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Andy Loden Finishes Third at Motor Mile; In the Process Gains Crucial Championship Points
May 30, 2011 - updated May 30th, 2011 4:32pm
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:5/30/11
After winning in his last outing Andy Loden notched back to back podium finishes with his third place finish in this weekend’s The PASS 150 at the Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia. The third place finish didn’t come easy as several forms of adversity hit the Monroe Roadways team throughout the 150 lap event. A flat tire, an incident with a fellow competitor, and several close calls with just missing out on multiple car wrecks all played a part in the action packed weekend.
Throughout the event’s three practices leading up to the race the twenty-seven cars in attendance to take the green flag all practiced within tenths of each other making the importance of qualifying quite high. On the final session of the afternoon, after the team made a few adjustments they thought would bring speed, Andy lapped the 4/10th mile facility with the quickest time of the day just as practice concluded. As qualifying began the thought of the #29 machine winning the “fast qualifier” award didn’t seem too far fetched, but it wasn’t to be as the #29 Monroe Roadways/Red Mango Chevy Impala clocked in with the fifth fastest time. After the series mandatory redraw of the top ten Andy would start the 150 lap event from the tenth position.
At the start of the race Loden quickly settled in to the seventh position following eventual winner Ben Rowe around the fast Pulaski County track. The first caution of the event would come on lap thirty-six allowing Andy to radio in to the crew to report that the car was bottoming out through the turns. The decision to ride it out a bit longer was made but as soon at the field went back green the yellow #29 machine progressively got worse. Loden did a yeomen’s effort in keeping the seventh position before a much needed caution would fly just as the event hit the halfway mark. This time Andy brought the Monroe Roadways/Red Mango Chevy Impala down pit road where the crew changed a left front tire that was going flat.
Andy would be forced to start in the rear of the field but it didn’t take long for things to get worse as contact with fellow competitor while coming back up through the field once again sent Loden to pit road and the rear of the field. From this point on is when the action heated up for the R & L Motorsports team as Andy maneuvered his way through the field dodging several close calls with multiple car accidents. A restart with ten laps remaining, with Loden all the way up to the third position, would set up a phenomenal side by side battle between Ben Rowe and Jay Fogleman with Andy watching it all right on their bumpers. The three way battle was intense but never once got “rough” which was what Loden needed to sneak by the two. The checkered flag would fly with the three finishing a super close one, two, and three just as they had did in the final restart.
“What a way to finish after such a crazy night for us. We had the flat that put us to the back, and then got in to an incident with (David) Quackenbush coming back through the field which we had to come in to the pits and start in the back once again. At that point I would have never believed you if you said we would finish third,” stated a happy Loden. “Its runs like this that win championships and with (Ryan) Blaney and (Preston) Peltier finally having some bad luck we gained some much needed points on those guys for the championship.”
For more information on driver Andy Loden and his R & L Motorsports including news, results, and merchandise visit his all new website at www.andyloden.net.