MOORESVILLE, N.C. - When it comes to lucky numbers at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS), you better make sure to go "All In" on the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra of Joey Coulter. In three previous starts at the 1.5-mile oval, the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) machine has claimed three top-five finishes including one pole and two wins.
With finishes of 22nd, 15th, 13th and second, respectively, in the first four NCWTS events on the 2013 schedule, Coulter has improved his finishing position in each race and knows that his momentum coming off a season-best finish at Kansas will lead him straight to familiar territory with the No. 18 machine.
A solid effort by the 22-year-old Miami Springs, Fla. native has allowed him to gain 12 positions in the NCWTS driver point standings since Daytona and currently sits comfortably inside the top-10 with 125 points; a mere 10 points behind fifth-place Ty Dillon and 37 points behind series point leader Matt Crafton. With only one goal in mind, to win KBM their first driver championship, Coulter knows a solid finish at CMS this weekend will keep him on track to "runnin' down his dream."
Making his third start at CMS this weekend, Coulter hopes to improve on his 2012 track-best finish of seventh and "scratch off" another "W" in the win column in the 11th Annual N.C. Education Lottery 200 at CMS.
Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
What makes racing at Charlotte so special? "Charlotte is a cool place to race for a lot of reasons. One, it's a hometown race for everyone; there are not only a lot of fans that come out but a lot of your friends and family come out to see you race and you get to sleep in your own bed, which is neat.
As far as truck races go, I would consider this to be one of the biggest - there is so much excitement and energy in the air not only around the truck race/All-Star week but both weeks in Charlotte. You have SPEED Street, we have a really big KBM fan event leading into the 600 weekend and there are just a lot of fans in town, it's a really cool feeling.
Also, Charlotte Motor Speedway is just one of those tracks with a lot of history and it's a fun, cool place to race - it always makes for a good show."
Do you lose momentum in the three week break between Kansas and Charlotte? "Any break is tough - we had that really big break in between Daytona and Martinsville, which is really a whole month and that was kind of tough on us because it wasn't a great finish.
Coming off a second-place finish at Kansas and then having three weeks off, it's still tough, but we are all walking around knowing that we had a good day and itching to get back out there and do it again - one position better.
We are bringing the same Toyota Tundra that we had at Kansas to Charlotte, so I know we will have a good piece. I've always enjoyed racing at Charlotte, I've run well there in the past and these mile-and-a-half tracks tend to be good for us. Our confidence is up, so I don't see us losing momentum at all."
Harold Holly, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
What are the keys to getting around Charlotte Motor Speedway? "The big thing with Charlotte is we practice during the day and race at night. There is such a huge swing with the race track between the daytime and at night, so you need to have a really good feel of how much you need to change your balance for the race and not over adjust.
Turns three and four are a different animal than turns one and two - turns one and two are really violent, three and four are not. The sun sets in the west and shines down directly on turns three and four so it can give you a challenge during the day. At night turns one and two can because they are rough, so you have to keep those things in mind when you are tuning up."
You are taking the same Toyota Tundra to Charlotte that you were so strong with at Kansas; do you expect to unload where you left off three weeks ago? "Yes we do. It was a brand new chassis going into Kansas and now we have a race in on it so when we got back from Kansas we made some fine tuning adjustments to it.
Kansas is obviously a completely different race track than what Charlotte is - Kansas was new pavement and smooth, Charlotte is something different. However, it gave us an opportunity to work the bugs out of a new truck at Kansas especially with the extra practice time, which we have at Charlotte as well. But, yes we are really pumped about it and think we are going to be really fast."
Kyle Busch Motorsports