Late Race Gamble Pays off for Peters in Iowa

NEWTON, IA (July 18, 2011) — Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra team welcomed the opportunity to leave the 1.5-mile tracks of the past few weeks and head to a short-track. Under the lights in front of a nearly sell-out crowd Peters took the green from the fourth starting position. Peters fought a tight-handling truck early in the race but held his own in the top 10 for the majority of the race. A two tire pit stop call late in the race gave Peters the track position he needed to battle with the leaders, but the No. 17 truck became too loose and Peters narrowly missed a top-10 finish in Iowa.

“I have to thank my crew chief Butch Hylton and all the guys,” said Peters after the race. “The past few weeks we have not been where we wanted to be. When we unloaded this week we had a solid baseline and I know that the entire team has been working really hard and it is paying off. We started off the race too tight and then we went a little too far with our adjustments and got too loose but we did what we thought we had to do to be competitive and I’m really encouraged going to Nashville next week, which is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule.”

Peters began the 200-lap event at Iowa Speedway from the fourth starting position, his best starting position since winning the pole at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway in May. As the green flag waived Peters immediately let the team know the truck was too tight and began to slip back through the field. Peters found a comfortable spot running in the seventh position when the first caution flag of the race waved on lap 10. The team deemed it was too early to come to pit road for adjustments and remained on the track. After only a few laps the caution waved again for the second time on lap 16, again the No. 17 truck stayed out.

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Running the high line was the only way Peters could find the grip he needed around the 0.875-mile track. A long green flag run resulted in Peters slipping back to the 10th position when the caution flew for the third time on lap 63. Crew chief Butch Hylton called for substantial changes. During the pit stop the team changed four tires, added fuel, removed spring rubbers and made a track-bar adjustment. The lengthy stop placed Peters in the 15th position for the restart on lap 70.

Only five laps later Peters radioed to the team that the truck was a little free but it was coming to him. However, as the laps wore on the No. 17 truck continued to loosen up which is not the handling condition that Peters was looking for. Under the fourth caution at lap 75, Peters told the team he would prefer if on the next pit stop they could go back on the track-bar adjustment which had made him too loose.

At the half-way point on lap 100 Peters was scored in the 12th position. The caution waved on lap 102. Many of the leaders chose to stay out under the caution period but the No. 17 team brought the truck to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. At this point in the race the No. 17 team could make it to the end of the race on fuel should the race go green to the end of the event.

The severity of the crash which sent a truck careening into the inside wall brought out the red flag. One crew member was allowed to take water to the drivers which were stopped on pit road while safety workers repaired the inside retaining wall. The race restarted on lap 110 with Peters scored in the 15th position. It appeared that the No. 17 team’s fuel strategy was going to play out, as the 17 could finish the race without refueling but the leaders could not. However, the caution waved on lap 153 allowing everyone needing fuel to come to pit road, thereby negating the strategy. In an effort to gain track position Peters and the No. 17 team took two tires and made a chassis adjustment placing Peters in the fifth position for the restart on lap 160.

The gutsy call did allow Peters to remain in the top 10 until the final few laps when the No. 17 truck just became too loose. Peters crossed the checkered flag in the 11th position. Peters gained one position in the Truck Series point standings moving into the sixth position. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action next weekend on July 22, 2011 at Nashville Superspeedway for the Lucas Deep Clean 200 which can be viewed live on SPEED at 8:00 p.m., EST

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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