Homestead: Miguel Paludo race report

MIGUEL PALUDO BRINGS HOME A NINTH PLACE FINISH IN THE FORD 200 AT HOMESTEAD MIAMI SPEEDWAY In only his second outing with Red Horse Racing, Paludo earns his first top-10 finish at an intermediate track in the NASCAR Camping World ...

MIGUEL PALUDO BRINGS HOME A NINTH PLACE FINISH IN THE FORD 200 AT HOMESTEAD MIAMI SPEEDWAY
In only his second outing with Red Horse Racing, Paludo earns his first top-10 finish at an intermediate track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

HOMESTEAD, FL. (Nov 19)- Heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway, Miguel Paludo was anxious to have a strong showing at the season finale event of the 2010 season. Making his second start for Red Horse Racing aboard the #11 Stemco Duroline Tundra, Paludo had his work cut out for him. Having never raced at Homestead-Miami Speedway before, he would have to learn the track and help the team find the right feel for his truck. Paludo qualified 24th for the 134-lap event. When the green flag dropped on Friday night, he exercised patience to make sure he would be in contention at the end of the race. Armed with a fast truck, Paludo worked his way to the top-10 by the final laps. Scoring a ninth place finish, the #11 team was happy to end the season on such a high note.

Paludo headed out onto the track for the first time on Thursday evening. The #11 team worked to get a truck under their driver that would be fast but also secure during the race. Paludo concentrated on perfecting his line around the track, trying different grooves until his truck responded and his lap times got faster. Rain showers in the area postponed the final practice session until Friday morning. The team got another hour of practice in and by the time the final session was over, Paludo felt very confident in his race truck. Later than afternoon, he qualified the #11 Stemco Duroline Tundra in the 24th spot.

When the green flag dropped on Friday night, Paludo was determined to be as conservative as he needed to be in order to earn a solid finish. He radioed the crew that his Tundra was just a little too tight but a few laps later told them he had changed his line around the track and the truck was getting better. The first caution of the night came out on lap 30 and crew chief Rick Gay called his driver to pit road. Picking up four fresh tires, fuel and a minor air pressure adjustment, Paludo lined up 17th for the restart.

The #11 ran consistent lap times and moved back and forth from the 17th spot to the 15th spot for nearly forty laps. Paludo was learning more and more about the track with each lap and as his confidence grew, his truck seemed to come alive.

Another caution came out on lap 74 and Paludo once again hit pit road. Picking up four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment, he restarted 16th on lap 80. The adjustment really helped Paludo work his way through traffic. In just six laps, he had taken over the 13th spot. Another caution on lap 88 slowed the field down once again. This time Paludo lined up ninth for the restart on lap 93.

Despite being in the ninth spot, Paludo didn't get the restart he was looking for. He slid to 16th just one lap later. Refusing to give up, he regained his composure and went to work on getting the spots back. The caution flew again on lap 103 and Paludo returned to pit road at the direction of his crew chief. Taking four tires, fuel and another small air pressure adjustment, he restarted 20th on lap 110.

With only 24 laps remaining, Paludo had some work to do. He gained one spot on lap 111 but an accident on the race track brought out another caution and the red flag. When racing resumed on lap 114, the #11 Tundra was in the 19th spot. Determined to move forward, he picked up positions, reaching the 13th spot by lap 125.

A late race caution came out on lap 126 and set the field up for a restart with only four laps remaining. Paludo restarted 12th and made use of those final laps to claw his way to the ninth spot when the checkered flag fell. Thrilled to earn his first top-10 on an intermediate track, Paludo had mastered Homestead-Miami Speedway on his first visit.

-source: rhr

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK