Paludo Captures Fourth Top 10 of 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway

Miguel Paludo put on a solid performance at the first of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' (NCWTS) two visits to Texas Motor Speedway, earning a 10th-place finish in the WinStar World Casino 400. After strong practice and qualifying sessions, Paludo remained in the top 10 for a majority of the 167-lap event, leading two laps before bringing home his fourth top-10 finish of the season.

 

After landing sixth on the leaderboard in the weekend's only practice session, Paludo laid down a 30.104-second qualifying lap, earning a fifth-place starting spot. It didn't take long for the action to heat up on the 1.5-mile oval, with trucks going three wide immediately after the wave of the green flag. Paludo kept his Duroline Brakes and Components Chevrolet in the fifth position for the first 39 laps of the event, and he was scored in the sixth spot when the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 43. Paludo relayed to the No. 32 crew that his Silverado was free on entry and exit but snug in the middle, and crew chief Jeff Hensley made the call for a four-tire pit stop with track-bar adjustment.

 

Paludo restarted from the seventh position on lap 50 and immediately relayed to his crew that the adjustments they'd made were "awesome," but after 30 laps of green-flag racing, the Duroline Chevy became snug in and off the corners. Paludo dropped to eighth on lap 66, holding onto the spot until green-flag pit stops began on lap 97. As his competitors ducked to pit road, Paludo advanced through the field, taking over the lead on lap 100. Holding the top spot for two laps, Paludo relinquished his lead in order to make a pit stop. Hensley once again called for four tires and fuel, and the team partially reversed the track-bar adjustment made on the previous pit stop.

 

The No. 32 was seventh once green-flag pit stops fully cycled through, and Paludo maintained his position as the long caution-free run continued. Finally, on lap 140, Paludo saw the yellow flag needed to tighten the field and allow for passing. Paludo made his final visit to pit road of the night under yellow, taking four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Returning to the racing surface in eighth, the action resumed on lap 144. A chaotic restart shuffled the front of the field, and Paludo's Duroline Brakes and Components Chevrolet's handling was now quite tight. Paludo slipped back as far as 12th in the closing laps, but the Brazilian fought hard to reclaim his positions, taking the checkered flag from the 10th spot.

 

"I'll take a top-10 finish for sure, but we were better than that." said Paludo. "It's frustrating, we had a top-five truck, but when the field spreads out over long green-flag runs like tonight, you can't always catch the guys in front of you. We had a chance with that last caution, but we just got too tight at the end. I'm very happy for my teammate Jeb [Burton] getting his first win. The entire Turner Scott Motorsports team is so strong; I know that our time is coming, and it's very soon. We had a good truck and we learned a lot that we can take to Kentucky in a few weeks."

 

Paludo remains ninth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings, seven points behind eighth. The NCWTS has a two-week break before returning to action at K

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Speedway Digest Staff

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