NASHVILLE, TN (Oct. 3, 2016) – Prior to Sunday’s All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, Quin Houff had only run 150 laps at the famed speedway, but after 400 circuits he and his David Gilliland Racing team were able to snag a ninth place finish in only their second race together. In Houff’s first event with the team last month, mechanical gremlins ended their effort prematurely.
Prior to race weekend, the team struggled to get track time as weather plagued their scheduled test sessions at the .596-mile oval. Finally, on Friday, the No. 98 was able to take to the track and make laps in preparation for Sunday’s 400-lap classic. After two days of practice and testing, Houff laid down the sixth fastest time in qualifying, placing him outside of row three for Sunday’s event.
Early in the race, Houff’s All-American dreams briefly flashed before his eyes. While avoiding an accident, he was collected in the aftermath by another car but did not make contact with anything else and was able to continue. Later, he fought handling problems and went a lap down before making adjustments and getting his lap back before the final run of the day.
“It was crazy,” Houff said. “We fought an evil-feeling car from the beginning to the middle part of the race. We got spun out avoiding another wreck, went a lap down, got it back, played some pit strategy with some adjustments and somehow it all worked out. We found out we had a shock spiking out on us and it made the car hop terribly in the center and break loose off.”
In the closing fourth of the race, Houff’s team had the car much more to his liking and he was able to slowly work his way forward. Late race contact derailed those hopes, forcing him to settle for what he could get, a ninth place finish after 400 grueling laps of competition.
“We made a charge for the front at the end and I really felt like we had a top five car,” Houff explained after the race. “While I was passing someone on the outside they got into me hard and knocked the steering out, and I had to limp home to a ninth place finish.
“It was definitely a long, physically grueling race,” he continued. “It was tough once we passed the normal 150ish [laps] I’m used to and I had to work hard to get to lap 300. Some new tires and determination got me through the last 100 pretty good, but it’s definitely a tough, tough race with how the track is and the little amount of tires that you get.”
The All-American 400 was the final scheduled race for Quin Houff this season and his final race of 2016 with David Gilliland Racing. While Houff is optimistic about his plans for next year, no official announcement has been released yet.
For more information about Quin, explore his website at www.QuinHouff.com. He can also be found on social media such as Facebook (/QuinHouffMotorsports), Twitter (@p1_houff) and Instagram (@p1_houff).