Iowa: Ricky Carmichael race report

Ricky Carmichael Finishes Ninth at Iowa Ricky Carmichael returned to America's heartland for the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway and, after a three week break from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit, took the checkered flag ...

Ricky Carmichael Finishes Ninth at Iowa

Ricky Carmichael returned to America's heartland for the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway and, after a three week break from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit, took the checkered flag in ninth-place.

Despite spinning in his Monster Energy Chevrolet early in the first practice, Carmichael quickly regained his composure and, with the help of his team, got the No. 4 to a set-up that he would be comfortable with when the green flag dropped on Sunday. Though his 21st-place qualifying effort wasn't the starting position he wanted, he was pleased with the team's decision and felt confident that his truck would be good in the 200-lap race.

By lap 20, Carmichael had only gained one position and reported that his Turner Motorsports truck was "loose off and tight in the center."

When the first caution flag flew 17 laps later, Crew Chief Mike Fritts brought the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet to the attention of his crew for four tires, fuel and adjustments on both air pressure and the track bar.

The difficult handling conditions caused Carmichael to go one lap down to the race leader. By lap 68, he began to notice chatter in the right rear of the truck as he got into turn one. When the second caution of the race came out on lap 74, he felt that the truck wasn't rolling and he was losing grip. Fritts chose to have Carmichael stay out while he and the team worked to determine the appropriate adjustments to make on the truck.

Over the next 30 laps, the handling in Carmichael's truck improved and he was running lap times consistent with the top-10. When the third caution flag was displayed on lap 104, the Monster Energy crew took a gamble and opted to stay out to gain valuable track position. The team's gamble paid off when the field was under caution immediately after the re-start. Carmichael came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. The stop put the No. 4 in a position to be able to make it to the end of the race without needing more fuel.

Carmichael re-started the race on lap 119 in the 11th position and remained in the top-10 for the remainder of the afternoon. The caution flag flew for a total of seven times in the event, which was extended to 205 laps to accommodate a green-white-checkered finish with Carmichael bringing home his fourth top-10 of the 2010 season.

The Lucas Oil 200 was won by Carmichael's friend, Austin Dillon, who earned his first victory in the Camping World Truck Series. Carmichael was among the drivers who quickly made his way to Victory Lane to congratulate the rookie driver. Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Ken Schrader and Turner Motorsports teammate James Buescher rounded out the top-five.

Carmichael will travel to New Hampshire this week to get some seat time in a rally car. Carmichael was invited to the event by Ken Block, head of longtime sponsor, DC Shoes. This will mark the first time that the 15-time AMA Champion will be behind the wheel in this category of driving.

The Monster Energy Chevrolet team will return to the Midwest on Friday, July 16th at Gateway International Raceway for the CampingWorld.com 200.

RICKY CARMICHAEL: "I knew the truck wasn't as fast as I wanted it to be for our qualifying run, but the Monster team made sure it was where I needed it to be for the race and it would be good in the long run. The guys have really been working hard over the three weeks we weren't at the track to make sure our equipment is ready to go when we un-load and their work is really showing. We had a battle on our hands for the first half of the race, but Fritts made some great adjustments and we were able to come home with a top-10 finish, which is exactly what we needed."

-source: turner motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Ricky Carmichael , Ken Block , James Buescher , Austin Dillon
Teams Turner Motorsport