Las Vegas: Ricky Carmichael race report

Ricky Carmichael got his first taste of front-row racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he lead his first lap on four wheels at the 1.5-mile track and brought home another top-10 finish in his Monster Energy Chevrolet. After the second...

Ricky Carmichael got his first taste of front-row racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he lead his first lap on four wheels at the 1.5-mile track and brought home another top-10 finish in his Monster Energy Chevrolet.

After the second practice session, Carmichael found himself in fourth-place on the leader board and, with a strong qualifying effort, began the race in the eighth-position.

When the first caution flag of the race was displayed on lap 11, Carmichael reported that his truck was "tight on entry into turn one" and "just a little aero-tight." He came down pit road for a top-off of Sunoco race fuel and a track bar adjustment.

When the second caution of the night came out, Carmichael was riding in 14th-place and, though the adjustments did help, he radioed to crew chief Doug Randolph that his truck did not perform well in dirty air. Randolph opted to have Carmichael stay out on the track for better position. The move allowed Carmichael to lead a race for the first time in his NASCAR career.

The caution flag flew again on lap 38 and came down pit road for four tires and fuel. Unfortunately, a penalty for an uncontrolled tire on the pit stop caused Carmichael to re-start the race in the 30th-position. The set-back didn't stop the driver's determination as he quickly moved back through the field and gained 10 positions in the first 10 laps after the re-start.

He came down pit road once more 15 laps later for four tires, fuel and a rubber out of the left rear when he felt his truck was "too tight" and had "no down force." He quickly found his rhythm again after the race's re-start and began a rapid ascent back into the top-10.

By the fifth caution of the night, Carmichael was running in ninth-place and the Monster Energy crew made the most of their final stop of the night with flawless execution on a stop with four tires, fuel, one round down in the right rear jack and a tear-off. Carmichael gained four positions on the stop to re-start the race in sixth.

The caution flag flew twice more at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Monster Energy team stayed out each time. Carmichael continued to run in the top-10 throughout the remainder of the race -- often times running lap times faster than those ahead of him -- and finished the night in ninth to score his sixth top-10 finish of the year.

Austin Dillon was the race winner at Las Vegas. Johnny Sauter, James Buescher, Todd Bodine and Matt Crafton rounded out the top-five.

Rather than enjoying an off-weekend, Carmichael will be traveling to Kansas where he will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. Long-time sponsor, Monster Energy Drink, will be on-board with Carmichael as he pilots the No. 10 car. The race can be seen on ESPN 2 starting at 3 pm on Saturday, October 3rd.

The Turner Motorsports NCWTS team will enjoy the next three weekends off and return to short track racing at Martinsville for the Kroger 200 on Saturday, October 23rd.

RICKY CARMICHAEL: "We had a great race today and I feel like I kind of redeemed myself from last weekend. My Monster Energy Chevrolet felt good, the crew made great adjustments on it and it was an amazing feeling for me to lead the race for the first time in my NASCAR career. Now I've got to focus on my next challenge, which is the Nationwide race at Kansas. I'm really excited about the opportunity to get into a Nationwide car and hope we can put on a good show for the fans there."

-source: tms

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Ricky Carmichael , Austin Dillon
Teams Turner Motorsport