Kelly Admiraal, one of the youngest drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at age 18, made his second start in the series and first at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300. Admiraal was racing in the top-25 in the No. 29 Swan Rentals Toyota Camry, gaining experience and moving towards the front when he lost power and was forced to retire on lap 148 of the scheduled 300 laps. Admiraal finished in the 35thposition.
Track activity began on Friday where Admiraal had a total of two hours and fifteen minutes of practice to get familiar with one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR schedule, the Bristol Motor Speedway. After the first practice session, the No. 29 Swan Rentals Toyota Camry was 30th fastest at a lap time of 16.32 seconds after 56 total laps. The second practice session saw Admiraal record the 20th fastest lap time of 15.85 seconds after a total of 77 laps. With a total of 133 total laps around the Bristol Motor Speedway, Admiraal was ready to compete against NASCAR's best drivers. Saturday exposed Admiraal to his first experience with the high-paced NASCAR knockout qualifying format. The No. 29 qualified in the 27th position at a lap time of 15.85 seconds.
The green flag dropped on the 300 lap event at Bristol Motor Speedway and Admiraal immediately began to move forward in his No. 29 Swan Rentals Toyota Camry from the 27th starting position. Admiraal moved up to the 24th position by lap 100, continuing to gain experience and pick up speed throughout the beginning stages of the event. While racing for the 22nd position on lap 148, Admiraal began to lose power and smoke filled the cockpit of the No. 29. The car was pulled behind the wall and officially retired from the event.
"Well that definitely wasn't the end result we were looking for, our Swan Rentals RAB Racing Toyota Camry had great speed and we were just biding our time for the end of the 300 lap event. My crew chief Matt Lucas made some great calls on top of the pitbox with setup changes and pit strategy to put us into contention for a top-20 finish. I think we could have easily broke into the top-20 with his strategy and myself gaining experience racing the best of the best in NASCAR. I had a lot of fun racing this challenging race track, and every lap and restart was an education for me. As a team, we continued to gain speed throughout the event and I believe we would have moved through the field in the closing laps. Although we had a setback, it was a great experience and I can't thank Swan Rentals and RAB Racing enough for the opportunity."
RAB Racing PR