Coming off consecutive top-10 finishes the past two races, Justin Boston planned to continue that trend at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Friday night. He did record his third-straight top 10, but it did not come easily. Boston overcame several obstacles in his No. 54 ROK Mobile Tundra to finish ninth.
The first hurdle came in qualifying when Boston spun coming off turn four during the second round. He made a fantastic save and did not damage the truck, but the team was forced to put new tires on it, which put him at the back of the field to start the race.
Boston did not stay in the back for long once the green flag waived. He worked his way up to 10th by the first caution on lap 21. Unfortunately his pit stop brought the next problem. The team was penalized for the pit crew jumping over the wall too soon, which sent Boston to the rear of the lead-lap trucks. He restarted the race back in 22nd place on lap 26.
He had fought his way up to 14th place by the next caution on lap 65, despite the ROK Mobile Tundra being too tight. The crew made a track bar adjustment during the four-tire stop, but shortly after the race resumed Boston radioed in that the truck was "horrible." He fell back to 17th and lost a lap to the leader by lap 90.
Boston finally caught a lucky break with a caution on lap 107 while he was in the lucky dog position to regain his lap. While pitting under caution the team determined he had an equalized tire which caused the poor handling on the previous run. With fresh tires on the truck Boston restarted 17th on lap 110 and was determined to get the best finish he could.
He was up to 11th when the final caution of the night created a green-white-checker finish. With two laps remaining Boston gave it everything he had and gained two positions on the final lap to finish the race in ninth place.
"I really don't know what to say about our night," Boston said. "I'm pretty thankful we ended up getting back in the top 10. There was a point in the race where I didn't even think we'd be in the top 20. We were just that bad and we had an equalized tire. It just wasn't our night and to come out of it with a top 10 made me pretty happy. I felt like we had a really good ROK Mobile Toyota Tundra and it should have run in the top five today. I'm kind of disappointed in that, but I'm also pretty proud of everyone for not giving up and we came out of it with a top-10 finish."
Kasey Kahne edged out KBM driver Erik Jones by 0.005 seconds for the win. Matt Crafton, Tyler Reddick and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers. Boston's other KBM teammate, Matt Tifft finished eighth. Boston remains in eighth place in the driver championship point standings.