Monday, Aug 15
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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After making some big gains during the second half of the Pork Be Inspired 150, Akinori Ogata was caught up in a late race melee, ending his day on the 132nd lap.  The adjustments made during the halfway break by the ENEOS Motor Oil No. 49 team really helped Akinori as he was able to advance towards the front of the field.  Unfortunately, the accident left Ogata with a 31st place finish.

“I’m really happy with my MacDonald Motorsports team and the adjustments made by my crew chief Dave Fuge,” explained Akinori.  “They found an oil leak during the half-way break and were able to get it fixed in just 8 minutes and get me back out for the second half of the race.  I really have to thank ENEOS Motor oil as well for all of their support.  I wish we could have brought them home a better finish but at least we had a strong car.”

On lap 132, a few cars got together ahead of Akinori, leaving him no where to go.  The damage from the accident ended the race for the ENEOS Motor Oil No. 49 team.

The MacDonald Motorsports No. 49 sits 13th in the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East owner standings following the race in Iowa.  The next race for the K&N East Series team is in 4 weeks at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

MMSPR

Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports w/ Gary Keller had an interesting night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday. His teammate, Darryl Harr, drove the No. 4 iWork.com Chevrolet for this event.

After the first practice session on Friday at the 7/8th-mile oval, Wallace was 29th on the chart and Harr was 35th. When the Happy Hour practice ended, Wallace was 28th and Harr was 38th on the scoring pylon. When qualifying ended on Saturday afternoon, Wallace was slotted in the 28th spot and Harr in 41st place.

From the initial start, Wallace worked his way around the banked turns to see how he could improve on the car’s handling. He would start to move up the chart cracking into the top-25 and holding in those positions.

The team didn’t need to look for cautions to make their first stop for adjustments as NASCAR had already put in a pre-determined competition caution on lap 50. Crew chief Newt Moore and Wallace made that stop for tires, fuel and needed adjustments.

However, for the rest of the race they had their work cut out for them as only two more yellow flags flew throughout the race.

This caused teams to make green-flag stops and calculate fuel mileage throughout the race. Wallace became victim to running out of fuel and had to coast to pit road. While coming in, without the engine running, he was assessed a “Too fast entering” drive-thru penalty.

Getting back out, now down laps to the leader, the fuel mileage game inflicted the team again as it happened before the next scheduled stop. He coasted back down pit road, under green, made the stop and topped off with fuel before returning to action.

From there, he would race his way into the top-20 looking to gain as much as he could; while being stuck where he was on the scoring chart. The veteran he is, Wallace did what he could to stay out of harm’s way and earn a 25th-place finish in the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet when the checkered flag flew on lap 250.

Harr battled handling conditions to finish 33rd in the iWork.com Chevrolet. Wallace remains 15th in points, trailing 14th by only five markers.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series wheels its way to Watkins Glen International for next weekend’s road course race; which will be on ABC TV.

Mike Wallace Quotes: “This wasn’t the type of race I can remember experiencing in a long time. The competition caution came at a good time, but to have only two more after that in a 250-lap race is odd.

“The long green-flag runs got us on fuel mileage that one time. I was trying to be as slow as possible coming in, but when the car isn’t running it’s tough to gauge the tachometer based off coasting speed. So, I got the drive-thru penalty for being too fast entering.

“That knocked us off our strategy a bit and then we ran out of fuel, again, and had to coast back down pit road under green. From there, it was just get the best finish possible and keep the car in one piece – which we did manage.

“Watkins Glen is next week and I really enjoy that road course, so we’ll head up there and get back some of what we lost in Iowa.”

JD Motorsports PR

 Parker Kligerman, driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), finished 7th in the Pocono Mountains 125 on Saturday. Kligerman, who now ranks 6th in driver points, managed to stay focused and work his way up through the field after struggling in qualifying.

 

Kligerman began the 50-lap race from the 17th position after posting a lap of 54.386 seconds, or 165.484 miles per hour, around the two and a half mile triangular race track. Although the truck setup missed in qualifying trim the BKR team was confident that the No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM could move up through the field with Kligerman behind the wheel, despite the brevity of the event. As the green flag flew Kligerman took to the high side of the track and passed three of his competitors before he entered the Long Pond straightaway on the first lap.

 

By lap number three Kligerman described the truck as tight everywhere around the race track, but still managed to keep pace with the rest of the field. As the fuel reserved dwindled Kligerman voiced that the truck became slightly loose on the entry of turn two, but remained very tight everywhere else.

 

Crew chief Doug Randolph called the No. 29 to pit road for a scheduled stop on lap 21. The team put on right side tires, took a full load of fuel and made a much needed track bar adjustment in an attempt to loosen the car up on exit of the corners. The Cooper Standard pit crew worked swiftly getting Kligerman out on track in the 13th position.

 

Lap 30 brought out the first yellow of the afternoon as No. 2 truck blew a tire and careened into the wall. The caution laps created the opportunity conserve fuel and make the 50 lap race a single stop event. Being in 13th position, Kligerman baited the competitors behind him to gage their interest of coming to pit road to top off fuel. As the rear of the field lined up on the apron the No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM dive bombed off the track just before the commitment cone. The BKR crew packed the fuel tank full giving Kligerman the green light to race hard to the finish.

 

All the competitors raced hard as the laps counted down in the shortest event of the season. Kligerman continued to gain spots on the track moving all the way up into the seventh position by the time the white flag flew. He recorded his seventh top-10 finish of the season and is in close striking distance of the drivers championship leader.

 

Following Saturday's result, Kligerman and the No. 29 BKR RAM are ranked 6th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver/owner point standings only 35 points behind the leader.

 

The No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM will visit Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, August 18, for the VFW 200. Live coverage will begin at 12:30 pm ET on SPEED. The race will also be heard on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.

 

BKM PR

After starting from the 16th spot in Saturday's Pocono Mountains 125 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Denny Hamlin quickly worked his way into the top 10 and remained there until he brought the GNC Franchising Tundra down pit road for his first scheduled pit stop on lap 19. After pit stops cycled through, Hamlin made his way into the top five, and despite substantial damage to the right front fender of his No. 18 Toyota, was able to hold on for a fifth-place finish in his first Truck Series start of the 2012 season.

 

"It just definitely wasn't the day we were looking for," said Hamlin, who has four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories at the 'Tricky Triangle.' "Just never could overcome it.  The power of those guys in front of us was big and we just didn't have a great handling truck, so with all that combined it's tough to get the track position you need. I have to thank everyone from all of the GNC Franchises for coming on board the truck this week, Toyota for their supporting it, NDS Nutrition, M&M's, Dollar General, Flexco -- they're all big supporters of Kyle Busch Motorsports and thank Kyle (Busch) for putting me in it."

 

Once the green flag flew, Hamlin got a healthy start and was able to propel from his 16th starting position to the ninth spot by the time the field made it back to the start-finish line, for the completion of lap 1. The Virginia native settled into ninth place until crew chief Eric Phillips played out his pre-race strategy - managing the race similar to a road course - and ordered his driver down pit road on lap 19, before the rest of the field made their regularly-scheduled stops.

 

Phillips strategy paid off, as the GNC Franchising Tundra was scored in the sixth spot when pit stops cycled through on lap 28. Hamlin remained sixth when the second caution of the race slowed the field on lap 34

 

On the ensuing restart, the Sprint Cup Series stalwart once again managed to gain positions on the first green-flag lap, moving up to the fourth position by the time the field crossed the stripe. The third and final caution of the race occurred on lap 40, when Timothy Peters and Miguel Paludo got together in Turn 2. As Hamlin attempted to maneuver his way through the two trucks, who were colliding in front of him, his No. 18 Toyota made contact with Paludo's No. 32 truck, causing significant damage to the right front fender.

 

Hamlin was scored in the fifth position when the race went green for the final time, with seven laps remaining in the 50-lap event. He was able to make his way past pole-sitter Nelson Piquet Jr. off the restart, but a tire rub - which developed as a result of the right front fender damage - intensified as the race continued into the final stages, and the 31-year old relinquished the position one lap later. The No. 18 GNC Franchising Tundra took the checkered flag from the fifth position.   

 

Joey Coulter picked up his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory. James Buescher finished 1.224 seconds behind Coulter in the runner-up spot. Piquet Jr. and Matt Crafton finished third and fourth, respectively, and Hamlin rounded out the top-five finishers.

 

There were three caution periods for 12 laps. Thirteen drivers failed to finish the race.

 

Despite collecting its second top-five finish of the season, the No. 18 Toyota remained 11th in the Truck Series Owner's point standings. After 11 of 22 races, KBM's flagship Tundra sits six points behind the No. 30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, which resides in the 10th position. 

 

Jason Leffler will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series travels to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Aug. 18. The VFW 200 begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with live coverage provided by SPEED commencing with the NCWTS Setup Show at Noon.

 

KMS PR

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Elliott Sadler), 14th (Brendan Gaughan) and 15th (Austin Dillon).
  • Sadler leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over Dillon by 18 points. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ranks third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Justin Allgaier.
  • The No. 2 Chevrolet team is second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, 19 points shy of the No. 18 car's lead, with the No. 3 team third in the standings and the No. 33 team seventh.
  • Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
  • According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, the RCR entries posted the Fastest Lap of the Race for 73 circuits with Dillon (55 fastest laps), Sadler (16) and Gaughan (1).
  • Sadler had the fastest Speed in Traffic and ranked second in Loop Data Categories for Average Running Position (2.024), Driver Rating (131.1) Fastest Drivers Early in a Run, Fastest on Restarts and Green Flag Speed.
  • Sadler and Gaughan were among the seven drivers who spent 100 percent of the race running in the top 15.
  • Gaughan ranked fifth in Quality Passes with 26.
  • Dillon was the Fastest Driver Late in a Run and had the fastest Green Flag Speed.
  • Dillon had the third-best Driver Rating (118.1).
  • Sadler earned his fourth Nationwide Series win of the season and was followed to the finish line by Allgaier, Hornish, Michael Annett and Stenhouse Jr.
  • The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Zippo 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 11. The 21st race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ABC beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Sadler, No. 2 One Main Financial Chevy Team Win Big after Indy Heartbreak

 

Richard Childress Racing's Elliott Sadler listened to his dad's advice to "go to Iowa and kick their butts" after the heartbreak seven days prior at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 2 One Main Financial Chevrolet followed through by capturing the pole for the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway and then leading the final 58 laps to earn his fourth victory of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Coming into Saturday night's race, the sting from having the win in the Nationwide Series' inaugural race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway taken from his grasp was still a strong irritation for the Emporia, Va., native. Instead of letting it sidetrack his championship aspirations, Sadler used it as motivation to prove that the No. 2 Chevrolet Team team was still a title contender. Well planned pit strategy by Sadler and crew chief Luke Lambert played to their favor throughout the night, especially during the night's second stop, on lap 92, when Lambert called an audible from the planned two-tire stop and went with four fresh Goodyear tires instead. Initially losing a few positions as the field took the green flag, he was back in second place on lap 106. He stayed on the rear bumper of leader Jason Allgaier until taking the lead on lap 193. Sadler drove away and took the checkered six-tenths-of-a-second ahead of Allgaier on the 0.875-mile oval. The victory increased Sadler's lead to 18 in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over teammate Austin Dillon, who finished 15th.

 

Start - 1              Finish - 1                 Laps Led - 3                Points - 1

 

ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE:

"It's been a tough week. We really felt like we should have won that race last week. My dad had knee surgery this week, and he gave me the best advice. He said, 'Do not let them (NASCAR) take this championship away from you. Go to Iowa and kick their butts'. I think we're going to be really good for the rest of the year. I'm driving with a lot of confidence, and crew chief Luke Lambert is making a lot of good adjustments right now. We're probably communicating better right now than we have all season long."

 

  

Unscheduled Pit Stop Drops Austin Dillon to 15th-Place Finish at Iowa Speedway

 

After starting third in Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, Austin Dillon drove to a commanding lead and was a front runner for much of the 250-lap affair before an unscheduled pit stop caused the No. 3 American Ethanol team to fall one lap down and ultimately finish 15th. Dillon took the green flag from the third position and raced into the lead at lap 37, reporting to crew chief Danny Stockman that handling improved on the No. 3 Chevrolet as the race progressed. Dillon was scored as the race leader when the caution flag was displayed at lap 90, prompting a trip down pit road for four tires and fuel. Dillon lost nine positions as several teams opted for fuel-only pit stops and the American Ethanol Chevrolet restarted in the 10th position when green flag racing resumed at lap 95. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion immediately began advancing in the running order, driving to third by the race's halfway point. However, Dillon had to make an unscheduled green-flag pit stop for four tires after reporting a vibration on the No. 3 Chevrolet. Exiting pit road one lap down to the race leader and in the 21st position with less than 100 laps remaining, Dillon spent the remainder of the event racing for the Lucky Dog Award. Long green-flag runs prevented him from earning his lap back, despite posting lap times faster than the leaders, and he finished in the 15th position, one lap down. Dillon remains second in the Nationwide Series driver champion point standings.

 

 

Start - 3                       Finish - 15                   Laps Led - 53                           Points - 2

                                  

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: 
"Wow. I feel like we gave a race away tonight. I'm extremely disappointed because I know we had a fast American Ethanol Chevrolet. I almost feel like we've been cheated of two wins at Iowa Speedway between last year's truck race and the incidents that happened tonight. I know that everything happens for a reason. Our team is strong and we will fight back. Danny Stockman and the team did an amazing job building this Chevrolet and our speed on the track reflected that tonight so I have to thank them for all of their hard work."

Brendan Gaughan and No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet Team Post Top-15 Finish at Iowa

 

After running in the top-10 for the majority of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, Brendan Gaughan nursed a shredding right-front tire on the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet in the closing laps to finish in the 14th-position. Gaughan started the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by Enlist Weed Control System from the sixth position in front of a standing room-only crowd of 50,000 at the Newton, Iowa-based track. The Las Vegas native was a strong contender throughout the 250-lap contest, reporting to crew chief Ernie Cope that the neon yellow machine handled especially well during long green-flag runs. Gaughan was scored in the eighth position when the final caution flag of the race was displayed at lap 174, prompting the team to pit for four Goodyear tires and Sunoco Green E15 fuel. Restarting from the eighth position with 73 laps remaining, Gaughan remained in the top 10 until reporting the right-front tire was going down on the No. 33 Chevrolet with 25 laps to go, causing him to fall to 14th before crossing the finish line. The No. 33 team remains seventh in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings.

 

 

Start - 6                     Finish -14                    Laps Led - 0               Owner's Points - 7

                                  

BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:     

"Overall, it was a great day for Richard Childress Racing, so congratulations to Richard and everyone associated with the organization on wins with Joey Coulter and Elliott Sadler. The Rheem/Menards team had a strong run today but the ending was a bit disappointing. The right-front tire fell apart during the last run and we didn't get a caution when we needed it."

 

RCR PR

Upon their return to the cornfields of Iowa, the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team and driver Kurt Busch had high expectations for a good result. Earlier in the season, the young team tackled the short track for the first time, with the older Busch brother and finished fifth. With a winning chassis underneath them, and a driver that had seen the track once before, the crew felt confident about a strong run. Busch started Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race from the 15th position, reaching as high as second and often running lap times faster than the race leaders. With seven laps to go, however, a blown right-front tire forced the Monster Energy team to visit pit road while event laps expired. The No. 54 team finished one-lap down to the field, in the18th position.

 

Within 10 laps of the green-flag drop, Busch had worked his way inside the top-10 to ninth, complaining only of a 'tight exit' car condition. Crew chief Mike Beam assured the champion driver that changes would be made on the first visit to pit road. A competition caution waved on lap 50 and the Monster Energy machine hit pit road. Due to several changes made to the vehicle, the team's pit stop was longer than normal, losing the group three spots upon track return.

 

A green-flag restart on lap 55 scored the black machine 10th, and within one lap Busch had regained the spots lost from the previous pit stop. The second yellow-flag showed on lap 89 and teams visited pit road once more. While most competitors chose to take only two fresh Goodyear tires, the No. 54 team, along with race leaders, took advantage of replacing four tires. Again, losing time on pit road for the added maintenance, the KBM team restarted 11th on lap 95 of the 250-lap event.

 

Needless to say, the pit road changes worked and by lap 127 Busch had wheeled his Toyota machine to sixth place. "Whooee, I'm having fun," Busch exclaimed on the radio. "The left rear needs help," he continued, with direction to consider for the next pit stop. By lap 144 Busch was third and remained there until the third and final caution flag waved on lap 172.

 

For the third time of the event, Busch brought his Camry onto pit road and the team replenished it with Sunoco fuel and new Goodyear tires, this time with some air pressure adjustments. The pit stop time was fast and it helped Busch gain one position through the exchange. The Monster Energy car restarted second on lap 178, behind leader Justin Allgaier. Over the next 30 laps, the Las Vegas native would battle to maintain the second spot, fighting the No. 2 car of eventual race winner Elliott Sadler.

 

Lap times were key at this point, showcasing the KBM car's ability to run for a win, with faster speed than race leaders. Beam relayed lap times to his driver over the radio, confirming the machine's ability. With laps winding down in the event, the Toyota team started to settle in for a third-place finish, when on lap 243 Busch exclaimed a tire had gone down. One lap later under green race conditions, Busch brought his car to the pit area one final time. The tire was replaced and the team returned to the race track to complete the event, although scored one-lap down and out of time, the KBM group settled for an 18th-place finish.

 

Sadler recorded his first win at Iowa Speedway, notching his fourth victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year and ninth of his career. Allgaier finished in the second-finishing spot while Sam Hornish Jr., Michael Annett and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top-five finishers. There were three caution periods for 16 laps of the race along with six lead changes across four drivers.

 

The No. 54 Monster Energy team remains eleventh in the Owner's Point standings, 146 points from the leader.

 

The Nationwide Series continues action Aug. 11 from Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.  The television broadcast will start at 2pm EST on ABC and at 2:14pm EST on the MRN radio broadcast. Kyle Busch will make his 12th start of the season behind the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.

 

KBM PR

Race Highlights:       

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Joey Coulter), sixth (Ty Dillon) and 15th (Tim George Jr.).
  • Dillon ranks second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Timothy Peters by eight points, while Coulter ranks seventh in the standings.
  • The No. 3 Chevrolet team is second in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, eight points shy of the No. 17 truck's lead, with the No. 22 team seventh in the standings and the No. 2 team eighth.
  • Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings ahead of Cale Gale.
  • Coulter earned his first Camping World Truck Series victory in the Pocono Mountains 125.
  • According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Coulter earned the third-highest Driver Rating (119.8), and Dillon earned a rating of 91.0 ranking him eighth amongst the competitors.
  • Coulter was the series' Fastest Driver Late in the Run.
  • Coulter earned the series' fourth-best Average Running Position (6.440).
  • George completed 25 Quality Passes en route to a top-15 finish.
  • George made 33 Green Flag Passes during the 50-lap event ranking him third, while Dillon made 31 passes ranking him seventh.
  • Coulter won the Pocono Mountains 125 and was followed to the finish line by James Buescher, Nelson Piquet Jr., Matt Crafton and Denny Hamlin.
  • The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 18. The 12th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network beginning at 12:15 p.m.

 


Tim George Jr. Finishes 15th at Pocono Raceway

 

Tim George Jr. and the No. 2 Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group team finish 15th in the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon. George took the green flag from the sixth position and reported a loose-handling condition on the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. After a routine two-tire pit stop on lap 25, the loose condition continued, causing George to scrape the wall two laps later. Crew chief Gere Kennon called the New York City native to pit road to repair the damaged right-front fender. The team was required to pit again following the restart on lap 33 to make additional repairs, forcing George to go one lap down to the leader in the 23rd position. The RCR driver was granted the "Lucky Dog" Award on lap 39 when a caution period slowed the field, returning George to the lead lap. George improved his position to 15th in the final 10 laps of the race to earn his second consecutive top-15 finish.

 

Start - 6                        Finish - 15                    Laps Led - 0                 Points - 8

 

TIM GEORGE JR. QUOTE:

"I'm a little disappointed with our finish today. Our past two ARCA Racing Series events here, we finished in the top-two positions. I'm glad we could battle back from the incident at the end of the race to finish 15th."

  

 

  

2011 CC Team Logos NCWTS 3 BPS 150 px

  

Ty Dillon Battles Back for Top-10 Finish at Pocono Raceway

 

After suffering damage from a lap-one incident, Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team finished sixth in the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway. Dillon started the 50-lap affair from the second position but was shuffled up the race track on the start, causing minor damage to the left-front fender and splitter and forcing him into the turn-one wall. Dillon was scored in the 13th position on lap two and reported a tight-handling condition on the black and orange machine. Despite the handling issues, the 20-year-old driver was able to march his way back into the top 10 by lap 19 while posting lap times faster than the leader. The Marcus Richmond-led team was called to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 23 for right-side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. While on pit road, the No. 3 crew performed additional repairs to the front-end damage to assist the handling of the Chevrolet. Dillon returned to pit road again, on lap 28, for further repairs and four fresh tires. Armed with new dancing shoes, Dillon drove through the field to the sixth position where he would cross the finish line. With Dillon's sixth-place finish, he is second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, eight markers out of the lead.

 
Start - 2          Finish - 6       Laps Led - 0            Points - 2


TY DILLON QUOTE:

"The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team proved today that we have what it takes to be a championship team. We had to battle back from the start of the race to earn this top-10 finish. I can't say enough about how proud I am of Marcus Richmond (crew chief), and the entire team. I'm really happy for Joey Coulter, and the No. 22 team. They've worked really hard to earn that win. It's awesome to see him go to Victory Lane." 

 

 

2011 CC Team Logos NCWTS 22 RCR 150 px

Joey Coulter Earns Career-First NASCAR Win at Pocono Raceway

 

Charging the No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to the front of the field on the final restart of the Pocono Mountains 125, Joey Coulter earned his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at Pocono Raceway. Coulter started the black and red machine from the fourth position on Saturday afternoon. When the green flag dropped on the 50-lap affair, trucks in front of the No. 22 machine brushed the wall going into turn one which caused the Miami Springs, Fla. native to fall out of line to avoid contact, dropping to seventh in the running order. Crew chief Harold Holly called Coulter to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 21 for two tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to combat a tight-handling condition, the 22-year-old reported during the early run. The No. 22 Chevrolet team was confident they had a fast Silverado and when the field was slowed for the first caution of the afternoon on lap 30, the momentum of the race changed. Shortly after the restart, the yellow flag was displayed again. Coulter lined up in the sixth position and on the ensuing lap-38 restart, drove three-wide, moving into the third position. The caution was brought out again for a multi-car incident in turn two the following lap. When the green flag was displayed for the final time in the 125-mile event, Coulter immediately jumped out and drove to the front on the restart, leading for the final seven laps, Coulter took the checkered flag for his first career Camping World Truck Series win.

 

Start - 4                       Finish - 1                     Laps Led - 7                Points - 7

 

JOEY COULTER QUOTES:

How does it feel to win at this level in NASCAR?

"This feels so amazing. There's no way to describe it. I just can't thank everyone at RCR enough for the opportunity and Harold (Holly, crew chief) for coming to work for my family's ARCA (Racing Series presented by Menards) team and teaching me how to drive. When we hired him, I was a little bit lost. I just can't thank him enough for standing behind me, keeping me ahead of the learning curve and giving me such great equipment every week. It's unbelievable."

 

Talk about that final restart.

"I've struggled on restarts for a long time and we've put a lot of effort toward making them better and better. As soon as my spotter said 'green' I put my foot to the floor and let the ECR Chevrolet horse power do the rest. It's what we needed to do. We needed to make moves quick because track position was really important. This new pavement picked the speeds up but it sure did make it hard to pass. I knew we had to get it done right there, or we weren't going to have a second chance at it."

 

Can you put into words what it means to finally get this first win?

"I probably can't put it into words, but I'll try. It's a dream come true. Again, I can't say enough about the equipment, the opportunity to drive for RCR and to Camping World for putting together such a great series. It's an unbelievable feeling. Call me in three days when it finally hits me and I might be able to give you a better answer."

 

HAROLD HOLLY QUOTES:

"I'm just thrilled to death for Joey Coulter. He is such a great kid and has worked so hard to get here. This is as big as any of them, win-wise. We have such a strong support group and this team is just great."

 

Congratulations on the win, Harold. When was the last time you visited Victory Lane? I think it was with Bobby Hamilton, Jr.

"I think you're right. I was just telling Richard (Childress) that it had been a long time since I last had a win. Joey and I won some ARCA races together, but I believe the last NASCAR win was with Bobby (Hamilton) Jr. in 2004."

 

RICHARD CHILDRESS QUOTES:

"Joey has had a really, really fast truck the past two seasons but has had some misfortune that has kept him out of the winner's circle,"

 

"I'm really happy for his family. They are at every race pulling for him. And for Harold Holly, just to see him back in the winner's circle with a smile on his face was worth it all."

 

RCR PR

Miguel Paludo was once again denied the finish his truck was capable of when he was swept into another competitor's wreck in the closing dozen laps of the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway. Paludo was running solidly in the top-10 when another competitor wrecked, sideswiping the No. 32 Duroline Brakes Chevrolet and sending him spinning, forcing a late-race pit stop and resulting in a 13th-place finish at the "Tricky Triangle."

 

After running fourth in the weekend's only practice session, a stellar qualifying lap put Paludo in the third position for the 50-lap event's green flag. Hard three-wide racing at the start combined with a "super loose" Chevrolet Silverado caused Paludo to slip to the eighth spot in the first five laps, but the handling began to come to the Brazilian driver as the laps ticked by. Paludo regained the seventh spot on lap 18, and as green-flag pit stops began, he worked his way into the fourth position before peeling onto pit road to bring the No. 32 in for service. The Turner Motorsports crew provided their machine with four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment before sending Paludo back onto the three-turn track.

 

Paludo returned to the track in 12th as pit stops continued to cycle through under green-flag conditions. Re-entering the top-10, the Paludo took over ninth before the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 30. With the handling of the No. 32 truck significantly improved, the team opted to remain on the racetrack for position, taking the green flag on lap 34. Paludo quickly picked up one spot before the caution flag waved just one lap later. Following a wild three-wide restart, Paludo was on a march to the front of the field with 10 laps remaining, but when another driver spun while competing for space in the tunnel turn, the Duroline machine was struck by the nose of the sliding truck, spinning the No. 32 and causing damage to the right side and tail.

 

Paludo brought his truck down pit road for four tires and repair, returning to the racetrack in the 14th spot. Despite the damage, Paludo fought his way back into the top-10, but a final battle for position resulted in a careless move by another competitor and brought his group of trucks three-wide, causing the No. 32 to drop back into 14th. With a limited number of laps remaining, Paludo was only able to earn back one position before crossing the finish line of the "Tricky Triangle" in 13th.

 

Miguel Paludo: "This race may have been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season because had such a good truck. Every single person on this team believed that we could win today. It's so frustrating that we can't catch a break, that we got caught up in someone else's wreck, because we just keep getting better and better each week. We've hit a point where we're really gelling so well as a unit. It's only a matter of time before we start bringing home wins."

 

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has one weekend off before heading to Michigan International Speedway for the VFW 200 on August 18th. Paludo will use the off-week to make his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Watkins Glen International on August 11th.

 

Turner Motorsports PR

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