Texas: Tayler Malsam race report

Tayler Malsam Two-Steps to a Ninth-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway Despite Clutch Issues in the Final 45 Laps, the 20-Year-Old Claims Third Top-10 Finish FT. WORTH, Texas (June 8, 2009) -- Making his first trip to Texas ...

Tayler Malsam Two-Steps to a Ninth-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway

Despite Clutch Issues in the Final 45 Laps, the 20-Year-Old Claims Third Top-10 Finish

FT. WORTH, Texas (June 8, 2009) -- Making his first trip to Texas Motor Speedway, Tayler Malsam had confidence that his Randy Moss Motorsports team could claim another top-10 finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. And together, the 20-year-old and his One Eighty crew did just that. Despite a poor qualifying effort, the No. 81 Toyota steadily moved towards the front of the field and a pit strategy call by crew chief Doug Wolcott catapulted the Tundra into the top-five with 70 laps to go. Unfortunately, clutch issues plagued Malsam for the remainder of the race, which relegated him to a ninth-place finish at The Great American Speedway. This team effort was the third top-10 finish of the 2009 NCWTS season for Malsam.

Starting from the 24th position, Malsam gained five places by the completion of lap one. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate picked off spots one at a time and by lap 42 when the first caution of the race flew, Malsam was in the 14th position. Wolcott called Malsam to pit road for four tires and the RMM Tundra returned to pit road the next lap for fuel and a track bar adjustment. A quick stop by the One Eighty pit crew resulted in the Seattle, Washington native restarting from 12th-place on lap 47.

An unusual long green flag run spread out the field and caused the teams to start making green flag pit stops. Wolcott left Malsam on the track for as long as possible, moving the rookie to the fourth position on lap 99. Three laps later, Malsam brought his Tundra down pit road just for fuel. As most other competitors decided to make two stops under green, Wolcott only brought Malsam to pit road once, placing the One Eighty Toyota in third-place. A second and final caution came out just in time for Malsam on lap 123, as it allowed him to come to the pits for four fresh tires and return the next lap for fuel.

Unfortunately, under the caution Malsam noticed clutch issues which made the No. 81 Tundra hard to get momentum on restarts. Making a smart decision for the rest of the field, Malsam went back to the tail-end of the lead lap in the ninth position to restart the race on lap 128. Finishing the 167-lap race strong, Malsam two-stepped his way to a ninth-place finish and captured his third top-10 finish of his young Truck Series career.

"I just can't say enough about my guys on this One Eighty, Randy Moss Motorsports Toyota Tundra team," said Malsam. "They worked a lot of hours this past week to bring this truck to Texas and it definitely paid off. Our Toyota was awesome tonight and Doug (Wolcott) made a great call under the green flag pit stops to only come in once. I definitely had to take care of the tires, but it all worked out. Just at the end there, we had some clutch issues which put us back farther than we deserved. To come home with another top-10 finish though is great and we will go get them next week in Michigan."

After his strong but disappointing top-10 finish, Malsam gained one position to 11th-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings. He is currently only six points behind 10th-place Rick Crawford.

Tayler Malsam and his No. 81 Randy Moss Motorsports team will take on Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 13 for the running of the Michigan 200.

-credit: rmm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rick Crawford , Tayler Malsam