Determined Cameron Hayley has sucessful debut at Gateway
Trying to overcome a "tight" Toyota Tundra throughout the entire 160-lap race, the 18-year-old Canadian driver still found himself running comparable lap times to the leaders. Running as high as fourth and as low as 15th, Hayley maintained an Average Running Position of 9.4 during the event.
Bringing his No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra to pit road during the first caution of the night at lap 54, and again on lap 81, crew chief Jeff Hensley called for four tires, fuel and adjustments to try and improve the handling. Trying to maintain track position, Hayley didn't return to pit road again until the caution flag waved on lap 118. However, upon exiting pit road, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender sustained left front nose damage from a competitor and was forced to return to pit road once again for repairs.
Mired deep within the top-15, Hayley inched his way closer and closer to the top of the leaderboard despite the dwindling number of laps remaining. Fortunately, for the Sunoco Racing rookie, a couple late-race cautions slowed the pace of the field and allowed Hayley to work his way up into the mix and duke it out with the leaders. The ThorSport Racing driver would cross the stripe in the fifth position behind race winner, Cole Custer.
Taking advantage of track position to earn his second top-5 finish of his young career, the Canadian driver maintained the sixth position in the NCWTS driver point standings, but cut the deficit to 75 points behind ThorSport Racing teammate and point leader, Matt Crafton.
"We got it done tonight. It was an up and down night to say the least for our Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra team. We struggled really badly at the beginning. We just missed it by a lot, but we got better throughout the race. I definitely gave it my all. On all those restarts, we gained a ton of positions at the end, when things got a little dicey. I don't know how I weaseled through there, but I did. Tonight was a great effort by all my guys."
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