Tim George Jr. piloting the No. 5 Grand Touring Vodka powered by Applebee’s Ford F-Series posted a 16th-place finish for Wauters Motorsports after overcoming an early incident in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
George Jr. placed the GT Vodka truck in 24th-place position on the starting grid for the running of the NEXTERA Energy 250 in his first start for the team owned by former crew chief Richie Wauters.
George and his teammates knew they had a strong race truck from the start as George worked the low groove of the draft pack on the 2.5-mile superspeedway for the first half of the 100-lap event. Then, on lap 54, the anticipated ‘big one’ unfolded just ahead of the GT Vodka Ford. George Jr. thought he had escaped the 14-truck pileup until he was hit from behind, sending him sideways and giving him a flat front tire. He was able to make it back to pit road where his Wauters Motorsports pit crew went to work on getting the truck back on the track.
Despite heavy nose and splitter damage on the GT Vodka Ford powered by Applebee’s, George Jr. returned to the race and was able to run some of the fastest laps of the race on the legendary high-banked Daytona International Speedway, posting very impressive NASCAR “loop” statistics. Although he was driving a heavily damaged race truck, NASCAR statisticians listed George Jr. as the fastest driver early in a run, a ranking that is made during the initial 25 percent of laps run following a pit stop.
“This was challenging to say the least,” said George Jr. after the race. “We thought we missed the accident in front of us only to get clipped from behind. I was sent into the infield which blew a tire causing heavy front end damage.
“My team did great job fixing up the GT Vodka Ford. They were able to keep me on the lead lap. But driving a truck at 180 mph with Bear Bond flapping and the wind hitting your legs was difficult. I have to hand it to my spotter Tyler Green. He kept me focused and urged me on and we were able to post a 16th place finish in my first truck race at Daytona.
“This evening would not have been possible without the support of Greg Sacks, Grand Touring Vodka and Applebee’s. Thank you for all of your support.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes with race number two of a 22-race schedule at Martinsville Speedway, April 6, 2013.
Wauters Motorsports PR