GMS Racing NCWTS Martinsville Recap

GMS Racing NCWTS Martinsville Recap Getty Images for NASCAR

JUSTIN HALEY
No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet

 

Start: 12th
Finish: 10th
Points: 11th

 

Stage One: Haley started Saturday’s race from the 12th position, battling a tight-handling condition as snow began to fall in the opening laps. When the race resumed Monday morning, Haley restarted in 12th, but dropped back to 16th due to a lack of rear grip. He pitted under caution for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, rejoining the field in the 13th position for the start of Stage Two.

 

Stage Two: Halfway through Stage Two, Haley reported his drive-off was much better as he entered the top-10 for the first time. He ran as high as the eighth position before falling back to 11th at the conclusion of the second stage. After pitting for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment for more rear grip, Haley lined up to the start the Final Stage from the 14th position with several trucks taking only two tires under yellow.

 

Final Stage: Haley worked his way up to the 11th position before caution was called for debris. Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt called Haley to pit road for one last stop with fewer than 50 laps left in the race. Haley raced the No. 24 back into the top-10 in just three laps before the field was slowed once again. Two additional caution flags slowed Haley’s progress, but the 18-year-old driver crossed the line in 10th for his best finish at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Additional Notes:
- Haley’s 10th-place finish at Martinsville is his best result at the Ridgeway, Va., track.
- With one top-five and two top-10 finishes to start the season, Haley is 11th in the NCWTS point standings.

 

Quote:
“Martinsville (Speedway) usually throws us a curveball and it was refreshing to drive a competitive truck that’s ready to win. Luck still wasn’t on our side, but we rebounded well. We still have plenty of races to catch up in points, and I’m confident, in my team, that we’ll do that.”

 

 

 

DALTON SARGEANT
No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 18th
Finish: 11th
Points: 9th

 

Stage One: Making his way to the 16th-position on the initial start of the race, Sargeant remained there until the caution came out on lap 16, before eventually going to an extended red flag period for weather. When the field went back green Monday afternoon on lap 27, Sargeant reported to the his team that he was fighting a tight Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevy, but was still able to make his way up to the 12th position at the end of Stage One. Crew Chief Doug Randolph called Sargeant down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to loosen his Chevy up, lining Sargeant up 10th for the restart.

 

Stage Two: Continuing to make up ground on track, Sargeant raced his way up to seventh before the caution was displayed on lap 117. Still fighting a tight No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevy, Sargeant came down pit road, with a handful of other trucks, for four tires, fuel and another track bar adjustment. With varying pit strategy taking place towards the end of the stage, Sargeant restarted 16th, and would remain there for the next 18 laps until the end of Stage Two. While the rest of the leaders came to pit road under the stage break, Sargeant would remain on track, lining up second for the restart on lap 152.

 

Final Stage: Starting the Final Stage on older tires, Sargeant got hung up in the high line and was shuffled back to 14th before the caution came out on lap 160. Running 14th as a long green-flag run ensued, Sargeant radioed to his GMS Racing team that he was still too tight to make up any ground. When the caution came out on lap 215, Randolph brought the No. 25 down pit road for the final time for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment. Lining up 12th after the pit stop, Sargeant would use the next couple quick restarts to gain positions, ultimately finding himself seventh with 12 laps to go until the end. Getting hung in the high line and battling in tight quarters during the final laps, Sargeant got edged out at the finish line, scoring an 11th-place finish in the Alpha Energy Solutions 250.

 

Additional Notes:
- Sargeant’s 11th-place finish at Martinsville is his best finish at the half-mile racetrack.

 

Quote:

“I had fun today at Martinsville Speedway in the No. 25 Performance Plus Chevy. We barely missed out on a top-10 finish but my GMS Racing guys worked hard and gave me a good truck. I made some rookie mistakes but I learned a ton and kept getting better with each lap. The No. 25 team is definitely headed in the right direction.”

 

 

 

JOHNNY SAUTER
No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 6th
Finish: 19th
Points:
1st (+29)

 

Stage One: Sauter completed the first stage of the 250-lap event in the fourth position. He reported to the team that he was lacking traction and forward drive before making his way to pit road under caution. Crew chief Joe Shear, Jr. called for four tires, fuel, and chassis and air pressure adjustments for the Allegiant Chevrolet. Sauter returned to the track in the fourth position for the start of Stage Two.

 

Stage Two: Five laps into Stage Two, a push from the No. 4 truck resulted in Sauter making contact with the No. 52 to bring out the yellow flag. With no damage to the No. 21, he continued in the third position, fighting a loose-handling Allegiant Chevy. As the run progressed, Sauter asked for still more rear grip at the stage break. He pitted under caution for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments, restarting ninth after several trucks made two-tire stops.

 

Final Stage: After making his way back toward the top-five, Sauter told the No. 21 team on lap 188 that he was experiencing low-voltage in the Allegiant Chevy. On lap 225, the No. 21 lost power resulting in Sauter spinning to bring out the eighth caution of the event. After coming to pit road for the team to replace the battery, and receiving tires and fuel, Sauter returned to the track two laps down in the 23rd position. A quick caution allowed him to gain one lap back, but Sauter ultimately finished the race 19th, one lap down.

 

Additional Notes:

- Monday's 19th-place finish marks Sauter's first finish outside of the top-15 since August 2017 at Michigan International Speedway.
- Despite a tough end to the day at Martinsville Speedway, Sauter continues to lead the NCWTS point standings.

 

Quote:
“This is always such a tough place to race. The Allegiant team made great adjustments to give me more forward drive at the end of the first two stages, but in
the end we had to replace a battery and that’s what really set us back. I could tell there was an issue for a while, but there wasn’t much of an option but to wait for a caution and unfortunately we were the reason for it. Still a good day overall, we did what we could and we’ve got some things to work on before we come back in October.”

 

 

 

CODY COUGHLIN
No. 2 JEGS.com Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 10th
Finish: 26th
Points: 13th

 

Stage One: Rolling off 10th after his best NCWTS qualifying effort at Martinsville Speedway, Coughlin quickly grabbed the ninth-position in the opening laps, despite fighting a tight JEGS.com Chevy, before weather postponed the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 to Monday morning. Restarting ninth when the field finally went back green on lap 27, Coughlin ran within the top-10, in the 10th position, until right before the end of Stage One, where he ultimately finished 13th when the green-checkered flag waved. Still fighting a Chevy Silverado that was tight in the center and loose off, Coughlin came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to aid in his handling. However, Coughlin was forced to come back down pit road to serve a one-lap penalty for pitting outside his stall, lining up 28th for Stage Two.

 

Stage Two: Trying to race his way into the “free pass” position to get his lap back, Coughlin was in contention until sustaining slight damage on lap 87 during an accident. However, with just minor body damage, Coughlin remained on track, lining up 23rd for the restart. Running the remainder of Stage Two in 23rd, Coughlin got his lap back when the caution came out on lap 142 to signal the end of Stage Two. Crew çhief Jerry Baxter called the No. 2 down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments, before Coughlin lined up tail-end of the field due to receiving the “free pass.”

 

Final Stage: Fighting his way through traffic and making up as much ground as possible, Coughlin raced his way into the top-15 after just 20 green-flag laps. However, with a little over 60 laps to go in the race, Coughlin reported that he had lost his brakes completely. Pulling behind the wall on lap 190, the JEGS.com team worked rapidly to fix the issue with the No. 2 Chevy. Coughlin rejoined the field on lap 215, scored in the 26th position, 25 laps down. Able to finish the race on track, Coughlin ultimately crossed the finish line on lap 250 for a 26th-place finish.

 

Quote:
"Today was a tough one. Throughout the weekend, my GMS Racing team gave me one of the best trucks I have ever had at Martinsville Speedway, and that had me optimistic for the race.
Unfortunately we got behind early from the pit road penalty, and then I lost brakes during the Final Stage. My JEGS.com team worked hard to get me back out as fast as possible, but that mechanical failure ended our chances of having a good finish to the weekend. We’ll regroup in the off weeks and be ready for Dover (International Speedway).”

 

GMS Racing PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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