Paludo Scores Career-Best Finish at Michigan
With his first child only days away from making his grand entrance into the world, Miguel Paludo and the No. 7 Stemco/Duroline Toyota Tundra team headed to the rolling hills of Michigan to try their hand at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Paludo was very happy with the handling of his truck throughout the weekend, qualifying in the ninth starting position. Paludo ran in the top-10 throughout the 100-lap event and put himself in position to battle for his first career win under a green-white-checkered finish, but came just shy recording his career best finish of third at MIS.
"We had an awesome truck today," said Paludo following the 100-lap event. "I'm really proud of our Stemco/Duroline Toyota Tundra team. My crew chief, Rick made some great calls and our pit crew was flawless on pit road today. I learned a lot by running up front with the leaders. We made small adjustments all day and we were really fortunate to miss a lot of the on-track incidents. We just need to keep moving forward. We have Bristol coming up on Wednesday; it's my one year anniversary of my first Truck Series race track, so we just have to keep digging."
Paludo started the VFW 200 from the ninth position and continued to run in the top-10 when the first caution of the day waved on lap eight. Crew chief Rick Gay felt it was too early to come to pit road so Paludo remained on the track under the caution period. Several of the leaders chose to come to pit road for fuel and other adjustments moving Paludo to the eighth position for the restart. The caution flag flew for the second time on lap 13, once again the No. 7 team decided not to come to pit road.
On lap 39, Paludo gave up the fifth position under green-flag conditions to hit pit road for their first scheduled pit stop of the race. The team gave Paludo four fresh tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment. As the round of stops cycled through Paludo once again found himself in the top-10 battling for position. On lap 66, Paludo was scored sixth continuing to make forward progress. Green-flag pit stops ensued once again as the leader exited the race track to come to pit road Paludo continued to advance his position. Scored as the leader of the race, the team had called the driver of the No. 7 truck to pit road. A timely caution flew on lap 77, before Paludo could make his pit stop. The yellow caught many of the leaders' one-lap down. The No. 7 team came to pit road under the caution period for four tires and fuel.
Several of the trucks that came down pit road chose to take on fuel only or two tires which resulted in Paludo restarting the race on lap 82 from the seventh position. Paludo was able to battle his way into the fifth position when the caution waved again on lap 85. The No. 7 team was good to go to the end of the event on fuel and decided to remain on track. The race restarted on lap 89, but as the field was coming around the track to complete lap 90, several competitors tangled wrecking at the front of the pack. Paludo was able to skillfully maneuver his way through the melee and escaped unharmed.
With only five laps remaining in the 100-lap contest Paludo found himself running in the second position, able to battle for the lead. Paludo got a great restart but the field was slowed once again on lap 96 for an on-track incident behind Paludo. The race then went into overtime with the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Paludo once again got a good restart but became stuck on the bottom of the track. Unable to gain the grip he needed, Paludo's Red Horse Racing teammate Timothy Peters slipped past him on the high side. Paludo gave Peters a shove down the backstretch trying to pass the race leader. However, the Red Horse Racing duo ran out of time, Paludo earned his career-best Truck Series finish of third at MIS as he crossed the finish line in the third position.
Red Horse Racing PR