Hayley scores Top-10 finish in dirt debut at Eldora
Making his first laps around the "Big E" in NCWTS practice on Wednesday morning, Hayley posted the 17th and 12th-fastest times, respectively, in both sessions. The ThorSport Racing driver also qualified fourth, and finished second to race winner Christopher Bell in the fourth qualifying race of the night, lining the No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra up in the ninth position for the three-segment (60-50-40 laps), feature event.
While the 154-lap event was slowed by a record number of caution flags (13 for 61 laps), Hayley's No. 13 Toyota Tundra stayed pointed in the right direction during the action packed race. Running as high as sixth and as low as 14th, Hayley maintained an Average Running Position of 10.0.
With track position at a premium, Jeff Hensley brought his Sunoco Racing Rookie to pit road once under the first competition caution at lap 55, for four tires and fuel. When racing resumed on lap 60, the No. 13 Toyota Tundra was scored 11th.
In the final 90 laps, the ThorSport Racing driver would battle the tightly bunched field, changing track conditions, and a Toyota Tundra that was loosing grip. Hayley would fall as far back as 13th in the running order just past the half-way mark in the event, but rallied in the closing laps, which included a green-white-checker finish, to finish eighth behind race winner, Christopher Bell.
Following a solid top-10 finish at Eldora Speedway, Hayley gained one position in the NCWTS driver point standings and now sits sixth, 101 markers behind teammate and point leader, Matt Crafton.
"We accomplished our goal (of a top-10 finish). I felt like we were in a really good position, sitting eighth, the caution before the last one. I think we would have been in position to make a better run at the end. I found a little more grip about three-quarters of the way up the track, but it was just so up and down (on the leaderboard). We were up to eighth, and then back to 13th, just up, and down, up, and down. I was just so happy to get everyone at ThorSport Racing a good solid top-10 run tonight."
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