Ricky Carmichael Records Respectable 18th-Place Finish in Debut with Turner Motorsports at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 16, 2009) -- Despite the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season coming to an end, Ricky Carmichael headed...
Ricky Carmichael Records Respectable 18th-Place Finish in Debut with Turner Motorsports at Phoenix
AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 16, 2009) -- Despite the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season coming to an end, Ricky Carmichael headed to Phoenix International Raceway for the second-to-last race of the year with a new organization, Turner Motorsports. Carmichael and the No. 31 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado team worked together for the first time at the one-mile oval, as the pair prepares for their full-time 2010 NCWTS schedule. After qualifying in the 13th position, the Clearwater, Florida native raced inside the top-20 for the majority of the 150-lap race, as the Chevrolet faced a lack of grip. Even though the team made adjustments, Carmichael fell one lap down to the leaders on lap 79 and finished with a respectable 18th-place finish.
Starting the Lucas Oil 150 from 13th-place, Carmichael radioed to crew chief John Monsam that his Silverado was lacking grip all around the Arizona oval, as the No. 31 was scored in the 17th position when the second caution of the night slowed the field on lap 35. Monsam called Carmichael to pit road for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment, followed by a fuel stop the next lap. As the race restarted on lap 39, the "GOAT" (Greatest of All Time) continued to run in the top-20. A long green-flag period ensued and the Turner Motorsports entry began to get a tight-handling condition. After fighting to stay on the lead lap for as long as possible, Carmichael fell one lap down to the leaders on lap 79.
As another caution waved on lap 91, Carmichael returned to the attention of his pit crew for four tires and an air pressure adjustment, in addition to a fuel stop the following lap. When the field restarted, the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candidate ran in 20th-place and never fell below that running position for the remaining laps of the 150-mile event. Still facing a lack of grip and competing one-lap down, Carmichael worked his way through numerous late-race cautions and finished with a solid 18th-place finish.
"We kept the fenders on it," said Carmichael, after the race. "We'd have liked to have finished a little better but we can't demand too much right off the bat. We threw this thing together and we'll live to fight another day. We lost a lot of positions on the first pit stop and I think if that wouldn't have happened, we would have never went a lap down and would have got a ten times better finish. That's the way it goes though -- its racing. The truck was pretty good. I think I needed a little more front left down force, since that was my biggest problem all night. Like I said, I'm happy for the team and those guys worked hard. We had a decent qualifying round and we'll get better each week."
Ricky Carmichael and the No. 31 Monster Energy Chevrolet team will return to action this Friday, November 20th, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the 2009 season and the running of the Ford 200. Carmichael, who will make his first career start at the 1.5-mile track in South Florida, will take the green-flag shortly after 8 P.M. Eastern. SPEED will have live television coverage of the 134-lap event, beginning at 7:30 P.M. Eastern. Select affiliates of the MRN Radio and Sirius-XM NASCAR Radio will have the live radio broadcast.