Traveling to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 with a brand new Toyota Tundra chassis in tow, the No. 17 Red Horse Racing team and driver Timothy Peters were prepared to battle in race number 20 of the 2012 season. After a 14th place qualifying effort, Peters and his team fought a tight handling condition for most of the evening. Patience during the long runs and fast work on pit road helped Peters move forward to claim a 10th place finish.
Working to find the right balance as the track temperatures and conditions changed from day to night and between practice, qualifying and the race, Peters held a steady wheel inside his Toyota Tundra during qualifying to take the 14th starting spot. Moving forward a couple of positions after the start, Peters reported to his crew just 15 laps in that he was loose, especially in traffic. The No. 17 Red Horse Racing team created a plan of action to make changes during the first round of pit stops Friday night to help tighten up their Tundra and clicked off a fast four tire stop, gaining a couple of positions to put Peters in 11th on the restart.
During the second green flag run, Peters worked with Hylton to find a line that would work well with his Tundra and the handling conditions he was experiencing. Using patience on the long run, Peters was able to gain positions as other trucks faded back. On lap 62, Hylton brought his driver down pit road for the second time under caution to make some more adjustments. The Red Horse Racing pit crew showcased their talent and completed their stop quick enough to gain Peters two spots for the restart, boosting him to eighth.
Differing pit strategy mixed up the running order for the restart on lap 69, creating a hornet’s nest of traffic for Peters to sort through. As the field bunched up in front of him, a competitor made contact with Peters, causing damage to the nose and splitter of his Tundra. After sliding back a few positions to avoid the scramble, Peters used the consistency his Red Horse Racing Tundra had on the long run to methodically work his way back towards the front. Working on his line until the final pit stop under green flag conditions, Peters came onto pit road on lap 107 from the 12th position to get one last set of adjustments. His pit crew performed once again, gaining him three positions on the track when the stops cycled through.
As he counted down the final 40 laps, Peters reported to his crew that his Tundra remained too tight to make a charge for the leaders. The extended green flag run to close out the final 78 laps of the race separated the field and prevented the opportunity for Peters to gain positions on the long run as he had earlier in the night. After relinquishing one position to teammate Todd Bodine in the closing stages, Peters and the No. 17 Red Horse Racing team came away from Texas with a 10th place finish. Following the checkered flag, the team discovered the damage to the nose and splitter of their Tundra was more significant than they had originally thought, likely causing the handling and vibration issues Peters suffered for the second half of the evening.
“On the long runs, our Toyota Tundra was pretty good and I was able to make some passes, but we just needed a little more to be able to run with the leaders tonight,” Peters explained. “I thought I had made contact with another truck during that second restart, but we didn’t see how significant the damage was until after the race was over. Overall not a bad day to come home with a top-10 and not lose any points in the championship, and we’re not going down without a fight in these next two races.”