Flat tire deflates Coulters solid start at Texas
Joey Coulter headed to the "Lone Star State" with high hopes of roping in another solid finish at the track known as the, "Wild Asphalt Circus." Unfortunately, a cut left rear tire just 54 laps into the WinStar World Casino 400 would deflate Coulters chances of bringing home a cowboy hat for his 23rd birthday.
"Man, I had a really good feeling about tonight," Coulter said. "That pit stop by my guys was killer and I really thought we were going to be able to drive up to the front and lead some laps. Unfortunately, we just had a left rear tire go down - not sure if something cut it or what. I drove into Turn 3 and felt it go down after that. I hate it for these 18 Tundra guys, but they did a good job getting it back together and getting me back out on the track to finish the race. I know we couldn't gain anything and probably lost a bit of ground on the point's leader, but it says a lot that we can bounce back from something like this and finish a race. That's what championship teams are made of."
Starting 11th, Coulter maintained his position in the opening laps until the first caution flag of the night was displayed for an accident on the backstretch at lap 43. Complaining of being "wicked tight," the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra made its way down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to aid in the handling. Due to quick work by the over-the-wall crew, Coulter gained three positions on pit road and restarted from the eighth position at lap 49.
Unfortunately, four laps later, as Coulter was making his entry into Turn 3, the left rear tire on his Toyota Tundra expired, sending him hard into the wall, causing extensive damage to the left rear. Ultimately, the 18 crew would spend 89 laps in the garage making repairs to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation machine. Coulter would return to the race track with 24 laps remaining in the 167-lap event, scored 25th, which is where he would eventually cross the start/finish line in the WinStar World Casino 400.
Jeb Burton won the 17th annual NCWTS event at TMS, his first victory in 12 series starts. Ty Dillon (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at TMS. German Quiroga (third) posted his first top-five finish in two races at Texas. Matt Crafton and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top-five finishers.
The field was slowed three times for 16 laps and the lead was exchanged 12 times by eight different drivers.
Due to the unlikely result in Friday night's WinStar World Casino 400, Coulter fell two positions to 13th in the 2013 NCWTS driver point standings; 17 points outside the top-10, 46 markers behind fifth-place Ryan Blaney and 93 points behind series point leader Matt Crafton.
The NCWTS will take two weeks off before heading to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta for the UNOH 225 on Thursday night, June 27. The Miami Springs, FL native has four starts at the 1.5-mile oval including 1 pole (September, 2012), 47 laps led, 1 top-five and 3 top-10 finishes.
Coulter will celebrate his 23rd birthday on Saturday, June 8.
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