Gray Gaulding was set for part two of his double header weekend after setting fast time and finishing 5th in the K&N Pro series event in Pensacola, FL.
Justin Lofton filled in for Gaulding during Friday's first and second practice sessions helping tune on the No. 20 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet. Lofton posted the second quickest time in opening practice a 33.211 at 135.497 mile per hour. In second practice Lofton worked with crew chief Jeff Hensley, the two worked on the front end and Lofton posted the fast time of 32.906. "It's a really fast and staple Krispy Kreme Chevrolet"said Lofton "it fires off good, and stays very consistent even after fifteen laps."
Gray Gaulding made it to the track in time for Saturday's final practice session. Gaulding was able to turn 13 laps, but noted he was very happy with the balance of his Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet. Gaulding posted the 5th quickest time a 33.077 at 135.046 miles per hour.
Qualifying was a new obstacle for Gray Gaulding. It was his first attempt at the new style "knockout qualifying"that NASCAR has implemented. Gaulding turned one lap, a 33.310 in the first twenty-five minute session which put him 5th on the speed charts and transferred him into round two. Round two would be ten minutes, with the top twelve transferring. Gaulding again only turned one lap, a 33.030 which set him second on the speed charts. The third and final round, a five minute round to set the top-12 starting positions. With a time of 33.107 at 135.923 miles per hour, Gaulding set the fourth fastest time and was the highest qualifying Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
When the green flag dropped for the first annual Drivin'for Linemen 200, it was the first race at Gateway Motorsports Park since 2010, Gaulding emerged running third on lap one. Gaulding would continue running between third and fifth through the sixty-five laps, until Gaulding got ready to come down pit road for green flag pit stops when his No.20 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet stopped on the backstretch bringing out the caution.
Gaulding made it to pit road with assistance from a push truck, but lost four laps to the leaders. When the field when back green Gaulding running 26th, needed a miracle to get back into contention. Gaulding was able to pick up several position and run times faster then the leaders but never able to regain the laps he lost.
Gaulding would bring home a 20th place finish in the first annual Drivin' for Linemen 200.
NTS Motorsports PR