Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra, and his Kyle Busch Motorsports team made big gains in Saturday night's American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway, harvesting his first top-10 results since his eighth-place finish at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in May. The strong run was Coulter's third top-10 finish in four starts at Iowa Speedway and the team's third top-10 finish of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.
"It was a solid night for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra team," Coulter said. "I was really tight in the opening laps but Harold (Holly) made the right adjustments during the first pit stop and it made a huge difference. The guys did a great job on pit road, I'm just a little mad at myself for losing valuable spots on that second-to-last restart. We were a solid top-five truck tonight, but a top-10 finish isn't bad considering the luck we've had in our last two starts and it will give us some momentum heading to the dirt in Eldora."
Starting ninth, Coulter maintained a position inside the top-10 for the opening laps of the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway until the first of five caution flags was displayed for debris in Turn 2. Crew chief Harold Holly brought the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra down pit road for four tires, including an air pressure adjustment, and fuel. Solid work by the over-the-wall crew allowed Coulter to gain two spots on pit road and he restarted from the seventh position at lap 59.
A strong charge by Coulter in the laps following the restart had the Miami Springs, Fla. native scored fourth by lap 62. Battling a Toyota Tundra that was tight in traffic in the center of the corner and exit, Coulter fell to the fifth position behind rookie teammate Erik Jones, which is where the 18 machine remained for the next 51 laps until the field was slowed for the second time for fluid on the track on lap 113. Coulter brought his Tundra down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. When racing resumed on lap 118, the 18 machine was scored fifth.
Just three laps later, the field was slowed for the third time when rookie Jeb Burton spun trying to pass Coulter on the bottom. With no damage to the 18 Tundra, the crew opted to stay out under caution and would restart fifth with 64 laps remaining in the 200 lap event.
Unfortunately, on the restart, Coulter was forced to go three-wide with the 29 and 32 machines and got shuffled back to the eighth position. Battling a Tundra that was, "more tight off this run," Coulter was unable to gain any ground and maintained his eighth-place position until he was brought back down pit road for the third and final time under caution at lap 168.
In an attempt to gain track position, Holly brought Coulter to pit road for two right-side tires and a splash of fuel for the final 27-lap stint. Coulter would gain three positions in the pits and take the green at lap 173, scored fifth.
Losing five positions on the restart, Coulter was scored 10th just one lap later. One final caution, for an accident in Turn 4, would set the field up for a six-lap dash to the finish. Coulter would gain one more position on-track in the closing laps to bring his Toyota Tundra to the stripe at lap 200 in the ninth position.
Timothy Peters won the 5th Annual American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen, his second win at Iowa Speedway. Jones (second) posted his first top-five finish in his first Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway and his third top-10 finish in three series starts. James Buescher (third) posted his third top-10 finish in six races at Iowa Speedway. Ron Hornaday Jr. and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five. KBM driver, Darrell Wallace Jr. (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
The field was slowed five times for 26 laps and the lead was exchanged five times by six different drivers.
Following his ninth-place finish at Iowa Speedway, Coulter lost one position to Ron Hornaday, Jr. and now sits 13th in the 2013 NCWTS driver point standings; 17 points out of 10th, 50 markers behind fifth and 102 points behind series leader Matt Crafton.
For the first time in series history, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will get down and dirty in the dirt at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio for the Inaugural Mudsummer Classic on Wednesday, July 24. The highly anticipated event will consist of a 30-truck starting field and unique qualifying and race procedures. Unlike traditional race formats, only the top 20 in the 2013 NCWTS owner's point standings are guaranteed a starting position for the 150-lap event. Coulter, who is 15th in owner points, has been racing his own dirt late model at various local dirt short tracks in preparation for the 150-lap event and looks forward to the challenges of the half-mile clay oval.