In just his first trip to Darlington Raceway, NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr. raced his way to a 21st place finish despite only having 55 minutes of practice prior to the drop of the green flag. This result marks the 15th Top-25 finish of the season for the driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro.
With Hurricane Hermine cancelling all on-track activity on Friday, Black and his SS Green Light Racing team faced the challenge of having a shortened amount of time to prepare their special No. 07 Bobby Dotter tribute Chevrolet for the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Saturday. Having never been to the track that is “Too Tough to Tame,” Black only had a 55-minute practice to learn the lines of the 1.366-mile track and figure out his car’s handling.
“Having just one practice session at a track this tough was difficult,” said Black. “The car was really free out there, so the team had to work hard to snug it up while still giving me the opportunity to get out and have on-track time to learn the characteristics of it. It got really snug towards the end of the session, so we knew the race would be a challenge but we were up for it.”
Black would go on to line up 24th for Saturday’s race, as the field was set by owner’s points due to the condensed schedule. Throughout the majority of the event Black’s Chevrolet was too snug and needed more grip, but he battled through those challenges to compete up in the Top-25 for the entire race. Black would lead two laps during the Help A Hero 200 after a couple strategic pit calls from Crew Chief Jason Miller before finishing in the 21st position, giving him an average finish of 20th place in the past six races of the 2016 season.
“Darlington is a tough track, but I had a lot of fun participating in the throwback weekend!” stated Black. “During part of the race when my windshield was dirty and we were racing against all those throwback paint schemes, it felt like I was racing back in the day! I’m glad we were able to run a tribute to our owner Bobby Dotter’s race-winning 1992 No. 08 Jeno’s Pizza paint scheme and grab a solid finish in it.”
Black and his SS Green Light Racing team will now return to Richmond International Raceway next weekend for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 on Friday, September 9 at 7:30 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!