Homestead, FL – In a season full of ups and downs, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Ross Chastain finished on a high note posting his fourth top-ten of the 2012 season at the Ford EcoBoost 200 Friday night at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Chastain started on the outside of the ninth row next to eventual NCWTS Champion James Buescher with a qualifying lap of 32.61 seconds at 165.49 mph on the mile and a half speedway just south of Miami.
Ross used the high line around the progressively banked track to hold-off then leader Nelson Piquet Jr. for several laps before succumbing just before the yellow flag flew for debris, which put the No. 08 back on the lead lap. A long green flag run ensued and Crew Chief Bryan Berry took advantage of NASCAR’s wave around rule to get his young driver back on the lead lap when the caution flew on lap 105 just following green flag pit stops.
“We were just too tight at the beginning; the first two runs actually,” Ross explained. “When we came in for that green flag pitstop, I tried to pit, but I couldn’t get the truck to turn down so I had to go around again.
Actually the right front tire was starting to cord, we got lucky and caught that in time.”
“We loosened it up; took a big swing at the adjustments on that stop and we actually went too far and then spent the last half of the race trying to tighten it back up to make it drivable again."
With the truck handling better, Chastain was able to move up into the top-fifteen by the races three-quarter mark and after Kyle Larson and Ty Dillon tangled with about ten laps to go thrust the No. 08 into the top-ten.
Ross survived a sprint to the finish to bring the Custom Cooling and Heating Toyota home tenth.
“At the end our truck was pretty good up top but I could still run on the bottom. It was right on the edge, just a little too loose down low, we could roll the bottom better," Chastain said.
"That helped us at the end because we restarted on the bottom and I could hold it there to the finish."
Cale Gale and Kyle Busch came across the line side by side scraping the wall as Gale beat Busch to the line to earn his first ever NCWTS victory.
“Overall, we finally had some breaks fall our way and everything worked out. I’m real proud of the effort by everybody and thankful for those who helped us this weekend.”
Chastain finished his rookie season seventeenth in NCWTS points with an impressive four top-ten finishes and one top-five, which came at Bristol in August.
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