Running Third, Lofton Runs Out Of Fuel Two Laps From Finish, Leaves Iowa 15th Justin Lofton had a stellar day behind the wheel of the No. 7 visitpit.com Toyota Tundra at Iowa Speedway on Sunday. But a late race caution flag just three laps from...
Running Third, Lofton Runs Out Of Fuel Two Laps From Finish, Leaves Iowa 15th
Justin Lofton had a stellar day behind the wheel of the No. 7 visitpit.com Toyota Tundra at Iowa Speedway on Sunday. But a late race caution flag just three laps from the finish extended the event, running Lofton's fuel cell dry. After running in the top-10 for the majority of the race, and while running third, Lofton's No. 7 Toyota sputtered on the restart on lap 202. With his truck out of fuel and a dejected Lofton behind the wheel, the team ended the day 15th.
"It's unfortunate because we had such a strong truck. We had everything going our way; great pitstops, track position, we avoided trouble all day. We just didn't have enough there at the end," Lofton said.
Lofton started the Lucas Oil 200 from the 11th position. Within laps, he had climbed his way into the top 10. Early on, Lofton's only notation on the truck was that it was running a tick tight. A caution flag waved on lap 40, allowing Lofton to drop down pit road for four fresh tires and an adjustment.
The restart waved on lap 45 and three-wide racing quickly broke out as Lofton charged from the 13th position. Close racing on lap 50 forced Lofton sideways, but he saved it and continued on. From that point forward, Lofton was on a mission as he cleanly picked off positions.
Two more caution flags waved as the race approached halfway. Lofton spent a lengthy portion of the run in the eighth position leading up to a second pitstop just after the 100-lap mark. Lofton took on four tires, no fuel, and said that the truck was a bit free, but overall, pretty good.
Following the restart, the lead pack of cars got racy with a multi-car wreck breaking out on lap 113. Lofton, who was ninth at the time, wheeled his way through the melee, lining up fifth behind the pace car under yellow.
Back under green, Lofton held steady in the fifth position, keeping his eyes on the final portion of the race. With 30 laps to go, he began to make his move, making the pass for the fourth spot. With eight laps to go, he made the pass for third.
Lofton dug in and readied for the closing laps on the 7/8-mile track but a yellow just three laps from the finish slowed his pace. The yellow extended the race, running Lofton's truck out of gas. As the field lined up for the green-white-checkered flag finish, Lofton pulled his Toyota out of line from the third position and down pit road.
"We made some great changes under the stops. Mark Rette and all of the guys did great job in the pits for me. We stayed ahead of the change in the cloud cover to the sun with the changes. That was huge for how the truck handled. All in all, it was a great day. I had a lot of fun out there before that last caution came out," Lofton added after the race.
Lofton will next climb behind the wheel of the No. 7 Toyota Tundra in St. Louis for Friday's Camping World Truck Series event.