Strachan’s NASCAR debut in Rush HD Dodge ends with mechanical failure
Malcolm Strachan, driver of the #49 Jim Bray Autosport Rush HD Dodge, endured a rough initiation to NASCAR in his first race in the Canadian Tire Series, all caught through the lenses of HD cameras. After a strong practice session and a short-but-intense qualifying session, Strachan avoided spinning cars, recovered from both being rammed from behind and a quick spin to only suffer a mechanical failure shortly after mid-race and be classified in 28th as a non-finisher.
The pits in Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve were buzzing when Strachan showed up at the Jim Bray Autosport trailer in the pits on Friday morning. Many were asking who he was and why there was a camera crew from Rush HD following his every step. Strachan silenced all doubts and raised more questions of where he came from when in practice, his fastest time remained in the top-ten for most of the session. After struggling to learn both the Rush HD Dodge and the track in the dry in the short, four-lap session, he qualified 19th.
On Sunday, Strachan pushed hard to gain some positions in the opening laps, only to be forced off the track by a spinning car. While fighting back and regaining the lost positions, he passed two cars at once while braking for the ninth corner. A spin in the hairpin while trying to pass Patrice Brisebois relegated Strachan to the rear of the field. In only one lap, he had clawed back much of the time he lost from the pack. Entering the seventh corner, the Rush HD Dodge suffered a mechanical failure, and Strachan coasted to a stop with the driveshaft dangling from the car.
Despite the mechanical failure, Strachan was upbeat about the weekend. “Jim Bray’s team worked hard on the Rush HD Dodge all weekend, and despite the mechanical failure in the end, we achieved part of our aim to keep our noses clean, keep the car in one piece and run strong enough to impress and gain the respect of fellow drivers and other teams,” he said. “I was hoping for a top-ten finish, and with the attrition, it was definitely possible; however, we proved that if I get another chance to run in the Canadian Tire Series, we’ll be in the hunt for a good finish.”
To see photos of the event, click here for the 2009 gallery.
Rush HD is a high-definition television channel available in HD packages from most major service providers, and is a subsidiary of High Fidelity HDTV Inc. For more information, please see http://www.rushhd.ca
Malcolm Strachan is a 25-year-old racing driver from Picton, Ontario, now living in Toronto. He has won four sports car championships in Quebec and Ontario, and is now attempting to make the switch to NASCAR.