Joey Coulter brings his battered Toyota Tundra home 32nd at Charlotte

Joey Coulter and the No. 18 team went "All In" for Friday night's N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) but "busted" just past the halfway mark in the 134-lap event, relegating the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) driver to a 32nd-place finish in just his third start at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.


"It was definitely a tough night at the office for everyone on this No.18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation team," Coulter said. "I was really happy with my Tundra for the first part of the event. We came down pit road for fuel only under the first caution and must have picked up debris at some point because we ended up having a slow tire leak. I realized it early enough and made it to pit road before it completely blew. Unfortunately when that happened, it broke a fender brace and when we put the second set of tires on it cut the right front tire halfway down the backstretch and that pretty much ended our night. The guys did a really good job getting this Toyota Tundra fixed and back out so we could finish the race and didn't lose any more points. We will re-group on this week off before Dover and I know we will come back strong."



Starting 17th, Coulter maintained his position inside the top 15 before the first caution of the evening was waved at lap 17 for oil on the backstretch. Crew chief Harold Holly brought the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra down pit road for fuel only and when service was completed Coulter returned to the track in the 11th position for the lap-23 restart.




Battling a tight Toyota Tundra in the center of the corner and on exit, Coulter once again maintained a top-15 position on the track. As the run progressed, Coulter settled in and was battling the No. 7 Tundra of John Wes Townley for the 12th position. However, at lap 70, just prior to green-flag pit stops Coulter realized he had a flight right front tire going down. Making his way to pit road, Coulter's right front tire finally gave way, and blew just eight stalls away from the No. 18's pit box.




The over-the-wall crew bolted on four fresh Goodyear Eagle's and sent Coulter back out on the track scored 31st. Unfortunately, a broken fender brace cut the right front tire just one lap later and sent the No. 18 Tundra hard into the frontstrech wall.




Ultimately, the 18 machine was forced to the garage for an extended period of time for repairs. After replacing the right front suspension on the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra, Coulter returned to the 1.5-mile tri-oval scored 32nd, 44-laps down which is where he took the checkered flag at lap 134.




Kyle Busch owner-driver of No. 51 entry for Kyle Busch Motorsports won the 11th Annual N.C. Education Lottery 200, his 31st victory in 107 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, first victory of 2013, and fifth win at CMS. Brendan Gaughan (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in eight races at CMS. Max Gresham (third) posted his career-best finish in 21 series starts. Matt Crafton and Ty Dillon rounded out the top five. Rookie teammate, Darrell Wallace, Jr. was involved in an accident on lap 121 and relegated to a 27th-place finish.




The field was slowed eight times during the 134-lap event for 40 laps and the lead was exchanged seven times between five different drivers.




The unlikely results in Friday night's fifth race on the 2013 schedule forced the No. 18 down two spots in the NCWTS driver point standings to 11th - seven points behind 10th-place Darrell Wallace, Jr., 34 markers behind fifth-place James Buescher and 65 points behind series leader Matt Crafton.




The NCWTS will take another week off before heading to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the Lucas Oil 200 on Friday, May 31. Coulter has two starts at the "Monster Mile" including one top-10 finish (sixth, 2011). Live television coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET with the NCWTS Setup Show on SPEED.




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Steven B. Wilson

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