DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2018) -- Travis Braden found out about the highs and lows of Daytona. Less than a lap way from a possible win, the Wheeling, West Virginia driver went from racing for the lead, to caught up in the "big one."
The good news: Braden, in Don Fike's No. 27 MatrixCare-Consonus Healthcare-Liberty Village Ford, was a major-league force to be reckoned with, keeping himself among the top-five most of the way through, Braden was in the double-wide lead pack of four cars when they tangled heading into turn three coming to the checkered flag.
“I'm very thankful for the effort put in by the RFMS team and Don Fike’s commitment to us which allowed us to do what we do," said Braden. "As a smaller team compared to the three, four big teams, we took a lot of pride in the competitiveness of our car against theirs. After struggling some at the test last month, we brought a much better car back to Daytona and that is a great feeling for us, our sponsors, and fans.”
Braden also found out that the newer composite, flange-fit bodies draft differently than the legacy steel car.
“The race was very exciting and challenging. The draft in these new composite bodies was much different than the old bodies, and I felt like I was able to pick up on it about as well as any of the drivers in the field. My spotter Justin Withers was a big help, and he really learned a lot throughout the week as well, which paid off a lot during the race. Looking at the race as a whole, we honestly accomplished everything that we set out to accomplish. We stayed cautious and kept our car clean for 79/80 laps, which we knew would put us in position for a great finish. It's just so difficult to maintain luck avoiding wrecks when they happen as frequently as they did. After we mentally recuperate, we'll just have to shift focus ahead and do what we have to do to get back on track. There are 19 more races, and we are poised for a lot of success.”
Car owner Don Fike was proud of the effort he saw from Braden and the RFMS crew.
“I am really proud of Travis," said Fike. "He had very little experience bump drafting, and he prefers the short tracks, but you wouldn’t have guessed it. He drove a great race, and we are excited to see what he can do this season. I’d like to say a special thanks to Dan and Casey for all their hard work in the shop. They really put a great car together.”
RFMS Racing and Braden are excited for the next race April 7 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. Follow the RFMS Racing team (@rfmsracing) on Facebook and Twitter for more news and results.
RFMS Racing would like thank all of our 2018 sponsors and fans for their support.
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