After a two-day test in preparation for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway, two solid practice sessions and his best starting position of 2013, Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra, was confident that his thoroughbred had the horsepower to come storming out of the gates in the Bluegrass State and be a contender down the stretch.
However, an ill-handling Tundra in traffic and a last-lap spin would relegate the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) driver to a 16th-place finish in the eighth race on the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule.
Unfortunately, the package that we brought had no front grip and wasn't very good in traffic, so I battled for everything I had all night - the track was really slick and I was just really tight. After we made the two-tire pit stop there at the end, I got better and it looked like we were going to salvage a decent finish until that last lap. I was just making a pass on the inside of the 77 in Turn 4 and he came down on me, took the air off my spoiler and around I went."
Coulter started the 150-lap event from the fifth position, but lost ground in the opening laps as he battled a tight-handling Toyota Tundra in traffic - a condition he fought for a majority of the UNOH 225. The No. 18 team made two scheduled stops in the first 100 laps of the event, under caution at laps 27 and 81, respectively, for four tires, fuel and major chassis adjustments. However, the 23-year-old driver continued to battle the same conditions and could never crack the top-10.
In an effort to gain track position, crew chief Harold Holly opted to bring the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra down pit road for right side tires and fuel only under the sixth and final caution of the evening at lap 109.Unfortunately, that was the game plan for a majority of the front-runners and Coulter would restart 13th when the field went back to green on lap 112.
The combination seemed to work for the No. 18 Tundra, as Coulter was running lap times comparable to the top-five trucks on the track. With 10 laps remaining in the UNOH 225, Coulter broke into the top-10 and was setting himself up for a solid finish after a dismal day.
Running in the ninth position with two laps to go, Coulter was making a pass for eighth on the inside of the 77 machine in Turn 4, but lost control when Quiroga came down and took the air off his spoiler, causing his Tundra to get loose and make hard contact with the Turn 4 wall. The unfortunate combination of events relegated the 18 team to a 16th-place finish one lap down to the leaders.
Ty Dillon won the 3rd Annual UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway, his first victory of 2013. Brad Keselowski (second) posted his first top-five finish of 2013 and Kyle Busch (third) posted his fourth top-five finish at Kentucky Speedway. James Buescher and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.
Rookie teammate Darrell Wallace, Jr. led a race-high 54 laps before an accident in Turn 3 on lap 87 sent him to the garage. The 54 team was able to get back out on track in the final laps and crossed the finish line 28th.
The field was slowed six times for 25 laps and the lead was exchanged five times by four different drivers.
Following his 16th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway, Coulter moved up one position to 12th in the 2013 NCWTS driver point standings; a mere 14 points out of 10th, 52 markers behind fifth and 99 points behind series leader Matt Crafton.
The NCWTS will take a week off before heading to Iowa Speedway in Newton for the American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen on Saturday night, July 13. Coulter has three starts at the .875-mile oval, including one top-five and two top-10 finishes.