Crash Cuts Sterling's Stellar Run ShortOctober 17, 2015
MYRTLE BEACH, So. Carolina – October 17, 2015 -- Roddey Sterling, Jr. - after qualifying 8th out of a field of 20 – the rookie driver quickly advancing the #59 MoonPie Ford to third place. As the next 25 laps unfolded, Sterling fell in with the top 2 and led the race by as much as a 10 car lengths. Following a caution regrouping the field resulted in a racing incident on lap 53 of the 100-lap race, bringing Sterling Jr.'s night to an end.
As the green flag dropped, Sterling wasted no time – shooting around Tyler English to nab the 7th position. From there the 22-year-old rookie aggressively diced his way up to 4th.
As race monitor posted the 32nd lap, Sterling Jr. moves into the 3rd position -- having dispensed with Justin Milken by over 10 car lengths -- and had his sights set on Jake Crum in the runner up slot.
Racing among the lead pack intensified over the next 20 laps, and rookie Sterling, Jr. held his own with the two far more experienced drivers – continuing to maintain a top-5 status on the leaderboard amid close-quarters racing and restarts.
On Lap 53, cars began to make contact and grapple for any open asphalt. As Sterling swung high into turn 1, he lost grip as he attempted to point the car downward to get into turn 2 – spinning and ultimately slamming into the outside wall -- ending what was shaping up to be a second career top-5 finish at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
On a weekend where this rookie recorded the fastest lap times on several of the test seasons and just a tick off the pace from Pro NASCAR competitor and pole-winner Jake Crum, the abbreviated race left Sterling with a bittersweet reflection on his past 3 days.
Excerpt from Roddey Sterling, Jr.
"We qualified the best yet, but should have done better considering how I ran during testing the last couple of days here.
"As far as the race tonight I felt really good ... I mean really good about our MoonPie Ford, and our Grissom Motorsports team. They had the car dialed in just the way I like it, honestly... Unless it's like our last race where someone else created a situation I couldn't avoid. I own it … and this one is on me. It makes no sense in making any excuses as that is a waste of everyone's time and namely our team. They work extremely hard and I need to deliver.. It's as simple as that… They put together a pole-winning, 2nd-or-3rd-place car and my judgment cost us the race….. I got up too high, snapped the car too hard to the left and she just didn't like what I was asking her to do. The good news is I was able to avoid contact with anyone else… I know everyone keeps saying, ‘Roddey this is your first full year of Stock Car racing or your 34th race ever… I so appreciate that I really do but for me personally, it's not good enough.”
Sterling, Jr. and the Grissom Motorsports team are setting their sights on the next couple of remaining races for #59 MoonPie Ford. This coming weekend October 24 NASCAR'S Whelen Pro Late model 200 lap race at Hickory Motor Speedway then on to Sunday, November 1 , CARS Tour, 150-lap season finale "MTP Tire 300” at Hickory Motor Speedway. They will finish up with the 23rd NASCAR 400 at Myrtle Beach.