One week after earning his first Top-15 finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) career, Ray Black Jr. followed it up by securing another Top-15 finish during his debut race at Road America. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro had to weave his way through a wild weekend that included high water temps, a short rain storm and multiple wrecks to finish 15th in his final road course race of the season.
“This is a huge finish for the team and I!” said Black. “To back up last weekend at Bristol with another Top-15 finish – especially at a road course – is awesome. It’s such a confidence booster for us. I’m really proud of how hard everyone worked this weekend and our finish shows that!”
During the two practice sessions of the weekend, Black and his SS Green Light Racing team worked on loosing up an extremely snug racecar. Black really picked it up during qualifying for the Road America 180, where he ran his fastest lap of the weekend at the time and qualified 24th, his best starting spot at a road course this season.
Not long after the green flag waved on Saturday’s race, Black reported waters temps were climbing in his No. 07 Chevrolet. Luckily for the team, a caution flag flew shortly after Black reported the news and they were able to fix the problem by adjusting the tape on the grill of the car. The team would pit for a second time during the yellow flag to top off on fuel, but was forced to start from the back of the pack as NASCAR deemed they stopped while pit road was closed.
After restarting from the 27th position, Black began to climb back up through the field as a short rain storm struck the track. While under caution for weather, the team pitted for four tires and fuel but elected to stay on slick tires as the storm was expected to pass through quickly.
As the laps wound down in the Road America 180, the action on the track picked up. Black continued to climb up through the field into the Top-20 before a caution came out with three laps to go, forcing the XFINITY Series into NASCAR overtime.
Right as this final caution came out, Black reported over the radio that the No. 39 had gotten into him and may have caused some damage. Crew Chief Jason Miller assessed the possible damage with Black and together made the decision to stay out and fight through the end of the race since they were expected to be good on fuel while other teams were not. Black would go on navigate his way through multiple wrecks on the final lap of the race before finishing in 15th place.
“That was by far the hardest race I’ve run,” he stated. “There were so many things going on during that last lap but I managed to weave my way through them all. It was crazy but we did it! We took what could have been just a Top-20 today and pushed it to earn a Top-15.”
Black will next take part in NASCAR’s Throwback weekend as the NXS heads to Darlington Raceway, where he will run a tribute paint scheme in honor of team honor Bobby Dotter. The VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will take place on Saturday, September 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Fans can keep up with Ray Black Jr. by following him and his sponsor, ScubaLife, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @RayBlackJr and @
About Ray Black Jr.
Ray Black, Jr. grew up in Florida after relocating from Montgomery, Alabama at age 9. It was here that Black fell in love with deep sea diving after a couple of scuba trips with his father. His passion for motorsports came later at age 14 after playing some racing video games. He began competing in the Florida Mini Cup Racing Association (FMCRA), where finished in the Top-5 in every race and secured the FMCRA Junior All Star Championship. In 2013 Black moved up to racing pro late models and then into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2014. During that year, he got his first taste of true NASCAR racing when he competed in seven races for SS Green Light Racing. In 2015, Black competed in his first full season of NASCAR in the Camping World Truck Series, where he finished 11th in the championship standings with one Top-5 and 11 Top-15 finishes. Black will compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the 2016 season. Learn more at www.rayblackjr.com.
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TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!