Late-race Accident Leaves Coughlin in 20th at MIS

Cody Coughlin made his first start for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and only his second-career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn. After turning fast laps in practice Friday in the No. 54 JEGS Tundra, and at times running laps as fast as the leaders during the race, a late-race accident left Coughlin in 20th place.
  
The 19-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing development driver started the 100-lap event in 18th place. Within the first few laps he told crew chief Shannon Rursch the JEGS Tundra was very loose. When the second caution came on lap 26, Rursch brought Coughlin to pit road for right-side tires and a track bar adjustment to tighten up the truck. He returned to the race in 14th place.
 
By halfway at lap 50, Coughlin had worked his way up to 13th despite the Tundra being loose in and tight off the corners. The JEGS team made a green-flag stop on lap 64 for four tires and fuel. When a caution for debris happened on lap 71, Rursch immediately told the young driver to start saving fuel in case the race came down to fuel mileage.
 
Coughlin restarted in 13th with 24 laps to go. After another debris caution, he was up to 11th on lap 82. While running hard to crack the top 10, Coughlin's JEGS Tundra broke loose coming off turn four. Just when it looked as though he might be able to save it, fellow Toyota driver Ben Kennedy had nowhere to go and hit Coughlin's truck. The Tundra incurred significant damage to the left front, but the JEGS team did everything they could to repair the truck enough to finish the race. After pitting several times under caution to fix the damage, Coughlin finished the race scored in 20th place, four laps down.
 
"It was unfortunate the way things ended," Coughlin said. "We showed that we had speed today and that was a good thing. I'm very thankful to KBM for giving me the opportunity to race for them today."
 
For the second consecutive truck race, KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch took the checkered flag. Ryan Blaney was second followed by KBM's Erik Jones, Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five. The No. 54 team fell one position to 14th in the owner's championship point standings.

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Steven B. Wilson

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