Miguel Paludo finished off the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season strong at Homestead-Miami Speedway, closing out 2013 with his 15th top-15 finish of the year. Paludo battled a tight condition early in the race, but the No. 32 team adjusted effectively, allowing him to fight in the final laps and survive three attempts at a green/white/checkered finish before bringing the AccuDoc Solutions Silverado home in 11th place.
After running 11th in the weekend’s only practice session, Paludo’s 32.357-second qualifying lap earned the Brazilian a 10th-place starting spot for the NCWTS season finale. Taking the green flag in the top 10, Paludo immediately reported that his AccuDoc Solutions Chevy was a little snug. Dropping to 14th on lap 10, Paludo radioed to his crew that his tight condition had caused him to brush the wall, but that it did not seem that there was any major damage. However, the No. 32 continued to tighten and Paludo dropped to the 21st spot by the time the caution flag waved on lap 40. Calling his driver down pit road, crew chief Jeff Hensley made the decision to take four tires, fuel and both wedge and track-bar adjustments. While changing tires, the crew also noticed that the right-front fender was knocked in from the earlier contact with the wall, and a second pit stop was performed to repair the sheet metal. Returning to the track in 24th, the green flag waved on lap 46.
With the fender damage likely contributing to the tight condition, Paludo advanced up to the 17th spot prior to a two-truck incident bringing out the caution on lap 103. With a strong restart on lap 110, Paludo jumped to the 13th spot within one lap around the 1.5-mile track. When the caution flag waved on lap 132 of the scheduled 134-lap race, it set the field up for its first attempt at a green/white/checkered restart on lap 136. With two fresh right-side tires acquired under yellow combined with another strong restart, Paludo navigated up to 11th before another caution prior to the white flag slowed the field. Paludo held onto his spot through two more attempts at a green/white/checkered finish, maintaining the 11th spot until he crossed the finish line.
“I am so proud of my team, I can’t thank everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports enough: Steve Turner, Harry Scott, Jeff Hensley and all of my guys.” said Paludo after the race. “The progress we have made as a team in the last two seasons is incredible. I wish that we could have brought home a win together before the end of the year, but I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity get it next year. I really appreciate Duroline, AccuDoc Solutions, BRANDT do Brasil, SEM, Anderson’s Maple Syrup and Levine Children’s Hospital for being involved in our program this year. And, of course, I have to thank the fans here and at home, in the U.S., Brazil and all over the world, for supporting me and our organization. We wouldn’t be here without them and I hope that we gave them a great show this season.”
Paludo finishes out the best season of his career ranked ninth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings with four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, one pole and 72 laps led. The 2014 season will kick off at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 21.
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