Peters maintains second in the points after Phoenix 150

Timothy Peters No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra

Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Red Horse Racing team traveled to Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 looking to improve on their previous record at the 1-mile oval. Fighting hard for a shot at the championship heading into the final two races of the season, Peters and his crew utilized strategy and patience to avoid all nine cautions during the evening and came home with a fourth place finish.

Timothy Peters
Timothy Peters

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Pleased with the balance of their Toyota Tundra on the long run during both practice sessions on Thursday, the No. 17 team and Peters had confidence heading into qualifying and the race on Friday. Starting the night from the eighth position, Peters held steady in the opening laps and moved to the seventh spot where he remained until the first round of pit stops under caution on lap 38. Reporting he was a little loose on one end, and a little tight on the other, Peters received two fresh right side tires and a few adjustments from his Red Horse Racing team, returning to competition to restart in second.

Steering clear of several incidents in a row over the next 14 laps after the restart, Peters battled inside the top three until the fourth caution on lap 55. Just before retaking the green flag, crew chief Butch Hylton decided to gamble and bring his driver down pit road for four tires and fuel, attempting to stretch the fuel and make it to the end without another pit stop. After topping off with fuel with one lap before the restart, Peters rejoined the field on lap 64 at the tail end of the lead lap and dodged two more incidents over the next twenty laps.

The sixth caution of the night on lap 74 brought the majority of the lead pack down pit road, moving Peters forward to the second position for the restart. Staying quiet over the radio for the next green flag run, Peters remained within striking distance of the leaders but elected to comfortably maintain his pace. The next caution on lap 104 brought the trucks in front of him down pit road and put Peters in the lead for the first time. Though he was only able to fend off his competitors for a few laps, Peters gained the points he needed for leading laps and settled back inside the top-three in the running order.

After nearly 45 laps of green flag racing, the new pavement continued to give the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors grief just before the white flag, setting up a green-white-checkered restart situation. Sitting in the third position after comfortably riding in that very spot during the extended green flag run, Peters made a strong move on the restart but slid back to the fourth position, where he crossed the checkered flag.

"It was a crazy night and I'm just glad we finished because it was a big points night for us," Peters said.

"But it's sort of bittersweet for me, because I know we had a better Tundra than the fourth place finish shows. This Red Horse Racing team worked really hard all day to give me a fast truck and they did just that. Butch Hylton made a great strategy call in the middle of the race to put us in position for this finish and now we have a legitimate shot at this championship heading into Homestead. That's all we can really ask for."

Parker Kligerman No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra

In the midst of a fight for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Parker Kligerman and the No. 7 Red Horse Racing team traveled to Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night for the Lucas Oil 150 with hopes to capitalize in the second to last race of 2012. Putting together a fast Tundra during both practice sessions and qualifying, a loose handling condition in his No. 7 Toyota Tundra surfaced during the race and sent Kligerman spinning on lap 55, resulting in significant damage and a 27th place finish.

Showcasing his speed during first and final practice on Thursday afternoon, Kligerman and his No. 7 Red Horse Racing crew had confidence on their side heading into Friday's qualifying session. Though they had shown the speed during practice, crew chief Chad Kendrick and his crew made adjustments to their Tundra that would hopefully build upon the speed and handling they already achieved. Those adjustments proved to be too much for Kligerman's liking, but the 22-year old driver was still able to grab the seventh starting spot for the 150-lap main event.

Just after the drop of the green flag, Kligerman slid back to the 12th position where he radioed to Kendrick and his team that he was too loose on entry and was fighting to keep his Tundra from spinning out. His first opportunity to come down pit road for adjustments came on lap 38 under the first caution of the night. Kligerman and Kendrick agreed to go for track position, taking two right side tires and adjustments to tighten him up on entry.

Kligerman battled with the leaders on the restart and settled into the third spot after retaking the green in fourth. Another caution quickly followed on lap 45, setting up another restart. As the field went back to green flag competition, Kligerman was in the midst of a battle for the third position when his Tundra broke loose coming off of turn two. Unable to regain control of his Tundra, Kligerman nosed into the backstretch wall and sustained heavy front end damage.

Deep in the battle for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Kligerman's No. 7 Red Horse Racing team quickly responded to the incident and pulled him down pit road, where they began to assess the damage. Realizing there was too much damage to repair on pit road; the crew pulled their truck into the garage area and began repairs. Though their diligent work gave Kligerman the chance to return to competition in hopes to gain as many valuable points as possible, they ended the night in the 27th position.

"Our Toyota Tundra was really loose all night and I was trying everything I could inside the truck to tighten it up, but it just wasn't enough. On that last restart, I thought we were going to be ok, but when another truck passed by us it just changed the air and being so loose, just sent me spinning and into the wall. At the end of the day, it was a mistake on my part because I couldn't catch it, but that's racing. We're going to Homestead with a brand new Tundra and just one goal in mind, and that's to win," Kligerman said.

Todd Bodine No. 11 Toyota Care Toyota Tundra

Tackling the new surface of Phoenix International Raceway for the first time, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolled to the 1-mile oval on Friday night for the Lucas Oil 150. A previous winner at the Arizona track, two-time series champion Todd Bodine and his No. 11 Toyota Care Team were optimistic for a strong run with experience on their side. The new pavement created a challenge for the entire field and produced an incident between Bodine and another competitor in the early stages of the night, resulting in a 28th place finish.

A solid effort by the entire Red Horse Racing organization helped begin the weekend at Phoenix with all three trucks running solidly at the top of the speed charts during the first practice session. As the track cooled and night fell during the final practice session, Bodine's Tundra began to handle much differently, and crew chief Rick Gay and his team worked diligently before qualifying on Friday afternoon to remedy the situation. Pulling together for the changes, Bodine was pleased with their work and was able to put down a lap good enough for the 12th starting position.

From the drop of the green flag, Bodine slid back a few positions and settled in just outside the top-15 in the running order, communicating to Gay just 10 laps in that he was fighting a tight handling condition with his Tundra through the center of the corner. Bodine was encouraged to hang tight until the first pit stop and the crew would make the necessary changes for him.

After their first pit stop on lap 38 under the first caution, Bodine restarted from the 15th position with four fresh tires and changes to his Toyota Care Tundra. After a clean restart, Bodine soon became tangled with another competitor and fell back to the tail end of the lead lap after the contact. Just a few laps later, the No. 11 team had another chance to bring their driver down pit road to make some changes and pull out some minor body damage they sustained from the contact. Confident in their changes and the damage repair, the crew sent Bodine back into competition.

Shortly after taking the restart on lap 47, Bodine was making his way back towards the front in heavy traffic from the 22nd position. As Bodine was fighting for positions off of turn four, his Toyota Care Tundra was severely damaged by a competitor hitting him on the right side as it careened off the outside wall sending Bodine into the inside wall and thereby sustaining heavy damage to both sides. Bodine pulled his Tundra behind the wall to the attention of his Red Horse Racing crew, where the team determined the damage would end their night in the 28th position.

"The truck on the outside of me couldn't get it saved and when he came across the track, it hit me down the right side which pushed me into the inside wall and got the left side. So unfortunately our Toyota Care Tundra is tore up on both sides. I think it's a shame that we have to race on a surface like this here at Phoenix, I thought the new pavement would be better. It was really one groove, you couldn't get out of it by a foot and then you've got guys who just won't give you any room and then you have problems like we had. Unfortunately though, it's the story of our year. We just can't get a break," Bodine concluded.

Red Horse Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-TRUCK
Article type Race reports
Tags bodine, kligerman, peters, phoenix, red horse, rhr, toyota