Lofton Feels At Home in Phoenix, Races Way To 9th California native Justin Lofton considers Phoenix International Raceway his home track. With additional support on hand from family and friends, Lofton put on quite a show on Friday night, racing...
Lofton Feels At Home in Phoenix, Races Way To 9th
California native Justin Lofton considers Phoenix International Raceway his home track. With additional support on hand from family and friends, Lofton put on quite a show on Friday night, racing his way to his seventh top-10 finish of the season in the Lucas Oil 150.
"I'm real proud of all the guys on the No. 7 visitpit.com Toyota Tundra. Phoenix is pretty close to home for me so it was special to run good. The truck was strong from practice on and it feels good to bring home another top-10 for the guys and my friends that came out," Lofton said.
Lofton took the green flag from the seventh position on Friday night after qualifying three-tenths of a second faster than his fastest run in final practice.
The first caution flag of the race fell just 15 laps into the event, with Lofton radioing to crew chief Mark Rette that his No. 7 Tundra was lacking a bit of handling through the center of the turns. Lofton stayed on track, holding out for his first pit stop until lap 53. He took that restart from the 14th position.
By the time the race hit the halfway mark on lap 75, Lofton was running 13th, adding that the truck was a little tight through the center. 15 laps later, he made his second and final pit stop of the night under a caution flag, which allowed his crew to add fuel, tires, and a rubber in the right rear in order to dial in on the handling.
As the race hit lap 100, Lofton was running 12th, just outside of the top-10. He radioed to his crew that the changes were the right call, but that passing was a challenge, since most of his competition was running the same line as him.
"I know it's tough to pass, but you need to attack when you get there," Rette coached his driver.
And Lofton did just that. A caution flag waved with 30 laps remaining, giving the 24-year-old an opportunity to take advantage of the restart. As the field picked up the pace, Lofton jockeyed for position, moving from 11th to eighth within a lap and a half.
With 20 laps remaining, Lofton relayed to Rette that he was again fighting a tight condition, but despite the challenge, he muscled his way to a strong ninth place finish at the drop of the checkered flag. Lofton and the No. 7 team will head to Homestead Miami Speedway on November 19th for the 25th and final race of the Camping World Truck Series season. To date, Lofton has scored four top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He is currently 13th in the driver point standings.