Miguel Paludo scored his sixth-consecutive top-15 finish of the season in the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. After two strong practice sessions and a top-five qualifying run, Paludo battled the hot, changing conditions under the lights, bringing home a 12th-place finish and entering the top-10 the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver's points for the first time in 2012.
After finishing the final practice session in the second position, the No. 32 Duroline Brakes and Components team was ready for a top-five day, and Paludo's fifth-place qualifying effort didn't disappoint. However, after taking the green flag, Paludo quickly dropped out of the top 10, immediately relaying to the Turner Motorsports team that his truck was too free. When the first caution flag of the evening waved on lap 18, Paludo and many of the leaders took the opportunity to visit pit road, with the Duroline crew opting for fuel and a track-bar adjustment to tighten up the handling. After entering the pits in the 11th spot, Paludo took to the track in 13th for the lap 22 restart.
The truck showed a bit of improvement after the green flag, but crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. advised his driver that the loose condition wouldn't totally be rectified until they had the opportunity to put on fresh tires. Fuel strategy and caution timing finally allowed for that on lap 63. Paludo left the track in 16th, reiterating to Hillman Jr. that the Duroline Brakes and Components Chevy was sideways loose everywhere, and the crew chief told his driver that they were going to bring out the "big bat" to take a swing at changes. The crew provided Paludo with four fresh tires, fuel, and shock, wedge and spring-rubber adjustments, sending Paludo out in the 20th spot.
When green-flag racing resumed on lap 67, the wholesale changes had wholesale effects on the No. 32, and the truck now showed no signs of looseness. With more than half of the race remaining, Paludo and the team knew they still had the chance to make it to the front. Paludo began to make fantastic lap times, dodging wrecks and fighting his way into the 13th spot by lap 81. He maintained his position until the yellow waved on lap 104 for a spin directly behind him. Now reporting that his truck was on the tight side, the team serviced the Duroline Chevy with four tires, two cans of Sunoco fuel and a track-bar adjustment.
Paludo restarted in the 15th position on lap 108, and the hard racing action quickly went three-wide. Paludo jumped into the 11th position just as another wreck erupted on lap 111, bringing out the final caution of the night. Once back to green-flag racing, Paludo eyed the top-10, but the cooling track made the Brazilian's truck "super tight" in the middle, and he dropped one position in the closing laps before taking the checkers in 12th. Teammate James Buescher took the victory, becoming the first repeat winner in the series' first eight events.
Miguel Paludo:"Our Duroline Chevy was pretty good for most of the day today. We brought a brand new chassis to the track and it took us just a few runs to get it in the right direction. We made huge strides between the first and second practices. During the race, we just got really sideways loose in the beginning, and then we over-corrected a little bit and tightened it up too much. But there were some moments when the truck was really great and we were running very fast laps. I'm really happy to see Turner Motorsports get another win, our second week in a row. I know it's going to be us there soon."
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes a week off before returning to action in the first of two visits to Iowa Speedway on July 14th for the American Ethanol 200.
Turner Motorsports PR