FONTANA, Calif. - Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team concluded the season Saturday with a 20th place finish in the Motorola 200 at the California Speedway.
During practice sessions on Thursday, Tolsma was in the top-10 of the fastest trucks. Rain washed out most of the day on Friday, but Mother Nature managed to cooperate enough to allow for Bud Pole qualifying to take place. Tolsma ran an excellent lap of 41.557 seconds, which landed him in the 7th position to start the race. In final practice, Tolsma was 6th on the board and felt confident going into Saturday's race.
"This is the best speedway truck we've ever had," stated crew chief Gary Showalter. Tolsma and the team agreed.
After the green flag dropped on the 100 lap event, Tolsma found a drafting partner in the No. 24 of Jack Sprague. Unfortunately, a slower truck got between Tolsma and Sprague, slowing Tolsma considerably, and causing him to loose the lead draft.
On lap 38, Tolsma reached his fuel window, and pitted the No. 25 truck under green flag conditions. The stop seemed to be going well, until a lug nut got jammed in rear tire changer, Bobby Showalter's air gun. Front tire changer, Chris Showalter took his air gun down to finish off the tire and help out his brother. The 25 second pit stop cost the team a lap.
Shortly after, a caution flag flew. Tolsma did not pit, and was on the tail end of the lead lap at the restart. The leaders had fresher tires than Tolsma and soon passed him.
When it was all said and done, Rookie of the Year, Kurt Busch took the checkered flag. Tolsma finished 20th. In the final point standings, Tolsma and the team finished 8th overall.
"This is my career best finish in the point standings," said Tolsma after the race. "I would have liked to have a better finish in this last race because we had an awesome truck. It's been quite a year with this team. I'm proud of how hard everyone worked and hope next year is just as good."