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Eddie Sharp Racing Post-Race Report – Daytona International Speedway

Craig Goess | No. 46 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Tundra
Started: 26
Finished: 16

In the first race of the 2011 NCWTS season, rookie Craig Goess was ready to take on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in the No. 46 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Tundra.

Lining up in the 26th position, Goess looked to gain experience on the newly-paved track. The green flag waved on the Friday night race, and Goess fell in line in the draft and held close to the bottom line. By lap 17, Goess moved up to the 11th position, and continued to find speed on the track.

Crew chief Trip Bruce called for a green-flag pit stop on lap 28 to follow suit with other Toyotas coming in on the same lap. The No. 46 crew gave the Tundra fuel, and Goess got back on the track before the leaders came around. By lap 37, Goess ran in the 14th position and moved to high-side of the double-file racing.

The yellow flag waved again on lap 37, and Bruce called the No. 46 down pit road for the second pit stop of the night on lap 39 for right-side tires and fuel. The green flag waved on lap 42, and Goess stayed calm in the three-wide draft.

The caution flew again on lap 53 for debris, and Goess came down pit road in the 11th position for a pit stop. As the crew fueled the truck, miscommunication led Goess to leave the pit box before the crew was able to remove the fuel can. Goess came back around the track and down pit road to get the rest of the fuel, but was served with a penalty from NASCAR officials.

When the green flag waved on lap 57, Goess had to start at the back of the pack in the 30th position because of his penalty, but he was determined to work his way back to the front.

By the time the next caution flag flew on lap 65, Goess battled his way to the 24th position. The No. 46 came down pit road for fuel only, and came out in the 20th position. “Continue doing what you are doing, and just try to save fuel,” spotter David Green encouraged.

The green flag waved on lap 69, and Goess moved up to the 16th position. As the trucks began to align in a drafting pack in two- and three-wide, the No. 5 of Travis Kvapil blew a tire, causing a 14-truck wreck. Goess caught the tail end of the accident, causing damage on the right-front of the truck.

Goess came down pit road and the crew went to work fixing the damage on the right side. Running in the 16th position at the time of the accident, the crew changed the right-side tires, and Goess went back out to the track and came back around to pit road again to work on the damage.

Once more, the No. 46 went out to the track and came back into the pits on lap 78 as the race was still under caution. Although the truck went one lap down, the crew was confident in their efforts to make the truck driveable for the rest of the race. The green flag waved on lap 81 with the No. 46 in the 24th position.

The caution came out again on lap 84, and Goess came down pit road to get more fuel and allow the crew to survey the right-side damage again. The green flag waved on lap 88 with Goess in the 22nd position, but it wasn’t long until the second big wreck of the race caused havoc on 10 trucks. Goess was able to avoid the wreck ahead of him, and the red flag dropped on lap 96.

NASCAR officials cleaned the debris from the track, and the field was set for a green-white-checkered finish. The green flag dropped on lap 100, and Goess’ goal was to stay out of trouble as he was only truck one lap down in the 16th position.

Elliott Sadler and Michael Waltrip battled to the checkered flag, with Waltrip bringing home the win. Goess finished in the 16th position.

“I’m disappointed we were not able to race at our full potential because of the damage we sustained,” said Goess. “I think we had a great truck and the guys worked really hard to get here. The newly-paved track and the changes in the restrictor plate made everything less racey for a larger portion of the race. I was surprised that there was more double-file racing than the two-by-two that we have seen at the track in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing this week. Overall, it was a good finish for Daytona, and I’m looking forward to going to Phoenix next week.”

Goess will be back in action at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 25, 2011 for the running of the Lucas Oil 150 in the No. 46 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Tundra.


Mike Skinner | No. 45 Cushman Paytas Homes Toyota Tundra
Started: DNQ
The No. 45 Cushman Paytas Homes Toyota Tundra failed to qualify for the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway after a string of problems plagued the truck throughout the weekend.

During the first practice on Wednesday, the starter shorted out and caused problems throughout the entire truck, which led to a minor fire. The team worked hard to restore the damage to the Tundra, from the chassis to the battery to the ignition.  

The No. 45 Cushman Paytas Homes truck was able to get back on the track for the final practice session but struggled to find much speed. Troubles continued for the team when the No. 45 did not have a fast enough time to qualify for the event.

Although Skinner is a past NCWTS champion (1995), a glitch in the paperwork disqualified the usage of the past-champion provisional as Skinner was a last-minute addition to the team.  

“I’m disappointed that we did not make the race,” said Skinner. “We started off with a problem at the beginning of practice Wednesday and could not recover. Unfortunately, due to a problem with the entry blank, since our deal was so last minute, I was not able to use my champions provisional, and we missed the show. I think all of our guys worked really hard to get the truck prepared for this weekend. I have to thank everyone at Eddie Sharp Racing for all of their help. I’m really thankful to Toyota for always supporting me and providing great resources, including motors. I really wish that we could have gone out there and raced the No. 45 Toyota Tundra, especially for Cushman and Paytas Homes, our great sponsors who came on board. We’re looking to come back, compete for the win, and continue to grow this program.”

Team owner Eddie Sharp, also disappointed in the missed start, looks ahead for Skinner and the team. “As our first season in the NCWTS, it is a learning experience. We tried to put together this deal for Skinner to drive with us in a very short turn around but were not able to make the appropriate changes on the entry blank. Our week started with problems with the shorted starter and the minor fire. The guys worked their tails off to get the truck faster, but it just wasn’t there. There is no one who takes more fault for missing the race than me.  Thanks to Toyota, Skinner, Cushman, Paytas Homes and our team for all of their work to get us here. The next event, we will compete at our highest level.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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