TIMOTHY PETERS BRINGS HOME A FOURTH PLACE FINISH IN THE SEASON FINALE AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY CAPPING OFF AN INCREDIBLE YEAR FOR THE #17 TEAM.
The #17 Strutmasters.com Toyota Tundra battled for the win in the closing laps but fresh tires prevailed and Peters earned his fifth top-five finish of the season in the Ford 200.
HOMESTEAD, FL. (November 20)- Timothy Peters and the #17 Strutmasters.com team knew they had only one race left to get their Toyota Tundra back to Victory Lane and they were more determined than ever to make it happen. Peters worked his way to the lead and looked to have a good shot at bringing home the win. A late caution set up a green, white, checkered finish. Peters restarted from the lead with another competitor on fresh tires at his bumper. Peters was unable to hold onto the lead on the older tires but was able to secure the fourth spot in a wild finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The finish was Peters' fifth top-five of the season and helped him claim the eighth spot in the Camping World Series driver point standings for the season.
The #17 Strutmasters.com team used two practice sessions on Thursday evening to make sure their truck was the one to beat on Friday night. Peters was fastest in first practice and backed up those same speeds in the final practice session. Peters put his #17 Tundra in the sixth starting spot for the Ford 200, the final race of the 2009 season.
With only one opportunity left to earn another trip to Victory Lane, Peters was on a mission when the green flag dropped under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
After running just five laps, Peters reported that his Tundra was a little too free all the way through the corner and that he was unable to run the bottom groove of the race track. Peters grabbed the fifth spot on lap 30 and then the first caution of the night came out on lap 32. Peters told his crew chief Chad Kendrick that the truck had not gotten any better. He headed for pit road on lap 33 for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment. He returned the following lap for fuel and a track bar adjustment to tighten up the truck.
Peters restarted seventh.
The #17 Strutmasters.com Tundra lost one position after the restart and Peters fell to the eighth spot. Another caution came out on lap 37 but Kendrick told him to stay out. Peters reported that his truck really wasn't much better after the adjustments. After the restart, Peters was able to get by the sixth and fifth place trucks to claim the spots for himself. Another caution came out on lap 58 and Peters told Kendrick his truck was still pretty loose. The #17 headed for pit road once again on lap 59 for two right side tires only. Peters returned the following lap for fuel, track bar, and wedge adjustments. He restarted seventh.
The gamble with two tires paid off and Peters was on the move. He passed three trucks in one lap to take over the fourth spot on lap 66. Just three laps later, he moved up to third. Peters followed the second place truck for several laps to see where his weaknesses were. Peters stalked him until he could compete the pass and took over the second spot on lap 82. Nearing the fuel window, other trucks began making their green flag pit stops on lap 113, including the leader. When he hit pit road, Peters assumed the lead. The #17 led for four laps and then headed to pit road for a splash of gas. Peters merged back on the track in the seventh spot but quickly regained the second position on lap 124.
Peters continued to run faster lap times than the leader, inching his way closer with each lap. With five laps to go, Peters was still second but closer than ever to reaching the leader. The caution flag flew on lap 127 setting the field up for a green, white, checkered finish. The leader hit pit road under the caution but Peters opted to stay out. That gave him the lead for the restart but he knew it would be tough to hold off trucks with fresh tires. Geared up for a wild finish, Peters took the green flag and tried to keep everyone else in his mirror. The trucks on newer tires were able to get by him but not without a fight. Peters held on for two laps to bring home a fourth place finish for the #17 Strutmasters.com team. Proud of their accomplishments this season, it was a perfect end to such a successful year.