Cut Tire Blows Chances of Tayler Malsam Capturing his First Win in Truck Series; The 20-Year-Old Lead His First Laps in NASCAR Competition and Comes Home with 13th-Place Finish SPARTA, Ky. (July 20, 2009) -- Tayler Malsam once again proved ...
Cut Tire Blows Chances of Tayler Malsam Capturing his First Win in Truck Series; The 20-Year-Old Lead His First Laps in NASCAR Competition and Comes Home with 13th-Place Finish
SPARTA, Ky. (July 20, 2009) -- Tayler Malsam once again proved at Kentucky Speedway why he isn't the average Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Driving the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota Tundra during the one-year anniversary of Randy Moss Motorsports, Malsam was determined to claim his first top-five finish. Starting from the eighth position, Malsam steadily ran in the top-10 for the majority of the 150-lap race. Crew chief Doug Wolcott made a strategy call, only taking two tires on the first pit stop of the night, allowing Malsam to break into the top-three. On lap 46, Malsam took the lead from veteran Ron Hornaday and led for a total of 12 laps, recording his first laps led in NASCAR competition. Consistently running in the top-five positions, Malsam received contact from a fellow competitor in the final 10 laps, relegating the 20-year-old to a very disappointing 13th-place finish.
Qualifying in his best starting position of the 2009 season, Malsam was poised to run up front with the veterans of the Truck Series. As the first caution of the night slowed the field on lap 34, the Raybestos Rookie leader was running in the eighth position. Wolcott made a strategy call for only right side tires on lap 35, followed by a fuel stop the next lap. Restarting from the third position on lap 42, Malsam was running the fastest laps of the race. In a short four laps, the Seattle, Washington native passed Ron Hornaday and led his first laps in NASCAR competition. Malsam was pulling away from the rest of the field when a caution flew on lap 54.
Restarting from the lead on lap 58, Malsam got a slow start and in one lap, the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota was running in the fifth position. Having a stout Tundra, Malsam worked his way back into third-place by lap 59. A long green-flag run allowed the youngster to track the leaders back down and take over second-place. Wolcott called Malsam to the attention of his pit crew on lap 98 for fuel only under green-flag conditions. A caution brought the field back together on lap 112, as the One Eighty Toyota was running in fifth-place.
Wolcott once again called Malsam to pit road for four fresh tires and the rookie candidate restarted in the fifth position on lap 118, right in front of his RMM teammate Mike Skinner. The final 25 laps of the race were caution-filled and Malsam was slowly picking off spots in front of him. By lap 121, the One Eighty Toyota was once again running in the second position. Unfortunately with seven laps to go, Malsam received contact from another competitor, which cut down the left rear tire of the No. 81 One Eighty Tundra and the hopes of the rookie capturing his first win in the Truck Series. After coming to pit road for four fresh tires, Malsam came home in the 13th position. This was Malsam's 10th top-15 finish of the 2009 season.
"It's very disappointing and frustrating," said Malsam. "To have a tire cut down with only a handful of laps left is really frustrating. But I can't say enough about my team. Doug (Wolcott) and all of these guys on his One Eighty, Randy Moss Motorsports team did an awesome job all weekend. This just shows that we are definitely a force to be reckoned with, because if my guys keep giving me rockets like this truck was, we will get our top-five finish and win very soon. It was a lot of fun leading those laps out there and running up front with the veterans who have been doing this for a long time. It just says a lot about my team and we will go get them in Indy."
With his solid effort, Malsam remains in the seventh position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings. He currently sits 73 points behind sixth-place David Starr and only 76 points behind fifth-place Brian Scott.
This Friday, July 24, Tayler Malsam and the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota Tundra team will head to the historic O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The green flag will drop on the AAA Insurance 200 shortly after 8:00 P.M. Eastern. SPEED will have live coverage of the 200-lap event, starting at 7:30 P.M. Eastern. Select affiliates of MRN Radio and Sirius-XM NASCAR Radio Channel 128 will also have the live radio broadcast.