Thursday, September 21, 2023

Despite Issues With Team Haulers, Alpha Prime on Way to Portland

Alpha Prime Racing hauler issues Portland 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series Tommy Joe Martins
Alpha Prime Racing encountered significant problems with both of its team haulers on the path to Portland, but all three of its cars are still set to run this weekend’s event. Photo Credit: Gabe Wood (@woodpecker_00), Twitter.

UPDATE: Friday, June 2nd at 5:48 PM ET —

Tommy Joe Martins posted an update to Twitter explaining that the hauler (original No. 43 hauler truck and No. 44/45 hauler trailer) which the Alpha Prime Racing team had swapped a trailer to after the truck carrying the No. 44 and No. 45 car trailer had broken down, has also broken down roughly 200 miles away from Portland International Raceway.

Martins, confirmed that the issue for the second hauler truck was a blown motor, so that, like the other hauler truck will be a very costly repair. Martins says that NASCAR sent a truck down to pick up his No. 44 and No. 45 car trailer and it is back en route to Portland International Raceway, and are two hours away from the facility.

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The dually and trailer, which picked up the team’s No. 43 car, is still en route as well, and should arrive in roughly four hours.

ORIGINAL STORY: Friday, June 2nd at 12:07 PM ET —

The Alpha Prime Racing team has been snake bitten by bad luck on the race track throughout the duration of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. This week, the bad luck extended past the race track as both Alpha Prime Racing team haulers experienced issues on the way to Portland International Raceway.

Following Monday’s perpetually rain-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series teams made a mad dash back to their shops to get their cars loaded up for the trek across the country for this weekend’s event at Portland.

Most teams didn’t finish working until around 5 AM ET on Tuesday morning, once work was done, the trucks immediately went on the road.

According to Tommy Joe Martins, in a lengthy Twitter thread, the Alpha Prime Racing haulers left their team’s shop at 6 AM ET on Tuesday morning.

The hauler carrying the team’s No. 44 and No. 45 cars ran into issues first as it broke down in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday night. When the truck was finally able to get looked at it was 7 AM ET on Wednesday morning, and by 3 PM ET Alpha Prime Racing was given a quote of $24,000 for repairs.

According to Martins, Alpha Prime Racing chose not to pay for those repairs due to the costs.

The team was able to find a driver, named Leonard, on short notice, who took off from the Alpha Prime Racing shop at 5 PM ET on Wednesday with a dually truck and 50-foot enclosed trailer.

While the No. 44 and No. 45 hauler was experiencing issues, the team’s other hauler, which was carrying the No. 43 car and a backup car for all three teams ran into its own set of issues.

The trailer on the second hauler blew a tire on Tuesday night. The team was able to get the tire situation fixed, but by Wednesday morning, the trailer blew all of the airbags near Kansas City.

Immediately, the team sought out repairs but was told the airbags would not be able to be repaired until Sunday at the earliest. The NASCAR Xfinity Series race is in Portland on Saturday, so that would be of little help.

As a result, Alpha Prime instructed Jeff Shore, the driver of the No. 43 hauler, to disconnect his truck from the trailer and to take the working truck and connect to the working trailer, which was currently connected to the team’s other truck, which had broken down.

Jeff arrived at the other truck at 8 AM ET on Wednesday and made the swap. As a result, Bruce Zschoche, the driver of the No. 44 / 45 hauler hopped in and was back on his way to Portland with the No. 44 car and No. 45 car.

After the swap, Leonard picked up Jeff, and the two were onto Kansas City to unload as much as they could from the broken-down No. 43 hauler trailer. Martins’ former team owner Rodney Riesen’s brother Kevin lives in the Kansas City area and agreed to meet with Leonard and Jeff to help with the unloading and loading process.

The team was able to get the primary No. 43 car loaded, and just about everything else. The only things left behind were the backup car and a pit box. Jeff and Leonard then departed for Portland at 5 PM ET.

Martins tells that other NASCAR Xfinity Series teams had offered to help them out, but based on the issues happening after Alpha Prime had already left, it made little sense as the team was already committed to their plan.

The No. 44 and No. 45 car hauler is expected to arrive at Portland International Raceway at Noon on Friday, which puts them there an hour before hauler parking is scheduled at the track.

Meanwhile, the No. 43 hauler will not arrive at the track until roughly 6 PM ET. The NASCAR Xfinity Series garage is scheduled to close at 8 PM ET on Friday, but Martins says NASCAR is working with his team and any other teams that have incurred difficulties on the path to Portland.

And there is no rest for the wicked, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Sonoma, California next weekend for another race on the West Coast.

Alpha Prime Racing will now attempt to handle the logistics of recovering its broken-down truck and trailer while also trying to focus on its on-track product during this two-week West Coast trip.

The glamourous world of big-time auto racing.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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