When NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver Tyler Young was involved in a late race caution in Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250, any hopes of a solid recovery looked impossible. However, a resilient effort by the driver of the No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet Silverado hustled when he needed to most earning a 13th place finish in the third race of the 2016 season.
Overall, it was a strong weekend for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team – unloading strong in practice on Friday and then muscling to a solid qualifying effort on Saturday morning – giving the team the much embraced track position in anticipation of the 250-lap slugfest.
When the green flag flew, the beating and banging soon began. While, Young do his best to persevere his position, early race contact shuffled him from the bottom of the groove.
Beginning his march back towards the front, the first caution of the day waived leaving Young 21st in the running order. Crew chief Andrew Abbott elected to bring his driver down pit road for tires, fuel and a wedge and tire pressure adjustment. Restarting 18th Young settled into a rhythm allowing laps to click away, while he stayed out of trouble.
The second caution flag flew for a crash on the track, sending the teams back down pit road where Young received tires, fuel and another round of adjustments.
By the halfway point, Young had wrestled his way to 13th, reporting to Abbott that his truck was loose in the entrances of the corner. When another yellow flag waived with about 85 laps remaining, the Young’s Motorsports team brought their driver in for what they hoped would be their last pit stop.
Armed with tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment to help with the loose condition, Young was sent back onto the race track ready to do battle.
When racing resumed, the Midland, Texas native took advantage of the fresh rubber to slice and dice his way through the field, while multiple cautions would jockey the track position for the No. 02 team, nearing the end of the race Young found himself in contention for his second top-10 finish of the season.
On a restart with single laps remaining, two trucks tangled ahead of Young – while the driver did a masterful job of avoiding the spinning trucks ahead of him, typical Martinsville short track chain-reaction happened behind him, when the No. 02 was hit from behind, dropping him from eighth to 22nd.
Setting up for NASCAR overtime, Young found himself in a two lap battle to try and recover as many of the positions he could. Using the bumper to his advantage, he cleverly mastered through the field rising from 18th to 13th when the checkered flag flew.
The 25-year-old’s third consecutive top-15 finish propelled him to fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings heading into another month break. The series returns to action at Kansas Speedway on Fri. May 6.
“I’m really proud of this Young’s Motorsports team for never giving up. We were in good position to earn our second top-10 finish of the season and then we got hit from behind. One of those Martinsville things. We didn’t know how we could get back there at the end, but Rocky (Ryan, spotter) did a good job getting me through the holes. While we didn’t get a top-10 finish, the truck is in good shape and we had a good points day, so we’re happy.
“The truck was strong from when we unloaded. Andrew (Abbott) made some good calls throughout the weekend and we were able to get the truck stronger and we’ll just build on this and focus on Kansas.”
Young Motorsports PR