Gray Gaulding and the #02 Krispy Kreme Chevrolet team’s day ended unexpectedly early when they lost an engine on lap 2 of the 75 lap Talking Stick Resort 75.
Gaulding who had high expectations after winning last time out at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) was devastated. “I hate it more for my guys,” said Gaulding. “They travel from North Carolina out here to go for the win. We’re not racing for points, but we find the positive in everything, if this would have happened at Bristol it would have hurt us in the east (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) points.”
The Krispy Kreme team paced the 9th quickest time in Thursday opening 60 minute practice session with a time of 28.099 at 128.118 mph. “The car had a good balance” said Gaulding, “we just need to fine tune a few things in race trim.”
Gaulding set the 5th quick time in final practice only .02 behind NTS Motorsports teammate Brennan Newberry in the 24 with a time of 27.715 at 129.894 mph.
For the 9th time in his career, Gaulding posted a top-5 qualifying effort with a time of 27.745, Gaulding would roll off on the inside of row 3 for the evening’s Talking Stick Resort 75.
At 5:15 p.m. MST when the green flag dropped, Gaulding immediately headed forward and moved into fourth by the exit of turn two and was looking for third on lap 2 before coming over the radio saying “we just lost the motor.” Gaulding immediately moved to the apron but only made it to the entrance of pit road before the car stopped.
Once cleared from the infield care center, Gaulding joined his fellow NTS Motorsports team in cheering on Brennan Newberry to a second place finish.
Gray Gaulding’s Post-Race Thoughts:
“I hate it for my guys, they work so hard week in and week out to prepare the best cars on the track unfortunately something that was out of our control cost us today. Congratulation to Brennan and the entire 24 team on their strong run, he drove and awesome race and was in position at the end. We will move on and I am pumped about heading back to Bristol.”
Ryan McKinney’s Post-Race Thoughts:
“Sometimes things happen that is not under our control. We will take a better look at everything on Monday to get a better diagnosis as to what the problem was. These guys did an excellent job and I know Gray felt like he had the car to win. I was glad to see Brennan and the 24 car run up front and we will take what we learned and come back in the fall.”
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