Making his first start at the Paperclip track of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Cale Gale started the Kroger 200 from the 13th position and after 200 laps, crossed the finish line solidly in seventh place.
With Mother Nature playing havoc on the weekend and questioning the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, clear skies at race time allowed drivers to strap in to their trucks and prepare for 200 laps of excitement on one of NASCAR’s most historic tracks. Rolling the No. 21 Rheem Chevrolet Silverado off the starting grid from the 13th position, Gale slipped a few positions at the start of the race falling to the 18th position when the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 37. The team opted to pit for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to help with a tight-handling truck. Gale restarted the race from the 20th position on lap 41.
Quickly making his move toward the front, Gale gained five positions by lap 45 and by lap 65 had settled into the 11th spot. The second caution of the race waved on lap 85 with Gale remaining in the 11th position. Opting to stay out under the caution, Gale restarted eighth on lap 92.
At the halfway mark, Gale had moved into the top 10 before the caution flag waved on lap 103. Gale brought the No. 21 Rheem truck down pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the handling. With teams now on varying pit strategies, Gale restarted the race 19th on lap 109.
Making his way through the field, Gale was able to move up to the 11th spot when the field was slowed again on lap 130. Making the decision to remain on the track, Gale was able to gain multiple spots to restart the race on lap 137 from the fourth position and quickly move into third on lap 140.
With 50 laps remaining in the Kroger 200, Gale continued to run in the third position. Slipping several spots as the race continued, Gale was scored in the ninth spot on lap 172 when the eighth caution waved and restarted the race six laps later from the same position. Gaining two spots on the restart, Gale was scored seventh when the final caution of the race waved on lap 179. As the race restarted on lap 186, Gale was able to maintain his position for the final 14 laps to finish the Kroger 200 in the seventh position.
“This was the most fun I’ve had all year guys!” said Gale to the team. “I have to thank Rheem for giving me this opportunity and sticking with me this year. We’ve had some good runs in both the Truck and ARCA series, but today was a great way to finish the season for me.”