QUIROGA'S NET10 WIRELESS® TUNDRA DIALS UP AN EIGHTH-PLACE FINISH IN 'DEGA DEBUT

Crew Chief Rick Ren and veteran spotter Rocky Ryan met with Germàn Quiroga before Saturday's fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway to develop a strategy for the 94-lap race. All parties involved agreed that the best plan available for Quiroga, who was making just his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start and first on a superspeedway, was to keep the left-side tires of his NET10 Wireless® Tundra locked to the inside yellow line all the way around the 2.66-mile Tri-oval until the race approached its halfway point.

German Quiroga, Toyota
German Quiroga, Toyota

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

By that point, they figured that the three-time NASCAR Mexico Series champion would be more comfortable with the nuances of restrictor plate racing and the team would begin to march forward with a goal of posting a top-10 finish. Once the green flagged dropped, the plan was executed to perfection by everyone involved and when a last-lap caution ended the event, the No. 51 Tundra had netted an eighth-place finish in its first race of the 2012 season.

"I couldn't be happier with my No. 51 NET10 Wireless Toyota Tundra -- I'm very pleased with the result," said Quiroga, whose best finish over two 2011 starts was a 16th-place finish in his debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last September. "We ran pretty good and I learned a lot. I think that we accomplished our goal for the weekend -- which was to finish the race with the truck in one piece and to try and finish in the top 10. Rick Ren did an awesome job with our pit-stop strategy and he and my spotter, Rocky (Ryan, spotter), did a good job of keeping me calm. I can't thank the whole Kyle Busch Motorsports organization enough -- without them I wouldn't be where I am."

After starting from the 23rd position, Quiroga ran somewhere between 19th and 27th for the first 40 laps of the race. After narrowly escaping a three-truck wreck on lap 47, Ren knew that he needed to use strategy to get his driver closer to the front, so he ordered up a fuel-only stop. The move put the No. 51 NET10 Wireless Tundra in the 19th spot for the lap-51 restart.

The 32-year-old driver slowly but surely began to march towards the front, making it into the top 15 for the first time on lap 52 and by lap 56 he was running in the top 10. By the time that the fourth caution of the race slowed the field on lap 61, Quiroga was scored in the fifth position.

With tire wear showing to be minimal, Ren brought his driver down pit road for a fuel-only stop. The NET10 Wireless Tundra took the lap-65 restart from the sixth spot. A few laps later, the Mexico City native quickly learned that while it took several laps to work his way forward, if you get shuffled out of the draft, going backwards occurs much quicker. On lap 66, Quiroga found himself all alone on the outside lane and when the field came back to the start-finish line to complete lap 67, his Toyota was scored in the 18th position. Before it was all said and done, he had slipped all the way back to the 24th position on lap 68.

From there, the resilient Quiroga, who gave up a successful racing career in his homeland in February to pursue a career in American NASCAR, began his rally. He found fellow international competitor Miguel Paludo on lap 69 and the two-truck tandem began pushing their way back towards the front of the field. By lap 75 the No. 51 Toyota was scored in the 14th position and when the fifth caution of the race occurred on lap 78, it had advanced back into the top 10.

The talented driver continued to advance toward the front after the race restarted on lap 80, maneuvering his way into the seventh spot before another caution on lap 84. He fell back to the eighth position on the lap-88 restart, where he remained when a last-lap caution ended the race under yellow.

"German did exactly what we asked him to do today -- he did a great job," said Rick Ren, who with 27 career Truck Series victories is the winningest crew chief in series history. "We did a lot of talking -- a lot of coaching -- and German listened very well. We had an experienced spotter and that really helped. Superspeedway racing is so much different than any other type of racing and for German to come from 23rd and finish eighth -- and we ran as high as fourth during the race -- that is phenomenal. A lot of that has to do with him doing his homework before we got here -- he watched previous races, talked to Kyle and asked questions of myself and the spotter. I also have to give a lot of credit to this race team -- it was their first time working together and they did a great job preparing the vehicle, a great job in the pits and at the end of the day Kyle Busch Motorsports, NET 10 and Germàn Quiroga had a great day."

Parker Kligerman became the eighth different first-time winner in the Truck Series this season, advancing from the 19th position with 14 laps to go. Johnny Sauter finished him in the runner-up spot, while championship contenders James Buescher, Ty Dillon and Timothy Peters rounded out the top-five finishers.

There were seven caution periods for 26 laps. Thirteen drivers led a lap, with the lead changing 19 times. Eleven of the 36 drivers who took the green flag failed to finish the race.

Quiroga will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 NET10 Wireless Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Nov. 2 for the WinStar World Casino 350.

Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports