Ocotber 9, 2008; ImageFIRST [befirstnow.com]
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Jerame Donley and his entire team entered Martinsville’s Bailey’s 300 with momentum on their side. Other than a mechanical failure at Motor Mile Speedway, Donley had not finished less than second during his limited 2008 season. That momentum gave the team a great boost as they headed into the biggest Late Model Stock race in the country just 8 days ago.
After rain dominated the first half of the weekend, Jerame and the Donley Motorsports team were able to get some practice in late Saturday and quickly realized they were very satisfied with their car. Jerame rolled off 76th of 112 cars trying to qualify for the race. Looking to qualify on time, Jerame put down a fast lap of 20.543 (92.177 mph), which locked him in to the Bailey’s 300 and put him 19th on the start grid for the 200-lap feature event.
From the drop of the green, Jerame paced himself in his Donley Motorsports, East Coast Wings Chevrolet Impala, but surviving the race quickly became the number one hurtle. On lap 28 Jerame got loose, bumping the curb in turn 1 and 2, spinning him around. The spin would send Jerame to the back of the pack.
Jerame continued to battle hard to make his way back through; but between lap 43 and the halfway break, he was tagged twice on incidents not involving him that put his machine to the rear. Despite restarting from the back three times, he continued to work his way back to the front and position himself for a strong second half to the race.
After making a mandatory stop at halfway, Jerame kicked it in high gear; but again, disaster struck, and again was collected in another incident, this time tearing off his driver side door. After the incident, NASCAR officials black flagged Jerame, relegating him to the pits to make repairs and putting him one lap down. Never giving up; he pressed on and a few cautions later was awarded the “Lucky Dog” and got his lap back.
With all the carnage in the first half of the race, Jerame never faltered; and he continued to race back towards the front. By lap 160, he was up to the 14th spot; and by the mandatory caution at lap 190, he was in the 11th position. After the restart, he quickly moved into the 7th position until a caution came with just three laps remaining. On the green-white-checkered, Matt DiBenedetto and Kelly Kingery got together coming off of turn 4, sending DiBenedetto spinning backwards. Jerame had to make an evasive move to the inside to avoid DiBenedetto and lost a position coming to the checkered, crossing the line in the 8th position.
“What a race!! We had a top-5 car, but track position was so crucial and the spin at the beginning put us back in the pack. The double file restarts were pretty crazy, and most of the day was spent just trying to avoid the wrecks. Unfortunately, on several occasions, we were victims of circumstance and really couldn’t do much about things…I just wish we [did] not have to slow to avoid hitting DiBenedetto. I think we could have got that top-5 finish. I want to thank all my crew for the hard work they put into the car for this race. I would also like to thank my sponsors - LJM Machine Co. and Brent Weaver with East Coast Wings who came on board for this race.”
Jerame and the entire Donley Motorsports team will be back in action this Sunday afternoon at Caraway Speedway for the Mid-Atlantic Championship 350. Make your way out to Caraway for some great racing or stay tuned to JerameDonley.com
for the latest news and information regarding the race.