John Gibson Back In The Gas; Preparing For More
“Team Returns To CARS Pro Cup Series; Prepares For PASS Invasion”
STATESVILLE, North Carolina (June 28, 2012) – – After a brief sabbatical from Motorsports competition, John Gibson made his long awaited return to the CARS Pro Cup Series this past weekend at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 13 Mitigator Ford Fusion.
Making his return to the series for the first time since 2010, Gibson and his John Gibson Racing (JGR) team approached the race with optimism, especially since his 47th career start would be his first at the Asheboro, North Carolina-based track.
Despite chasing the handling on their No. 13 Mitigator Ford Fusion throughout practice during the day, the team made some aggressive changes for qualifying in hopes of giving the Statesville, North Carolina native a balanced automobile for the CARS Pro Cup 250 presented by CV Products.
In time trials, Gibson negotiated the eighth quickest lap with the 12-car field boasting incredibly close lap times. Unfortunately, the avid racer informed his team that he lost his power steering during his two lap hustle forcing the veteran to raise the bar from behind the seat in extremely warm temperatures.
During his CAR Pro Cup return, Gibson utilized patience and aggression but impressively held his own on the track despite the circumstances battling against him and maneuvering a loose No. 13 Mitigator Ford Fusion. During the race’s first segment, Gibson lost a lap to the leaders but through adjustments on pit road and being the beneficiary of the “lucky dog”, the 27-year old battled back to finish the first segment ninth and on the lead circuit.
A mandatory 10-minute break allowed Gibson to confer with his crew about changes to make to their blue oval hoping for a better second half which consisted of 125 laps.
When racing resumed, Gibson was a man on a mission and it showed with his lap times and moves on the track. Despite still fighting a loose racecar, he had muscled his way to fifth. Inside the race’s final 50 laps, Gibson’s machine knocked sideways slapping the front stretch wall which knocked portions of the exhaust and crush panels loose. Giving his all for an additional 20 laps, the driver informed his team that the conditions were becoming unbearable behind the wheel forcing him to bring his automobile to pit lane where he would retire from the race and being scored in the eighth position in the overall rundown.
“I’m proud of everyone on the John Gibson Motorsports team for giving nothing less than 100 percent at Caraway,” he said. “We fought the loose condition all day and it finally just snapped near the end of the race and I tagged the wall. It knocked the exhaust loose, causing fumes to consume the racecar. That’s never a good sign and I wasn’t going to put myself or anyone else in danger out on the racetrack, so we just brought the car in. I want to thank Mitigator for stepping aboard and helping out for the race, it really means a lot to me and everyone who standings behind our small group.”
Last Saturday’s contest was an initial kick-off for Gibson and his team. Next month, the team will advance to the Pro All Star Series (PASS) when they compete in an event at The Motor Mile in Radford, Virginia.
“We’re looking forward to joining the PASS tour,” offered Gibson. “It’s going to be a new scene for us, but everyone that we’ve talked to has been incredibly easy-going and very helpful. I’m hoping that we’re able to have a good clean race with a strong finish. We’re excited about having Mitigator back aboard too.”
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