Cale Gale and the No. 33 Rheem Chasing the Cure team recorded a 10th-place finish in their pink and black Chevrolet at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Saturday afternoon. Gale narrowly avoided two on-track incidents, including 'the big one' on the final lap, to record his sixth top-10 finish of the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season.
After practicing in the top 15, Gale recorded the fifth-fastest qualifying lap to roll off inside the third row. The driver of the Rheem Chasing the Cure Chevrolet carefully worked the draft throughout the opening laps to maintain his position inside the top 10. With just 16 laps compete, the first caution flag was displayed and crews began working on their strategy. The Rheem Chasing the Cure Chevrolet team entered the race hoping to take just four tires throughout the 94 laps, and as a result made the call for a fuel-only stop. As planned, Gale's No. 33 Chevrolet was serviced with two left-side tires during the lap 33 caution period, and two right-side tires when the field slowed on lap 47.
Gale dove onto pit road on lap 61 as he narrowly escaped damage in a multi-truck incident in heavy traffic on the front stretch. Gale listened to the coaching of veteran spotter Rick Carelli to 'go low' and avoided contact as the truck racing beside Gale suffered heavy damage.
Racing further back in the pack, the Rheem Chasing the Cure team took advantage of several late cautions to top-off their fuel cell ensuring that they would be able to make it the distance. With plenty of fuel and just over 10 laps to go, Gale teamed up with his Eddie Sharp Racing teammate, Justin Lofton, to move to the front of the field during the closing laps.
Coming to the white flag, Gale was scored outside the top 15 but kept fighting for position as the field raced around the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Racing three-wide on the backstretch, 'the big one' happened as several trucks were turned making heavy contact. The incident began in front of the Rheem Chasing the Cure Chevrolet, but Gale listened carefully as Carelli guided him through the wreckage and across the finish line in the 10th position.
"Superspeedway racing is always a wildcard," commented Gale. "There were a couple big wrecks out there this afternoon, but fortunately we were able to keep our Rheem Chasing the Cure Chevrolet in one piece and come home with a strong finish. This weekend was a really special weekend for me--we kicked off Rheem's Chasing the Cure program and it was a home race where I had a lot of friends and family in the grandstands. I'm happy that we were able to get another top-10 finish. The Rheem Chasing the Cure Chevrolet team continues to improve every week, and we're looking forward to having more competitive races to finish out the season."
Eddie Sharp Racing PR