The 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season has been a year of firsts and this weekend's Inaugural Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Canada was no different. For the first time in its 18-year history the Truck Series went abroad to Canada - marking their first appearance on a road course in 13 years. The 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course was a historic event for the 30-truck field and one that Joey Coulter and his No. 18 Monster Energy team would like to put in the history books.
Entering the 14th race on the 2013 NCWTS schedule there was a lot of unknowns for the Truck Series garage. However, after four practice sessions and qualifying, Coulter lined his Monster Energy Toyota Tundra up on the inside of row 10 in the 19th position for the 64-lap feature - confident that patience and pit strategy would be the key to a successful finish in the historic event.
Fighting a Toyota Tundra that was "Bouncy and Free on entry into the turns," Coulter was up to the 15th position when the first of five caution flags was displayed on lap eight for an accident in Turn 5. Crew chief Harold Holly brought the Monster Energy machine down pit road for fuel and a trackbar adjustment to aid in the handling. When racing resumed on lap 9, Coulter was scored in the 16th position.
Unfortunately, two laps later, Coulter was unable to control his Toyota Tundra and found his Monster Energy machine in the tire barrier in Turn 8 with extensive left side damage. Ultimately, the Miami Springs, Fla. native was forced to the garage for an extended period of time to repair the left front nose, radiator and oil cooler.
Coulter would eventually return to the Ron Fellows-owned course, scored 28th, multiple laps down to the race leader. In the closing laps the third-year Truck Series driver was able to pick-up two more positions to cross the line in the first Truck Series race north of the border in the 26th position - 23 laps down to race winner, Chase Elliott.
"It was just a rough day for this No. 18 Monster Energy team," Coulter said. "I really hate it for everyone on this Kyle Busch Motorsports team - they worked so hard all weekend and never gave up. We fought with this Toyota Tundra all weekend - didn't have anything super great, but I felt like we could race our way up to the top 10 and come out of here with a good finish. The front end of the truck was bouncing around a lot and I drove into Turn 8 and got up in the loose stuff and just couldn't hold on to it and bounced off the tire barrier. My team did such a great job - they had to change a radiator and oil cooler and for that kind of change and for us to get back out there and gain some positions says a lot about this team. We will regroup and get back at it in Iowa next week."
Chase Elliott won the Inaugural Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, his first victory in the NCWTS - making him the youngest race winner in Truck Series history. Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chad Hackenbracht (second) posted his career-best Truck Series finish followed by Miguel Paludo (third), KBM teammate Darrell Wallace, Jr. (fourth) and Ron Hornaday (fifth).
The field was slowed five times for 11 laps and the lead was exchanged seven times by six different drivers.
Following his disappointing 26th-place finish, Coulter is down two positions to 12th in the 2013 NCWTS driver point standings a mere eight markers behind 10th-place Johnny Sauter, 47 points behind fifth-place Miguel Paludo and 115 points behind series point leader Matt Crafton.
The NCWTS will make their second stop of the year at Iowa Speedway in Newton for the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland on Sunday, September 8. Coulter has four starts at the .875-mile oval including one top-five and two top-10 finishes. The Miami Springs, Fla. native finished ninth in the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen earlier this year.
Live television coverage of the 15th event on the 2013 schedule will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 2 p.m. ET.