For the 11th time in 2014, Brennan Newberry strapped into an NTS Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to continue building on the momentum he has captured throughout the season. With only three races remaining in the year, the young California native took to one of his favorite tracks on the circuit, Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth. Showing a lot of speed and strength during practice and knockout qualifying, Newberry and crew chief Ryan McKinney prepared a truck that was more than capable of running with the lead pack. After running inside the top 10 for a large portion of the race and overcoming an early incident, Newberry came home strong at the end of the weekend with a solid 11th-place finish.
When the teams arrived at the track for the first time on Thursday morning, they immediately began preparing their trucks with the goal of earning a Stetson cowboy hat, a jewel synonymous with TMS and a trip to victory lane.. Newberry hit the track for the first run of the weekend and relayed to his team, "As always, guys, we are good right off of the truck." The team worked to make sure Newberry could get back to the gas as early as possible, and that he could be fast in both the draft and single-truck runs. After two total sessions of practice, both Newberry and McKinney were happy with the handling of the No. 20 Qore-24 Chevrolet Silverado. At the end of the final session for the day, the No.20 team would hold sixth placeon the leader board with a lap time of 30.148 and a top speed of 179.116. Going into knockout qualifying the following afternoon, team moral was at an all-time high.
When the track opened for the first of three rounds of knockout qualifying to set the pole for the WinStar World Casino and Resort 350, Newberry fired his engine immediately and rolled out in the middle of a pack, exactly where he and his team wanted to be for the first session. Getting a draft from a competitor and cutting through the air in a coveted tandem, Newberry put the strength of his NTS Motorsports team on full display, topping the first session after a single lap on track and advancing to round two. During the 10 minute session to determine the top 12 who would race for the pole position for the night's main event, Newberry was strong once again and advanced to the final session after finishing the second session in the top three. When the clock started for the final five minute segment of qualifying, trucks gambled and sat at the end of pit road until the last possible moment before firing back up and making their way to the flag stand. Barely making his way across the line in order to be eligible for one more circuit, Newberry found himself once again in a perfect spot in the middle of the pack to gain the most speed coming across the line. Just off of turn four a competitor made a run from behind the No.20 Chevrolet and was in the process of a pass going across the start-finish line. The dirty air was enough to slow Newberry's speed across the line, but the Qore-24 driver was confident in his chances for running up front at the end of the event. After a final lap of 30.225 and a top speed of 178.660, Newberry and the No.20 team would line up 11th when the green was displayed later that night.
With the WinStar World Casino and Resort 350 falling on the final day of October, All Hallows Eve, it set a different tone and feel for the beginning of the 147-lap battle for a trip to Texas Motor Speedway's fire-pit, victory circle. When the green was displayed, Newberry immediately began picking his way to the front, moving inside the top 10 by lap eight and showing speed comparable to the leaders. Continuing to run strong laps around the 1.5-mile track, Newberry reported to his team "I am just a little snug in the center and on the exit of turn four, but I am very good on entry" as he raced his way to the ninth position. When the first caution of the night was displayed on lap 21, Newberry came to the assistance of his crew for the first time for four fresh tires and fuel. After a quick stop from the pit crew, Newberry picked up two spots exiting pit road and restarted the race from seventh place.
As Newberry and McKinney took over the sixth spot and were knocking on the door of the top-five as they continued to pick up speed. After another round of changes on pit road and another set of Goodyear tires, Newberry lined up sixth for the restart with only 66 laps to go when he reported to the team he had an issue. Falling back quickly after the green was displayed, Newberry keyed the mic to McKinney; "We have a tire going down, I'm coming to you." Newberry fell to 21st and waslisted one lap down on lap 88 and had a long uphill battle to make his way back to the front.
Now on a different strategy, McKinney brought his driver to pit road on lap 108 for the final time of the night with only 39 laps to the finish. Counting down the laps, Newberry made his way back to the lead lap after taking a "wave around" and found himself in a heated four-way battle for 10th place with less than 20 laps to go. Gaining attention from Fox Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network, the best battle on track during the closing laps of the event was the one Newberry was in the middle of, racing hard, making daring moves and gaining every inch he could during each circuit. When the final caution of the night was displayed, McKinney made the decision to leave his driver out on track when most of the leaders hit pit road. Forced off sequence early in the race, McKinney and Newberry had no fresh tires for the final laps of the race and would hold on with older rubber during the closing laps. After five extra laps in a green-white-checkered finish, Newberry drove his way to 11th when the yellow flag was displayed to end the event on thesecond attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.
With the momentum of overcoming such adversity in Texas, Newberry will move back into the No.9 for the next-to-last event of 2014 in one week at Phoenix International Raceway.
From the Driver's Seat from Brennan Newberry: "As a team, we added another feather to our caps this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 20 Qore-24 Chevrolet rolled out of the trailer with lap times that put us well inside the top six. Our Breast Cancer Awareness Silverado had amazing speed that catapulted us to the final round of knockout qualifying and allowed me to race up front for a majority of the race. This race was dedicated to Peggy Holt, she lost her life to breast cancer early last week. I know she was with us all weekend, and gave me an extra push and extra motivation on track. It was an honor to carry her legacy."
From Atop the Pit Box with Crew Chief Ryan McKinney: "We always keep digging. The Qore-24 team showed that in spades this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. We had a very fast truck all weekend and it was great to see Brennan at the top of the board at the end of the first round of qualifying. As a crew chief, I was very proud of everyone at the end of the night. We held on and finished just outside of the top-10, and after the tough luck we had on track, I'll take it! Our first win as a team gets closer every single week and we will be a threat for the trophy next weekend at Phoenix."
NTS Motorsports PR