Matt Lofton, No. 16 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet Salem Speedway Post-Race ReportPress Release
Making a repeat visit to the famed .555-mile short-track, Lofton kicked off the one-day race event with a pair of practice sessions early Saturday afternoon. Knowing that the practice track conditions would be different from the evening’s race, Lofton and crew spent their time preparing their Chevrolet for the cooler night temperatures. Lofton ended the first session in 18th with a fast time of 18.144 seconds at 110.119 mph. The Roxboro, N.C. native followed up with the 13th quickest time in final practice at 17.657 seconds at 113.156 mph. After pulling an early draw for Menards Pole Qualifying, Lofton turned out the 17th fastest time at 17.598 seconds at 113.536 mph.
ARCA officials waved the green flag over the 36-car field as the sunset over the Salem, I.N. facility. Lofton, wasting no time, moved the No. 16 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet into 14th as the first caution waved on lap 19. Lofton reported to crew chief Skip Eyler that the car felt great in turn one and two and free in three and four. Racing resumed on lap 23 and Lofton once again set out towards the front.
After moving his way into the top-10 on lap 42, a short red flag period following a lap 47 wreck saw Lofton advance his Chevrolet to the fourth position after taking the green on lap 53. Fighting cars with fresher tires from behind, Lofton maneuvered his car through tight traffic through an extended green flag run before the caution once again waved on lap 116, giving Lofton the much needed chance to hit pit road for four tires and fuel.
Like many of his competitors, Lofton found himself trapped a lap down, now fighting for the elusive “lucky dog” position. Restarting in 14th on lap 122, Lofton quickly put himself in the top-10 and coveted “lucky dog” spot. Unfortunately the remaining laps would be run without caution, keeping Lofton trapped laps down to the leaders. He would cross the finish line in the No. 16 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet with a hard fought 10th place finish.
Next up for Lofton and the No. 16 Strutmasters.com Coulter Motorsports team in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Sunday, October 14, making up for the rainout suffered there just weeks prior.
Source: Coulter Motorsports Press Release
Article Tags: ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Coulter Motorsports, DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds, Matt Lofton, No. 16 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet Impala, Salem (Ind.) Speedway, Southern Illinois 100