Motor Madness Continues for the #35 VeriStor Ford at Newport Speedway
Devin Jones Rides Out a Bumpy Day to Finish in the Top 10 at UARA-STARS Round 8
Making their way back to Newport Speedway for the UARA-STARS Round 8 Jeff’s Auto Sales 150, Devin Jones Racing knew the weekend would be a struggle. The team was still using an older backup motor after the primary motor gave way in practice at Hickory Motor Speedway during the series’ Round 7 event, and motor reliability was a concern. Even so, the team was able to ride out the bumps of the day to finish in the top 10.
“After we raced to put in our backup motor at Hickory and then dropped quarts of oil in the pits from a loose oil sensor during the race we had questions about how well the motor might run for another race,” said Jones. “We didn’t have time to have it pull and freshen it in between races and we were still sorting out our next program for a primary motor.”
To attempt to troubleshoot some unusual motor noises the team heard the Thursday they were loading up for Newport, the team skipped Friday practice to sort through the possible causes. Ultimately, it was determined that there was no other choice but to run a motor that wasn’t right. The team loaded with hopeful optimism to make it to the track on race day.
“When we went out to practice, it was clear the motor wasn’t going to be as strong as it once was,” said Jones. “I was way down on power coming off turns two and four and as a result we just couldn’t get the car to loosen up.”
Working with what he had, Devin was ready to qualify. But during pre-qualifying technical inspection, the car was found to be a pound too light and officials took away a qualifying lap. With just one lap to get in a good run Jones qualified in 17th. He would have to make up what he could during the longer runs when the motor would seem to wind up some and produce a bit more speed. During the race, Jones steadily moved through the field making it as high as eighth. Yet with his motor failing, he couldn’t hold the position after a late caution restart and he finished in 10th.
It turns out that a plug wire had melted down and caused the motor to lose a cylinder. Jones had to do what he could for the second half of the race, running on just seven cylinders.
“It was just another one of those nights where you have to push on to maintain your points position,” said Jones. “Our goal was to come out of the weekend without losing a point spot, so with that we met our goal. Once we have our new motor in the car for the next race at Caraway, look out. I’ll be coming on strong.”
In fact, Jones exceeded his goal for the night. He currently sits one spot higher in the UARA-STARS season points, making it to 7th after his second run at Newport.
“Despite everything, we still had a great event at Newport,” added Jones. “As always, we enjoyed meeting the fans and putting on a good show with our VeriStor Ford. We also received an exceptional reception at Newport for our new “Chose Health, Eat Right” campaign. We handed out fresh fruit and vegetables and other healthy products to support healthy eating choices. We believe that healthy foods can make a very positive impact on all aspects of your life and our new campaign will work to educate children and families about the importance of making healthy choices.”
Devin Jones Racing will race next at the UARA-STARS ninth race at Caraway Speedway on July 28, 2012.