Timothy Peters and the No. 17 team were hoping to follow the yellow-brick road in Kansas to their first victory of 2011. The team had a solid qualifying run, but fought an ill-handling truck all afternoon and salvaged a 14th-place finish. The run marked Peters' career-best finish at the 1.5-mile track.
"I'm really proud of my guys," Peters said after the race. "We ended up with the wrong set-up package on the truck. The team fought hard for me all day making lots of major changes on pit road. I'm glad we were able to get a top-15 finish and gain a few points today."
Peters started the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 from the 12th position. The first caution of the day waved early on lap 18. Crew chief Butch Hylton felt it was too early in the event to come to pit road. Peters restarted the race in the 11th position on lap 21. Half of the field chose to come to pit road for tires and fuel under the first caution period. New tires proved to be a key factor throughout the race. Without fresh tires the No. 17 truck became looser as the run progressed. Peters did his best to hold on, but began slipping back through the field.
On lap 49, Peters gave up the 16th position to come to pit road under green for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Moments later on lap 62, the caution waved for the second time, trapping the No. 17 team one lap down to the leaders. The decision was made to remain on the track and take the "wave around" to put Peters back on the lead lap. In doing so the No. 17 team was unable to come to pit road for tires, fuel and adjustments. The race restarted on lap 66 and was slowed a lap later for a spin. It was a much needed break for the No. 17 team as they were able to come to pit road on lap 68 to make some major chassis adjustments.
Peters restarted from the 23rd position. Unfortunately, the chassis adjustments made under the previous caution period did not aide in the loose-handling condition of the No. 17 truck. By the half-way point Peters remained in the 23rd position, struggling to make forward progress with his loose-handling truck. Under the next two caution periods on laps 99 and 112 Peters brought the No. 17 machine to pit road for multiple chassis adjustments including a front shock change. For the restart on lap 116, Peters sailed off from the 22nd position and finally felt like the changes helped the condition of the truck some. The final caution of the day waved on lap 133. The team had saved one set of sticker tires for the final run which proved lucrative as Peters was able to move up in the running order and finish the race in the 14th position.
Red Horse Racing PR