Grant is now in a three-way tie for third place in the season championship points, after a disappointing eighth place finish in Chicago. There is little time to prepare for the next race, which is Saturday at Pocono Speedway in Pennsylvania.
With an eighth place start, Grant finished where he started. However, he says, the BeasleyAllen.com Dodge Charger was seriously off in handling, worsening throughout the race. He says it took all his skill as a driver to maintain control throughout the race.
His skill is evident, as despite the car’s handling problems, Grant was within a lap of posting another top 5 finish. He was in the seventh place in the last lap, looking to pass Frank Kimmel and another car. When Grant made his move to pass, the car lost traction, causing him to wash up the track and brush the outside wall. In saving the car from a spin, he was passed by his roommate Tom Hessert, and ended up in eighth place.
“The car went south during the race and was a 20th place car,” Grant said. “The car was snappy loose and a handful to drive. I almost lost the car several times.”
A race car is “loose” when the rear of the car tends to break loose and cause a spin. What Grant refers to as “snappy loose” is a feeling that the car is about to immediately turn 180 degrees, with the rear of the car rotating right and losing traction.
“I could feel the car about to snap around and I would have to back off the accelerator to regain control. I really thought, before the race, that the set up was good but the car was wicked most of the night,” he said.
Grant had practiced and qualified in 85 degree sunshine conditions, while the race was run in 65 degree darkness. That change of conditions likely affected the car’s performance, but the race team could not correct the set up problem during the race.
The Pocono race will be televised on Speed TV on Saturday. For details, visit www.arcaracing.com.