Kentucky: Timothy Peters race report



After struggling with a loose condition, Peters found himself in the perfect position to gamble on pit strategy and it paid off with another top-10 finish; his 14th of the season.

SPARTA, KY. (Sept 3)- Timothy Peters was looking forward to his return to Kentucky Speedway. After earning his first career top-five finish at the track a year ago, he was returning with his favorite chassis and hoping to improve on those 2009 stats. Peters' truck was strong in practice and looked to be a contender on Friday night. He qualified 12th but when the race started just after sunset, his truck seemed to feel dramatically different. Peters was fighting a loose condition in turn three that persisted the duration of the race. On lap 27, during a restart, the loose condition was so bad that the #17 Toyota Tundra's right rear slapped the wall. The damage destroyed the side force of the truck and Peters fell through the field. Knowing the only way to earn a good finish would be to get off sequence with everyone else, crew chief Jeff Hensley opted to pit for fuel on lap 91, before the rest of the field. Peters had enough fuel to finish the race but most of the other trucks didn't. When they started pitting, Peters worked his way to the front eventually reaching the sixth spot when the checkered flag fell. It marked his 14th top-10 of the season in 18 events.

Two practice sessions on Thursday helped the team get the #17 Wiss Tundra in good shape for the 150-lap event on Friday night. When practice was over, the team felt very confident with their chances for the race. Peters qualified 12th on Friday afternoon. When the green flag dropped just after sunset, Peters could instantly tell the feel of his truck was drastically different than it had been in practice and qualifying.

Peters waited a few laps before assessing his truck. Running in the ninth spot on lap nine, he radioed the crew that his Tundra was loose getting into turn three and bouncing a lot getting into turn one. Hensley told his driver that the lap times were looking good and the team would work on the truck during the first pit stop. The caution flag flew on lap 19 and gave Peters the opportunity to hit pit road. Picking up fuel and a track bar adjustment only, Peters restarted ninth on lap 26.

Just one lap after the restart Peters' Tundra was terribly loose. On lap 27 the right rear slapped the outside wall and damaged the rear quarter panel of the #17 pretty severely. As a result of the right rear being torn up, the side force on the truck was gone and Peters began a free fall through the field. With each lap he lost positions, eventually falling to the 19th spot before the caution flew again on lap 45.

Hensley called Peters to pit road on lap 47 and the team changed four tires, made a track bar adjustment, put a rubber in the left rear, and filled the #17 up with fuel. Peters returned the following lap to allow the team to repair the right rear quarter panel and bend the spoiler back to the correct position. He restarted 26th on lap 50.

With the right rear in much better shape, Peters once again had the side force he needed to work his way back through the field. He worked his way to the 14th spot in just 13 laps. Still reporting a loose condition getting into turn three, Peters was determined to earn back the spots he lost. The caution came out again on lap 75 and Hensley wanted to take another swing at fixing the truck. Peters hit pit road on lap 77 for four fresh tires, fuel, additional track bar adjustments and another rubber in the left rear.

Peters restarted 17th on lap 80 but there was so much action including a spin from a truck in the top-five that brought out another caution and moved Peters up to the 13th spot for the next restart. Working his way to 12th, he told the team the adjustments helped a little but the truck was still very loose on the entry of turn three. The caution flew on lap 90 and Hensley devised a plan to get off sequence with the leaders and take a chance at getting back to the front. When the leaders stayed out on the race track, Hensley called Peters in for a wedge adjustment and fuel. Knowing the truck would be about four laps short on fuel, he asked Peters to save as much as he could. The plan was to stay out the rest of the race and when the others made their pit stops for fuel, Peters would gain track position.

The #17 restarted 12th on lap 95 and raced his way to the 10th spot the following lap. Peters ran his own race and maintained his spot until the green flag pit stops started on lap 124. As the leaders peeled off to hit pit road, Peters was able to gain spots. By the time the green flag stops had cycled through, the #17 was running sixth. Peters held the position for the final 12 laps to earn a sixth place finish at Kentucky Speedway.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will enjoy a weekend off before heading to Loudon, New Hampshire next week.

-source: rhr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Timothy Peters