Hayley hangs on for 11th place finish in the desert
Making his track debut at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), Cameron Hayley, driver of the No. 13 Protect the Harvest Toyota Tundra, continued to impress. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender started off the weekend topping the speed charts in Thursday's lone NCWTS practice session, and went on to qualify sixth for Friday night's 21st annual Lucas Oil 150. However, Friday the 13th played no favors with the No. 13 ThorSport Racing driver, who was relinquished to an 11th-place finish, following late-race issues.
Racing his way within the top-five early on in the 150-lap event, the 19-year-old driver avoided numerous on-track incidents leading up to his first pit stop of the night on lap 40. Crew chief Jeff Hensley made the call for four tires, fuel, and a trackbar adjustment to aid in a "tight center off" Toyota Tundra. Restarting 10th, Hayley maintained his top-10 running position until an extreme vibration occurred, forcing the Calgary, Alberta native to lose one lap to the race leaders. Fortunately, Hayley caught a timely caution, on lap 116, and was the beneficiary of the "Lucky Dog" award.
Pitting for four tires, fuel, and a major chassis adjustment, under caution, put Hayley in a good position for the remaining 34 laps of the 150-lap event. However, NASCAR deemed that Hayley changed lanes too soon on the lap 119 restart, forcing the ThorSport Racing driver to drop to the tail-end of the longest line for what would be the final restart of the night.
With the remaining laps running caution-free, Hayley worked his way back inside the top-10 until the left rear tire on his Toyota Tundra went flat, coming to the white flag. Holding on for a wild ride around the one-mile track, with only three inflated tires, Hayley fought hard for an 11th-place finish behind eventual race winner, Timothy Peters.
"It was a roller coaster of a weekend for our No. 13 Protect the Harvest Toyota Tundra at Phoenix (International Raceway). We started off fastest in practice on Thursday, and qualified a solid sixth for tonight's race. The handling just got off at the start of the race, which turned into a vibration, causing us to go a lap down. We fought to get the lap back, but unfortunately a penalty, and a flat tire on the last lap, caused us to settle for an 11th-place finish. We've got one race to go, so hopefully we can capitalize next weekend at Homestead."
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