Justin Boston came to Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway looking to put last weekend's race at Daytona in the rear-view mirror. Although it was not exactly the race he hoped for, he and the KBM team overcame handling issues throughout the race to gain valuable experience and bring the No. 54 Lucy Angel Tundra home in 16th place.
With the sun setting and temperatures dropping, Boston started the 130-lap event in sixth place. Within the first few laps he told the team the truck was loose going into the turns, but tight through the center and exiting. The only three cautions of the race came within the first 51 laps which allowed Boston to pit for fresh tires and adjustments on laps 19 and 52. Unfortunately during the stop on lap 52 the team was penalized for going over the wall too soon. Boston was forced to restart the race at the tail end of the field in 20th place on lap 57.
By halfway he had worked his way up to 18th place, and said the truck was better on entry, but still tight in the center and exit of the turns. Without a caution to bunch-up the field Boston went a lap down to the leader on lap 94 while running 17th. He hoped to contend for the "lucky dog" in the event of another caution, but the remaining laps were run under green so he was never able to regain his lap.
Boston made his final pit stop during a green-flag cycle on lap 100. With his final set of new tires and one more adjustment the handling continued to improve and he was able to move into 16th place where he finished the race.
"We were just way too free on entry and tight off," Boston said. "We got behind the eight ball, especially when we had the pit road penalty. That really killed us because we weren't where we needed to be and we didn't have track position so that's how we lost a lap. Shannon (Rursch, crew chief) got me pretty decent at the end and we were running a heck of a lot better than we had all day those last 35 laps, but we were already a lap down, so our day was already written for us without another caution to try to be the lucky dog.
"All in all it's a lot better than Daytona. I still have a lot of learning to do. These trucks handle a lot differently than ARCA cars, or even XFINITY cars, so as a driver I have some homework to do and learn. Overall it was a decent day, we have a solid Tundra to bring home and it was great to have Lucy Angel on board with us this weekend."
Fellow Toyota driver Matt Crafton won the race after leading twice for 85 laps. Ty Dillon, Ben Kennedy, KBM teammate Daniel Suarez and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-five finishers. Boston's other KBM teammate, Erik Jones, also took home a top 10 with a seventh-place finish.
The second race of the 2015 season featured only three cautions for a total of 13 laps. There were six lead changes among five drivers.