The 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night delivered an exciting battle between Red Horse Racing driver Timothy Peters and the rest of the championship competitors as they battled for the championship title in the Ford EcoBoost 200. Peters entered the evening just 11 points out of the lead, with all three contenders separated by a 12 point spread. After racing in close proximity to his closest competitors, Peters dodged several bullets and pulled off an eighth place finish, securing second place in the final point standings.
In the opening stages of practice on Friday morning, Peters' No. 17 Tundra broke loose on the exit of turn four, pushing him into the outside retaining wall. Sustaining some cosmetic damage to the right side of his Toyota, Peters remained in the garage area for approximately 30 minutes while his Red Horse Racing crew swiftly and effectively corrected the damage and sent him back out for the remaining on-track practice. With the repairs made, Peters was pleased with his Tundra on race runs, and put together a 14th place qualifying effort later in the afternoon.
Remaining silent over the radio for the majority of the first green flag run of the night, Peters eventually radioed to crew chief Butch Hylton with a calm voice before the first pit stop that his Tundra was too tight through the center of the turns. Receiving a round of changes and four tires under the first caution period on lap 37, Peters continued to maintain his position just outside the top-10 for the next segment of the race. Two dicey restarts with three wide racing over the next 15 lap run served up a challenge for Peters that he easily cleared.
Driving through the halfway mark of the 200 mile event, Peters consistently ran lap times as fast as the leaders, but needed track position to move forward. Hylton set up another round of adjustments and a four tire stop for Peters on lap 90 for his second stop of the night, hoping to bring a little more speed to the No. 17 Tundra. Peters reported just a few laps later he was a little loose this time, and received the chance to come back down pit road once again on lap 104 under caution for some more changes. With a fast pit stop completed, Peters peeled out of his pit box and gained several positions, breaking into the top-10 for the first time.
With the track position he had hoped for, Peters took the restart from the 10th position on lap 108. After dropping two positions a few laps later, he reported to Hylton he felt a vibration inside his Toyota Tundra. Hylton instructed Peters to hang on and feel it out, getting the opportunity to come down pit road to assess the situation under the fourth caution on lap 126. The Red Horse Racing pit crew went to work on their No. 17 machine, changing four tires and discovering a loose wheel that was the culprit of the vibration. With the issue resolved, Peters returned to the field for the restart in the 13th position with five laps remaining.
Just before the white flag was displayed, a multi-truck incident involving several competitors in the top-10 stopped the field on the backstretch under the red flag. Steering clear of the trouble, Peters moved up several positions and held strong through the green-white-checkered finish to pull away with an eighth place finish.
"It was definitely an eventful race tonight for the season finale," Peters recounted. "All in all, this Red Horse Racing team put together a great effort and I'm so proud of how they pulled together and fixed up this Toyota Tundra after our incident in practice."
Peters closes out his best career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season to date with two victories, two poles, 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. Placing ahead of his fellow championship competitors helped Peters move to just six points out of the lead, taking home runner-up honors in the championship standings.
"This is the best year I've ever had, and every year I've been a part of this Red Horse Racing organization, we've gotten better and better. We'll have a ton of momentum going into next year, and as my crew chief Butch Hylton told me, 'You have to lose one of these to win one.' It's pretty cool to come home second though and I couldn't be any happier."