Coulter going "all in" Vegas style

"I think to win at Vegas or on any track for that matter, you have to roll the dice"

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 24, 2013) - In life you have to play the hand you are dealt. Sometimes that hand is a bust and sometimes you can go all in. Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra would agree that his hand has been a challenge in 2013, but the young driver isn't giving up yet. With only six races remaining on the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule, the Miami Springs, Fla. native knows he has nothing to lose and will do what it takes - even gamble - to add another "W" to the column after Saturday night's Smith's 350 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.

Joey Coulter
Joey Coulter

Photo by: Philippe Champoux

One year ago, Coulter claimed his third series pole, lead 40 laps and finished a track-best third in the Smith's 350 at the famed 1.5-mile oval on the Las Vegas strip and knows a solid run this weekend is just what he needs to get back in the game. With a 26 point deficit on 10th-place Brendan Gaughan, Coulter is tired of folding; the 23-year-old driver is ready to play the hand he's dealt - he's going all in Vegas style.

Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra: You had a strong run at LVMS last year. What will it take to win the race this year? "Last year was a really good weekend for us, we just needed to capitalize on the last couple of restarts and make it count at the end. This year I think we have the same chance to be just as fast. Vegas is a rough track, not very smooth, but you can really race in several grooves and you can change your line to get more speed, which makes it fun. We have had some good runs on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so I'm looking forward to this weekend's event. We are going back with a very similar setup to last year with a few Toyota Tundra tweaks and the same truck that we raced in Chicago, so we should be pretty solid."

You practice during the day and race at night. What kind of challenges as a driver does that present for you? "The truck series is notorious for having to deal with racing in different conditions than what we see in practice. For a driver and a crew chief I think it comes down to how well the two can communicate with each other. When we practice during the day it will be hot, less grip which will be similar to the track conditions when the race starts. As we get into the race, the temperatures will cool down and the trucks will get tight. As a driver you have to find a good balance and that starts with good communication during practice."

Vegas is known for gambling - do you consider yourself a gambler on the race track? "I think to win at Vegas or on any track for that matter, you have to roll the dice. Whether it's with tires or fuel mileage, at some point you are going to gamble. That is one of the fun things about Vegas, you never really know how the race will shake out. It seems to be different every time we go back. With the point's position we are in this year, we have to take chances, gamble a little bit, see what's out there - we have nothing to lose."

Harold Holly, Crew chief of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra: What is the biggest challenge as a crew chief when you come to LVMS? "The bumps getting into Turn 1 seem to really upset the truck, so we'll spend a lot of time trying to address that. The other thing we'll keep an eye on is that -- like a lot of the other mile-and-a-half tracks -- you seem to get a little on the free side at night. So we will need to leave enough room to keep adjusting on the truck as the race goes along, so that we don't over adjust it."

Joey Coulter's No. 18 Toyota Tundra: Chassis KBM17: The No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team will unload chassis KBM17 for the third time in 2013 in the Smith's 350 at LVMS on Saturday. Built new for the 2013 season, this chassis was last seen at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. for the 225. Qualifying sixth - Coulter's best start in eight races - the 23-year-old driver was handicapped prior to the half-way mark in the 150-lap event when his No. 18 Toyota Tundra ran out of fuel on the backstretch and the Miami Springs, Fla. native was relegated to a 23rd-place finish.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brendan Gaughan , Joey Coulter , Kyle Busch
Teams Kyle Busch Motorsports
Article type Preview
Tags coulter, gunbroker, kbm, ncwts, toyota