After engine issues plagued Eric McClure with a 40th-place finish in last year's Boyd Gaming 300, he and the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® team returned to Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking for redemption. Despite starting the 300-mile event from the 30th position, McClure and the team worked together to not only overcome handling issues on the No. 14 Camry, but also a pit road speeding penalty late in the race to finish the 300-mile event in the 27th position. With this finish, the TriStar Motorsports team advanced one position to 25th in the point standings and is guaranteed a starting spot in next weekend's event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
When the green flag fell, it didn't take long for McClure to report an extremely loose-handling condition on his No. 14 Camry and as a result, he slipped to the 34th position in the running order. Despite the continuous handling issues, McClure was able to work his way back into the 31st position by lap 50. Four laps later, under green-flag conditions, McClure brought the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry to pit road for a scheduled four tire and fuel service. The team also made a large chassis adjustment to help the car's loose condition. When McClure returned to the track, he was scored in the 27th position.
The event's first caution flag waved on lap 56. Although McClure had just received service, the team took this opportunity to once again service the No. 14 Camry with fuel only. Despite restarting in the 27th position, McClure quickly lost two positions in the running order when he had to slow down to avoid a spinning car. Having just pitted during the previous caution, McClure remained on track and was scored in the 29th position when the race resumed on lap 75.
As the race continued, McClure was able to maintain his position, despite battling a car that was now too tight in the center of the turns. After receiving four tires, fuel, and another chassis adjustment during the second round of green-flag pit stops on lap 127, McClure returned to the track in the 27th spot. Just moments after his returns, however, NASCAR Officials informed the team of a pit road speeding violation. Once the penalty was served, McClure returned to the track in the 30th position.
Despite the setback, McClure and the team rallied together and were able to advance three positions in the final 25 laps to finish Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 in the 27th position.
Eric McClure Quotes:
"This weekend was a battle. We made gains in the race but I made a few mistakes and we just had too much to overcome. We took another step in owner points which is good for the team. Wes (Ward), Eddie (Pardue), and I have had some good runs together in the past and the guys are working hard. We will get it."