MILWAUKEE, Wisc. (June 20, 2008) – Colin Braun had a shot at winning his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night at The Milwaukee Mile. He qualified fourth, ran in the top three throughout the first half of the race, but his shot ended during a multi-truck accident at the halfway point of the race.
After posting the fourth-best time in qualifying, Braun started his No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 on the outside of the second row. With only one caution on lap nine, a long green-flag run worked to Braun’s advantage as he moved into third place by lap 20. He settled into third behind Johnny Benson and Rick Crawford until teams were forced to cycle through the pits for green-flag stops.
Braun brought his truck to the pits on lap 73 for new tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to tighten the truck up a bit. The team had a quick stop, and Braun returned to the track. He was back up to eighth place when an untimely caution came on lap 79 when the No. 40 truck stopped on the track just short of pit road. There were six teams that had not pitted yet, which put Braun one lap down.
When the race resumed on lap 83, Braun was eighth and the first competitor one lap down. When the green flag flew he jumped in front of the leaders and was able to stay in front of them for 14 laps until a caution came for debris. The caution was just what the team hoped for since they were able to get their lap back, pit for fresh tires and challenge their way back to the front of the field.
Unfortunately the plan did not work out. During the restart on lap 99, Jack Sprague spun which caused a chain-reaction accident involving several trucks. Braun thought he made it through unscathed until he was hit from behind and spun into the wall. He brought the Con-way Freight F-150 to pit road to fix the left-front fender damage, but the team quickly realized the damage was more severe. He drove the truck behind the wall so the team could replace the radiator and do more extensive work.
Braun eventually returned to the track in 32nd place on lap 146. He was able to run just enough laps to gain one position, but that was the best he could do under the circumstances. After moving up to 31st place, Braun drove the truck into the garage and parked it for the night. Benson went on the win the race.
“We got caught down a lap there when the whole pit cycle deal worked out and that yellow came out,” Braun said. “I don’t know why the 40 truck stopped four feet from the pit lane, but that’s what happened. We got caught a lap down, then we got our lap back and got back on the lead lap. We were running fine coming off of turn four and I don’t know if the 10 truck got caught in the back of the No. 2 truck and spun around. Everybody checked up in front of me. I glanced off the back of somebody and ended up getting piled up in that wreck. It tore the radiator out of it, so we had to come in the garage to put a radiator in it and just went back out trying to finish five more laps to beat the 16 truck.”
Despite the disappointing finish the No. 6 Con-way Freight team gained one spot and moved up to 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings. Braun continues to lead the rookie standings. The next race will be on Saturday, June 28 at Memphis Motorsports Park. 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 and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.