 20 at both Dover (25th) and Texas (24th). The team has since dropped out of the top 10 in the point standings, where they currently sit 12th. Unfortunate circumstances or just a case of bad luck has led to the recent disappointing finishes. If there was ever a time for this team to have some luck on their side, its this weekend at the Cool City Customs 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
The string of bad luck for the No. 99 team began midway through the AAA Insurance 200 at Dover when Darnell, who at the time was in 13th place, was hit from the inside by the No. 30 of Todd Bodine. Darnell brought the truck to the garage after reporting what he thought at the time was a broken track bar. The team soon found out it was not a track bar problem, but four flat tires. By the time Darnell got back on the track, he had slipped to 28th and ended up finishing 25th.
Hoping to get rid of the bad taste in their mouths leftover from Dover, the No.99 team went to Texas with high hopes of a strong performance at the Sam’s Town 400. The team had reason to feel good about its chances because Darnell was driving the same Ford F-150 that gave him his best finish of the 2008 season thus far, a fourth place in Charlotte.
However, tire problems again would haunt Darnell when on lap 92 he brought his Ford F-150 to pit road under green-flag racing following a right-front flat going into turn one. Along with replacing the damaged tire, the team suffered another blow when the crew encountered a jammed lug nut when attempting to put on a new right-rear tire. On top of the tire problems, Darnell was also black flagged when leaving the pit box. The NT+E Ford F-150 ended the day 24th, finishing four laps down.
“Sure these last two weeks have been frustrating not only for me, but for this entire Northern Tool + Equipment team. I think we have had some bad luck these past couple of races, but we have to stay positive not only for Michigan, but for the rest of the season. These problems could have happened to anyone, but unfortunately they found us first. We certainly cannot forget about the recent events, but if the team wants to move forward we need to put them as far back in our minds as possible. This is an entire team effort and we are ready to get going in the right direction,” said Darnell.
Darnell will be making his third career Craftsman Truck Series start at MIS this weekend. It is also the place where he picked up a 2007 ARCA win.
About Northern Tool + Equipment
Northern Tool + Equipment has been a supplier of high-quality tools and equipment for more than 27 years, selling products through direct mail, the Internet and at nearly 65 retail locations in 11 states. Along with a deep selection of hand, power and air tools, Northern Tool + Equipment carries a wide variety of products, including generators, pressure washers, air compressors, hydraulics, small engines, trailers, water pumps, tractors, welding equipment and much more. Northern Tool + Equipment also serves as the exclusive distributor of NorthStarTM brand equipment, which is fabricated and assembled at the company’s 250,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. For more information, visit www.northerntool.com.
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 and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.