Gdovic Rallies to 21st After Loose Wheel in the Food City 300
China Grove, N.C. (August 22, 2016) – Reigning Lamborghini Gallardo World Champion, Brandon Gdovic, returned to the seat of the No. 46 PITT OHIO Chevrolet Camaro this Friday night for the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Though the weekend was challenged by forces beyond the control of the Precision Performance Motorsports (PPM) team, Gdovic still persevered and brought home a 21st-place finish.
As PPM unloaded their Chevrolet Camaro at The World’s Fastest Half Mile on Thursday, dark clouds began to roll into the area. The NASCAR XFINITY Series was able to get one practice session under their belt before rain washed out the day’s scheduled on-track activity. Gdovic remained confident on Friday as the rain-delayed qualifying rounds got underway. As many teams held off on turning their fast laps for uncertainty of a wet racing surface, Gdovic saw the clear racetrack as a distinct advantage. As he got up to speed, another driver joined him on track. While Gdovic was completing his potentially fastest lap of the weekend, he was cut off, forcing him to check up before making contact with the competitor. Although the damage was minimal, it relegated Gdovic to a 32nd-place starting position.
After the green flag flew in the Food City 300, Gdovic knew he would have to take advantage of each and every restart to make up for his starting position. In just 20 short laps, he had already gained four positions. This pattern continued until midrace, when Gdovic came on the radio and reported a loose wheel. Not willing to take any chances, Crew Chief Mark Setzer called him in to pit under green flag conditions. The PPM team remedied the loose wheel, but Gdovic lost three laps in the process.
With fresh Goodyears, a full tank of gas, and a well-handling Camaro, Gdovic’s lap times improved as the Food City 300 wound down. He spent the last third of the race turning lap times on par with the Top 10 competitors, even passing some of the leaders. This speed saw him continue to advance position and he ended the race in the 21st position.
Brandon Gdovic Quotes:
“Definitely a disappointing race Friday night. We struggled with the handling the first 200 laps, then to make things worse we had another loose wheel and had to pit under green and lost a handful of laps. I wish we could have started the race at Lap 225 because the car was awesome the last 75 laps. We were running Top 10 times and even passed the eighth-place car on the last couple laps. On a good note, though, I learned a lot and I am happy to get more seat time in these cars before next year.”