No. 38 CITGARD Throwback Ford Mustang
Finished: 36th (out)
Stage One: 27th
Stage Two: 23rd
Stage Three: 36th (out)
Driving the No. 38 CITGARD Ford Mustang in tribute to Elliott Sadler’s 1999 paint scheme with CITGO Petroleum Corporation, John Hunter Nemechek took the green flag in Sunday’s “Southern 500” in 18th place. By Lap 12 of the 367-lap event, Nemechek radioed that he was “snug to fire off through the center.” At the Competition Caution, he noted that his CITGARD Throwback machine was “trending freer as the run goes on,” but that he needed more overall grip. He would pit under caution for 4 tires with an air pressure adjustment, fuel and a packer adjustment. Throughout the remainder of Stage 1, the handling on Nemechek’s No. 38 CITGARD car continued to free up, but by the time he took the green- and white-checkered flag in 27th place, he radioed that he lacked speed to fire off, especially in dirty air. He would pit at the Stage Break Caution for 4 tires, fuel, track bar and packer adjustments.
Nemechek would restart the race in the 26th position. As the sun set over Darlington Raceway, he noted that his No. 38 CITGARD Ford Mustang was free and “lacking rear lateral grip center and off.” He would pit under green on Lap 172 for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. When a caution came out a few laps later, Nemechek radioed that he could still be tightened up a bit more, and pitted again for 4 tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. By the end of Stage 2, Nemechek’s No. 38 CITGARD Throwback machine was getting “really free.” He took the green- and white-checkered flag in 23rd place and pitted for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Shortly after the start of the Final Stage of the night at Darlington Raceway, Nemechek was involved in an incident on the frontstretch due to a miscommunication on track. His No. 38 CITGARD machine sustained heavy damage, forcing Nemechek to the garage and ending his day early.
Nemechek on Darlington:
“That definitely wasn’t the way we wanted to end our night driving Elliott Sadler’s CITGARD throwback scheme. Our No. 38 Ford Mustang fired off pretty tight but then I got looser as the run went on and the sun set. We had some really good pit stops tonight and Seth [Barbour] and the crew made some good adjustments so that we had a good balance by the end of Stage 2. Unfortunately, we had a miscommunication on track early in the Final Stage and that ended our day. I hate it for my guys because they’ve worked so hard all year and they never give up. We’ll reset this week at the shop and get ready for Richmond. Thanks to CITGARD for all of their support and for helping us put together a great car to honor Elliott Sadler.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!