Flat Tire Ends Doiron’s Bid At North Wilkesboro
NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. – Bad luck reared its head at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sunday, collecting Joey Doiron and ending his day early in the PASS South Series “The Race” 300.
A flat tire sent Doiron’s No. 73 JBJ Machine/Rescue Welding/Dale Shaw Race Cars Chevrolet into the wall on Lap 52, relegating Doiron to a 43rd-place finish in the 44-car field.
“I must have ran over something,” said Doiron, of Berwick, Maine. “It felt funny the lap before and then kind of came out of it. But then on the next lap I went into Turn 3 and the car just went straight.
“It didn’t feel like a hard hit, but you do a lot of damage at that speed.”
Doiron, who opens his second season of full-time PASS North Series competition on April 30 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, had hoped for good things on Sunday.
“We went down feeling really good about having tested there, and we ran good times (during the test),” he said. “But for whatever reason, when we got out there for qualifying, we slowed down. I’m not sure what happened.
“It’s really weird, because if we’d gone out and run what we did in practice and the test, it probably would have put us in the Top-30 (in time trials) – which would have given us a lot better starting spot in the heat. As it was, we were in the back for the heat, in the back for the last chance – but there was no reason to take a chance already having a provisional.”
When the race started, Doiron crept from the 34th starting spot and was keeping pace with the cars in front of him. Ben Rowe, who started in the row right ahead of of Doiron and ended up fifth at the checkered flag, was in sight the whole way.
“We started right behind Ben, and I was following him. We were making pretty good headway, too,” Doiron said. “We caught a couple people that had qualified through time (trials), and I really feel like we were on our way to the front.
“When we started to stall out a little bit, I was content to ride to the first hundred-lap break and make a few adjustments and then make a few more after the second hundred laps, but then we had the flat tire.
“We probably could have fixed it up some. But there weren’t may cars that were out of the race at the time, and we really didn’t want to take a chance of something else happening. The weekend wasn’t a total loss – it’s always good to get experience on a faster track like that. We don’t see many fast tracks up here other than Thompson (Conn.) or an ACT race at Loudon.”