Joey Coulter gets first Truck Series career win at Pocono
Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent
Joey Coulter drove his No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to the lead on a restart with seven laps to go in the Pocono Mountains 125 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on Saturday and stayed up front to claim his first-career win in the series.
"The whole time I've been racing stock cars, I've struggled with restarts, so I've worked on that more than anything," Coulter said.
After dominating the 50-lap race Turner Motorsports teammates James Buescher in the No. 31 Chevrolet and Nelson Piquet Jr. in the No. 30 Chevy finished second and third.
Coulter became the fourth first-time Truck Series winner and the ninth different winner in the 11 races so far this season.
"It's been a long time since I've been to victory lane," Coulter's crew chief Harold Holly said. "I'm just tickled to death for Joey Coulter."
Piquet started on the pole, with the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon alongside on the front row. Dillon scraped the wall on lap one and lost several positions, while Piquet's teammate Buescher moved into the second spot.
By lap 7, Piquet had driven out to a three-second lead over his teammate. The first half of the race ran caution-free, with the yellow flag waving for the first time on lap 29. Once the first caution came out, a couple more cautions quickly followed.
Piquet was involved in the second caution, when he made contact with the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota of Todd Bodine. The incident ended the day for Bodine, but Piquet was able to continue, restarting second to Buescher.
The third and final caution came out less than a lap later because of two simultaneous incidents, one involving series points leader Timothy Peters in the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota.
On the final restart, Coulter drove up beside the Turner teammates, creating a three-wide restart, and taking the lead with seven laps to go.
"I thought we were going to have a shot today, but the No. 22 took it three-wide," Buescher said.
Piquet lost several positions on the restart but was able to drive back up to third by the time the checkered flag waved.
"Another two or three laps, and I finish second," Piquet said.
Matt Crafton finished fourth in the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.
Dillon finished sixth to pull within eight points of Peters in the championship points standings. Peters wound up 22nd.
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