After Valiant Effort, Lofton 25th in Dover
DOVER, DE. -- Despite the challenges of the track dubbed the "Monster Mile" Justin Lofton was consistent and competitive throughout the Lucas Oil 200 on Friday, but with just over 20 laps remaining in the event, the Monster reared its head as Lofton's truck broke loose, ending his day.
"I hate to leave Dover like that because we had a decent run going. The track just kind of pushes you down and things like that can happen. It's just real unfortunate for everyone on the No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra team," Lofton said.
After two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon, Lofton climbed behind the wheel of his No. 77 Tundra on Friday morning for two laps of qualifying. After his run, Lofton secured the 12th starting spot for the afternoon race.
Known for its steep banking and short track characteristics, the one-mile concrete track proved to be a challenge early for the competition once racing got underway. Lofton was no exception, as he radioed to crew chief Ryan Fugle early on that the truck was running just a bit tight. With no major handling issues on the 77 machine, the team kept it simple with air pressure adjustments throughout the day. Under their first pit stop of the race on lap 47, the team swapped out tires and added fuel.
Lofton's second stop fell on lap 75, with Fugle calling for two tires and fuel. After the strategic call, Lofton showed 12th for the restart. While some teams opted for four or two tires like Lofton, others stayed on track, shuffling the rundown.
As the field hit the halfway mark on lap 100, Lofton showed in the 11th position. He settled in behind the wheel, consistently clicking off competitive laps around the Monster Mile. As Fugle read off the lap times and coached his driver to keep battling, things heated up for Lofton.
On lap 120 the 25-year-old found himself in a three-wide battle while knocking on the door of the top-10. Shortly thereafter, green flag stops began. Lofton stayed on track until lap 142 before bringing his No. 77 Lofton Cattle Tundra down pit road for another four-tire change.
Once back on track, the battle over position continued, with Lofton seeing more intense three-wide racing. Unfortunately, Lofton's challenges would end on lap 178 while running in the 13th spot after the No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota broke loose out of turn 4. The damage ended Lofton's day. He was credited with the 25th position.
Lofton and the No. 77 Lofton Cattle team will regroup next Friday, May 20th, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Justin Lofton Media Relations
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