Justin Lofton continued his battle for the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Championship this weekend at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet Silverado. In a career-best season, Lofton won his first Keystone Light Pole Award this weekend to bring the field to the green in the American Ethanol 225. Lofton went on to lead the field for a total of 24 laps before losing the handling of his truck late in the race and making contact with the outside wall relegating him to a 21st-place finish.
Opening up a sizable lead early in the race, Lofton led the field for the first 12 laps of the 150-lap race at Chicagoland Speedway. As the event progressed, Lofton's truck started to change its handling as the sun set and the track cooled. The Lofton Cattle team worked to fine-tune their handling during pit stops while also managing their tires to ensure that they would have enough fresh Goodyear Wranglers to go the distance.
Crew chief Dan Bormann made the call for four fresh tires during Lofton's green flag pit stop just before lap 50, but elected for a fuel-only stop while making a chassis adjustment during the lap 72 caution to maintain track position. Lofton continued to put the heat on the front runners as he raced side-by-side and gained the top position by lap 106 to lead the field for the next 10 circuits.
As the race progressed, Lofton began losing grip in the Lofton Cattle Chevrolet and was shuffled back through the top 10. On lap 145, while racing sixth with just five laps remaining, Lofton got loose in the marbles in turn four and made contact with the outside wall. With heavy damage to the right side of his Silverado, Lofton brought the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet down pit road for repairs. The crew worked quickly applying BearBond and got Lofton back on the track just in time for a green-white-checkered finish. Focusing on the championship with a "big picture" mindset, Lofton worked to finish the race with the injured Lofton Cattle Chevrolet. As some trucks spun across the finish line, Lofton crossed the line clean in the 21st position.
"I'm so proud of the guys at the shop," commented Lofton. "We got our first pole and had a really great chance at the win. We were strong all night. I knew that things were going to get racy at the end, and my truck simply started to lose grip on those tires. I was battling for position when I got loose in the high groove and hit the wall. It just wasn't our day. We'll put our heads down and go back to work to get ready for Pocono and keep pushing to win the championship."
Justin Lofton PR