Cale Gale ESR Race Report -- American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland
Cale Gale and the No. 33 Rheem team brought home their third top-10 finish of the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season on Saturday night at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway. Gale drove a very smart race and worked closely with the Rheem team to develop a strategy that would position them near the front of the field at the conclusion of the event. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender crossed the finish line in the sixth position making him the highest finishing rookie in the American Ethanol 225.
Gale rolled off sixth for the 150-lap race in the windy city. With an extremely fast truck, Gale was able to hold on to a position inside the top eight despite being loose in the center of the corner during the opening run. With only two sets of sticker tires and track position at a premium, the Rheem team knew they needed to carefully plan their strategy throughout the race. Crew chief Jerry Baxter made the decision to take the first set of sticker tires during a green-flag stop on lap 45.
Gale continued to battle a loose race truck throughout the opening 100 laps visiting pit road during the lap 72 caution and again during the lap 100 caution. The Rheem team put their final set of sticker tires on their Chevrolet during the pit stop on lap 100, and made a track bar and spring rubber adjustment to help tighten up their Silverado. The changes made Gale's Rheem Chevrolet race the way he needed and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender began his march to the front. Gale picked up six positions during the final 30 laps to cross the finish line in the sixth position.
"I'm really happy with our finish tonight; the Rheem team put in a lot of time to prepare our Chevrolet for Chicagoland Speedway and I drove a hard race tonight," commented Gale. "We battled with a loose truck early in the race, but we never gave up. Jerry made some good changes during that final pit stop, and we were able to drive through the field. It's really important to have momentum on your side with all the races coming up over the next few weeks; hopefully we'll be able to follow this up with another strong run in the Rheem Chevrolet at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway."
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