Eighth Place Run In Las Vegas Moves Lofton to 10th in Points Justin Lofton started the Smith's Food and Drug Stores 350 from the 17th position last Saturday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and despite being forced to make an additional ...
Eighth Place Run In Las Vegas Moves Lofton to 10th in Points
Justin Lofton started the Smith's Food and Drug Stores 350 from the 17th position last Saturday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and despite being forced to make an additional unplanned pit stop, ended the night with an impressive eighth place finish on the 1.5-mile track.
"It turned into a really good night. During practice, the No. 7 VisitPIT.com Toyota Tundra was just a little off. We were really fighting the bumps around the track real bad. Mark Rette and the guys did a great job. We picked up spots on pit road all night long and got the adjustments exactly where they needed to be," Lofton said.
Shortly after taking the green flag, Lofton radioed crew chief Mark Rette that the No. 7 Toyota was a bit tight and needed some help with its rotation. Under yellow on lap 25, Lofton made his first pit stop of the night, with the team dropping two rounds in the right rear.
As he began his climb through the field, Lofton relayed that the truck was running well and that the adjustment helped considerably.
On lap 60, the caution flag waved yet again, with Rette calling the 24-year-old rookie down pit road for another stop. This time, he called for fuel only. As Lofton began his exit down pit road, Rette informed him to pit again, after one of the crew members noticed a hole in the headlight. The following lap, Lofton pitted, taking on repairs to the damaged nose and four fresh tires.
Lofton took the restart from the 19th position. By the time the caution waved on lap 96, he had moved his way up to the 13th position. The yellow opened the door for the team to make their final stop, swapping out tires, adding fuel, and making a minor adjustment.
The restart fell on lap 100. Over the final 46 laps, Lofton dug in and finessed his way to the front, consistently picking up positions. With 25 laps remaining, he cracked the top-10. In the closing laps, he continued his charge, moving into the eighth spot at the drop of the checkered flag.
"Towards the end, we got really good, really fast and got caught up on some restarts. We probably could have finished three or four spots better, but we're definitely happy with the way it ended up considering how we started the day," Lofton said.
The finish gave Lofton his sixth top-10 of the season, boosting him to the 10th position in the driver point standings.
Lofton and the No. 7 team will spend the next few weeks away from the race track courtesy of a break in Camping World Truck Series competition. The next event will be October 23rd at Martinsville Speedway.