TIMOTHY PETERS RALLIES TO POST
BEST FINISH OF THE 2011 SEASON
Red Horse driver comes home sixth at Darlington Raceway to move to third in the points standings
DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 12, 2011) - Many drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series would be thrilled to finish sixth in a race, especially at a track as notoriously difficult as Darlington Raceway.
Not Timothy Peters.
But perhaps that shows how competitive the Red Horse Racing driver is. Peters, helped by savvy pit strategy by crew chief Butch Hylton, rallied from 18th in the final 25 laps of the Too Tough To Tame 200 to finish a season-best sixth.
And with his first top-10 of the 2011 season, Peters continued his climb up the truck series points standings, as he moved to third. Peters and the No. 17 GearWrench Toyota Tundra team faced adversity throughout the day at Darlington, beginning with a finger injury to mechanic and jackman Wade Luxton. But Luxton toughed it out and jacked Peters' truck during the race.
Peters, too, fought through issues in practice, as the No. 17 Tundra wasn't exactly to his liking. But the crew continued to work on it, and Peters qualified 11th for the 147-lap race.
Peters quickly moved into the top 10 at the drop of the green flag, though the truck still wasn't handling to his liking. He reported a vibration to Hylton not long after the first pit stop, but persevered through the trouble.
Hylton made wedge and air-pressure adjustments, even as Peters ran on scuffed tires, part of the strategy to save one set of fresh, sticker tires for the end of the race.
More adjustments came on a later pit stop, and Peters continued to run in the top 10. On lap 92, Hylton made the call to change only right-side tires, and Peters restarted fourth with 52 laps to go.
That's where Peters was scored when the ninth caution waved, and Hylton brought Peters to pit road for four fresh tires. The timing was perfect, for Peters said he felt a problem with the right-front just as the yellow flag came out.
"I don't know if the tire was going down or if it was a loose wheel or what it was, but something went wrong really bad, and I'm glad we caught the caution," Peters said.
Peters sat 18th when the green waved with 25 laps remaining.
"I wanted to go, and you've got to go - but patiently aggressive," Peters said. "We executed on that. We were just a little too snug on that run. We probably should've freed it up just a little bit more. All in all, it was a great night. What started as a bad day turned into a great day."
Peters sliced through the field to run 10th when another yellow waved on lap 140. He executed an excellent restart with three laps remaining, getting past three trucks and then settling into sixth place at the checkered flag.
Peters received a hug from Hylton after the race as the two knew they had done all they could with what they had at Darlington.
"He did a great job calling the race all day," Peters said. "We really have didn't a great truck from the time go. But all in all, this is what we need to have a good points day. At the end of the day, we still brought home a top-10, and we're going to work on it.
"We've got our momentum going, and what better place to take our GearWrench Tundra than to Martinsville. All in all, what started as a bad day turned into a great day."