A Recap of the Weekend Past
The NASCAR Camping World and Cup Series took to the Charlotte Motor Speedway this Memorial Day weekend. Action kicked off Friday evening with the Truck Series and finished Sunday evening with the crown jewel event, the Coca-Cola 600.
Todd Gilliland and his No. 38 The Pete Store Ford F-150 team led the FRM weekend. Qualifying was rained out, and because of Gilliland's win and fast speed at the Circuit of the Americas, was awarded the pole for the race. It's the first pole for the FRM truck team. Gilliland finished fifth in the race.
Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Fr8Auctions Ford Mustang team had a strong night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Their camouflage, military tribute-scheme Mustang finished 20th.
Anthony Alfredo and the No. 38 Death Wish Coffee team also had a strong run Sunday night. Alfredo raced in the top-20 all night before finishing 25th.
TODD GILLILAND. NO. 38 THE PETE STORE FORD F-150. FINISHED 5.
Todd Gilliland and his No. 38 The Pete Store Ford F-150 would start Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway from the pole after rain cancelled qualifying.
Gilliland showed early that his Pete Store Ford F-150 was ready to compete for the win. The Stage went green from start to finish. Gilliland finished second in Stage 1 and radioed to the team, "I have confidence in my truck."
In Stage 2, Gilliland would once again restart on the front row after a great pit stop by the No. 38 team. The team got into trouble when Gilliland was three-wide and slide into the truck above him. The Pete Store team had to fix some damage to the front, but kept Gilliland on the Lead Lap.
The truck wasn't the same after that, but it still had top-five speed. Gilliland made the most of it and raced it to fifth at the end.
It's back-to-back top-five finishes for the team. The series takes one weekend off before the Speedy Cash 220 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
GILLILAND ON CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
"It's great to come back with another top-five. I hurt our truck after going three-wide in the middle of the race. We were really fast in the first Stage, but a little bit of damage hurt us in Stage 2. I'm thankful for the team to get the truck good enough to get back to fifth. It was a great Pete Store Ford F-150 and we had a lot of speed. We're going to work on this truck and have it ready again at Texas."
MICHAEL MCDOWELL. NO. 34 FR8 AUCTIONS FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED 20.
Michael McDowell and No. 34 Fr8 Auctions team continue to prove they are a top-15 team in the NASCAR Cup Series. Although the team finished 20th in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, it was the teams 10th top-20 finish of the season. The consistency, combined with the great finishes, has put the No. 34 team only four points out of 15th in the championship standings.
McDowell finished 21st in Stage 1 with the track still under the sun. McDowell battled dirty air in traffic and struggled to pass. He also needed more speed in the car with some handling adjustments.
In Stage 2, McDowell was caught behind the leaders when a caution came out after he pitted. That sent McDowell to the back of the field and finished 27th before having to take a wave-around to get back with the lead pack for Stage 3.
Stage 3, the Fr8 Auctions team made ground both on the track and with the handling. As the lights came when the sun fell, the No. 34 Ford Mustang gained more speed. Pit strategy also helped McDowell jump to 20th at the end of the stage.
The final stage was a consistent run for the team. McDowell stayed in the top-20 and that's where he finished the race.
MCDOWELL ON CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
"This is who we are as a team. We grind out these finishes even if we aren't in the top-15 or top-10. We still find a way to get into the top-20 when we don't have the best race. That is what we did tonight. We had some good speed, but not the track position. So, we just worked on our strategy and stayed in the top-20. We gained our points and closed the gap a bit to 15th. Next week is a good track for us. I love road course racing and I know we can have a great finish."
ANTHONY ALFREDO. NO. 38 DEATH WISH COFFEE FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED 25. Anthony Alfredo was only 50 laps away from scoring a top-20 finish in his first Coca-Cola 600. Alfredo was running 19th before his final pit stop of the race. A pit road speeding penalty on the stop relegated Alfredo back to 25th at the checkered flag. Still, it was a very impressive run for Alfredo Sunday night. The Death Wish Coffee team started the day trying to get the car to stay balanced over the famous bumpy turns at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car would step out on Alfredo, but he still kept speed on long runs and Alfredo finished Stage 1 in 27th. Stage 2, Alfredo was even faster and a timely caution vaulted the team to 19th just before halfway. In fact, through pit strategy, Alfredo led twice throughout the night. At the end of Stage 2, Alfredo was on the Lead Lap in 19th. In Stage 3, the Death Wish Coffee team lost nothing. They were fast on long runs and they ended the Stage in 20th. They then restarted inside the top-20 for the final stage. Alfredo was again fast and was running a steady 19th before his final stop and the penalty. ALFREDO ON CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY: "I'm bummed. We ran top-20 all day. Seth (Barbour) called an excellent strategy in Stage 2 that allowed us to stay on the Lead Lap and be in the top-20. We were 19th and really stayed there all the way until our last pit stop. I sped on pit road and we fell to 25th. It's frustrating because everyone on this Death Wish Coffee team did an awesome job. But, this weekend is more than just the race. I want to thank and remember all the military members and their families, too. That's what this weekend is about."