Miguel Paludo had never laid eyes on the Chicagoland Speedway until this weekend. However, the Nova Prata Brazil native took right to the track. The No. 7 Stemco/Duroline team had two strong practice sessions followed by a ninth-place qualifying run. Paludo and the No. 7 Stemco/Duroline team fought hard all race long, making great chassis adjustments and solid pit calls to end the night eighth on the leader board.
"It feels great," Paludo said after the race. "I knew since the first practice we had a really good truck. It showed in qualifying, and then during the race we were too tight, middle-off. The guys made an adjustment and we got better.
The truck got a little tight again and we got better and in the end we were a lot better. It is a good run for my first time here. I just need to keep moving forward and getting as many points as I can through the end of the year."
Paludo started from the ninth starting position. During the first segment of the race Paludo reported to his team that he was too tight, but he believed he was getting aero-tight behind other drivers. The first caution of the night waved on lap eight. The team felt it was too early to bring the No. 7 Stemco/Duroline truck down pit road. Paludo remained on the track starting from the 10th position on the restart at lap 15. On lap 21, Paludo radioed to the team that the No. 7 truck had developed a vibration. The team was concerned but chose to remain on the track hopeful the truck would make it to their first pit stop. Paludo came to pit road for his first scheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions on lap 42. The team changed four tires and added fuel.
As pit stops cycled through, Paludo found himself running in the 14th position. The caution waved on lap 57 trapping Paludo one lap down to the leaders. However, the team opted to remain on the race track and take the "wave around" option allowing Paludo to rejoin the lead lap trucks. Paludo restarted from the ninth position on lap 65. Five laps later Paludo took over the seventh position. The caution waved again on lap 82. The team called Paludo to pit road for four tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment to help Paludo's tight-handling condition.
The No. 7 team had trouble on the stop which resulted in a loss of seven positions on pit road. Unfazed by the mishap Paludo charged back toward the front of the field. By lap 108, Paludo had climbed back into the top-10. With only 25 laps remaining the leaders started to peel off the race track and head to pit road. Paludo followed suit pitting on lap 129. Crew chief Rick Gay called for two tires and fuel only. The stop was solid and Paludo was able to maintain his track position bringing home the No. 7 Stemco/Duroline Toyota Tundra in eighth position.
The run marks Paludo's first top-10 finish in his first appearance at Chicagoland Speedway. Paludo jumps to 14th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings.
Red Horse Racing PR