Cale Gale raced the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet Silverado to an eighth-place finish on Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. With a fast truck, flawless pit stops and strong restarts, the team was able to pick up their second top-10 finish of the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season.
When rain showers wreaked havoc on the weekend's schedule, NCWTS qualifying was cancelled and the field was set by owner points. Gale lined up 16th for the 167-lap WinStar World Casino 400 and immediately began picking up positions to race in 11th-place by lap 10. A couple of early cautions gave Gale the opportunity to work with crew chief Jerry Baxter and the Rheem team to continually improve the handling of his Rheem Chevrolet Silverado. Knowing the characteristics of the race, Baxter worked variance into the setup on the Rheem Chevrolet to allow the team to tighten up the truck as the sun set and the track loosened up. Gale brought the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet down pit road during the lap 33 caution and again during the lap 74 caution for a series of chassis and air pressure adjustments. With a very strong truck, Gale continued to hold his track position just outside the top 10 throughout the opening 110 laps.
With solid pit stops the Rheem team was able to pick up several positions on pit road, and Gale continually made up additional ground on restarts. Throughout the night Gale worked closely with substitute spotter Jay Shew to realize where competitors were making ground on him, and where he was able to pull away from other drivers. As the handling on Gale's truck changed with tire wear, Shew also suggested different lines around the track to help the Rheem Chevrolet turn through the corners.
With less than 40 laps to go, Gale drove his Silverado down pit road for the final stop of the night. The Rheem team laid down a fast stop to pick up two additional spots for Gale on pit road moving him into the eighth position. The race restarted one last time on lap 144, and Gale immediately drove up two additional positions to be scored in a race-high position of sixth-place. With his tires wearing off the driver settled back into the eighth position where he led his Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) teammate Justin Lofton to the checkered flag, and recorded his second top-10 result of the season. With the finish, Gale also picked up four spots in the 2012 NCWTS owner standings to be scored in the 12th position, just 17 points outside the top 10.
"I'm really proud of the performance of the Rheem team tonight at Texas Motor Speedway," commented Gale following the WinStar World Casino 400. "We raced competitively all night long, got better with each pit stop, and brought home a finish that we deserved. We had another phenomenal Rheem Chevrolet Silverado from Eddie Sharp Racing-I can't thank Jerry Baxter and all the guys enough for all their hard work this season. It means a lot to have the support of Rheem and everyone at Eddie Sharp Racing, and it's always a good feeling when we're able to run strong and bring home a good finish."