Chase Pistone has made the trip to Newton, Iowa to race in the heart of the mid-west before, yet had never done so to pilot a NASCAR Camping World Truck. NTS Motorsports and the No.9 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado team unloaded for the one day event and prepared for two practice sessions.
The morning's first session was scheduled for 80 minutes and the track was opened to teams bright and early, at 8:30AM CT. After running a handful of laps around the .875 Mile asphalt surface, Pistone reported to his team that he was tight in the center and needed help on exit of the corner. Running 26 total laps during the opening session of the day, Pistone's fastest circuit came on his last trip past the flag stand. With a time of 23.305 and a top speed of 135.747 MPH, the No.9 Chevrolet sat inside the top ten matching his number, in 9th spot. With just over an hour and a half until the final session, McKinney made changes to help his driver be able to get back in the gas quicker and to pick up time on the track. However, as the skies grew darker, the rain clouds washed away final practice.
Knockout qualifying for the Keystone Light Pole Award would consist of two rounds, with Iowa Speedway being under 1.25 miles, the first would be a 30 minute round, followed by a final 10 minute session to determine the pole. With no mock qualifying run in practice, teams took their chances with the tape and setups. After the first session, Pistone logged a lap time of 23.308 which would put him on the inside of row nine, 17th on the board.
As Pistone strapped into his race truck, waiting for the command to start engines, Crew Chief Ryan McKinney was confident in their ability to run up front. Following their lone practice, McKinney had remedied the too tight situation for his driver, but just after taking the green flag for the 200 lap event, Pistone would have to pilot a chassis that was now a bit too free at Iowa Speedway. By lap 21, Pistone had held his position and was running in the 16tt spot, but reported to his team that he was in need of help on the exit of the corners and was looking for some adjustments that would give him the ability to get back in the gas after during their first pit stop. Caution would be displayed on lap 41 and the NTS Motorsports driver made his way to his box. Excited to get the #9 Silverado back on track, after a good pit stop for four tires and fuel, the team picked up three spots on the board. Unfortunately, they would have to give those spots up, as NASCAR sent Pistone to the tail-end of the longest line to serve a penalty for a speeding penalty exiting pit road. The restart marked the completion of lap 45 and Pistone began picking his way through the field, happy with the changes that had been made and driving a much more stable Chevrolet. At the end of lap 56 Pistone had worked his way to 11th, just one spot outside the top ten.
Just past halfway in the American Ethanol 200, the No.9 truck was running in the 12th position. With just 70 laps remaining, Pistone and the NTS Team had picked up one spot on pit road which had the driver knocking on the door of the top ten again. Once the checkers were displayed, Pistone would come home in 12th, and after a strong performance, has a lot of momentum going into his first ever dirt track event, competing in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, in Rossburg, Ohio.
Chase Pistone's Post-Race Thoughts:
"It wasn't a bad race for us and I was pleased with the finish we got at the end of the night. As a team we learned a lot that will make us better next time. Ryan (McKinney) did a great job on top of the box and really got us right during the race after losing our final practice. I feel like if we had another chance to get on track before qualifying, we could have gotten a better starting spot and came home well inside the top ten. We will be testing on dirt this week and I am excited to be a part of the Eldora event in the NCWTS this year, as it was such a great success in 2013."
Ryan McKinney's Post-Race Thoughts:
"I can't say enough about the NTS Motorsports No.9 crew. They always give their all and make sure that we always have a fast Chevrolet Silverado when we unload at the track. We worked on the truck during the first practice and made it better for Chase and I think that is evident with our finish. Chase drove like a champ behind the wheel Friday night and I know we will just keep getting better and better each time we show up. I really look forward to getting to Eldora Speedway to throw some dirt around in Ohio."
NTS Motorsports PR