After slipping two positions in the point standings following last week's event, Eric McClure headed to Auto Club Speedway to improve on last season's 27th-place finish at the two-mile track. Despite starting 33rd, McClure not only posted a 25th-place finish, his second-best at the track, he also rebounded in the point standings, advancing two spots to 25th.
Taking the green from the 33rd position, a quick caution on lap one allowed the Virginia driver to inform his crew that the car was loose on entry and exit. When the race resumed, McClure was scored in the 31st position and despite the loose- handling condition, he was able to advance to the 28th position before making a routine green-flag pit stop on lap 40. The team changed four tires, added fuel, and made air-pressure and chassis adjustments and when all pit stops were complete, the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® team was scored in the 27th position.
As the race continued, the car's handling became too tight in the center of the turns. Nevertheless, McClure continued to advance his position and when the yellow flag waved once again on lap 67, the 35-year-old was up to the 25th spot. After pitting for four tires, fuel, and another chassis adjustment to pacify the car's handling, McClure returned to the track in the 25th position.
Slipping two positions on the restart, McClure spent the next 60 laps regaining the positions lost, although the car was handling the best it had been all afternoon. The team utilized a caution period on lap 111 to bring the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry to pit road to receive four tires, fuel, and another chassis adjustment to continue improving the car's drivability. When the race resumed on lap 134, McClure was scored in the 25th position and in the end he was able to maintain the position to finish the TREATMYCLOT.COM 300. With this finish, McClure advanced two positions in the point standings heading into the season's first off-weekend.
Eric McClure Quotes:
"It was a respectable day for us especially for California. We made gains throughout the weekend and ran solid throughout a lot of the race. There are still some things we need to work on but our efforts are starting to bear fruit. It was a good points day for us and a great team effort. We are only going to get better from here."