ECR Drivers Encounter Engine Issues at Martinsvilleby Kyle Pokrefky March 29, 2015 0 comments
Photo credit: Wayne Thomas/The Fourth Turn
RIDGEWAY, Va. — Two Earnhardt Childress Racing-powered drivers from two separate teams experienced motor-related issues during Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
JTG Daugherty Racing’s AJ Allmendinger and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon each encountered an issue with their ECR-supplied engines during Sunday’s 500-lapper, knocking both drivers out of the race.
Allmendinger, the 11th-place driver in points entering today’s race, pulled in to the garage area on Lap 177 after smoke started to billow out of his No. 47 Bush’s Beans Chevrolet.
The team was able to restart the engine while in the garage but diagnosed the damage to their powerplant as being terminal and thus officially retired from the race in the 43rd position.
“Motor issues of some sort, I’m not sure what the exact problem is with the motor,” Allmendinger said. “We had a fast Bush’s Beans Chevy just trying to be patient. There were a lot of guys already starting to wreck out there, so I was just trying to keep the car clean for the first 400 laps.
“We needed to work on it a little bit to be up there with the top three or four guys, but I felt like the car was pretty strong. I noticed some smoke start rolling in the car and I could see it start out of the back of the car. I think when that was happening there had to be stuff starting to get on the tires and stuff.
“I just started losing speed and then by that point it was smoking so bad they black flagged me, which they probably should have. Nobody could see behind me.”
Dillon’s engine went kaput on Lap 330 as it too also started to billow smoke while out on the race track as the driver of the No. 3 Cheerios Chevrolet wheeled his wounded car to the garage.
Like Allmendinger, Dillon was unable to formally diagnose what ailed his No. 3 machine, but he believes he may have encountered the same issues that effected the No. 47 car.
“Yeah, it is a motor issue. I think the same thing as the No. 47,” Dillon said. “We just have to do a better job of going through our procedures at ECR right now. We have some power, but we are not finishing races.
“I just started getting wicked loose and that was from the oil dropping on the right rear tire, and just had no grip because the oil was everywhere. I hate it because we were going to have a good day. We were up to 13th. We battled back; we had one bad set of tires. Got our lap back and battled back up through there and then there she went.”
Dillon officially finished the race in the 41st position.
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