July 25, 2017 (Mooresville, NC) - Spencer Davis and Bond Suss Racing (BSR) put together a solid top-five finish at the CARS Tour Mid-Atlantic Classic Saturday. This marked the first race of the year for Davis and BSR and despite some early challenges, Davis earned a fourth place finish at Orange County Speedway.
"I was really pleased overall with the weekend," said Suss. "We were able to bring home a solid finish and also persevere through some early adversity. I thought Spencer did a good job and to come home with a fourth place finish was great."
"I really liked running with BSR and was really happy and excited to get Bond a good run and show that we both can run up front," said Davis.
The BSR team had solid practice sessions, but felt they missed it a bit in qualifying after laying down the 11th fastest time. The 150-lap race was run in four segments of 35 laps, 65 laps, 35 laps and 15 laps, with a mandatory caution at the end of each segment. Each team also had four additional tires that could be put on during any of those cautions.
Davis took the green flag and raced around the top-ten for the first 75 laps, however the team began to encounter a handful of problems. The engine started running hot, so the BSR crew spent time during the first two mandatory cautions and an additional caution trying to cool it down. Then, approaching the mandatory caution at lap 100, Davis also broke a left front shock. During that caution period the BSR team worked hard to continue to cool down the motor, change the damaged shock and also take one tire.
All the changes set the BSR No. 55 back during that third segment, however the team still had three fresh tires in their pit for the final mandatory caution.
"I was really proud of the way Spencer kept a level head through all the early adversary we had," said Suss. "It would have been easy to get down or quit, but the team worked hard to keep him in a good position and Spencer responded by not getting frustrated and staying the course. Fortunately, we were able to get everything worked out and get a solid finish."
"Early on in the race we struggled with drive on exit and we found we had a shock go bad and it was hurting our handling," said Davis. "We also had cooling issues early on, which regulated our speed. Once got everything fixed we had a good car, just had to wait until 15 to go to take our tires."
On the final stop, the BSR team put three new Hoosier tires on the BSR No. 55 Toyota. With the way the pit strategies played out, most teams took their four tires the stop before, leaving Davis to be one of the lone cars to take tires with 15 laps to go. Because of that, he restarted in the 15th position, however the fresh rubber paid off quickly. Davis was on the move over the final 15 laps working his way from 15th up to 4th, where he finished.
"I knew we were gonna have a good car, but we needed a caution or two to help with the gap you get when the field spreads out," said Davis. "We worked our way up to fifth with two laps to go and figured that's where we were gonna finish; just not enough laps to close the gap on the top four. When the caution came out I knew we had a chance, but starting on the bottom hurt out restart and we barely spun our tires, but we still got back to fourth."
"We were on a different strategy than most of the other teams," said Suss. "I knew the tires would be big over those final 15 laps, but restarting that far back I wasn't sure if we could get up into the top five. Spencer did a great job driving and we were passing cars left and right. We just ran out of time or if there was another caution and I think we could have had a shot at it."
Next up for BSR is a trip to Hickory Motor Speedway for the CARS Tour race with Hailie Deegan on Saturday, August 5th. Last time out Deegan brought home an eighth place finish in the BSR No. 55 Toyota.
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