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SPECIAL TO THE BEACON
A day that began with a lot of promise ended in a story of perseverance for the No. 1 ModSpace Ford that led to a 28th-place finish for driver Chad McCumbee.
McCumbee’s possible podium finish went to pieces, just like his right-front tire during the Prairie Meadows 200 ARCA Racing Series race Saturday at Iowa Speedway.
“We did not unload that great at Iowa,” said McCumbee of his second-career ARCA start at Iowa. “Our Andy Belmont Racing guys never quit. We threw a lot at the No. 1 ModSpace Ford and had a great car in qualifying and the first stint of the race.”
In time trials at the Newton track, McCumbee’s Ford Fusion covered the 7/8-mile (0.875-mile) paved oval in 23.822 seconds at 132.231 miles per hour.
“ModSpace was very excited to see Chad McCumbee qualify sixth at Iowa Speedway this weekend,” said William Mann, director of motorsports for ModSpace.
With the race under way in the sweltering heat, McCumbee quickly improved to third place in the first eight laps. Continuing to click laps off from the third spot, McCumbee was able to stay in the top three as the 200-lap event progressed.
“Our team ran a strong third with a great race car,” team owner Jennifer Belmont said. “We were running third when we ran over something that cut a tire. That is the third race in a row we have cut down a tire. I have no idea how to overcome this other than to keep on digging. The guys have done a great job.”
The pace Ford suffered right-side damage. The car couldn’t be fixed on pit road, so the team made necessary repairs in the garage area. Losing valuable track positions and laps while the blue-and-white machine was being repaired, McCumbee returned to the track late in the race.
This was his only finish outside the top 20 this season.
“Our ModSpace Ford was definitely in contention for a podium finish, if not the win,” McCumbee said. “It is really unfortunate, but we will rebound.”
“Chad had a very competitive car and was gaining valuable track positions,” Mann said. “We were very optimistic for a strong finish. The unexpected flat tire created some challenges, but No. 1 ModSpace team rallied with Chad enabling the finish. We are proud of our ModSpace team for being able to finish.”
RACING ON TV
Sprint Cup: No race this week. Nationwide: 7:30 p.m. July 23, Nashville, Tenn., ESPN. Camping World: 8 p.m. July 22, Nashville, Tenn., SPEED. ARCA: No race this week.