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Atlanta Truck Race

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Darnell99Fan
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« on: October 26, 2007, 11:18:44 am »

10-24-2007

DARNELL: Counts Atlanta as a Favorite Track
~TruckSeries.com Report 


Erik Darnell will make his fourth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday in the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150.

Darnell’s No. 99 team slipped to ninth in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points, just five markers out of eighth place.

The No. 99 team will be bringing chassis RK386-53 to Atlanta. This chassis last raced at Las Vegas, where Darnell started and finished fifth.

In 2007 Darnell has accrued one win (Kansas), three top-five and eight top-10 finishes.

Darnell’s average starting position on the year is 11.2 while his average finishing position is 15.7.

He has completed 92.3 percent of the total laps in 2007.


ERIK DARNELL ON ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY. . .
“Atlanta is definitely one of my favorite racetracks. We ran really well there last year, we had a shot to win the race in the fall. We have not had the finishes we’ve deserved here in the last few races, but I can’t think of a place I’d rather turn things around than Atlanta. Hopefully things go our way here this weekend, and we’ll have a chance to bring home the trophy.”

MATT PUCCIA ON ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY. . .
“Erik has a great record at Atlanta although he has only made a few starts there. He got caught up in the lap one wreck in the spring, so he never had a chance to show what he had. He’s so confident when it comes to Atlanta, he really loves going there. Hopefully we can give him the truck he needs to run up front this weekend, and maybe we’ll be able to put the Northern Tool + Equipment F-150 in victory lane.”

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Darnell99Fan
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 09:36:41 am »

10-28-2007

DARNELL: Day Ends in Frustration at AMS
~TruckSeries.com Report

What started out as a strong weekend for Erik Darnell and the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment team ended in frustration on Saturday afternoon, with the team perplexed as to what happened to their Ford F-150. Darnell had been strong all weekend, but as soon as the green flag dropped, things seemed to go the other way. After trying to make several adjustments to help the handling problems, the driver and crew agreed that a suspected part failure was to blame for their long afternoon.

Darnell took the green flag in the ninth position, and in the opening 10 laps things seemed to be going his way. Darnell then suddenly began to free-fall through the field, but remained silent on the radio. When he finally got the chance to diagnose the situation to crew chief Matt Puccia, he reported that the Northern Tool + Equipment F-150 was "Really, really loose, like a nine on a ten scale." Darnell's slide continued until he was saved by a competition caution that was thrown at lap 30. The No. 99 showed in the 28th position, one lap down to the leaders.

"It's really loose, Matt," Darnell reported to Puccia. "And I've got a vibration in the drive train. I think we've got a problem here," he continued. Darnell came to pit road for tires, fuel, a track bar and air pressure adjustment, hoping that the situation would clear itself up.
Unfortunately, things continued to get worse for Darnell as the laps continued to click off.

Puccia took advantage of an extended caution at lap 44 to bring Darnell to pit road to get a look under the No. 99 Ford. Nothing seemed visually wrong with the truck, so Darnell returned to the track hoping for the best.

Darnell's problems continued, reporting to the crew at lap 85 that "It's so bad, I'm nearly wrecking by myself." Puccia called Darnell to pit road on two more occasions to make more adjustments and make additional attempts to diagnose the problem, but he was unable to make any changes that would have a positive effect on the Northern Tool + Equipment Ford.

Darnell settled for bringing his No. 99 Ford home in one piece, clearly frustrated with his mechanical problems.

"It was a long day for the Northern Tool + Equipment team," said Darnell.
"We made so many changes to tighten the truck up, but it just wouldn't react. With all the changes we made, it should have been pushing so bad that I wouldn't have been able to keep it out of the wall. We think it was a problem with the locker in the rear end. We won't know for sure until we take everything apart and get a better look at things, but that's the only explanation we can come up with. We've had a tough three weeks. Hopefully we can go to Texas next week and have some better luck."

As a result of the 26th-place finish, Darnell and the No. 99 Northern Tool
+ Equipment team fell to the eleventh position in the Craftsman Truck
+ Series
point standings with only three races remaining in the 2007 season. The Craftsman Truck Series races next at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, November 2, 2007.


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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 10:49:30 pm »

Our drivers start...

6th Travis
7th Rick Crawford
9th Jon Wood
19 Brian Scott
21st Joey Clanton
23rd Erik Darnell
29th TJ Bell
30th David Starr
32nd Scott Lynch

Mike Skinner took the pole, again.
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007, 08:33:37 pm »

Late-Race Wreck Ends Strong Top-10 Run for Darnell
Erik Darnell, No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Texas Motor Speedway/November 2, 2007
~RFR

FT. WORTH, Texas. (November 2, 2007) – Erik Darnell is quick to list Texas Motor Speedway as one of his favorite racetracks. However, a glance at his results there might have you wondering why. The driver of the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 does not have great finishes at the 1.5-mile speedway in Ft. Worth, but he’s had some strong runs along the way. Friday night’s race was no different. Two late-race wrecks involving the four frontrunners created an exciting finish for the fans, but another tough one for the No. 99 team.

Darnell took the green flag in the 23rd position, but quickly began advancing through the field. It took only three laps for the first caution of the night to occur, when the No. 16 truck spun. Darnell had already advanced to the 16th position by the time the yellow flag was displayed. He reported to his crew that his No. 99 Ford was slightly free, but his handling problems didn’t seem to be hurting his charge to the front of the field. When the race restarted, Darnell continued his run towards the front, taking over the 10th position at lap 20. As the field continued under the green flag, Darnell reported that his Northern Tool + Equipment F-150 felt like it had gone to the tight side, but that the back end wanted to snap loose. When the No. 00 truck spun at lap 39, it gave Darnell the opportunity he needed to come to pit road for adjustments.

Crew chief Matt Puccia made the call to take four tires, fuel and make a track bar adjustment. Quick work on pit road by the No. 99 crew allowed Darnell to fall back in line for the lap 44 restart in the 11th position. Darnell remained silent on the radio as he began to backslide through the field, running as low as the 17th position at lap 65. The No. 76 truck made contact with the outside wall at lap 69 to bring the caution flag out once again, giving Darnell another opportunity to come to pit road. He radioed to the crew that his No. 99 felt worse than it did before, resulting in Puccia electing to take four tires, fuel and make another track bar adjustment on their pit stop.

Darnell lined up in the 14th position for the restart at lap 74, and slowly began to pick off trucks in front of him. The changes made to the Northern Tool + Equipment Ford were obviously the right ones, as Darnell worked his way back to the 10th position at lap 90. The race continued under green flag conditions, bringing the field to pit road for a cycle of green flag stops. Darnell stayed on the track and inherited the lead at lap 130. He would hold the spot until coming to pit road at lap 136 for a splash of fuel to make it to the finish.

Darnell’s teammate, Travis Kvapil, suffered a right front tire failure at lap 140, bringing the field under caution yet again. The complexion of the race changed greatly as most of the leaders came to pit road for adjustments to make one last charge to the front of the field. Puccia included Darnell in the fray, electing to take four tires and fuel to give him one last chance for the win. The No. 99 Ford lined up in the 10th position for the lap 143 restart, but a wreck quickly ensued, collecting many of the top running trucks. Darnell seemed to avoid the wreck, but as he slowed, he was hit from behind. The Northern Tool + Equipment F-150 slid towards the inside wall, but managed to keep from making any additional contact. With the tires flat spotted from his infield slide, Darnell came to pit road again to take on four tires to make it to the finish. The No. 99 lined up sixth for the green-white-checkered flag finish, but wouldn’t get a chance to make a final charge to the front. The No. 8 blocked the No. 60 on the restart, causing a big wreck behind them. Darnell could not avoid the wreck and piled into the No. 8. What appeared to be a top-10 was ruined, leaving Darnell with a 14th place finish.

“We were in front of Skinner and behind Crawford on the last restart and got the green and trucks were wrecking everywhere,” said Darnell. “I don’t know what happened, but I guess the 60 [Jack Sprague] and the 8 [Chad McCumbee] got together and I had nowhere to go. It is pretty unfortunate, our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 was really good tonight. We got to lead some laps. Matt [Puccia] made some really good calls on pit road as far as getting the adjustments we needed. I was pretty sure we were going to come out of here with a top-10 finish. We had fresh tires there at the end. I don’t think some of the guys in front of us did. We had a shot at it and it unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.”

As a result of the 14th-place finish, Darnell and the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment team advanced to the 10th position in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings with only two races remaining in the 2007 season. The Craftsman Truck Series races next at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, November 9, 2007.

About Northern Tool + Equipment

Northern Tool + Equipment has been a supplier of high-quality tools and equipment for more than 25 years, selling products through direct mail, the Internet and at nearly 60 retail locations in 11 states. Along with a deep selection of hand, power and air tools, Northern Tool + Equipment carries a wide variety of products, including generators, pressure washers, air compressors, hydraulics, small engines, trailers, water pumps, tractors, welding equipment and much more. Northern Tool + Equipment also serves as the exclusive distributor of NorthStarTM brand equipment, which is fabricated and assembled at the company’s 250,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. For more information, visit www.northerntool.com.

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 14 motorsports teams, five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; five in the Busch Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Todd Kluever, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Danny O’Quinn Jr.; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Edwards, Peter Shepherd, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell and T.J. Bell; and one in the ARCA/REMAX Series with Colin Braun and Darnell.

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