Over the past two weeks Miguel Paludo and the No. 7 Stemco/Duroline team have been building intense momentum. After a few tough weeks in Nashville and Dover, Paludo and the No. 7 team regrouped and brought a solid package to Kansas Speedway last week scoring a 13th-place finish. The team brought the same truck to Texas and patiently worked their way from a 22nd-place starting position to lead 10 laps, run in the top 10 all night long and earn an eighth-place finish.
"I'm very pleased with our run here at Texas," said Paludo after the race. "My guys worked really hard. We had a good truck and I was happy that we were able to run at the front of the field all day. It was cool leading laps and enjoying the clean air. It is amazing how much of a difference that makes. We continue to get better and better each week. I think the more this team races together the better we get. Our truck became a little too tight at the end of the race to get a top-five finish, but we have learned so much on how to make adjustments and what I need in a truck."
Paludo started the WinStar World Casino 400K from the 22nd starting position. Under the first caution of the day on lap five the team deemed it was too early to come to pit road. Paludo worked on moving forward, but was only able to move up one position before the second caution flag of the night waved on lap 21. The team brought Paludo to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Paludo restarted from the 21st position and moved up to 17th by lap 40.
The third caution came out on lap 51. Paludo reported to the team he was still free getting into the corner but the condition was getting better. On lap 53, the team brought the No. 7 machine back to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Paludo took the restart on lap 56 from the 18th position. The changes made were what Paludo was looking for. When the caution flag slowed the field once again on lap 66, Paludo and the No. 7 team were scored in the 11th position. Under the caution period many of the leaders chose to come to pit road. The No. 7 team decided to remain on track moving Paludo up to the second position. When the race restarted on lap 72, Paludo jumped to the top spot. Pacing the field for 10 laps, Paludo told the team "I'm wide open," as he came across the start finish line. Paludo battled to keep the top spot but settled into second on lap 83.
Paludo remained in the second position until the caution waved on lap 88. Crew chief Rick Gay called No. 7 truck to pit road for service, getting four fresh tires and fuel. With many of the leaders on different pit strategies Paludo restarted the race from the 16th position. By lap 99, Paludo had moved back into the top 10 and continued to make forward progress. On lap 113, Paludo brought the No. 7 machine to pit road for the final scheduled pit stop of the day.
The team immediately told Paludo to save fuel. They were just inside their fuel window when the caution waved, but did not have enough to complete a green-white-checkered scenario. By lap 126, Paludo had moved into the fifth position and continued to battle trucks to get back to the lead. However, as the tires cycled through the run, the No. 7 truck began to get tight. Paludo continued to save fuel, but a rash of cautions late in the event put the team into their fuel window. A crash late in the race sent the event into overtime. Paludo took the final restart on lap 166 from the ninth position and was able to battle back late to gain one spot before crossing the finish line in eighth.
Red Horse Racing PR