Salem, IN – Justin Boston had a top-ten finish in his sights in Saturday night’s Federated Car Care Fall Classic, but ignition problems forced the No. 25 ZLOOP/JACO Environmental Toyota onto pit road for an extended stop and relegated Boston to a 20th-place finish. The race was won by Tommy Hessert.
For the first time in his ARCA Racing Series career, Boston did not start the race from the pole at Salem, instead taking the green flag from the eighth position. He moved up a couple of positions in the first quarter of the race and stayed there as the race ran the first 142 laps under the green flag. During that long green flag run, most of the leaders – including Boston – made their way to pit road to take four tires. However, after Boston’s pit stop he quickly returned to pit road and the Venturini Motorsports crew went under the hood and into the cockpit to diagnose a miss in the engine. Eventually it was determined the ignition had failed, and after repairs Boston returned to the track 35 laps down to the lead.
“I just can’t believe the luck we have here at Salem,” Boston said. “Every time we come here we have a good car and something happens to cost us a good finish. You never heard about ignition problems here in the ARCA Racing Series but that’s what got us tonight.”
It was a wild race from the driver’s seat and the pit box and the long green flag run forced drivers to run their tires to the ragged edge and gave the crew chief a major challenge when it came to timing your pit stop for tires.
“I was so loose on those tires it seemed like I was going to wreck every time we went into turn one,” Boston said. “One time I went down into one and it snapped loose on me and I got up into Brennan (Poole) and just about took us both out. I finally got on the radio and told Billy if I had to do one more lap it was going to crash and he said “well, that does it come on down.” I wouldn’t have wanted to have been on the pit box making those calls tonight.”
Despite the sub-par finish, Boston carries a lot of momentum with him heading into the ZLOOP 150 next Friday night at the Kentucky Speedway.
“It’s going to be a big night for all of us at Kentucky,” he said. “ZLOOP is sponsoring the race so we really want to come out and run well, and I really think we’ll have a chance to do that. We’ve had some really fast cars this summer and I know we’ll have a fast car there. It’s a bummer we had some bad luck here tonight but that’s racing. We’ve already put it behind us and out of our minds, and we’re focused on going and getting a good finish down at Kentucky.”
The ZLOOP 150 at Kentucky Speedway is scheduled to go green at 8 P.M Eastern next Friday, September 19. The race will be shown live on Fox Sports 1; ARCARacing.com will also have live timing and scoring throughout the day.