Cale Gale scores top-20 at Kentucky
Cale Gale and the No. 33 Rheem team secured a top-20 finish after fighting back from a broken radiator with less than 50 laps to go. Gale was racing inside the top 10 when a piece of debris punctured the radiator and forced Gale to pull behind the wall for repairs. The team replaced the radiator in less than 10 minutes and got Gale back on track to finish 19th in the Kentucky 201 at Kentucky Speedway.
Gale rolled off fourth in the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet after posting a 30.799-second lap during his qualifying attempt. With weather expected, teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) were challenged with determining their strategy for the night. At first, many teams focused their strategy on getting to the halfway point of the race, but as the rain on the radar continued to dissipate pit strategies continued to change.
The Rheem Chevrolet was slightly tight at the start of the race, but knowing the track would loosen up as the night unfolded the team never made a chassis adjustment. Gale visited pit road for the first time during the lap 22 caution for a fuel-only pit stop. Racing inside the top 10, Gale had solid restarts all night and picked up positions to race inside the top five.
With only two sets of stickers tires available to each team for the 134-lap race, Jerry Baxter and the Rheem team also needed to consider tire wear in their strategy. Gale took his first set of tires during the lap 47 caution, and came back down pit road for his final set during the lap 81 caution.
While stopped on pit road during the lap 81 caution, the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet lost fluid leaving a puddle of water. Conversation among the crew immediately began to diagnose the problem. Without water pressure in Gale's machine, the Rheem team ran to the garage and prepared to change the radiator. Gale was set to restart the Kentucky 201 in the ninth position on lap 84, but instead followed the pace car down pit road and into the garage. A piece of debris punctured the radiator forcing the team to replace the part. The repair took the Rheem team less than 10 minutes and Gale returned to the track after missing just 19 laps.
Gale continued to log laps to pick up positions. By the time the checkered flag fell, Gale was scored in the 19th position.
"I'm really proud of my Rheem team today," commented Gale. "We didn't get the finish that we had hoped for, but the guys did a great job building my truck and adjusting it all weekend. I feel like we're getting better each and every week as a team. Our truck was really fast tonight, so we decided that we're going to take this one to Las Vegas next week. I'm excited to see what we're able to do with our Rheem Chevrolet on that mile-and-a-half track."
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