Lester to rep Team USA in karting!
Lester to rep Team USA in karting!

Lester to rep Team USA in karting!

8/11/2012 -
The final day of competition went into the books Saturday as the 2012 edition of the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals karting competi

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LESTER VICTIM OF UNCONTROLLABLE CIRCUMSTANCES IN ATLANTA

3/19/2007

Bill Lester in the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Bowen Family Homes Chevrolet Silverado fell victim to uncontrollable circumstances this past Friday in the running of the American Commercial Lines 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Rain dampened the track Friday morning, canceling the first practice for the trucks. By midday the weather cleared allowing for a 45 minute practice before qualifying for the 130-lap race. Lester posted the 13th fastest time in the final practice session and qualified in the 13th position after posting a time of 30.961 seconds at a speed of 179.064 miles an hour. Satisfied with the handling during the abbreviated practice and during qualifying, the team was optimistic for the race.

But by the NASCAR competition yellow on lap-27, Lester had radioed his team that the truck was loose getting into the corner. Lester came down pit road for four tires and track bar adjustments hoping to tighten up the truck. Just ten laps later, Lester noted that he was still loose on entry and through the center of the corner forcing him to go a lap-down to the leader. The third of nine total caution periods came just after Lester went a lap-down giving him the Lucky Dog free pass putting him on the tail end of the lead lap. During the caution Lester also noted his oil pressure and water gauges were running high. When he pitted for fresh tires the team discovered a tear off on his grill that was blocking the air and causing the truck to run hot.

Lester restarted in the 22nd position on lap 65 and worked his way to 19th when on lap 77 the No. 09 truck spun causing the No. 6 truck to lift and in turn, not giving Lester an opportunity to react. The two got together and slid threw the grass resulting in nose damage to Lester’s truck. Lester came down pit road for some minor repairs to the splitter and to have wet grass removed that was on the front of the truck.

A good run was not to be when again Lester became a victim of circumstance on lap 91 when the No. 40 truck blew a tire and turned right into Lester’s path, sending them both into the wall in turn four.
"He must have blown a tire and we were just a victim there,” Lester said. “He shot straight up the track and unfortunately got into me right there and we went up into the wall."

The crew worked diligently, cutting the sheet metal off the front wheel area of the truck and thoroughly checking everything to make sure the truck was ready for Lester to take back on the track. Lester returned to the race on lap 103 but as luck would have it, a tie rod broke on the truck on lap 111 sending him again into the turn four wall ending Lester’s night and placing him in the 30th position for the finish.

"We broke a tie rod there and the truck just went straight into the wall,” Lester said. “We thought we were done after the first wreck, but we were really done after that last hit. We were the victim of uncontrollable circumstances three times tonight. In the first deal, I got into the six truck. I know something happened up ahead of us and Travis (Kvapil) must have slowed down. When I got to the wreck, Travis was right there and we got together. Then the forty truck blew a tire and we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Finally, we get back out there and I felt like we had the thing fixed. The truck felt good and then all the sudden we're in the wall again. Unfortunately we just didn't finish tonight. I’m really disappointed for the team and all our sponsors from the Atlanta area."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has a weekend off but Lester will still be behind the wheel driving a Daytona prototype car in the Rolex Sports Car Series, Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami race at Homestead-Miami Speedway's 2.3 mile, 11-turn road course.

The No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports team will be back in action for the running of the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, March 31, 2007. The race will be broadcast live on network television. Coverage on Fox begins at 3:00pm ET.