Miguel Paludo earned his second top-10 finish in two weeks at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Paludo piloted his No. 7 Stemco/Duroline Toyota Tundra to a top-10 finish after a two tire pit stop late in the race which allowed the rookie of the year contender to get back in sequence with the leaders.
"It was a tough race with long green flag runs," said Paludo after the 175-lap event. "We made the right adjustments and Rick (Gay, crew chief) made an awesome call with two tires at the end and that paid off. I don't know why, but four tires took like 10 laps for the pressure to build up and to help the truck handle. With two tires the truck was awesome right away. It was another good day for the No. 7 team, another top-10 finish. I want to gain as many points as I can for the end of this season. Days like this are good to finish in the top-10."
Paludo started the F.W. Webb 175 from the 15th starting position. Paludo picked up one position at the start of the race, but was unable to make much forward progress due to the tight turns at the "magic mile."
On lap 40, Paludo reported to the crew the No. 7 Toyota Tundra was pushing in the center of the corner. Despite running in the 14th position the leader set a blistering fast pace and Paludo went one lap down to the leader on lap 49. The pilot of the No. 7 truck was able to hold onto the "lucky dog" position until the caution flew for the first time on lap 60.
Paludo came down pit road under the caution period on lap 62 to take on four tires, fuel, and make a chassis adjustment. Paludo restarted the F.W. Webb 175 from the 14th position. The caution flew for the second time a few laps later on lap 69 for debris.
The No. 7 team decided to take the opportunity to come to pit road to top off on fuel and pull a windshield tear off. Paludo gained one spot while on pit road and restarted in the 13th position. As the race went back to green, Paludo radioed to his crew that the truck was still pushing through the corners; however, the longer the No. 7 truck made laps, the better it handled.
At the half-way point, on lap 88, Paludo continued to run solidly in the fourteenth position. Green flag pit stops began on lap 120. The No.7 team had an advantage due to the fact they had stopped and topped off for fuel. Once stops had almost cycled through Paludo found himself running in the third position. The team desperately wanted the good fortune of a caution, which would have trapped many of the leaders' one lap down. It was not to be. Paludo gave up the third position to hit pit road on lap 145. Crew chief Rick Gay made the call to take only two tires and add fuel. The strategy paid off as Paludo returned to the track in the 11th position. With passing so difficult at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the driver of the No. 7 Stemco/Duroline Toyota Tundra skillfully maneuvered the truck past another competitor to earn his second top-10 finish in two weeks. Paludo also took home the title as top finishing rookie.
Red Horse Racing PR