Miles the Monster's menacing snarl isn't the only thing that takes Coulter's breath away at Dover
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 28, 2013) - Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra, admits that his 32nd-place finish in last week's N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway was a set-back in his hunt for the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver's Championship. However, the 22-year-old Toyota Racing driver knows that a good poker player never shows their hand and although he may be down, he's definitely not out.
Making his third start at DIS this weekend, Coulter hopes to improve on his 2012 track-best finish of sixth and take a gamble on his odds in the sixth race on the 2013 NCWTS schedule - when you play big, you win big and the monster-sized trophy is worth the price to ride.
Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
Describe the kind of feeling you get after a lap around Dover...
"Dover gives you that feeling you get when you are on a roller coaster, but as a driver, you have to convince yourself to make the roller coaster go that fast. It's really a different kind of track but it's a lot of fun once you get used to it. I remember the first couple of times I was there, in my mock-qualifying runs during practice and my qualifying laps, I literally held my breath. I think a lot of people think drivers are kidding when we say that, but for two laps you are just driving, not even thinking about it and once you get done you realize you should probably start breathing now. Dover is just a great place to race, so fast, there is no relaxing. You can't just sit back and ride, there is no way, it's just unbelievably exciting every lap."
You lost momentum after Charlotte in your championship battle. What are your expectations moving forward this season? Is the championship still in reach for you and the No. 18 team?
"Charlotte was without a doubt a step backwards for us. We made up a lot of ground at Kansas and felt really confident in our Tundra going into the Charlotte race. Falling back as far as we did in the points really changes the way we are going to approach the rest of the season. With the truck series schedule being so short, we have to be able to change our strategy very quickly and adapt to the hand we are dealt. From now on we are going for maximum points every week - we are focused on leading laps and winning. My crew chief Harold Holly and I are going to get more aggressive with our setups and probably gamble a lot more when it comes to pit calls to keep us up front all day and give us a shot to win every week. I don't feel like we are out of the championship hunt until the math shows we are, until then we are going to race every race with no regrets, all-in every lap."
Harold Holly, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
Can you describe the unique difference in a concrete racing surface like Dover versus an asphalt track that we see at most tracks we visit on the NCWTS schedule?
"The manner in which the track accepts heat between concrete and asphalt is totally different. The surface of the race track can be a lot more abrasive on concrete because concrete has more of a texture and will ultimately grade the tire off, whereas asphalt is more porous and smooth. Usually, when you unload on asphalt your truck has more grip right off the truck. At Dover, from the time we unload until the time we race, the track will pick up one second by rubber being laid down on the racing surface. So, you have to be careful how you adjust your balance in the first part of practice until the track takes rubber. Once the track takes rubber, your tires are pretty much worn out so it can be a meticulous thing."
What kind of racing can we expect at Dover in the Truck Series this weekend?
"By the time the truck race starts on Friday night, there will be a lot of rubber on the track - unless it rains and washes the race track clean - so, it won't take long before the top grove comes in and I think you will see two and three-wide racing. Most teams will want to take four tires each stop at Dover because of how abrasive the racing surface is and because the sustained loads are so high - there is not much of a straightaway at Dover so you are in corner loads a lot. So, from a wear standpoint and a safety standpoint, you want to take four. However, at the end of the day track position is critical. For the first six to eight laps the leaders will pull out and if you get hung in traffic, the leaders will straightaway you and it's hard to make that time up."
Kyle Busch Motorsports