Chad Hackenbracht, driver of the No. 51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra, made his second start of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 125. Following a disappointing Truck Series debut at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth earlier this season, Hackenbracht was looking for redemption this time around and feels like he did just that. The New Philadelphia, Ohio native was on the cusp of a top-10 finish on the final lap before he lost several spots while avoiding a spinning truck on the exit of Turn 3 and ultimately finished 15th.
“We were fighting a loose Toyota Tundra for much of today’s race,” Hackenbracht said. “With the long green-flag runs, we were unable to really make any big swings at it. We were finally able to make some adjustments on it and made it better under that caution there at the end. During those last two restarts, we kept picking off trucks and moving our way up through the field, but on the last lap the 33 spun in Turn 3 and I had to check way up to avoid him and a bunch of trucks got around me. Unfortunately, we finished 15th. It was a disappointing day, but I finished the race and learned a lot – I’m building my notebook each time I get behind the wheel.”
When rain cancelled Saturday morning’s NCWTS time trials, the No. 51 Toyota Tundra was forced to start from the 15th-position based on Friday afternoon’s practice speeds. Fighting a Tundra that was, “free in all three corners,” Hackenbracht lost positions in the early stages of the 50-lap event and was sitting 18th on the leaderboard when crew chief Ryan “Rudy” Fugle brought his Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra down pit road for a scheduled stop under green a lap 23. Right side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment were in order for the No. 51 machine to help aid in the handling. When the field cycled through the green flag stops, the Toyota Tundra was scored 17th.
A welcoming opportunity for relief was displayed at lap 43, when the second caution of the afternoon was displayed for debris. Fugle brought his rookie driver down pit road to the attention of his crew for four tires, fuel and a major chassis adjustment. When racing resumed on lap 46 the No. 51 Toyota Tundra was scored 17th.
Two more cautions slowed the field on laps 48 and 51, respectively. Hackenbracht took advantage of his new tires and made quick work of the trucks in front of him. However, going into Turn 3, on the last lap, the No. 31 machine spun on the Long Pond Straightaway in front of Hackenbracht, forcing him to check up and lose several positions.
The No. 51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra would cross the stripe in the 15th position – the 21-year-old rookie’s career-best NCWTS finish.
Ryan Blaney won the 4th Annual Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway, his second victory in 20 NCWTS starts and his first win of 2013. Miguel Paludo (second) posted his career-best Truck Series finish. German Quiroga (third) posted his first top-10 finish in his first visit to the “Tricky Triangle.” Joey Coulter and Ross Chastain rounded out the top-five finishers.
KBM teammate Joey Coulter finished fourth and Darrell Wallace Jr. crossed the line seventh in the 11th event on the 2013 NCWTS schedule.
The field was slowed four times for 10 laps and the lead was exchanged nine times by seven different drivers.
The No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra fell to third in the 2013 NCWTS owner’s point standings a mere point behind the No. 4 of Jeb Burton and 53 markers behind the series leading 88 team of Matt Crafton.
Hackenbracht is scheduled to make his third of four starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra when the series heads north of the boarder to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Canada on September 1, 2013. The New Philadelphia, Ohio native has two road course starts in the ARCA Racing Series at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, including a pole and one top-10 finish.
Owner-driver Kyle Busch will return to the seat of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra for the Michigan National Guard 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday, Aug. 17.