Martinsville: Timothy Peters race report

TIMOTHY PETERS CAPTURES A FOURTH PLACE FINISH AND RECLAIMS THE POINT LEAD AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY. Peters and his team prove they can contend for the championship by earning three consecutive top-10 finishes in the first three races of the ...

TIMOTHY PETERS CAPTURES A FOURTH PLACE FINISH AND RECLAIMS THE POINT LEAD AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY.

Peters and his team prove they can contend for the championship by earning three consecutive top-10 finishes in the first three races of the season.

MARTINSVILLE, VA. - Timothy Peters' favorite track on the Camping World Truck Series schedule sits just 20 miles from his home in Danville, VA. Cutting his teeth behind the wheel at Martinsville Speedway made Peters one of the few drivers in the field on Saturday with thousands of laps already under his belt on the paperclip-shaped short track. The pressure and the stakes were high for the hometown driver and his #17 Red Horse Racing team after winning there last fall. Starting from the fifth spot, Peters was charging to the front but trouble on the first pit stop marred him back in the field. Clawing his way to the front, Peters exercised patiently aggressive driving to eventually take the lead. Unable to hold off hard charging competitors, Peters battled hard to put himself in the fourth position when the checkered flag fell. He earned his third top-10 and second top-five finish of the season. Peters also reclaimed the lead in the series driver point standings by a margin of 59 points.

The #17 Red Horse Racing team unloaded the same truck Peters drove to Victory Lane at Martinsville Speedway last fall. Fast right from the first laps during practice, Peters was very happy with the way his Toyota Tundra was driving. Final practice was cut short by rain showers but the #17 Strutmasters.com Tundra was third quick overall. The rain persisted all afternoon and rained out qualifying. The trucks were lined up by 2009 owner's points putting Peters in the fifth spot for the start of the Kroger 250.

The green flag dropped just after 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon under sunny skies. Peters started fifth but in just one lap had moved his way to the third position. The caution came out on lap 26 and Peters told his crew his Strutmasters.com machine was tight in the center of the turns but was rolling through the corners very well. Opting to stay out, Peters restarted third on lap 32.

Getting a great restart, Peters was able to sneak by the second place truck and claim the position on lap 32. 15 laps later the condition of the #17 seemed to change drastically. Where it was once tight, Peters was reporting that it was very loose. He slipped back to the fourth spot and told the team he might have a tire going down on lap 57. With all the tires still up, Peters just held on and waited for the first pit stop. That chance came on lap 73 when the caution came out again. Reporting a very loose truck, Peters brought his Tundra to pit road for work on lap 75. Taking four fresh tires and fuel, he also picked up air pressure and track bar adjustments. Trouble with the jack on the right side delayed the pit stop and cost Peters several positions. He lined up 16th for the restart on lap 80.

By lap 82, Peters had worked his way to the 14th spot. Another caution came out on lap 84 and he reported the truck was a little snug. Restarting 14th, he moved into the 13th spot before another quick caution on lap 91. Still saying the truck was too tight; crew chief Jeff Hensley told his driver it might be the result of a tight set of tires. Unable to make much progress under green, Peters was relieved to see another caution on lap 112. Hensley called his driver to pit road on lap 114 for four fresh tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. Making additional track bar and air pressure adjustments, Hensley was sure the truck would be better under the next green flag run. Off pit sequence with most of the other trucks, Peters restarted 17th.

The #17 quickly regained the 14th spot and continued his forward march to the 11th position by lap 126. A caution on lap 133 brought most of the trucks to pit road and Peters stayed out. He gained plenty of track position and restarted from the second spot on lap 139.

Peters ran second and was studying the leader to find his weak spot. After another caution on lap 144, the field restarted on lap 150 and Peters got just the opportunity he was looking for. He was able to get by the leader and take the lead for himself on lap 150. Leading the way for 28 laps, Peters was disappointed to see another yellow flag on lap 178. Kevin Harvick would line up beside him with fresher tires and a very strong truck. Peters was able to hold Harvick off on the restart and continued to lead the way until Harvick squeezed by him on lap 190. Settling into the second spot, Peters was saving his truck so he would have something left in the closing laps of the race. Another caution came out on lap 198. Peters stayed out and restarted from the second spot but got pinched up top on the restart and the third and fourth place trucks were able to get by him before he could drop to the inside line. Running fifth, two trucks right in front of Peters wrecked and the #17 narrowly got by without any damage. The wounded trucks hit pit road and Peters took the third spot for the restart on lap 231.

With less than 20 laps remaining, patience was running thin and tempers were flaring up. During the restart the fourth place truck pushed Peters up the race track and almost spun him out. The Strutmasters.com Tundra held steady but slipped back one spot. While Peters was gathering back his momentum, the fifth place truck tried the same move but Peters wasn't giving in. For two laps the two trucks raced door to door until Peters was able to clear him and resume the fourth spot. He was able to hold onto the position for the final 15 laps and claim a fourth place finish at his home track. The #17 team earned its third consecutive top-10 finish and took back the point lead in the series driver point standings.

-source: rhr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Timothy Peters
Teams Red Horse Racing