We raced our butts off tonight - Jason Leffler
Jason Leffler overcame an early spin in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton to bring home a solid sixth-place finish Saturday night. Leffler, who restarted from the 21st position after the lap-63 spin, maneuvered his way back inside the top 10 by lap 130 and went on to register his fourth consecutive top-10 finish behind the wheel of the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra.
"We got behind a little bit on the first pit stop and then I got us way behind when I spun out, but all-in-all it was a pretty good night," said Leffler who was making his first start in the Truck Series at Iowa. "Have to thank all the guys at KBM, they gave me a great Shore Lodge Tundra and after the spin, never gave up on me -- we raced our butts off tonight. Thanks to all of our sponsors this weekend -- Shore Lodge, Dollar General, Toyota, M&M's, Flexco and DuPont."
After starting the 200-lap race from the ninth spot, Leffler had moved up to the eighth position when the team made their first pit stop of the night under caution on lap 52. The California native communicated to crew chief Eric Philips that his Shore Lodge Tundra was tight before coming down pit road for four fresh tires with an air pressure adjustment and a full tank of fuel.
An unusually slow stop by the crew left Leffler in the 12th position when the race resumed on lap 56. As he was making his way back through the field, the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra got loose battling Joey Coulter for the ninth spot and spun off the exit of Turn 4. As the tuck went sliding sideways and other trucks swerved to avoid it, the veteran driver was able to right the path of his Toyota and avoid any contact.
When pit road opened, Leffler brought his truck in for four fresh tires and a full-fuel load, returning to the track scored in the 21st position. After the ensuing restart, he began to slowly maneuver his way back through the field as the race proceeded caution free for over 60 laps. By lap 75 he had made his way up to 15th and had when the fourth caution of the race occurred on lap 134, had maneuvered his way back in the top 10.
This time, the KBM over-the-wall crew redeemed themselves from their early snafu, returning their driver to the track scored in the eighth position after making a four-tire stop, with yet another air pressure adjustment. "Great stop guys, we're back in this thing -- this truck is really good right now," proclaimed Leffler before the race resumed on lap 142.
Leffler picked up one spot off the lap-168 restart and remained in the sixth position until the next caution occurred on lap 175. He was able to pick up two more spots off the next restart on lap 178 and was scored in the fifth position when the final caution of the night occurred on lap 181.
On the final restart of the night, the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra got bottled up in the inside lane and by the time the field came back to the start-finish line had been shuffled back one spot. Over the final 10 laps, the veteran driver was unable to make any more progress, but held off a hard-charging Ty Dillon to come home in the sixth position.
Timothy Peters became the eighth different winner in nine races this season with his first victory of 2012 and fourth of his Truck Series career. Ron Hornaday Jr. finished 1.586 seconds behind Peters in the runner-up spot. ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter finished third and fourth, respectively, and Justin Lofton rounded out the top-five finishers.
There were seven caution periods for 39 laps. Nine drivers failed to finish the race.
The No. 18 Tundra team gained three more spots in the Truck Series owner's point standings with its fifth top-10 finish in nine races this season. The team currently resides in the 11th position, 89 points behind the series-leading No. 17 Toyota of Red Horse Racing.
Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM)