There is no place like home and Danville, Virginia resident Timothy Peters felt relaxed and comfortable as he climbed behind the wheel of the No. 17 GearWrench/Strutmasters Toyota Tundra for the start of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. The weekend was plagued by torrential rain-fall which cancelled the final practice session for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The trucks were able to hit the track on Friday for a brief practice session and returned Saturday morning for qualifying which was slightly delayed. Peters started from the ninth position and battled a loose-handling truck throughout the 200-lap contest to finish in the eighth position. The run marked Peters' sixth top-10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finish at Martinsville.
"Our GearWrench/Strutmasters Toyota Tundra is pretty used up," said Peters after surveying his Tundra following the race. "But that is what I love about Martinsville. The racing is tough and this is the type of racing these trucks were designed for. We fought hard all day and were able to get the eighth position on the final lap. It was a good day for the No. 17 team; racing at Martinsville is so much fun."
Timothy Peters and the No. 17 GearWrench/Strutmasters Toyota Tundra started from the ninth position. As soon as the green flag dropped, the beating and banging began. Peters was able to gain a few positions early - settling into the seventh position in the bottom line where most of the trucks were able to turn their fastest laps. The first caution of the day waved on lap 38. The No. 17 team chose to come to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment.
Peters returned to the track in the 11th position for the restart. Peters had an advantage on the competition by restarting in the low lane and was able to move up to the sixth position when the second caution of the day flew on lap 49. The No. 17 team chose to remain on the track as they had a plan to make the 200-lap event a two pit stop race. Peters had to start in the outside lane but was able to get to the low side early and gain several positions settling into the third spot on lap 60. However, the handling of the No. 17 truck began to fade. Peters struggled to keep the truck on the bottom of the track and lost several positions fighting a loose-handling truck. The caution flew for the third time on lap 86. Peters brought the No. 17 truck to the attention of the team for four tires, fuel and a spring rubber adjustment. Peters returned to the track in the 10th position for the restart on lap 93.
By the half-way point, Peters was running in the ninth position. Peters continued to muscle his way back up through the field. The truck was not perfect, but Peters was happy with the changes made on pit road. Many of the leaders had different pit strategies but the No. 17 team had completed their scheduled work on pit road for the day. The fourth caution flew on lap 104. Peters remained on the track. During the restart, a truck in front of the No. 17 stopped in the middle of the corner; Peters, unable to get on the brakes in time, bumped the troubled truck. The contact resulted in the left-front fender being bent into the tire, causing a tire rub. The team decided that the damage was not too bad but several laps later the tire began to smoke heavily.
Under the next caution period Peters was forced to pit road to fix the damaged fender. Fortunately for the No. 17 team, many of the leaders had to come to pit road under the same caution period. Peters was able to salvage some track position - taking the restart on lap 138 from the 12th position. Passing at any track is difficult, but at Martinsville Speedway it is nearly impossible. Peters struggled to get the No. 17 Tundra to the inside lane on the restart and dropped to the 14th position before finally getting in line. As the laps wound down in the 200-lap event, Peters muscled his way back toward the front of the field.
A rash of cautions late in the event allowed Peters to make his way back into the top-10. Peters took the final restart on lap 188 from the 10th position. The driver of the No. 17 Toyota Tundra rooted and gouged his way to an eighth-place finish. Peters maintains fifth spot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings, 48 markers behind the leader.
Red Horse Racing PR