Gaulding Overcomes Late-Race Incident to Finish 11th
Making his first start for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), Gray Gaulding wanted to keep his No. 54 Krispy Kreme Tundra up front at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the site of his best-career finish of fourth last year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He ran in, or near, the top 10 much of the race, but a late-race incident with Tyler Reddick cost him track position. Gaulding fought back to finish 11th.
Starting from eighth place, Gaulding was up to fifth as the field began to cycle through green-flag pit stops early in the race. He pitted for fuel only on lap 14, and a caution immediately following his stop put him in eighth place for the restart on lap 17.
Gaulding told crew chief Shannon Rursch the Krispy Kreme Tundra was a little tight, but he was holding strong in 11th place by the halfway point on lap 32. His next and what should have been his final green-flag stop of the race came on lap 38. After taking four tires and a wedge adjustment he was ninth with 17 laps to go.
With 10 laps remaining, Gaulding was still in ninth place. It was looking as though he would score a top-10 finish at the 10-turn road course until he and Reddick made contact with five laps to go. The two trucks spun in turn eight and Gaulding's Tundra backed into the tire barrier. With the majority of the damage in the rear of the truck, Gaulding was able to pit for new tires and minor repairs to finish the race.
Gaulding restarted 17th with two laps to go and he certainly made the most of those two laps. He fought hard to gain six positions and finish the race in 11th place.
"I felt like we had a pretty good Krispy Kreme Toyota Tundra," Gaulding said. "KBM gave me a great truck. We were probably going to have a good top-five, top-six or top-seven finish. The truck was just a little bit tight, but the 19 (Tyler Reddick) just decided to crash us. It's all good. It's just how it goes sometimes. You've just got to roll with the punches and go on to the next one. I just hate the fact that we were going to have a good run and it just got thrown away by a stupid move for no reason. Me and him, we were both better than the trucks in front of us and we were probably going to pass them, and something dumb like that happens. That's how it goes and we'll move on to Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) in a few weeks."
KBM's Erik Jones won the race and took the point lead. Matt Crafton was second, followed by Ben Kennedy, Daniel Hemric and Alex Tagliani rounded out the top five. KBM's Matt Tifft was 23rd. The No. 54 team gained one position moving up to 12th in the owner's championship point standings.
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