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A sixth-place finish in the Sam’s Town 400 Friday in Texas moved Chad McCumbee into eighth place in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings. He will try to improve on that position in the Cool City Customs 200 Saturday in Michigan.
McCumbee and Team MRD are optimistic as they head to this 2-mile banked oval. These tracks have been a strong suit for the team.
“This is a cool place to go to,” McCumbee said. “Most of the major manufacturers are based in the area, so it’s good when you can run well in front of them.
“We are bringing the same Silverado we ran second with at Charlotte. I’m looking forward to putting the No. 8 Malcolmson Construction Chevrolet in victory lane. We have had some good runs this year and, hopefully, someone is seeing our results.We’re looking for a sponsor so we can take this program to the next level.”
The race will be televised on Speed, starting at 3 p.m. Saturday.
With guns drawn, McCumbee and Team MRD Motorsports entered the Texas Motor Speedway in Forth Worth, Texas, ready for battle with 35 other drivers during the running of the Sam’s Town 400 on Friday night. McCumbee and company had stocked up on ammunition and brought a brand new Chevy Silverado to this Texas Showdown.
The team quickly showed its prowess on the mile-and-a-half superspeedway during Thursday’s practice sessions. The team worked through some bugs with the new Malcolmson Construction Silverado but managed to end the day fifth quickest on the speed charts, leaving the team optimistic at bettering its career-best qualifying effort of second they obtained at the last Texas race. However, the truck’s qualifying speed was just a little off from what was expected and McCumbee had to settle for a 10th-place starting position for the race.
“I’m happy with that lap,” McCumbee said. “Of course, you would like to be a little better, but with working through some of the gremlins with this new truck, I am feeling good about the race. These guys on Team MRD really worked hard today with all the adjustments we needed. We’ve made some good progress, but we’ll still have to make a little more during the race.”
After the drop of the green, McCumbee realized he had his hands full. It was difficult to pass and ride near his fellow competitors, and the handling of the No. 8 Chevy Silverado was a little off.
Chad and crew chief Randy Dean began putting their heads together during the first run for the changes they needed during the first pit stop. Despite the truck not handling to his liking, McCumbee still battled around the top 10 during the first run.
The team lost some track position during the first pit stop, opting to make some major changes to the truck to be able to contend for the win. McCumbee and the team continued to make progress on the truck through the next series of pit stops and had worked themselves from 23rd after the first pit stop back to inside the top 15 before the last pit stop of the night.
The team showed it had practiced over the week and pulled off a great pit stop, gaining McCumbee some valuable track position and putting him back into a spot to battle for a top-five finish. McCumbee battled hard to pick up a few spots over the last few laps and finished sixth.
“This was a very hard-fought sixth-place finish,” he said. “We were a little off from where we needed to be at the start of the race. But I can’t say enough about Randy, Gene and the boys. They kept throwing things at the truck each pit stop and kept getting me better. The guys did a good job with their pit stops and got me some track position when it counted. I’ll take this finish, all things considered. This was a truck that had never seen a track before. We worked out a lot of the bugs and we’ll be able to take it back to the shop and make it better.”
Sponsorship opportunities still remain with McCumbee and MRD Motorsports for the 2008 season. For more information, call Dave Malcolmson at (727) 420-0660 or (727) 556-2800. McCumbee’s Web site is www.chadmccumbee.com.