Blown Tire Results in Heartbreaking 31st-Place Finish for Paludo in Phoenix
Miguel Paludo started the weekend strong at Phoenix International Raceway, running in the top 10 in both practice sessions and showing the promise to visit victory lane at a track known for first-time winners. Unfortunately, bad luck struck the No. 32 AccuDoc Solutions team early when Paludo blew a tire on lap 34, which sent him into the wall and relegated him to a 31st-place finish in the penultimate race of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season.
With a brand-new, new generation chassis, Paludo appeared to be a contender after finishing sixth and seventh, respectively, in the weekend's first and final practice sessions. Laying down a 27.300-second lap in the afternoon qualifying session for the Lucas Oil 150, Paludo was disappointed with a 17th-place starting position. However, the No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports team was confident that they had a truck that would be competitive in race trim once the sun went down.
After taking the green flag, Paludo's truck took several laps for the tires to heat up, which resulted in a tight condition and caused the No. 32 to drop to 23rd by lap 13. With the handling of the AccuDoc Solutions machine beginning to come to him, Paludo reported that his truck was neutral and "very good" on lap 25. Advancing to the 22nd position, the No. 32 crew was already planning the adjustments they would make when they got the opportunity to visit pit road.
Unfortunately, the team would never get that chance, as Paludo experienced a right-front tire failure on lap 34, sending him hard into the outside retaining wall. The No. 32 truck was able to limp back to the garage, but upon inspection, it was determined that Paludo would be unable to return to the racetrack for the conclusion of the 150-lap event. Retiring from the race, Paludo was ultimately scored in the 31st position.
"There aren't even words for nights like tonight," said Paludo after the race. "You come to the track with a great team and a great truck and you have the potential to perform really well, and then you're out of the race before lap 50. I'm proud of the fact that we come to the track every weekend capable of winning the race; sometimes things like this just happen. I don't know what it's going to take to get the luck we need to win a race, but I'm hoping we can pull it off next week and finish this season strong."
Paludo's early exit from the Lucas Oil 150 drops him to ninth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings. The NCWTS next heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the 2013 season. The Ford EcoBoost 200 will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 15.
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