Tayler Malsam Recovers from Tire Problems at The Monster Mile for a 12th-Place Finish; The Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candidate Grabs Sixth Top-15 Finish of the Season DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2009) -- For the second race in a row, Tayler Malsam...
Tayler Malsam Recovers from Tire Problems at The Monster Mile for a 12th-Place Finish; The Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candidate Grabs Sixth Top-15 Finish of the Season
DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2009) -- For the second race in a row, Tayler Malsam proved why he can contend with the veterans each week in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Early in the 200-lap race at Dover International Speedway, Malsam felt his right rear tire going flat and had to bring his No. 81 Toyota Tundra to pit road under green-flag conditions. Despite being two laps down, the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender patiently raced his way back on the lead lap and was running in the sixth position when Malsam brought his Tundra down pit road for the final time. Unfortunately, a mistake on pit road cost Malsam numerous spots, which resulted in a 12th-place finish for the Randy Moss Motorsports team.
For the third time out of seven races, the Truck Series race was postponed due to weather, so the No. 81 One Eighty team was forced to race on Saturday evening instead of the scheduled Friday time. Starting from the 20th position, Malsam knew that he would have to be patiently aggressive to get to the front of the field at the track known as "The Monster Mile." From the very beginning of the race, tire problems were at the forefront of every team's mind, including the One Eighty crew. The third caution of the race came out on lap 35, as race leader Ron Hornaday blew a tire. Crew chief Doug Wolcott called Malsam to the attention of his pit crew for right side tires only on lap 36. The Seattle, Washington native restarted from 13th-place.
On lap 47, NASCAR called a competition caution, while Malsam was in the 16th position. Wolcott called Malsam down pit road on lap 48 for left side tires and the 20-year-old returned to pit road the following lap for fuel. Restarting on lap 52 from the 11th position, Malsam steadily picked off competitors and broke into the top-five on lap 61. Unluckily, eight laps later Malsam radioed to his crew that his right rear tire was going down, which forced the No. 81 Toyota to pit under green-flag conditions. As a result of the green- flag stop, the rookie fell two laps down.
Malsam battled to get into the "lucky dog" position for the next 40 laps. On lap 102, the tide started to turn for the One Eighty Toyota, as it received one of its laps back, as a result of the "lucky dog" pass. Continuing to fight for positions, Malsam was in position to regain his status on the lead lap when the caution flew once again on lap 134. The next lap, Wolcott once again called Malsam to pit road for four fresh tires, followed by another stop for fuel. Restarting from the 17th position on lap 140, the Raybestos Rookie was determined to have a strong finish. Over the next 45 laps, Malsam picked off competitors one at a time and on lap 185, the No. 81 Tundra was running in the ninth position. Wolcott radioed Malsam to pit road for the final time to take right side tires, but a loose lug nut caused the truck to come back down pit road and lose the track position that Malsam had gained. During the final 10 laps, Malsam picked up as many spots as possible, but as the checkered flag flew, the No. 81 team was left with a 12th-place finish.
After recording his sixth top-15 finish of the season, Malsam remains in the 12th position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings. He is currently 18 points behind 10th-place Johnny Benson. In addition, Malsam held his lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, as he is tied with Johnny Sauter with a total of 71 points.
Tayler Malsam and his No. 81 One Eighty Toyota Tundra team will two-step into Texas Motor Speedway this Friday, June 5th for a Lone Star State Showdown.
How was your race?
"We had an easy top-five truck today. The Randy Moss Motorsports team did a good job. We just had a miscue on pit lane and the right rear went down and we went two laps down and got back into the top-10. It just stinks for all the guys. It wasn't meant to be."
What is the main thing you learned today that will help you when you come back here?
"Definitely just watch for tires, I guess, and watch out for wrecks. Just be consistent and stay out of trouble, pretty much."
Have you ever been in a situation where you have to take care of the right front and race hard at the same time?
"Yeah we do it in dirt cars all the time; you watch the right rear and stuff. You have to watch it but it's hard to when you're trying to run for fifth, fourth, or for the win, depending on what truck you're in. It's definitely frustrating. It's like trying to tell you to save fuel. It's kind of hard to do."