Miguel Paludo earned his third top-10 finish of the season at Iowa Speedway, closing up the points gap between him and the top-10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver standings. Paludo rebounded from an ill-timed caution, which put him two laps down, to fight his way back onto the lead lap and score a 10th-place finish.
After running top-15 lap times in the weekend's two practice sessions, Paludo laid down the eighth-fastest qualifying lap prior to the green flag for the American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee. Although his truck had an initial tight condition, Paludo maintained his starting position through the opening 35 laps. When the caution waved for a multi-truck accident on lap 36, crew chief Jeff Hensley called his driver into the pits for a fuel-only pit stop, sending him back onto the race track in 10th.
When the field went green on lap 41, Paludo advanced to ninth on the restart, but slipped to 14th by lap 51. When the caution was displayed on lap 55, Paludo relayed to the Turner Motorsports crew that the Duroline Chevrolet was even more aero tight than it was at the start. Hensley called the No. 32 onto pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Because several drivers opted not to pit, Paludo took the lap 60 green flag from the 18th spot, determined to regain track position and clean air.
The Duroline Silverado was immediately handling better after the green, and Paludo broke back into the top-10 by lap 76. Working his way up to eighth, Paludo keyed his radio to relay that his truck was becoming aero tight again, but he was able to continue his charge to the front over a long green-flag run, taking over fifth by the time green-flag pit stops began on lap 140. Paludo brought the Duroline Chevy to pit road 10 laps later for a green-flag stop, receiving fresh Goodyears, fuel and another track bar adjustment to loosen his truck's handling.
Paludo returned to the track in 18th as pit stops continued, now running the fastest laps on the racetrack. However, when the caution flag waved on lap 165 for debris, stops had not completely cycled through, and because the field was very spread out over the green-flag run, Paludo found himself two laps down with only six trucks on the lead lap. Because his truck had recently pitted, Hensley made the call to remain on the track and receive the wave around, putting Paludo only one lap down in the 16th position for the lap 174 green flag.
Paludo reiterated that his truck was handling really well, but was limited in the positions he could gain while not on the lead lap. Regardless, Paludo elbowed his way into 12th before the yellow waved on lap 190, and as the first truck one lap down, he received the free pass to put him back on the lead lap. With only seven laps remaining when the green flag waved, Paludo was able to advance two more positions, crossing the finish line 10th on lap 200. Paludo remains 11th in the driver point standings, now only two points outside the top-10 and three points behind ninth place.
"Tonight was a great effort by all my guys. We definitely had a truck that was better than 10th, but after getting caught two laps down because of the caution, a top-10 was a great recovery. I'm really proud of the Duroline team, and now I can't wait to get to Kentucky. We are so close to breaking into the top-10 in points, so I'm hoping by the time next weekend's race is done we're going to be ninth or 10th in the standings."
Turner Motorsports PR