Handling Ruins Schraders Day

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The "M&M's"® Racing Team brought a brand new car to Richmond International Raceway this weekend. They took the car to a sister track in Lakeland, Fla., to "shake the car down" and prepare for the weekend. The weekend started out pretty promising for the "M&M's"® Racing Team as they were extremely quick in the early practice session. As Richmond is a night race consisting of only two days at the race track, the "M&M's"® Pontiac and the field had one practice session Friday morning, qualifying Friday afternoon and then a late practice on Friday.

The team was able to learn a great deal during the two practice sessions; however, the actual race at Richmond doesn't take the green flag until approximately 8:15 p.m. The lack of night practice makes for a tricky time in setting up the race car for much cooler temperatures.

Initially the "M&M's"® Pontiac seemed to handle to Schrader's liking, so during the first two caution periods they elected not to make any changes to the car when it came time to pit. But as the race wore on the "M&M's"® Pontiac began to handle a little bit tight in the turns. Schrader and crew chief Newt Moore elected to make some minor changes to the chassis during the first pit stop on lap 94. The yellow was the third caution period of the night in only 100 laps of action - pretty typical of short track racing, especially at night.

As the race continued the caution flags waved often, and the pit strategy played a major part when the "M&M's"® Racing Team elected to pit. Running in the top 15 for a great deal of the night, the team elected to stay on the race track on several occasions in order to retain valuable track position. Schrader was able to maintain his running position with only minor adjustments to the car's chassis, but the "M&M's"® Pontiac never got to the point where it seemed exactly right. As a result, Schrader and the "M&M's"® Racing Team finished the night in the 23rd position, one lap down.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2001

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