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 Geico 400 Talladega report

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Join date : 2014-02-10

PostSubject: Geico 400 Talladega report   Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:02 am

Ron Ellington, driver of the No. 57 Chrysler Avenger for his own team, had a plan for the Geico 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway: Hang around the back of the 43-car field and be in position at the end of the race to contend for the win. It was a plan that he was playing to perfection until a midrace accident caused enough damage to put him in the unwanted position of limping to the checkered flag with a 34th-place finish.

“I saw them wrecking and someone just hit me from out of nowhere – didn’t even see who it was,” said Ellington, “I thought our car was pretty good. We just never got a chance to show it.”

The race began well enough for Ellington, who found himself at the tail end of the field for the start after qualifying 37th. While it wasn’t an ideal starting spot, the geography of it suited the driver fine as it fit his conserve-and-preserve plan.

From the drop of the green flag, Ellington was able to move with traffic regardless of whether it was the top or bottom lane along the 2.66-mile oval, but he reported early that his car was just a bit too loose for his liking. The handling issue was an inconvenience, but it didn’t prevent Ron from taking a turn at the lead during a round of green-flag pit stops on lap 40. He led five laps before bringing the No. 57 Chrysler to the attention of his team on pit road, where they changed four tires, made a track bar adjustment and added fuel.

Ellington settled into a comfortable pace during the next several laps, noting that the adjustments had improved the car’s overall balance. All was well until lap 103, when a multicar accident on the backstretch collected Ron and sent him into the SAFER Barrier along the inside retaining wall.

Ron was able to drive back to pit road, where he lost a lap to the leaders as his team made repairs. The repairs enabled Ellington to continue in the race, but his car wasn’t the same, leaving him in the unenviable position of just riding to the finish.

There were six caution periods for 25 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 194-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the seventh race of the Chase – is the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 on Oct. 26 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.
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