HARRAH'S TEAM DIGS IN AT ROCKINGHAM
13 November 2003
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Larry Foyt and the No. 14 Harrah's Racing team finished 28th for the second consecutive race on Sunday in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Bill Elliott won the race and Matt Kenseth clinched the 2003 Winston Cup championship.
Foyt started 42nd on a chilly day and slowly picked up positions at a place where you race the track more so than other drivers.
"This is a really tough race track, especially on tires," said Foyt. "In happy hour yesterday we found that our car didn't fall off as much as others and our lap times were very consistent on long runs, which is very important here."
Foyt moved into 36th position by lap 44 of the 393-lap event despite fighting a loose race car. The team made adjustments during the first round of green flag pit stops and the car responded very well. Unfortunately, a caution shortly after their pit stop left the team two laps down.
"It was a heartbreaker when that first caution came out," said Foyt. "We pitted early and we just caught a bad break. It's a shame because our lap times were great and we could have picked up a bunch of spots."
The event tied a race record for cautions with 10 and Foyt saw his fair share of smoke a busted sheet metal.
"I think I ran through some oil when the (No.) 21 and 32 spun," said Foyt. "I hit the wall a little bit and knocked in the toe. We tried to fix it, but the car was never the same after that.
"I had a lot of fun out there today. The past two weeks we've run the best we have all year and I think we're finally starting to turn things around a bit. I guess it's better late than never."
The Winston Cup Series has its last stop of the year next week in Homestead, Florida. The track recently underwent a major change by adding 20 degrees of banking into the turns. The Winston Cup teams will hold a test session at the track on Wednesday before qualifying on Friday.
"It should be an interesting week," said Foyt. "There will be a lot of cars there and everyone wants to put on a good show in the last race of the year. I think this Harrah's team can continue the momentum we've built up the last few weeks. I can't wait to get on the track again!"