Tayler Malsam Scores 11th-Place Finish in Kansas; The 20-year-old Takes the Lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings KANSAS CITY, Kans. (April 29, 2009) -- Weather was the main topic when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolled...
Tayler Malsam Scores 11th-Place Finish in Kansas; The 20-year-old Takes the Lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings
KANSAS CITY, Kans. (April 29, 2009) -- Weather was the main topic when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolled into Kansas Speedway. The extended weekend started off with heavy winds, but strong thunderstorms and rain moved in the area on Saturday. Tayler Malsam and his No. 81 One Eighty Toyota Tundra team were determined to have a solid showing at the 1.5-mile oval and take over the points lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. Malsam quickly showed that he had a stout truck, but a pit road infraction on Monday's race conclusion pushed the rookie to the back of the field. The Seattle, Washington native worked his way through the field, but when the race was called for rain, 35 laps short of the conclusion, Malsam had to settle for an 11th-place finish.
Qualifying in the 10th position, Malsam quickly maneuvered to the sixth spot by lap seven. Running solidly in the top-10, the caution flag waved for the second time on lap 37. Crew chief Doug Wolcott called Malsam to pit road on lap 39 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Malsam returned to the attention of his crew the following lap for fuel. The 20-year-old restarted the race on lap 43 from the 17th position. Just as soon as the trucks went back racing, the caution flag waved again for rain on lap 46. Attempting to dry the track, Malsam and the rest of the field made numerous caution laps before NASCAR made the decision to postpone the race until Monday.
After a day off, Malsam and the No. 81 One Eighty team were ready to finish their charge to the front on Monday morning. Unfortunately, rain storms were still in the area and pushed back the completion of the race until shortly after 2 P.M. CT. Malsam restarted the race on lap 62 from the 11th position and by lap 76, the No. 81 Toyota was running in sixth-place. Finding different grooves in the race track, Malsam broke into the top-five by lap 109 and radioed to his crew that his truck was "very fast." Caution flew on the track on lap 113 and Wolcott brought Malsam down pit road once again. On lap 114, Malsam received two fresh right side tires, but as he was exiting his pit stall, the rear tire rolled out of the pit stall, which resulted in a tail end of the longest line penalty. The next lap, Malsam returned to his crew for fuel and restarted the race from the 17th position.
Within one lap, Malsam had moved up three positions, running in the 14th-place. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender kept picking off positions and when the caution flew for the final time for rain on lap 123, Malsam was sitting in the 11th position. After attempting numerous times to dry the track, NASCAR called the race, which left Malsam sitting with a solid but disappointing finish.
"My No. 81 One Eighty team gave me an awesome truck this weekend," said Malsam. "We were heading to the front quick, but when we had that pit road mishap it just put us to the back of the pack. We could have easily finished in top-three and might been able to have a one-two finish for Randy Moss Motorsports. I've happy for Mike (Skinner) and all of those guys on the No. 5 team, just wish we could have been up there with him. But we will shake this off and go get them in a few weeks at Charlotte."
With his 11th-place run, Malsam gained three spots, moving into the 12th position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship points standings. He currently sits 17 points out of 10th-place and 85 points out of the fifth spot. In addition, Malsam has taken over the lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year point standings. He sits atop of the chart with a one-point lead over James Buescher.
Looking to rebound after a long weekend in Kansas, Tayler Malsam and his No. 81 Randy Moss Motorsports team will head to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina on Friday, May 15th for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.