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Official Race Report
Race Date: Thursday, June 28, 2012
In the Booth: Rick Allen, Phil Parsons
Pit Reporters: Ray Dunlap, Hermie Sadler, Michael Waltrip
Pre-race Host: Krista Voda
Wednesday, June 27th
11:00 AM NCWTS HAULERS ENTER
12:30 PM NCWTS REGISTRATION OPENS
1:00 PM NCWTS GARAGE OPENS
4:00 PM NCWTS REGISTRATION CLOSES
5:30 PM NCWTS GARAGE CLOSES
Thursday, June 28th
9:00 AM NCWTS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
9:30 AM NCWTS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM NCWTS PRACTICE
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM NCWTS FINAL PRACTICE
5:05 PM NCWTS QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
6:15 PM NCWTS DRIVER / CREW CHIEF MEETING (BLUEGRASS HALL)
7:35 PM NCWTS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS-SECURITY -- CLEAR PIT ROAD
8:00 PM NCWTS RACE (150 LAPS, 225 MILES)
8:30 PM NCWTS REGISTRATION CLOSES
Note: All times listed in Eastern Time Zone and are tentative, subject to change.
Kentucky Official Race Report (pdf) .(6-29-2012)
Buescher wins at Kentucky: James Buescher, driving the #31-Exide Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports, became the first repeat winner of the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season when he took the checkers for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. This is his second series win overall. The waning laps, saw a hard-fought battle for second place between #19-Brad Keselowski and #3-Ty Dillon; but Keselowski was able to cross the line just ahead of Dillon. Rounding out the top ten were; #88-Matt Crafton, #17-Timothy Peters, #13-Johnny Sauter, #22-Joey Coulter, #18-Jason Leffler, #9-Ron Hornaday, with #4-Kyle Larson, in his first series start, picking up 10th place. There were 8 lead changes among 4 drivers with 7 caution flags for 31 laps. Complete race results are posted on the Kentucky Race Results page (pdf).(Unofficial)(6-28-2012)
Post Race Fast Facts
2nd Annual UNOH 225
Race Winner: James Buescher
Team: No. 31 - Exide Chevrolet
Owner: Steve Turner
Crew Chief: Michael Shelton
*James Buescher won the 2nd Annual UNOH 225, his second victory in 80 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
*This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2012.
*This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in five races at Kentucky Speedway.
*Brad Keselowski(i) (second) posted his first top-10 finish in three races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2012.
*Ty Dillon (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Kentucky Speedway.
*Ty Dillon (third) was the highest finishing rookie.
*Timothy Peters leads the point standings by 4 points over Justin Lofton.
(Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Thu, June 28, 2012 @ 10:16 PM Eastern)
Featherlite Most Improved Driver: James Buescher, #31 14 Places
Keystone Light Pole Award: Matt Crafton, #88 173.288 mph
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: Hendrick Engines, #31
Mobil 1 Oil Driver of the Race: James Buescher, #31
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Ty Dillon, #3(NASCAR Statistics)(6-28-2012)
Lucky Dog Awards - Who got a lap back on each caution at Kentucky: (and finish)
Caution 1: #07-Jeff Agnew, 27th
Caution 2: #24-Max Gresham, 30th
Caution 3: #24-Max Gresham, 30th
Caution 4: #5-Paulie Harraka, 17th
Caution 5 #14-Brennan Newberry, 22nd
Caution 6: #5-Paulie Harraka, 17th
Caution 7: #68-Clay Greenfield,18th
Driver Point Standings following race #8 at Kentucky Speedway:
1) #17-Timothy Peters, 306
2) #6-Justin Loftin, 302 -4
3) #3-Ty Dillon, 302 -4
4) #31-James Buescher, 297 -9
5) #29-Parker Kligerman, 272 -34
6) #88-Matt Crafton, 264 -42
7) #22-Joey Coulter, 256 -50
8) #9-Ron Hornaday Jr., 253 -53
9) #30-Nelson Piquet Jr., 249 -57
10) #32-Miguel Paludo, 231 -75
Complete standings are posted on the Kentucky Driver Standings page (pdf).(Unofficial)(6-28-2012)
Crafton wins Kentucky pole: Matt Crafton, driving the #88-Menards/Great Lakeswood Floors Toyota for ThorSport Racing, was the fastest qualifer with a top speed of 173.288 mph to win the Keystone Light Pole for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. This is his first pole in 2012; seventh overall. #30-Nelson Piquet Jr. was second. Rounding out the top ten were; #31-James Buescher, #3-Ty Dillon, #32-Miguel Paludo, #13-Johnny Sauter, #17-Timothy Peters, #29-Parker Kligerman, #33-Cale Gale, #6-Justin Lofton. Did not qualify; #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #38-Johnny Chapman, #57-Norm Benning, #0-Chris Lafferty. Starting lineup is posted on the Kentucky Lineup page (pdf)(6-28-2012)
Qualifying Fast Facts:
2nd Annual UNOH 225
Keystone Light Pole Winner: Matt Crafton
Team: #88 - Menards/Great Lakeswood Floors Toyota
Owner: Rhonda Thorson
Crew Chief: Carl Joiner
*Matt Crafton won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 2nd Annual UNOH 225 with a lap of 31.162 seconds, 173.288 mph.
*This is his seventh pole in 280 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
*This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2012.
*This is his first pole in 13 races at Kentucky Speedway.
*Nelson Piquet Jr. (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2012 and his third in three races at Kentucky Speedway.
*James Buescher (third) posted his second top-10 start at Kentucky Speedway. It is his sixth in eight races this season.
*Ty Dillon (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Thu, June 28, 2012 @ 06:15 PM Eastern)
Coulter quickest in final practice at Kentucky: #22-Joey Coulter was the fastest in the final practice session for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway with a top speed of 171.336 mph. #32-Miguel Paludo was second. Rounding out the top ten were; #30-Nelson Piquet Jr., #18-Jason Leffler, #31-James Buescher, #13-Johnny Sauter, #88-Matt Crafton, #23-Jason White, #19-Brad Keselowski, #17-Timothy Peters. There were 39 trucks on track for the final session. Final practice speeds are posted on the Kentucky Final Practice Speeds page (pdf).(6-28-2012)
Coulter leads opening practice at Kentucky: Joey Coulter, driving the #22-Steak-umm Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, had the fastest lap with a top speed of 170.530 mph to lead the opening practice session for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. #29-Parker Kligerman was second. Rounding out the top ten were; #6-Justin Lofton, #31-James Buescher, #30-Nelson Piquet Jr., #3-Ty Dillon, #32-Miguel Paludo, #88-Matt Crafton, #13-Johnny Sauter, #08-Ross Chastain. There were 39 trucks on track for the opening session. Complete practice speeds are posted on the Kentucky Practice Speeds page (pdf).(6-28-2012)
Offical Entry List: There are 40 trucks listed on the final entry list for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Complete entry list is posted on the Kentucky Entry List page.(6-28-2012)
Kentucky Preliminary Entry List: There are 43 trucks listed on the preliminary entry list for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Complete entry list is posted on the Kentucky Entry List page.(6-25-2012)
#01-Jake Crum, driver of the Bandit Chippers Chevrolet for Jake Crum Racing
#2-Tim George Jr., returns to the seat of the Applebee's Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing
#02-Tyler Young, making 2nd series start, RandCo Chevrolet for Young's Motorsports
#4-Kyle Larson, making 1st series start, TBA Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports
#14-Brennan Newberry returns to the seat of the Iron Clad Performance Chevrolet for NTS Motorsports
#19-Brad Keselowski, driver of the TBA RAM for Brad Keselowski Racing
#27-C E Falk, making 3rd series start; 1st in 2012, driving the TBA Chevrolet for Hillman Racing
#86-Scott Riggs, driver of #86 RAM, second entry for Clay Greenwood Motorsport(6-25-2012)
#07-driver change to Jeff Agnew, driving the Wear Your Gear/BOBBER.info Chevrolet for SS Green Light Racing(6-27-2012)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- Race No. 8 -- UNOH 225
Kentucky Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) -- Sparta, Ky.
Fast Facts for June 28, 2012
Goodyear Wrangler Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Left-side -- 350
Right-side -- 350
4 sets for weekend
Left-side -- D-4394
Right-side -- D-4440
Left-side -- 87.1 in. (2,212 mm)
Right-side -- 88.4 in. (2,246 mm)
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi
Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi
Right Front -- 46 psi; Right Rear -- 42 psi
Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same right-side tire code (D-4440), teams in the Camping World Truck Series will run a slightly different left-side code (D-4394) than those in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Camping World Truck teams ran twice at Kentucky last season . . . truck teams also ran this right-side tire at Dover earlier this month . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear PR)96-26-2012)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News & Notes -- Kentucky Speedway
One Step At A Time For Road America Winner Piquet
Nelson Piquet Jr. -- like Turner Motorsports teammate James Buescher -- doesn't mind putting this cart before the horse. Piquet, winless so far in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, captured last weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series Sargento 200 at Road America. Buescher won in NASCAR Nationwide competition, also in a Turner No. 30 Chevrolet, at Daytona in February, before finally breaking through in trucks this spring at Kansas Speedway.
The first driver from Brazil to win a NASCAR national series race, Piquet previously competed in Formula 1, the pinnacle of international open wheel racing. Some questioned why he'd start at the NCWTS level. Piquet's answer: simple logic. "I [still] have to learn as much as I can on ovals," said Piquet, whose best finish in trucks, second, came last year in Nashville. "I have to work very hard to show team owners [at the next levels] I'm capable. I'll work in the trucks and work my way up [the ladder]."
Piquet savors the Road America victory "but hope it doesn't distract us much" from pursuing the NCWTS championship. He's currently sixth in points. "We're going to win a race, I'm sure, and at the end of the year we'll be fighting for the championship," he said. His NNS crew chief, Trent Owens, who won Road America with Reed Sorenson a year ago, believes Piquet is a future star and that taking a step-at-a-time approach to NASCAR is best. "I've seen people jumping up too quick," Owens said. "He's doing everything right."
Championship On Everyone's Mind In Kentucky
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams return to action for Thursday night's Kentucky Speedway UNOH 225 (SPEED, live 8:00pm/et) for the first time since June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway. And this one could foreshadow who graces the championship stage at Homestead. Six out of 11 previous Kentucky winners have captured both a victory at the 1.5-mile oval and the championship trophy in the same season.
Greg Biffle kicked off the trend in 2000, when the series ran its inaugural race at the speedway, before capturing his first series championship. Mike Bliss and Bobby Hamilton followed in 2002 and 2004. Most recently, Johnny Benson (2008), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2009) and Todd Bodine (2010) have all visited Victory Lane at the Bluegrass State before hoisting the championship trophy several months later. In 13 races at Kentucky, 11 different winners have visited victory lane -- 10 of them coming from starting positions inside the top 10. Hornaday is the only former winner to win from the pole. As a year ago, a potential champion has two shots at Kentucky. The series returns to the Sparta, Ky., layout on Sept. 21.
Drive For Diversity Product Larson To Make Truck Debut
Kyle Larson has made quite an impression in his brief NASCAR career. The 19-year-old Elk Grove, Calif., driver arrived with an impressive resume in USAC and World of Outlaws, and needed just six starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series to pick up his first victory. Driving for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative, Larson sits third in points -- eight behind Chase Elliott -- at the halfway point of the 14-race East schedule.
Now, thanks to Turner Motorsports, Larson will get the chance on a bigger stage when he makes his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut Thursday at Kentucky Speedway. Larson will drive as a teammate of Nelson Piquet Jr. and James Buescher, and his crew chief will be Trent Owens -- who guided Piquet to a NASCAR Nationwide Series win last week at Road America.
Larson, whose mother is Japanese-American, earned his first NASCAR victory in the K&N Pro Series East on June 9 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. He has three top fives and six top 10s in seven starts. In 2011, Larson won in World of Outlaws and all three USAC national divisions. He became the second driver to ever sweep the prestigious 4-Crown Nationals in one night, winning in Silver Crown, Sprint Cars, and Midgets, at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway, before earning a spot with Rev Racing.
Larson will be one of two drivers from NASCAR Drive for Diversity at Kentucky. Paulie Harraka, who won the 2009 K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year while running under the Drive for Diversity banner, is running a full season in the truck series for Wauters Motorsports.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Seven races have produced seven different winners. Two drivers, Lofton and Dillon, have opened the season with seven consecutive top-10 finishes. ... The UNOH 225 kicks off a tripleheader weekend for NASCAR with Brad Keselowski, slated to compete in all three events. . ... Hornaday, Bodine and Scott Riggs are the only previous Kentucky winners expected to compete in Thursday's race. They have won three of the track's past four races split only by last year's UNOH 225 winner Kyle Busch.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(6-26-2012)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News & Notes -- Open Week, June 19, 2012
Piquet, Paludo To Display Road Racing Skills At Road America
At first glance, it appears Nelson Piquet Jr. and Miguel Paludo have a lot in common. For example, both are Brazilian natives embarking on their second full season of competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Turner Motorsports. But their racing backgrounds could not be more different.
Piquet-- whose father has 23 Formula One victories-- was born into a racing family and spent much of his career in the open wheel ranks before making the jump to stock cars in 2010.
Paludo's first introduction to racing came in the form of go--karts at the age of 14. He later embarked on a successful sports car career before making the journey to North America to compete in NASCAR in 2010.
The duo will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sargento 200 at Road America on Saturday for Turner Motorsports. It will be Paludo's first NASCAR Nationwide Series start and Piquet's third. "I'm also really looking forward to racing on a road course," said Paludo. "It's the first time since 2010 that I'm not racing an oval."
Piquet finished seventh in his NASCAR Nationwide debut at Watkins Glen International in 2010. "I've grown a lot as a driver in the two years since then," he said. "My expectation is that we can bring home a victory."
The NCWTS hasn't competed on a road course since the 2000 season. Greg Biffle won the last of 17 road races on June 24, 2000, at Watkins Glen. Ron Hornaday Jr. and Joe Ruttman won three road races apiece to lead the category. Current NASCAR national series competitors with NCWTS road race wins include Mike Bliss, Stacy Compton, Ron Fellows and Mike Skinner.
Time, Races At A Premium For Late Starters
Late summer is when NCWTS title contenders begin counting points in earnest. Seven races are in the books, which means almost a third of the 22--race schedule has been run. Matt Crafton is one who wishes he had more races to make up for an uncharacteristically slow start-- two finishes outside the top 20-- and a current championship ranking of seventh, 49 points behind leader Justin Lofton. That amounts to a whole race-- difficult to make up regardless of the remaining schedule.
Crafton finished second to ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter earlier this month in Texas and believes the team, which switched from Chevrolet to Toyota this year, has turned the corner. "At the beginning of the year-- I am not going to lie-- it got us down a little bit because we had to change all the trucks over and we have had a lot of criticism over it," said Crafton, whose best championship finish of second came in 2009. "We are back now. We have had terrible luck this year and Johnny [Sauter] has had even worse luck than us. "I cannot say enough about my guys. They have not given up and have been to the wind tunnel and worked so hard to get speed back in the trucks. I think we are back to where we were at the end of last year, without a doubt."
Season On The Upswing For Rookie Gale
Back--to--back top 10s can be reason to cheer, especially if you're a rookie. That's why Cale Gale is smiling and looking forward to the resumption of competition next week at Kentucky Speedway. Gale, teammate to points leader Lofton at Eddie Sharp Racing, posted his career--best finish, fifth, at Dover and followed up that performance with a solid run of eighth in Texas. Twenty--ninth in the standings after a 32nd--place finish in Daytona's opener, Gale has crept to within 11 points of the top 10. The Mobile, Ala., native stands second to Ty Dillon in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Four--time champion Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrates his 54th birthday on June 20. He's a three--time winner at the schedule's next stop, Kentucky Speedway, where his most recent win came last October. He also is the series' oldest active winner (Las Vegas). ... Chevrolet has won all six Keystone Light Poles in 2012. Kevin Harvick (Martinsville) is the only pole starter to win this year. ... Six previous Kentucky winners have gone on to capture the series championship in the same season. Todd Bodine was the last to do it in 2010.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(6-19-2012)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News & Notes -- Open Week, June 11, 2012
Sauter, Crafton, ThorSport Frustrated No Longer
Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton were frustrated over (and growing tired of) answering questions about their top-to-bottom of the standings spiral in the first four months of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Suggestions swirled that ThorSport Racing's switch from longtime manufacturer Chevrolet to Toyota somehow had monkey-wrenched the gears of the series' longest-running, full-time organization.
Sauter and Crafton's performance June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway put an end to those questions. Starting 20th and 10th, respectively, in a field set via the series rule book, the pair finished first and second. The one-two finish was the second for ThorSport, duplicating the Sauter-Crafton run of September 2009 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- Sauter's first of five NCWTS victories. Absent his 2012 struggles, just one finish higher than 24th, Sauter's Texas performance could have been predicted. He had the dominant truck a year ago, got to the finish line first but was penalized for a final restart violation.
"There's no sweeter vindication," said Sauter, whose last victory came in 2011's rain-abbreviated season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I couldn't be prouder of [crew chief] Joe Shear and the guys at ThorSport. The driver's only a small part of the equation. That truck could pretty much drive itself."
Seventh Different Winner Sets Season-Opening Record
Seven different winners to begin the 2012 season and counting. And that's a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record. Sauter's Texas Motor Speedway victory eclipsed 2004 as the most competitive beginning of 17 previous campaigns. Ironically, the Fort Worth event produced that season's first repeat winner, Dennis Setzer.
Sauter is the third driver to win both this year and last, joining Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne. The 2012 season has produced three first-time winners -- James Buescher, John King and Justin Lofton. Dover winner Todd Bodine broke a winless drought dating to 2010. Among last year's winners yet to visit Victory Lane are Crafton, four-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. and Timothy Peters. Poised to possibly score breakthrough wins are Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader Ty Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Joey Coulter.
Dillon, Kligerman and Piquet all have posted second-place finishes. Coulter's third place -- a virtual photo finish with Crafton in Texas -- was a career best for the 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
Lofton Extends Points Lead With Another Top 10
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings leader Justin Lofton's season can be defined by one word: solid. Lofton and his Eddie Sharp Racing team continued their near-flawless performance in Texas leading the most laps and scoring a seventh consecutive top-10 finish. The numbers tell the tale. Lofton's Driver Rating of 108.3 is second best only to fourth-place Buescher (112.6). The Californian, one of five to complete all 1,174 laps of competition, has spent a NCWTS leading 96.1% of those serials among the top 15.
Lofton hadn't led a lap until last month's Charlotte race, which he won, but has been out front for 121 laps over his past three starts. That ranks No. 3 to Buescher and Piquet. The off-road champion led the standings by a single point entering last week's Texas race and emerged with an advantage of five. Lofton finished ninth to current runner-up Peters, who was 11th.
Rookie sensation Dillon led as late as the 134th of 167 laps before finishing seventh and, 12 points behind in third, also recorded his seventh straight top 10. Buescher and Kligerman complete the top five in the standings.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Brendan Gaughan finished fourth, his first top five since last year's June stop at Kentucky Speedway, to pace the three Texas winners in the field. Hornaday was 12th while engine-related issues sent Todd Bodine to the garage after completing only 31 laps. ... Wauters Racing owner Richie Wauters fielded a two-car late model effort in Tuesday's race at The Milwaukee Mile for his son Spencer and Aric Almirola. ... NASCAR Camping World Truck teams take a two-week break before Kentucky Speedway hosts the Thursday, June 28, UNOH 225.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(6-12-2012)