" It's about 30 miles from where I grew up in Miami Springs"
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (November 11, 2013) - When the green flag waves at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway for the 150-lap Truck Series finale on Friday night, it will have been 21 races and 267 days since Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra made his debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Although it has been a year of many challenges, Coulter would like to cap off his junior year with a strong run in the final race on the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule at his home-track.
A highlight to Coulter's season would be his second-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City back in April. The 23-year-old driver led 15 laps and finished in the runner-up position in a head-to-head battle with now series point leader Matt Crafton. The Florida native is hoping to add another highlight to his season by winning Friday night's Truck Series finale in front of his friends and family at "Home"stead. In two starts at the South Florida track, the GunBroker.com driver has never finished outside the top-five.
Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra: You are heading home to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the 2013 Truck Series season. What does it mean to race at your home track? "It's exciting, I love racing down there. It's about 30 miles from where I grew up in Miami Springs and about 50 miles from the first race shop I ever raced in when I started racing in the Hooters Pro Cup Series. Just being in Florida brings back so many memories for me. My family still has a house in Miami Springs and we also have a house in Islamorada, in the Keys, so I enjoy coming down here and getting away. I've been going to HMS for a long time and I've watched a lot of races there. It's always neat to have a lot of friends and family come out to support me and see me race that don't get to travel to the races throughout the year. Florida is also home to Darrell Gwynn and the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, he has always been a huge supporter of mine and we were able to help and give back to his foundation this year. It's something I'm proud of and hope to continue to be able to do. He has an annual fishing tournament - Hot Rod & Reels - that I always participate in on Saturday morning, so I'm looking forward to that as well."
So, you have been coming to HMS for as long as you can remember, but is it a track you enjoy racing at? "Yes, it's a lot of fun. It's a busy day for us with practice, qualifying and the race all in one day, but it's one of those tracks as the day goes on you are always moving around, looking for another groove to run in. When the race gets started you are on the bottom and all the way up against the wall and everywhere in between, which is a lot of fun for us as driver's and makes for a good show for the fans."
Harold Holly, Crew chief of the No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra: What kind of challenges are you presented with as a crew chief when you practice during the day, qualify late afternoon and race at night under the lights? "The biggest challenge is keeping up with the changing track conditions. We will practice when the track has the least amount of grip, so you have to know that it will be different by the time you get to the race. Racing conditions will be closer for qualifying, but even then you won't get the best read, so you will have to rely on notes to know how to expect the track to change. As the day goes on the racing groove will widen up. They will be able to run around the top, bottom or middle, which gives us a lot of options for chassis setup and adjustments. Homestead is different than any other mile-and-a-half that we race on all year long. There is no dog-leg, so the corner entry and exit are completely different than anything else we race on."
Joey Coulter's No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra: Chassis KBM14: Coulter will pilot chassis KBM14 in this weekend's Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. This Tundra was built new for the 2013 NCWTS season and has made four starts to date, including the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team's season-best finish of second at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.