Late Race Spin Spoils Top-10 Finish for Tayler Malsam at Memphis; The 20-Year-Old Rookie Starts Last and Comes Home with a 16th-Place Finish MILLINGTON, Tenn. (June 29, 2009) -- Sometimes things just don't go as planned. Tayler Malsam's first...
Late Race Spin Spoils Top-10 Finish for Tayler Malsam at Memphis; The 20-Year-Old Rookie Starts Last and Comes Home with a 16th-Place Finish
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (June 29, 2009) -- Sometimes things just don't go as planned. Tayler Malsam's first trip to Memphis Motorsports Park wasn't exactly ideal, as temperatures ranged over 100 degrees at the drop of the green-flag for the 11th race of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Before the 20-year-old's qualifying effort Saturday afternoon, the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota Tundra had no brake pressure, but the Randy Moss Motorsports team was able to get the problem resolved enough for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender to make a run. Unfortunately, the trucks were under an impound situation after qualifying, which meant that Malsam and the One Eighty team would have to start at the rear of the field for the start of the 200-lap event.
Malsam quickly moved his way toward the front of the field and was running in the 26th position by lap five. As the second caution of the race came out on lap 52, Malsam was posted in the 17th position. Crew chief Doug Wolcott called his driver to the attention of his One Eighty pit crew on lap 53 for two right side tires, a strategy used to gain track position. The following lap, the No. 81 Toyota returned to pit road for fuel. The Seattle, Washington native was in the seventh position for the restart on lap 58. Fighting a loose handling condition at the halfway point on lap 100, the rookie dropped to the ninth position.
A caution on lap 110 allowed Malsam to make his final pit stop of the race. Wolcott once again called Malsam to pit road on lap 111 for four fresh tires, followed by another stop the next lap for fuel and a track bar adjustment. Various pit strategies were played out on pit road forcing Malsam to restart on lap 117 from 14th-place. Gaining three positions by lap 150, the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota was battling for a spot in the top-10. It was in the final five laps of the race while battling for a top-10 finish that Malsam and another competitor made contact, spinning both trucks out and bringing out a caution. This late race spin caused Malsam to finish in the 16th position, recording only his second finish outside the top-15 all season.
"Our One Eighty Toyota Tundra was good for most of the day," said Malsam. "We had brake problems during qualifying which put us to the back for the start of the race. Doug (Wolcott, crew chief) and all of these guys worked really hard this weekend and it sucks when you have something go wrong there in the final 10 laps of the race. But we will put this one behind us and move forward."
With his 16th-place finish at the Home of the Blues, Malsam dropped one position to seventh-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings. He currently sits 64 points behind fifth-place David Starr and only 50 points behind sixth-place Brian Scott.
Malsam and the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota Tundra team will take a well-deserved two week break, but will return to racing action at Kentucky Speedway on July 18, 2009 for the running of the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers.