Sunday, Oct 01
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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James Buescher headed to Iowa Speedway looking to continue to chip away at the series points lead after having done so in the three previous races. Buescher and his Turner Scott Motorsports team set themselves up for a strong finish with a late-race pit stop that allowed his Exide crew to put on four sticker Goodyear tires and fill the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado up with fuel. Surviving multiple green/white/checkered attempts, Buescher drove to the lead and never looked back, earning his second victory of the season and his first victory at Iowa Speedway. Buescher continued his march forward in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings and now sits just 37 points out of first.


The teams persistence paid off through the entire final practice session as the No. 31 Exide team, led by crew chief Michael Shelton, found a setup that would allow them to have a shot at the win for Sunday afternoon. Buescher rewarded the Exide team with a third-place qualifying effort for the Fan Appreciation 200.


When the green flag was shown at Iowa Speedway, Buescher quickly jumped into the second spot and aimed to take care of him equipment for later in the race. The race saw its first yellow flag on lap 38 for a spin in Turn 1, and Buescher took advantage of the caution to bring his No. 31 Chevrolet down pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment while much of the field decided to also take Goodyear tires. Despite not having fresh tires, Buescher held his ground on the ensuing restart and continued to ride inside the top 10 throughout a long green-flag run. He came back down pit road for a green-flag pit stop on lap 123, taking four tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment.


After getting caught a lap down due to an untimely yellow flag for debris, Buescher and the Exide team decided to take the wave around, which put the No. 31 back on the lead lap. Buescher went back to work on the restart and quickly gained three spots, putting himself in the seventh spot with under 50 laps remaining. When the yellow flag was displayed again with 32 laps to go, Shelton called his driver down pit road to bolt on their four remaining sticker Goodyear tires. With the field on older tires, Buescher and the Exide team made their charge through the field and found themselves running in third position when another yellow flag slowed the field with just over 10 laps to go. Once again restarting in the third position with six laps to go, Buescher didn't have an ideal restart but he continued his tight quarter racing into one. The yellow was displayed once again when a truck spun in Turn 1. The yellow flag set up the first attempt at a green/white/checkered finish and Buescher had a very strong restart, but the field didn't get very far before the yellow flag was again displayed. Buescher found himself restarting in the second position for the second attempt at a green/white/checkered finish and quickly cleared his competition, taking the lead and claiming the checkered flag in his No. 31 Exide Silverado.


"My Exide team never gave up," said Buescher. "It was clear when we unloaded we didn't have the best of trucks this weekend, but my team kept digging deep and it paid off. We are definitely hitting on all cylinders, and we're not done yet. I am looking forward to returning to Chicagoland Speedway next week and hope we can continue our march forward."


The NCWTS will return to action at Chicagoland Speedway for the 225 on Friday September 13 at 8:30pm EDT

live on Fox Sports 1. The event can also be heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90 or MRN Radio.


If it weren't for Joey Coulter's bad luck, he may not have any luck at all. After a 17th-place qualifying effort and going a lap down to the race leader prior to the half-way point in the 200-lap event, the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra was on the fast track to a top-10 finish in the closing laps of the Fan Appreciation 200 when a late race accident with the No. 62 machine of Brendan Gaughan sent him hard into the Turn 1 wall, relegating the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver to a 25th-place finish at Iowa Speedway - his first DNF of the 2013 season.

"I guess today wasn't our day," said Coulter after being released from the infield care center at Iowa Speedway. "We didn't have a good qualifying effort because the truck was just too loose on entry and then we struggled with the same thing at the start of the race. I just couldn't make my Tundra stick in the corners like everyone else and we dropped like a rocket. The guys worked hard - didn't give up - and we ended up getting our lap back. On that first green-white-checkered restart we were in line for a solid top-10 finish, but the 62 got into me in Turn 2 and that ended our day early. It's disheartening - to have that kind of day and to come back from it and then have this happen just really show's what kind of year we have had. Our day is coming and we will regroup and I look forward to a solid run in Chicago next week."

Starting from the inside of row nine, in the 17th position, Coulter was able to gain three positions in the early stages of the Fan Appreciation 200 at Iowa Speedway before settling into the 14th position by lap three. Suffering from a, "free on entry" condition, crew chief Harold Holly brought the No. 18 Toyota Tundra to pit road under the first of six caution flags on lap 38 for fuel and a chassis adjustment. While most of the leaders opted to take tires, Coulter would gain eight positions on pit road and restart from the sixth position on lap 44.

On the restart Coulter would get loose entering Turn 1, forcing the No. 18 machine to lose multiple positions on the race track. Still suffering from a loose Toyota Tundra, Coulter was forced to search for grip on the race track during a long green flag run. By lap 64, the 23-year-old driver was scored in the 18th position, one lap down to the race leader.

By lap 121 the race leaders began to make their way down pit road for green flag pit stops. Coulter, who was one lap down to the race leader, opted to stay out for as long as he could to try and catch a caution. Unfortunately, the race stayed caution-free and Coulter would give-up the second position on lap 128 to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. When the field cycled through, the No. 18 machine was scored 17th one lap down.

Just eight laps later the second caution flag of the afternoon was displayed for debris on the backstretch. Having just hit pit road, Coulter opted to stay out and would take the lap-140 restart from the 17th position, the second truck one lap down.

Four laps later, Coulter made a pass on the No. 7 truck - putting him in position for the "Lucky Dog" award - which is where he remained until the third caution flag was displayed on lap 170 for debris in Turn 2.

As the "Lucky Dog" recipient, Coulter brought his Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra to pit road for four tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment. As one of the only trucks on pit road with new tires, the No. 18 was set-up to make a charge in the final 30 laps of the 200 lap event.

Starting 14th on lap 173, Coulter was able to gain four positions on track before the fifth caution was displayed on lap 197 for a three truck accident in Turn 2. Complaining that his Tundra was, "tight in the center of the corner and on exit" Coulter discussed bringing his 18 machine to pit road for a quick chassis adjustment, but opted against it for track position.

Coulter found himself lined up 10th for the green-white-checkered restart on lap 203. Unfortunately, just two laps later, the No. 62 machine of Brendan Gaughan made impact with the 18 Tundra in Turn 2, sending Coulter hard into the wall and relegating him to a 25th-place finish, seven laps down to the race winner.

James Buescher won the 2nd Annual Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland, his second win of 2013. Ross Chastain (second) posted his first top-5 finish in four races at Iowa Speedway. Ty Dillon (third) posted his third top-10 finish in four races at Iowa Speedway. Johnny Sauter finished fourth and Coulter's Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr. was the highest finishing rookie in

Erik Jones finished ninth behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra - his fourth consecutive top 10 finish in four career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) starts.

The field was slowed six times for 35 laps and the race set a track record for the most lead changes in a NCWTS race at Iowa Speedway with 12.

Following his second straight finish of 25th or worse, Coulter remains 12th in the 2013 NCWTS driver's point standings, 28 markers behind 10th-place Brendan Gaughan, 59 points behind 5th-place Timothy Peters and 133 markers behind series point leader Matt Crafton.

The NCWTS will make their 16th start of the season at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet for the 225 on Friday night, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Coulter has two previous starts at the 1.5-mile oval including two top-15 finishes.



Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Ty Dillon) and 24th (Brendan Gaughan). 
  • Dillon is third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 58 markers behind the leader; while Gaughan ranks 10th in the standings, 105 points out of the top spot.
  • The No. 3 Chevrolet team is fifth in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 62 team 13th in the standings.
  • According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon was the Fastest Driver Late in a Run, earned the second-best Driver Rating (123.7), had the second-best Green-Flag Speed, was the third-Fastest on Restarts and fifth-Fasted Driver Early in a Run.
  • Gaughan completed 59 Green-Flag Passes, 26 which came while running in the top-15 (Quality Passes).
  • RCR teammates posted 49 of the Fastest Laps Run. Dillon earned 38 second-most of all competitors, while Gaughan posted 11.
  • James Buescher took the checkered flag and was followed to the line by Ross Chastain, Dillon, Johnny Sauter and Darrell Wallace Jr.
  • The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, Sept. 13. The 16th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.




Dillon Fights Back to Finish Third at Iowa


Despite battling alternator issues throughout the second portion of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway, Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team earn a third-place result. After starting from the fifth spot, crew chief Marcus Richmond instructed the 21-year-old driver to stay on the racing surface during the lap 38 caution period to assume the lead on the ensuing restart. Dillon led the race until lap 80 when he was called to pit road under green-flag conditions for his first pit stop of the day for four tires and fuel. When Dillon returned to the track, he was scored 22nd, one lap down to the leader. When green flag pit stops began on lap 127, the Richard Childress Racing team gained their lap back and resumed the race lead. Trouble struck on lap 135 when the black and orange Chevrolet lost battery voltage. While under caution, the Richmond-led pit crew changed left-side tires and the battery. Dillon returned to pit road in the following lap for fresh right-side tires. He restarted 13th on lap 141 and maneuvered through the field, moving up to fifth by lap 179. Alternator issues continued to plaque the young driver forcing him to turn off all of his brake fans that kept his tires cool which made the No. 3 machine tight. Dillon survived two green-white-checkered attempts and battled through low battery voltage during the final laps to finish third at Iowa Speedway.


Start - 5         Finish - 3          Laps Led - 46          Points - 3



"Man, what a day. Our alternator broke halfway through the race, so I couldn't use any of my fans. That really hurt our tires, and we couldn't get back up there to contend for the win. This Bass Pro Shops team has a lot to be proud of. We're going to keep our heads up and go get us another win."





Late-Race Incident Relegates Gaughan to a 24th-Place Finish at Iowa Speedway


Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team brought home a 24th-place result Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway after battling handling issues, surviving a blown tire and being involved in a late-race incident. The Las Vegas native started the scheduled 200-lap event from the fourth position and battled an extremely tight-handing Chevrolet during the initial race run. Following a visit to pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Gaughan made his way toward the front of the field settling into the second spot on lap 80. While running in the front of the pack, the Richard Childress Racing driver radioed to the Shane Wilson-led team that he had a flat right-front tire, forcing them to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 115 under green-flap condition for repairs. Gaughan returned to the track a lap down to the leader, but was able to regain a position on the lead lap as green-flag pit stops cycled through the field, and moved back into the top 10 by lap 128. A timely caution followed, allowing the South Point Hotel & Casino pit crew to work on a brake issue caused by the blown tire. Gaughan returned to the track in the 12th position, and worked his way into the top 10 during the final laps when he connected with another competitor during the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, relegating the team to a 24th-place finish. Following the race at the America's Place to Race, Gaughan dropped two positions, to 10th, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.


Start - 4         Finish - 24          Laps Led - 0          Points - 10th



"The South Point Hotel & Casino team worked extremely hard and certainly earned their pay today. It seemed like if it could go wrong today it did, luck just wasn't on our side. We had a good run going at the end, and I thought we were going to be able to salvage a decent finish. I tried to get too much during the restart and ended up connecting with the 18, taking us both out of the race. Certainly not the way we wanted to end the day."



Johnny Sauter's crew chief Dennis Connor and their No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota team would probably revolt if Sauter got his latest wish, but it's a fact in their last two completed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races Sauter's come from last-to-fourth, including Sunday's conversion in the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway.


"We started last at Bristol and finished fourth and we started last again (Sunday) and finished fourth again," Sauter said. "We had a long way to go to get here, but my ThorSport guys just never give up and I love them for that. We were solid in the pits and we needed that.

"We broke a sway-bar arm in qualifying and had to fix that (Sunday) morning and that sent us to the rear for the start, but I told the guys after the race that maybe this is our deal. I'm just proud of everybody at ThorSport Racing, Carolina Nut Company, Curb Records... The Triad motor was good, Goodyear tires were good -- I just want to thank everybody at TRD and Toyota that supports us..."

After a devastating DNF at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Sauter's bunch rebounded well after their Iowa weekend seemed to be in the dumpster. The truck didn't practice well and qualified only 25th after Connor and his men made change after change.

"We just -- for whatever reason, I couldn't get any speed (Saturday) -- we struggled mightily, I guess you could say," Sauter said. "We were just off all day, but I could run the same speed. Sometimes that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it's hot and slick."


But in the end, the change enabled by the broken part was the key. Sauter started 32nd and arrowed into 20th in the first 15 laps. Soon after, keyed by a good pit stop Sauter restarted 12th at lap 44 after the race's first caution.


Sauter rolled into 10th at lap 78 of the originally-scheduled 200 and was a fixture in the top-10 for the rest of the race. He even had a chance to win the race. A lot of slicing and dicing, which led to four restarts in the last 22 laps, including 12 laps of

"overtime" and three attempts at green-white-checkered finishes, left him in fourth at the end.   


"It's another top-five at Iowa," Sauter said. "This is just a great racetrack for me and ThorSport. I just wish we could win here, one time. We just have solid trucks and this place just reminds me of Richmond, which is one of my favorites and statistically it's one of my best.

"This is eight (career) races here and we've got seven top-fives and Matt (Crafton) had the best average finish in the series coming into this race. We both always seem to run well here so I wouldn't care if we raced here 10 times a year."

That's not going to happen, as the series next races at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, as part of a NASCAR tripleheader that kicks-off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Sauter has plenty of positive vibes to take out of Iowa, to a 1.5-mile track -- a style venue on which he also thrives.

"Our restarts were pretty solid (Sunday) and we had a good truck, but track position was everything," Sauter said. "We just fought hard all day and had a truck that I felt like, on long runs, was one of the best trucks. We had a decent restart there at the end and we'll take a fourth-place finish.

"Like I said, we were not where we wanted to be all weekend but I'm just proud of everybody for sticking in there and working hard. If you would have told me (Sunday) morning that we were gonna finish fourth I would've said 'yeah, right...'" But it worked out."

The most important aspect of the finish was that it put Sauter back into eighth in the standings, now just 30 points out of fifth, and 104 behind championship leader Crafton. And Sauter tipped that he might have a new favorite truck, currently outfitted in the "sea salt and pepper" peanuts' blue-and-black colors.

"ThorSport obviously builds great trucks -- everybody back at the shop and on the road crew does a great job," Sauter said. "This is my favorite truck, now because my favorite truck got killed in Charlotte (in May). So this is my new favorite truck and we're going to beat it out a little, polish it up and bring it to Chicago and try to run the heck out it."
Thorsport PR

Matt Crafton and his No. 88 Jeld-Wen / Menards Toyota team Sunday exercised extraordinary willpower -- for the latest time this season -- and with it grabbed a seventh-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway.

Crafton survived four restarts and a dwindling fuel supply in the race's last 22 laps -- though 12 of them were in an "overtime" period, including three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.

In the end, he scored his 15th consecutive top-10 finish this season, remaining the only series competitor with that achievement.

But the downside was Crafton did see his points lead diminish as defending Truck Series champion James Buescher won his second race in his last four starts, which enabled him to unofficially cut Crafton's point lead by 10, to 37 points with seven races remaining.

Crafton and his ThorSport Racing teammate, Johnny Sauter came to Iowa this weekend with two of the best statistical records in the Truck Series' short history at the .875-mile oval. But both men struggled with their trucks' handling until the green flag fell on the 15th of 22 Truck races this season.

Crafton started 12th and immediately raced into sixth, but could never mount an assault on the top-five, even though once Crafton's Tundra got there, as it did several times through pit cycles and caution flags, it was solid enough to stay there.

The way the race had cycled, it appeared Crafton was locked-into a finish in the latter half of the top 10, until some pushing and shoving and moving and shaking started, with the race's fourth caution at lap 189 of the originally-scheduled 200, when rookies Jeb Burton and Brandon Jones spun in Turn 4.

Two more restarts saw Crafton move into fifth. His crew chief, Carl "Junior" Joiner had let him know he had less than 10 laps of fuel left shortly after crossing 200 laps -- the race's original distance. And that's when it got crazy.

"I got put in some positions I didn't want to be in on those restarts," said Crafton, who was well aware of where Buescher was. "But man -- I just couldn't give up any more points.

 "That one (re-) start, Johnny (Sauter) and I were three-wide -- I was in the middle -- and I got hit in the rear quarter and I was like 'here we go...' But we survived and we'll go on and get after them at Chicagoland."

Crafton and the Truck Series will next race at Chicagoland Speedway, on Friday as a NASCAR tripleheader that's part of the opening weekend of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Earlier this season Crafton ran a Richard Childress Racing Nationwide Series car at Chicagoland and scored his second top-10 finish in as many career starts in that series.

Crafton, who's led the Truck Series standings for the last 11 races, has two hopes, looking ahead. First, that his truck's working better and if it is, that there's not as much excitement in the stretch run.

"I had a push trying to get to the middle of the corner," Crafton said of his late race angst at Iowa. "My Tundra worked the best if I could open-up an arc getting into the corner and then really mash the gas coming up off (the corner).

"But on those restarts at the end you had to defend your position and come into the corner shallower and that would just bog you down trying to get off the corner."

Thorsport PR

With the season on the line to qualify for the Chase playoffs, Kurt Busch and the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing saved the best for last, and in the process made history.
Thanks to an impressive season-best runner-up finish in the final pre-Chase race Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, Busch secured a post-season playoff berth. The feat will go into the record books as the first driver from a single-car team to qualify for the Chase since the 10-race, 12-driver championship format began in 2004.
“It’s an amazing feeling to go up against these big teams and to put a little lone Chevrolet from Colorado into the Chase against the big boys,” said Busch, who is now a seven-time Chase participant.
Team owner Barney Visser was equally elated during a post-race news conference.
“I don’t know if it’s a dream come true as much as I’m kind of in awe of Kurt and Joe (Garone, general manager) and the whole team and what these guys have been able to do,” said Visser. “They put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours and it’s incredible what they were able to do.”
Busch ended the 26-race regular season eighth in driver points, but was reseeded to 10th. Each Chase driver starts with 2000 points, An additional three points are awarded to drivers (excluding the two wildcard entries) for each victory during the first 26 races.  
Matt Kenseth, a five-time season winner, heads into the Chase as the leader with 2015 points, 15 more than Busch. The first Chase race is next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.  (See Chase standings below)
Busch’s performance in the pressure-cooker race was nearly flawless. He started on the outside and his No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet rode in the top-five for almost the entire 400 laps. He also led five different times for 73 laps.
The second-place result was Busch’s eighth top-five and 13th top-10 finish of the season.
“This feels incredible,” said Busch, the 2004 NASCAR champion. “The way that we worked together as a team – it’s amazing that we have come this far and put ourselves in this position. We came close tonight, but haven’t won a race yet this year.
“I was happy to guide the ship, but I had a great skipper, the way that Todd Berrier (crew chief) led this group into the off season last year and the way Todd  followed Barney Visser’s dream. We are in the Chase and we have a shot at the championship so we are not done yet. It feels great to deliver and to achieve something very special tonight.”
The Federated Auto Parts 400 race winner was Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Busch, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The race had 17 lead changes among nine drivers and five cautions for 29 laps.

Kasey Kahne is in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, but before the veteran driver turns his first lap in the Chase, he will wheel a Sprint Cup car through downtown Roanoke.

As part of a nationwide kickoff celebrating the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kahne will appear in Roanoke Wednesday and drive a Sprint Cup car down Jefferson Street, across Campbell Avenue and onto the Historic Roanoke City Market where he will be met by the Patrick Henry High School marching band, cheerleaders and a crowd of fans. The excitement begins at 11 a.m.

The event is presented by Martinsville Speedway, which hosts the seventh race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the Goody’sHeadache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger on October 27.

Kahne is seeded 11th in the 12-driver Chase field. The 10-year Sprint Cup veteran nailed down one of two wildcard spots in the Chase by virtue of his two victories in 2013. The first 10 spots in the Chase field were awarded to the top 10 drivers in the point standings after Saturday night’s race. The final two positions went to the two drivers with the most victories on the year that weren’t among the top 10 in points.

Kahne, who finished 14th in Saturday night’s race, believes his team has what it takes to win his first Sprint Cup championship.

“I would say the majority of the season we’ve had as much speed as anybody, and if we can put that together for nine or 10 of these next 10, we’ll definitely have a shot,” said Kahne, who has 16 career Sprint Cup victories.

After driving the Sprint Cup car onto the Historic Roanoke City Market Wednesday, Kahne will be greeted on a stage in front of Center In The Square by Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, Roanoke City Mayor David Bowers, and Jaclyn Roney, Miss Sprint Cup. He will accept a proclamation from Bowers, address the crowd and conduct a question-and-answer session with the fans.

“We are very excited to bring Kasey Kahne to Roanoke to visit with all the great fans in the area,” said Campbell. “We invite everyone to come out Wednesday and help us kick off the Chase and have a great time. We want the day to be a big celebration of racing in the Roanoke Valley.”

Martinsville Speedway PR

Jeff Green and the No 14 Hefty®/Reynolds® team finished 22nd in Friday night’s 1,000th NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond Int’l Raceway.  The team not only rallied back from receiving heavy left-front fender and side damage, but also put themselves in position for a top-20 finish from being two laps down to the race leader late in the race.  However, on the final restart with six laps remaining, tire issues came into play and Green slipped two positions to finish the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 in the 22nd position.  With this finish, the TriStar Motorsports team took back the 22ndposition in the NASCAR Owner Standings after slipping one spot last weekend.

Starting from the 20th position, Green was able to maintain the spot in the first 25 laps, despite battling a car that was loose on entry and tight through the center of the turns. By lap 54, he slipped to the 24th position.  A welcomed caution on lap 66 allowed the team to bring the silver and blue Reynolds Wrap® Camry to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to help the car’s handling condition.  In spite of advancing their position on pit road, the team received a tire violation penalty, and as a result, had to restart the race from the tail end of the field in the 24th position.

On the restart, Green quickly began working his way through the lap-down cars and by lap 112, he was almost back to racing the cars on the lead lap.  Unfortunately, he ran out of time as the leaders passed him on lap 131, placing him one lap down.  An untimely caution two laps later trapped the Owensboro, KY native one lap down to the race leader.  Continuing to battle a car that was extremely tight in the center of the turns, Green brought the car to the attention of the crew where they changed four tires, added fuel, and made additional air-pressure and chassis adjustments in hopes of helping the No. 14 Camry turn better in the center of the turns.  On the lap 138 restart, Green was scored in the 24th position.

Over the next 30 laps, the car’s handling changed from being too tight in the center to being extremely loose on entry, so Crew Chief Todd Myers went to work forming a game plan behind pit wall with the team. On lap 171, spotter Stevie Reeves informed Green to watch out for the No. 55 car who was coming across the track headed for pit road.  Unfortunately, when Green got to the outside of the car, the No. 55 decided not to enter pit road and made a sharp right turn into the left-front fender and side of the No. 14 Camry, thus bringing out the event’s fourth caution on lap 172.  Green visited pit road twice during the caution period to receive repairs on the car and also to get four fresh tires and fuel.  When the race resumed on lap 180, Green was scored in the 25th position, one lap down to the race leader.

As the race continued, Green was able to work his way up to the 23rd position, despite the loose-handling condition and the left-side damage to the Reynolds Wrap® Camry; but on lap 228, the leaders had once again caught the 51-year-old driver and put him two laps down.  The team decided to take a gamble as the yellow flag waved again on lap 229 and remain on track to receive the wave around.  When the race resumed on lap 234, Green was scored in the 23rd position, one lap down to the race leader.

The gamble paid off as another caution flag waved two laps later making Green the recipient of the “lucky dog” award.  As a result, the team was able to return to the lead lap and restart the event from the tail end of the field in the 22nd position. 

With only 11 laps remaining in the event when the race resumed, it looked as though Green would have to settle on a 22nd-place finish since there wasn’t much time to pass all of the lap-down cars that were between him and the lead cars.  However, on lap 240, several cars tangled bringing out the final caution flag of the evening.  This allowed Green to move ahead of the lap-down cars for the final restart. When the race resumed with six laps remaining, Green was scored in the 20th position.

Looking to secure another solid top-20 finish, it quickly became evident that it wasn’t in the cards for the Hefty®/Reynolds® team as newer tires outran  older tires on the restart and as a result, Green slipped two positions in the final laps to finish the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 in the 22nd position.

Driver, Jeff Green Quotes:

“We had a decent car tonight, but I’m just bummed we were not able to get the finish we deserved.  We overcame a lot of obstacles and for that I am proud of the team, but in the end, we were on older tires and some of the guys behind us had newer tires so I didn’t have the grip I needed to secure that top-20 finish.”   



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