Speedway Digest Staff
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), scored a second-place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday afternoon. The result marks Hornish’s fourth consecutive top-three finish and it vaults him to a tie for second in the championship standings.
Hornish started from the front row, in the second position after he lapped the 2.71-mile road course in 100.905 seconds at an average speed of 96.649 miles per hour in the Friday afternoon’s qualifying session. Hornish wasted little time making his way to the top spot as he led two of the first 10 laps of the event with a mind towards collecting a championship point. The Penske Racing veteran would go on to maintain a solid presence in the top-three until the team’s first pit stop during the first caution flag of the day at lap 18. This bunched the field and prompted many of the lead cars to make their first pit-stops.
During the first stint, Hornish radioed to the Alliance Truck Parts crew that his Dodge Challenger was lacking forward drive and that his brake pedal was long. At lap 20 crew chief Chad Walter called Hornish to the attention of the Penske Dodge crew. During this stop the team gave him four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel, while removing tape from the front brake ducts. Hornish would rejoin the action in the 12th position as many competitors were already on alternate fuel strategies.
Over the course of the next 10 laps Hornish made a determined drive towards the front of the field and by lap 32, when the second yellow flag of the race was displayed, he was scored fourth in the running order. At the lap 37 restart Hornish, who was driving conservatively, was shuffled back a few places to sixth in the running order. He would make his way up to the fifth position by lap 44 when the caution was displayed again.
While waiting for the pit lane to open, crew chief Chad Walter asked Hornish how his Alliance Truck Parts Dodge was handling, to which Hornish replied that he was lacking rear grip. At lap 46 Hornish brought his Dodge Challenger to the attention of the Penske crew. During this stop they gave him four tires, fuel, as well as chassis and air pressure adjustments.
When the green flag brought the field back up to speed at lap 48, Hornish was running in the eighth position. Hornish was scored as the fastest car on the track at lap 51 and by lap 57 he had advanced up to the second position. By lap 59 he had built a seven second lead over the third-place competitor as he and leader, Penske Racing teammate Jacques Villeneuve, opened a strong lead over the rest of the field. A lap 59 caution flag would bunch the field and during the lap 63 restart the Penske Dodge was struck from the rear and spun off of the racing circuit.
The Alliance Truck Parts machine incurred significant right-rear damage and would have to pit for repairs at lap 65. Hornish would rejoin the fray scored in the 24th position. At lap 70 another caution flew, which allowed the Penske Dodge to come to the pits for four fresh tires and a splash of fuel as being at the end of the lead lap there was nothing to lose in terms of track position. At lap 72, with Hornish scored 18th the green flag waved, but the field would not complete a full lap before the caution was displayed yet again.
In the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish at lap 76, Hornish was scored eighth in the running order. Once again the caution flag would slow the field and at lap 79 the field attempted yet another green-white-checkered with Hornish scored fifth. Over the next two laps Hornish would drive his way to second-place finishing just behind winner Justin Allgaier.
“We had a very strong Alliance Truck Parts Dodge today,” said Hornish. “Prior to that caution where we got spun out, we were catching the No. 22 (Jacques Villeneuve) and we felt like we had something for them. I felt like we had a winning car today, we just didn’t get the win. All in all, the guys did a great job – another lap and I think I would have had the 31 (Justin Allgaier). To come back from the back of the field – I feel pretty good about it – our Penske Racing crew did an awesome job. I am really thankful to have the opportunity to be here and I am grateful to all of our partners that enable us to be here.”
With the result Hornish and the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge team advance to a tie for second in the championship standings trailing first place by just 22 points.
Penske Racing teammate, Jacques Villeneuve finished third in the No. 22 Dodge Challenger.
Penske Racing PR
Jacques Villeneuve, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished third in Saturday afternoon’s NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The event marked Villeneuve’s second appearance with Penske Racing during the 2012 NNS season as he recorded a sixth-place finish at Road America in June.
A native of Montreal, Villeneuve qualified in the third position for the event after turning a lap of 100.922 seconds, or 96.633 miles per hour, around the 2.71 mile road course during Friday evening’s qualifying session. With the effort, the seasoned road course racer has now recorded a total of five top-five starting positions over his last six NNS qualifying attempts.
As the green flag flew to start the race, Villeneuve set a comfortable pace and settled in among the race leaders. As he continued to run strong on the course named after his father, Villeneuve took control of the race lead by lap eight and quickly began to pull away from the rest of the field. When the first caution flag of the afternoon flew on lap 18, crew chief Jeremy Bullins called the No. 22 Dodge Challenger down pit road for four tires and fuel. As he restarted in the 13th position, Villeneuve was reminded to constantly save fuel in order to take advantage of the team’s race strategy.
Working his way back up front, Villeneuve raced his way into the fifth position by lap 26. As the third caution flag of the day flew, many of the top-10 cars made their way down pit road which enabled Villeneuve to restart the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in the second position behind race leader Danica Patrick. After a solid race restart, Villeneuve was able to maneuver his Dodge Challenger back into the lead on lap 41.
As the hometown hero made his last pit stop during a caution period on lap 46, Bullins continued to remind his driver on the radio to save fuel to ensure he would make it until the end of the race. As he quickly found his way back to the front of the field, Villeneuve regained the lead on lap 52 and he built a two-second lead on the second-place car of Kyle Busch. As the laps continued to wind down, Villeneuve was able to maintain his lead and pace himself during his green-flag runs.
As three late-race caution flags were displayed in the closing laps, Bullins and team engineer Andrea Muller were constantly calculating the remaining fuel mileage on the No. 22 Dodge. Figuring that they would have enough fuel to make one last attempt at a green/white/checkered flag finish, Villeneuve was encouraged to give it all he had on the final restart. After he took the white flag as the leader on the final lap, Villeneuve wound end up finishing in the third position after a bump and pass by race winner Justin Allgaier and a late move by Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr., for the second spot. .
“Dodge and Penske Racing gave me an amazing car today,” said Villeneuve. “We had the car of the field today. We were untouchable. It makes the end result a little frustrating. We were a little bit low on fuel so I was being careful and as (so) often happens here it goes a little bit crazy on the last lap.”
With Saturday’s result, the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger currently sits sixth in the NNS owner point standings.
Hornish Jr., was able to hold on to secure a runner-up finish in the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger.
Penske Racing PR
Cale Gale and the No. 33 Rheem team finished 20th on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway after gambling on fuel strategy. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender was running fourth with three laps to go when Gale came across the radio informing the crew that he was out of fuel and needed to come down pit road. Once re-fired, Gale rejoined the competition and crossed the finish line in the 20th position.
Due to a new surface on the two-mile oval, teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) were allowed extra practice time throughout the weekend to evaluate their trucks and make necessary changes. With competitors running wide open around the entire facility, the racing began to resemble what is typically seen only on superspeedways as many drivers teamed up in packs to gain speed around the track.
During the opening practice session as Gale ran in a five-truck pack, another competitor got loose causing the group to check up and take evasive action to avoid contact. With no other options, Gale opted to go high on the track. When he got out of the groove, the Rheem Chevrolet lost grip and got into the wall in turn two. With damage to the right front, Gale and the Rheem team were forced to unload their backup truck--chassis 043--which Gale competed in for the first time on Saturday afternoon.
Gale rolled off 17th for the VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway, and quickly fell into line with a pack of trucks. Running inside the top 20, Gale called into his team early in the event to report a loose Chevrolet. Crew chief Jerry Baxter made the decision to bring the Rheem Chevrolet down pit road during the opening caution on lap 14 for four tires and an air-pressure adjustment, and again during the lap 39 caution period for a wedge adjustment.
Happy with the handling of his truck, Gale's race quickly became all about fuel mileage. Typically maintaining a position around the top 15, but racing as high as 10th, Gale came down pit road on lap 58 for four tires and fuel. Knowing that they were a few laps shy of their pit window, the Rheem team topped off the fuel cell before taking the green flag and hoped that caution flags would help them save enough fuel to make it the distance. As the leaders made green-flag pit stops, Gale raced through the field and climbed up the leader board. Racing in the fourth position on lap 197, Gale called into the crew to tell them that the Rheem Chevrolet lost fuel pressure and was out of gas. The Mobile, Ala. native made it around to pit road for fuel, but had a little trouble regaining fuel pressure to fire the engine; Gale returned to the track to finish in the 20th position.
"I'm so proud of everyone on the Rheem team for all their hard work this weekend," commented Gale. "We took a gamble on fuel mileage and unfortunately it didn't work out. The guys did a great job during practice getting our backup unloaded and through tech, and again today with pit stops and making adjustments during the race. While we didn't have the finish that we hoped for, we're all really excited to get to Bristol this week. I grew up racing on short tracks like Bristol and sat on the pole in the Nationwide Series there a few years ago; the Rheem team has built me great trucks all season and I can't wait to see what we're able to do next week."
James Buescher scored his seventh top-five finish of 2012 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), leading five laps and maintaining the third position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver point standings, just six points outside of the lead. A combination of stellar handling and fuel strategy gave Buescher and the No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals team the edge needed to finish fifth in the VFW 200.
After opening the weekend with three strong practice sessions, Buescher laid down the eighth quickest lap in qualifying for the 100-lap event at MIS. After taking the green flag, Buescher quickly took over the sixth spot and settled into the lead drafting pack until the first caution of the day waved on lap 14. Crew chief Michael Shelton called Buescher to pit road to top off on Sunoco race fuel under the quickie yellow before restarting in the ninth spot. Racing was wild and three wide after the lap 17 green flag, but Buescher maintained a spot in the top-10 until the yellow waved once again on lap 39 for debris.
Buescher reported to his team that the No. 31 machine felt good and that his number one priority was track position. Shelton called the Texan to pit road for four tires and opted not to make any changes to the handling of the Wolf Pack Rentals truck. With some trucks remaining on the racetrack under yellow, Buescher restarted in 13th on lap 43, and after intense racing brought out two more cautions in quick succession, the 22-year-old maneuvered his truck into fifth by lap 63.
Shelton requested that Buescher save as much fuel as possible in the event that fuel mileage came into play, and the Wolf Pack Rentals Silverado hovered around the top-five as the laps ticked by. Saving fuel permitted Buescher to pit later than most of his competitors as green-flag stops began to cycle through, giving him the opportunity to lead five laps before heading to pit road for his final stop of the day. Unlike most of the leaders who took tires on pit road, Buescher received only fuel and a wedge adjustment in a super fast green-flag stop on lap 89.
Returning to the racing groove with his truck's handling perfected, Buescher was able to advance from ninth to fifth in the closing 11 laps before taking the checkered flag. Buescher's fifth-place finish was his seventh top-five of the season and the ninth of twelve races in which the young driver led at least one lap. Turner Motorsports teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. took the win, capturing the first victory of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career.
James Buescher: "Today was another solid day for the No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals team, as well as Turner Motorsports as a whole. While it would have been nice to score our fourth win of the season, it was great to see my Turner Motorsports teammate [Nelson Piquet Jr.] get the first win of his Truck Series career. We keep doing everything we need to do in order to earn the points we need to win the championship, and I have no doubt that many more wins and bonus points are to come in the final 10 races of the season. We've got a quick turnaround before we make our way to Bristol, but I've got a great group of guys who will no doubt give me an awesome truck for Wednesday night's race."
Turner Motorsports PR
Jason Bowles was on his way to possibly the best finish of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career Saturday in Montreal. Running between 10th and 15th throughout the race, Bowles was just waiting for the final segment of the race to make his move to the front. Unfortunately, the right front brake failed on lap 61 heading into the hairpin corner, sending Jason into the gravel. The team fought hard to get Jason back on the track and were able to salvage a 26th place finish.
“We were just biding our time out there and preparing for what we knew would be a wild finish,” explained Jason. “The car was driving really well and then we had that brake failure on the right front that ended our shot at a strong finish. I really have to thank my American Majority team though as they just never give up, even on the bad days.”
“Jason’s a really good road racer and he was doing an excellent job,” says crew chief John Monsam. “It’s unfortunate what happened with the brakes but that’s racing, it’s going to happen to everyone. The crew did an excellent job all weekend though getting the car right for him and in the pits as well.”
The 26th place finish dropped Jason two spots in the point standings to 15th, still just 27th points from 10th. The MacDonald Motorsports No. 81 also dropped two spots in the owner standings, now sitting 23rd.
Next week, the American Majority team goes back to racing in circles, this time at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” in Bristol, Tennessee. The Food City 25 can be seen live on ESPN this Friday night at 7PM ET.
Mike Wallace and the No. 01 Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller had all their hard work pay off with a top-10 finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.
The track located along the St. Lawrence Seaway offers its own challenges just being a road course. Toss in 43 drivers all vying for the same real estate and the unexpected circumstances that goes along with it, and it’s going to make for an exciting race – as long as you’re on the good end of things.
Such was the case for Wallace and the Newt Moore-led team after they were 23rd in both practice sessions. They backed that up by qualifying 22nd on Friday afternoon for Saturday’s race. Harr, looking to have a good showing in his homeland of Canada, was 32nd in the first practice, 29th in the second and then qualified 31st in the No. 4 iWorld Chevrolet.
Even before the initial green flag waved on Saturday, Wallace and team had their share of adversity. During the final lap of qualifying on Friday, they lost a motor and had to be pushed back to the garage area. So, they pulled the spare motor out of the back-up car, put it in the primary one and had to start at the back of the field on Saturday.
Once the race finally started, Wallace put his veteran experience to use and started to move up the scoring pylon gaining positions. They couldn’t seem to get their speed correct on pit road and ended up going down a lap after stopping under green.
A caution waved soon after, one of eight during the race, and Moore elected to take the wave around and get back on the lead lap. With that, Wallace got back into a rhythm and started to move up through the field.
However, on lap 72, he got spun off the track in Turn 14 and brought out the caution. Suffering minimal damage, Wallace went back to racing and, with three laps remaining, he was 15th on the chart.
On lap 81, the final one, they worked their way up to fifth as they headed towards the checkered flag. In the second-to-last turn, Ron Fellows got into the back of Wallace’s No. 01 machine and moved him out of the way as both Fellows and Michael McDowell passed him.
Wallace gathered it together, maintained his speed and brought home the team’s best finish of the year in seventh place. This also moved Wallace up to two positions to 12th in the Driver’s Standings, where he trails 11th by only 12 markers.
This week, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway to race under the lights on Friday night.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “Man, did we go through a challenging weekend in Montreal. From the motor letting go on the final lap of qualifying to getting spun during the race and racing our way forward like we did there at the end.
“We figure out that a timing belt broke and that just got everything screwed up in the motor. It’s good it went when it did; otherwise it probably would have gone on the first lap of the race.
“The crew did a great job getting the spare motor out of the back up, then into the primary one on Saturday morning for the race. I hate it had to happen, but I have great faith in our team when it comes to these types of things.
“During the race, we couldn’t get a good pit road speed. I made a mistake and blew the one chicane and had to stop. But, we missed things on the track, did what I needed to make our way up and had a top-10 finish. I’d like to thank my daughter, Chrissy, for helping with the spotting for me, too.”
JD Motorsports PR
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fourth (Elliott Sadler), ninth (Austin Dillon) and 11th (Brendan Gaughan).
- Sadler leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings by 22 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Sam Hornish ranks third, with Dillon fourth in the standings, trailing his RCR teammate by 35 points.
- The No. 2 Chevrolet team is second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, six points shy of the No. 18 team's lead, with the No. 3 team fifth 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, Sadler ranked seventh in categories for Speed in Traffic and Closers, gaining seven positions in the last 10 percent of the race.
- Dillon made 91 Green Flag Passes, the third-most of any driver in the race, and posted his career-best road course finish in the Nationwide Series.
- Gaughan ranked fifth in Average Running Position (9.123) and earned a Driver Rating of 102.6, ranking him seventh.
- Justin Allgaier earned his first Nationwide Series victory of the season and was followed to the finish line by Hornish, Jacques Villeneuve, Sadler and Ron Fellows.
- The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Bristol 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, August 24. The 23rd race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Elliott Sadler Notches Top-Five Finish in Final Road Course Race of Season at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team scored a fourth-place finish Saturday afternoon at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal after surviving two green-white-checkered attempts in the final road course event of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. After starting from the 17th position, fuel strategy came into play right away as the the OneMain Financial team pitted on lap one to top off with fuel. Back on track in the 39th position, Sadler maneuvered his way through the field and moved into the 12th position on lap 17. Crew chief Luke Lambert utilized a caution on lap 22 to bring the No. 2 Chevrolet down pit road for four tires and fuel, positioning Sadler in the 18th position to restart the race. The Emporia, Va., driver continued to work his way around the 14-turn course, and when a full-field caution came out on lap 44, Lambert stuck to the pit strategy and instructed Sadler to remain on the course as other teams opted to pit, positioning the OneMain Financial Chevrolet in the lead for the restart. After leading for six laps, Lambert called Sadler down pit road for the final green-flag pit stop of the day for four tires and fuel. This pit stop put the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet past their fuel window for the remaining laps, and provided the team insurance for the possibility of green-white-checkered attempts. Sadler reentered the track in the 18th position and moved his way up to the ninth position with seven laps to go. A multi-car incident on lap 72 brought out the caution with the No. 2 Chevrolet in the fifth position, setting the stage for the first green-white-checker finish attempt. Green-flag action was soon halted again for another incident, moving Sadler to the second position for the second attempt. The No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet was shuffled back in traffic after the green flag dropped for the final time, and crossed the finish line in the fourth position, earning the team's ninth top-five of the season.
Start - 17 Finish - 2 Laps Led - 6 Points - 1
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE:
"I am so proud of this OneMain Financial team. We fought our butts off all day, and a fourth-place finish in Montreal is pretty good. We had some trouble off restarts, but the car eventually came to me. This is always such an exciting race, and the Canadian fans are awesome. I was so glad to see so many excited fans in the stands, cheering us on. There is still a lot of racing left on the schedule. I'm really looking forward to the event at Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend. I know the OneMain Financial team is looking for a sweep there this season. Overall, this was a great weekend for our team, and we are going to keep pushing toward our goal."
Austin Dillon and the No. 3 AdvoCare Team Score Their First Top 10 Finish in Road Course Competition
Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet team played fuel strategy to their advantage on Saturday afternoon at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, scoring a ninth-place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Dillon earned a 19th-place starting position despite flat-spotting his tires by spinning during the final lap of his qualifying session on Friday afternoon, prompting crew chief Danny Stockman to call the young driver down pit road on lap three for four tires and fuel. The early-race, green-flag pit stop dropped dropped the AdvoCare team to 36th in the running order and put the team on a different pit strategy than a majority of their competitors. However, a series of mid-race cautions placed Dillon back on a routine pit cycle and he climbed to the 11th position by lap 32. Throughout the race, Stockman instructed Dillon to conserve fuel as team engineers Ryan Sparks and Jeff Curtis continually crunched numbers, ultimately determining the black No. 3 Chevrolet would run out of fuel if the race was extended past the advertised, 74-lap distance. Scored in the 13th position with nine cars in front of the AdvoCare Chevrolet also dangerously low on fuel, Dillon drove to pit road while under caution on lap 75. The RCR team serviced the car with one can of Sunoco Green E15 fuel and Dillon rejoined the competition in the 23rd position. He survived two additional restarts and dodged several cars in front of him who slowed on the race track as they ran out of fuel in the closing laps to post a ninth-place finish.
Start - 19 Finish - 9 Laps Led - 0 Points - 4
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: "What an up-and-down weekend for the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet team. I am so proud of us for rebounding from the day we had on Friday. We changed engines and transmissions on Friday and only got about a half of a lap of practice in, then we came to the track refreshed and determined on Saturday, using strategy and working as a team to get a top 10 finish on a road course. Even though Road America, Watkins Glen and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve have been a struggle for me as a rookie, I do like road course racing. I feel like I'm improving every time I go out there and I enjoy the challenge."
Late-Race Incident Relegates Gaughan to an 11th-Place Finish in Montreal
Running the final road course race on the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, Brendan Gaughan survived a late-race incident to bring home an 11th-place finish Saturday afternoon in the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Starting from the 11th position at the Montreal, Quebec-based road course, Gaughan quickly moved his way up to the top 10 early in the NAPA Auto Parts 200. Throughout the event, crew chief Ernie Cope urged Gaughan to conserve fuel under caution laps to allow for a two-stop pit strategy, enabling the Las Vegas native to move into the third position by lap 62. A late-race caution on lap 70 of the scheduled 74-lap event positioned the No. 33 Chevrolet in the fourth position; however, on the lap 72 restart, Gaughan was the victim of a three-car pile-up, sending the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet for a spin and losing valuable track position in the process. Gaughan maneuvered the black and gold Chevrolet down pit road to change four tires and repair minor damage on the car. Returning to the track, Gaughan battled to regain track position during the two green-white-checker attempts, bringing the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet home in the 11th position.
Start - 11 Finish - 11 Laps Led - 0 Owner's Points - 7
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
"Ernie and the entire No. 33 team provided me a fast South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet this weekend. It's unfortunate we got caught up in the mess at the end, but that's all part of road course racing. We had the lap times that we needed to finish in the front, and that's what's important. I'm excited to get back in the car at Kentucky Speedway in September."
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished sixth (Ty Dillon), seventh (Joey Coulter) and 21st (Tim George Jr.).
- Dillon is tied for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship points lead, while Coulter ranks seventh in the standings.
- The No. 3 Chevrolet team is tied for first in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 22 team seventh in the standings and the No. 2 team ninth.
- Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings ahead of Cale Gale.
- Coulter earned his career-first Camping World Truck Series pole award in the VFW 200, setting a new track record.
- According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Dillon earned the third-highest Driver Rating (113.8), and Coulter earned a rating of 111.9 ranking him fourth amongst the competitors.
- Coulter was the series' Fastest Driver Late in the Run, and Dillon was the second-fastest late in the run.
- Dillon earned the series' third-best Average Running Position (5.430) and Coulter ranked fifth with an Average Running Position of 6.520.
- George ran as high as seventh and as low as 23rd, with an Average Running Position of 17.760 during the VFW 200.
- Coulter and Dillon ranked second and third, respectively, in the Green Flag Speed category.
- Dillon spent 100 percent of the VFW 200 running in the top 15, while Coulter spent 97.0 percent of the race in the top 15.
- Nelson Piquet Jr. took the checkered flag 8.082 seconds ahead of Jason White, Dakoda Armstrong, Parker Kligerman and James Buescher.
- The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The 13th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network beginning at 7:45 p.m.
Tim George Jr. Finishes 21st at Michigan International Speedway
Tim George Jr. and the No. 2 Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group team were relegated to a 21st-place finish in the VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway after the No. 2 Chevrolet spun on the backstretch causing the pit crew to make an unscheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions. The New York City native started the 100-lap event from the seventh position and reported that he was battling a tight-handling condition on his Chevrolet Silverado, but was able to maintain a position within the top 20 during the first half of the 200-mile event. George worked his way into the top 15 and was running solid lap times when the Applebee's Chevrolet spun on the backstretch on lap 65 and cut a tire, forcing the team to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 66 under green-flag conditions. George returned to the track in the 23rd position, two laps down to the leader. The Richard Childress Racing driver produced lap times as quick as the leader and gained track position, ultimately crossing the finish line in the 21st position.
Start - 7 Finish - 21 Laps Led - 0 Owner Points - 15
TIM GEORGE JR. QUOTE:
"That was not the finish I was looking for when we started the race today. Gere (Kennon, crew chief) and the entire Applebee's team put together a solid Chevrolet this weekend, but the truck turned on me and we lost the handling at the end and weren't able to regain much ground after the spin."
Ty Dillon Gains Ground in Points and Finishes Sixth at Michigan
Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team battled fuel mileage late in the VFW 200, finishing in the sixth position at Michigan International Speedway and gaining one position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings to tie for the points lead. Dillon started the black and orange Chevrolet in the fifth position for the 100-lap event on Saturday afternoon. Shortly after the initial green flag, the 20-year-old driver used the draft to take over the second position on lap 17 but slipped back to seventh on lap 26 and remained a fixture in the top 10 for the majority of the race. As multiple trucks spun in front of the No. 3 Chevrolet on lap 45, Dillon slipped by with no damage to his truck and moved into the fifth position in the process. With multiple caution flags over the next 10 circuits at the Brooklyn, Mich.-based facility, the Welcome, N.C., native was able to save fuel, but not enough to make it to the finish. Dillon relinquished his third position on lap 84 when crew chief Marcus Richmond called the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet to pit road for fuel and right-side tires. As green-flag pit stops cycled through, Dillon was scored in the 11th position with eight laps remaining in the 100-lap affair. He was able to improve five spots, to sixth, before the checkered flag waved, marking Dillon's 11th top-10 finish of the 2012 season.
Start - 5 Finish - 6 Laps Led - 3 Points - Tied for 1
TY DILLON QUOTE:
"It was a great points day for the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team. Marcus (Richmond, crew chief) and the guys were solid on pit road all day. I thought we could have won today, but the fuel mileage game didn't play out in our favor. We were good to the end, but some of the other teams took the gamble and it worked for them. I'm excited to ride this momentum into Bristol (Motor Speedway) on Wednesday."
Coulter Earns Career-First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pole En Route to a Seventh-Place Result at Michigan International Speedway
Joey Coulter and the No. 22 Rip It Energy Fuel Chevrolet team earned a seventh-place finish at Michigan International Speedway after Coulter captured his career-first Camping World Truck Series pole award in the Saturday afternoon VFW 200. After the drop of the green flag, the No. 22 Chevrolet was shuffled back to the fifth position within the first lap of the 100-lap event and Coulter promptly radioed to crew chief Harold Holly that the Richard Childress Racing machine was tight in traffic. On the lap-13 caution, Holly instructed the 22-year-old driver to bring his Silverado in for a fuel-only pit stop. Restarting in the third position, the Miami Springs, Fla., native, was trapped in traffic as he reported that the No. 22 Chevrolet had acquired an extremely loose-handling condition, prompting the Holly-led crew to execute a wedge adjustment on the next pit stop to combat the ill-handling racer. Fuel mileage ultimately decided the result of the event, as the last round of pit stops occurred under green-flag conditions. With teams employing many strategies, the No. 22 team made its final pit stop on lap 84 with their RCR teammate, Ty Dillon. The two teammates drafted with each other for the remainder of the event, working their way towards the front, with Coulter ultimately taking the checkered flag in the seventh position. The 2011 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year is currently seventh in the Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 43 points behind the leaders.
Start - 1 Finish - 7 Laps Led - 0 Points - 7
JOEY COULTER QUOTE:
"The racing was awesome all weekend in Michigan. I'm disappointed in the finish as Harold (Holly, crew chief) and all of the guys on the (No.) 22 team provided me with a truck capable of winning. We have a short week before we go racing at Bristol (Motor Speedway), and we will use the momentum from our win at Pocono (Raceway) and the pole award at Michigan (International Speedway) to be competitive for the win at Bristol."
Miguel Paludo earned his second top-10 finish of 2012 at Michigan International Speedway in his debut pairing with new crew chief Jeff Hensley. Paludo ran in the top-five for most of the second half of the 100-lap event before varying pit strategy resulted in a 10th-place finish in the VFW 200.
After leading the second of the weekend's three practice sessions, Paludo laid down a qualifying lap of 39.216 seconds, putting the No. 32 Chevrolet third on the grid for the green flag. Despite the 200 miles of action ahead, the racing was dicey from the first lap, and an aero-tight condition dropped Paludo to seventh by lap three. On lap 10, the Brazilian radioed Hensley to inform him that his truck was coming to him as the field began to spread out. The first caution flag of the day came on lap 14 for debris, and Hensley called Paludo onto pit road for a quick top-off of Sunoco race fuel before the Duroline machine took the lap 17 restart from eighth.
Over the course of the next 20 laps, Paludo and teammate James Buescher drafted together, hovering around the 10th spot before the second yellow of the race was displayed on lap 39. Paludo brought his truck into the pits for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to correct what remained of his tight handling. Knowing that fuel mileage historically came into play at the 2.0-mile track, Hensley called his driver back to pit road to top off on fuel before the lap 43 restart.
Paludo took the lap 43 green in 22nd, and when the caution flag waved just five laps later for a spin, he had shot through the field up to 14th. Paludo told his crew chief that the No. 32 Chevy was much better, especially in traffic, and by the time two more back-to-back cautions passed, the driver had worked his way into the top-five. After the green flag waved on lap 60 in what ultimately would be the final restart of the day, Paludo took over the fourth position and maintained it until it was time for a green-flag pit stop on lap 84. The Duroline crew quickly serviced the No. 32 with two right-side tires and fuel, but with a handful of trucks on differing fuel strategy without the need to pit, he was unable to advance beyond 10th before the checkered flag fell. Fellow Brazilian and Turner Motorsports teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. took the win, capturing the first victory of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career.
Miguel Paludo: "This was a great day for my guys and I. The Duroline Chevrolet was in the top-five for much of the day and we just lost out on fuel strategy at the end. It felt good to earn a top-ten and to have such a strong day in my first race with Jeff Hensley. It makes me very motivated and hopeful about the final 10 races. We only have a few days until Bristol, so I know that we can keep this momentum until then. I'm extremely happy for my teammate, and I hope that the No. 32 team will be the next Turner Motorsports truck to visit victory lane."
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has only four days before it hits the track again for Wednesday night's NCWTS 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22nd.
Turner Motorsports PR