Gaulding's Day gets Turned Around Late at Bristol
Gray Gaulding and the No.20 Gemini Southern Chevrolet team led by veteran Crew Chief, Chris Rice, knew track position and patience would be the key points of interest throughout the UNOH 200 race weekend. With rain showers moving in and out of the Bristol, Tennessee area , mother nature would take control of the day. The NCWTS teams were finally able to get on track just before 12:00pm noon on Wednesday for one 90 minute final practice session and Gaulding would end the session third quick overall. With track position being a key element to the weekend, a lot emphasis was placed on qualifying, but still having an overall balance for the transition into the night. After qualifying second in round one and fifth in the final round of NASCAR Knockout Qualifying, Gaulding and Chris Rice felt like they had a solid Gemini Southern Chevrolet Silverado for the evenings UNOH 200. With more storm cells moving into the area at race time, NASCAR made the decision to postpone the UNOH 200 until Thursday morning at 10:00am.
When the green flag waved shortly after 10:00am, Gaulding starting on the inside of row three and worked to get into the upper groove. When the first caution flag flew at lap 15, Gaulding was scored in 10th and radioed in "just too free on entry."Chris Rice elected to stay out and keep the track position. Gaulding would hold onto a top-10 position until the lap 50 competition caution, where he pitted for four tires, fuel, and a chassis and air pressure adjustment. The field received the green flag once again at lap 57 and Gaulding restarted 12th on the outside or row six.
At the halfway point, Gaulding was running 14th and came over the radio saying he was hearing a burp in the motor when he would get the truck running wide open, while battling hard to keep track position for later in the race. When the third caution of the day came out at lap 111, Chris Rice brought Gaulding down pit road for four tires, fuel, and a spring rubber adjustment. The field received the green flag once again at lap 118 and Gaulding raced hard to stay inside the top-15 until lap 147, when the 05 got loose on exit of turn two, getting into the side of the No.20 Krispy Kreme truck. After a tremendous save, Gaulding would come down pit road to repair the damage. The field would receive the green flag for the last time at lap 153 and Gaulding hoping to just salvage a good finish, would maintain his spot inside the top-20, before cutting down a right rear tire on lap 184, forcing him to pit under green and loose valuable track position. Gaulding would come home with a 23rd place finish.
NTS Motorsports PR