LEBANON, Tennessee --After racing inside the top-15 throughout much of the race, a broken wheel relegated Steve Portenga to a 22nd-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway Saturday, August 10.
After starting 16th in the 36-truck field, Portenga raced into the top-15 early and stayed there throughout much of the 150-lap race around the 1.333-mile concrete oval. He ran in the top-10 at one point.
But a broken wheel necessitated an extra pit stop under green flag conditions. The resultant loss of laps to winner Mike Bliss left Portenga's No. 39 Roto-Rooter Chevrolet racing outside the top-20.
"Sometimes you have to look on the bright side," Portenga said. "The good news tonight is that we didn't wreck the truck when we broke the wheel. It's also good that we ran as well as we did. I know we were looking at a top-10 finish here without that problem."
The Nashville race was the eighth in eight weeks for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Portenga was proud of how his team responded to the challenge.
"The guys have done a great job during the run," he said. "We feel like we're a much better team now than when this eight-week stretch started. We're confident we can get even better of the last seven races."
Portenga was 23rd in the point standings when the stretch began in June. He's tied for 19th now and within 150 points of 15th position.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is idle until a September 5 event in Richmond, Va.