A late race restart in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway helped NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver Tyler Young vault from 17th to 11th when the checkered flag flew in the fourth race of the 2016 season.
Another solid weekend by Young’s Motorsports allowed the Midland, Texas native to maintain fourth in the championship standings but gain two points towards the overall championship lead in the first of a three-race stretch for the series.
Young had high hopes of capitalizing on a strong start to his season at a track that throughout the past two years hasn’t been particularly kind to the driver of the No. 02 Interlock Tech Solutions / Randco Chevrolet Silverado.
The team led by crew chief Andrew Abbott made most of the three practice sessions handed to the series on Thursday afternoon with the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team focused on the last session to dial in their truck since it would be closer to actual race conditions.
After making adjustments from Thursday to race day, Young during qualifications placed his truck 20th fastest overall ahead of his third start at the 1.5-mile track.
When the race took the green flag, Young fired off 20th and quickly bolted forward only to have his momentum stalled when the first caution flag waved just two laps into the race. Under the yellow, Young reported that his truck was loose in traffic.
Racing resumed with Young hovering comfortably inside the top-20 while continuing to report to his team that his No. 02 Interlock Tech Solutions / Randco Chevrolet remained loose in traffic. When the event’s second caution waved on Lap 44 for an expired caution clock, Abbott took the opportunity to come to pit road for tires, fuel and an adjustment.
Caution fever would soon set in when the field went back to green flag conditions with Young escaping the entanglements and remaining on the lead lap. When the field finally settled down, Young set his own pace before taking the opportunity to hit pit road again just after a Lap 64 caution for fuel and an adjustment to tighten his truck.
Just past the halfway point, Young maintained his presence inside the top-17, but informed Abbott that as event’s first long green-flag run pressed on his truck became tight. Approaching 40 laps remaining in the event, another yellow flew for an second expiration of the caution clock. It was a welcomed sign for the Young’s Motorsports team who elected to use the opportunity to pit for tires, fuel and an adjustment to find the perfect balance.
Back to work, Young was 14th and climbed to 13th while continuing to chase the handling of his truck. Sliding back to 15th when 10 laps ago, a late-race caution with three laps to go proposed the opportunity for Young to come to pit road for tires and one set of final adjustments to take him to the finish.
With coaching from above, Young wrestled his truck forward and took advantage of open space on the track to muscle his way forward. When the checkered flag flew, Young was scored 11th, earning his best finish at Kansas Speedway in three races. Previously, Young had two consecutive 23rd-place runs.
The 25-year-old’s fourth consecutive top-13 finish allowed him to maintain fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings ahead of next Friday afternoon’s race at Dover (Del) International Speedway on May 13.
“Man, I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of this Young’s Motorsports team again. We fought with the handling of our No. 02 Interlock Tech Solutions / Randco Chevrolet Silverado all weekend, but Andrew did a good job trying things to help make the truck more drivable.
“At the end of the race we feel we didn’t really have anything to lose by coming to pit road for some tires and another adjustment just hoping to get back where we were before the caution. It turned out a lot better for us. Can’t thank Rocky (Ryan, spotter) enough for his coaching and guidance. We were also thankful to have Interlock Tech Solutions on the truck this weekend and were able to get a strong finish for them.
“While we didn’t get a top-10 finish, the truck is in good shape and we had a good points day, so we’re happy and move onto Dover next weekend where we finished in the top-10 last year.”
Young Motorsports PR