Late Race Incident Robs Paludo of Top-10 Finish
Miguel Paludo had competed at Iowa Speedway prior to Saturday night's Truck Series race in a K&N East Series machine. Although he had made laps around the tricky 0.875-mile track before, he strapped behind the wheel of his No. 7 Stemco/Duroline truck for his maiden voyage at the popular short-track nestled in the middle of the corn fields. Paludo qualified in the 12th position and was making great strides until a mid-race incident forced him to come from the back. Paludo was able to rebound to finish in the 15th position.
Paludo started the 200-lap event at Iowa Speedway from the 12th position. The No. 7 truck started the event a little too loose entering the corners. Under the first caution period on lap 10, the team chose to remain on the track deeming it was too early to come to pit road.
However, under the second caution on lap 17, the team brought Paludo down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The team was afraid that contact on the track had possibly cut the left-front tire and wanted to make a chassis adjustment to help the handling of the No. 7 truck. The unscheduled stop moved Paludo back to the 18th position for the restart on lap 29.
Paludo continued to fight the handling of the No. 7 truck as he fought a free condition into the corner and was pushing off the corner. Paludo was encouraged to search for a line that worked for his truck. Caution on lap 63 brought the field to pit road. The No. 7 team pitted for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment.
For the restart on lap 70, Paludo was scored in the 15th position. As the race restarted Paludo was on the high side when a lap truck drove too deep into turn one sliding into the side of the No. 7 truck. The truck took off for the outside wall. Paludo made a great save to keep the truck from making contact. However, the incident pushed Paludo back to 20th in the running order. The caution waved again on lap 102 as a truck hit the inside retaining wall hard. Paludo brought the No. 7 truck to pit road under the caution period taking on fuel only and making a chassis adjustment.
The red flag was displayed while track safety workers replaced one of the sections in the inside retaining wall. Each team was allowed one crew member to take the drivers water. The heat index in Iowa on Saturday was recorded at 114 degrees adding to the difficulty of the race in Iowa. Before the race restarted on lap 110 the No. 7 team came to pit road to top the truck off with fuel so that they could make it to the end of the event. Restarting from the 19th position on lap 160, Paludo spent the rest of the race battling for position. Paludo was able to move up a few positions to take the checkered flag in the 15th position. The run marks Paludo's fifth top-15 finish of 2011.
Red Horse Racing PR