Las Vegas: Timothy Peters race report
LADY LUCK ELUDES TIMOTHY PETERS IN LAS VEGAS; CONTACT RELEGATES THE ...
LADY LUCK ELUDES TIMOTHY PETERS IN LAS VEGAS; CONTACT RELEGATES THE #17 TEAM TO A 26TH PLACE FINISH IN THE SMITH'S 350.
Passing a lap down truck, Peters made contact that resulted in substantial hood damage. The engine overheated and forced the #17 behind the wall. Peters earned a 26th place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LAS VEGAS, NV. (Sept 25)- Timothy Peters headed to "Sin City" with the goal of backing up his 2009 performance with another top-five finish and possibly making a trip to Victory Lane. Struggling with the condition of the truck over the bump in practice, the team worked hard to make the #17 Tundra better for the race. Peters qualified 18th and gambled with pit strategy to gain track position. He inherited the lead earning him bonus points, and was running consistently in the top-five but that all came to an end on lap 84. Peters was running fifth when he went to pass a lap down truck. Just as he was making the pass, the lap truck switched lanes and the #17's hood made contact with the other truck's bumper. The hood of the #17 was damaged badly enough to crush the duct work in the nose and it didn't take long for the engine to start overheating. Peters was forced behind the wall to hook up the cool down unit to the engine in an effort to bring the temperature back down. Losing 11 laps behind the wall, Peters headed back out on lap 101 to finish the race. Unable to make up much ground being mired so many laps down, Peters was forced to accept a 26th place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The disappointing day also cost Peters a position in the Camping World Truck Series driver point standings. He is now tied for fifth place.
The #17 team had their work cut out for them during the two practice sessions on Saturday morning. Peters was reporting his Toyota Tundra was really struggling over the bump in turns one and two. The crew worked diligently during both sessions to get the #17 ready for the race. Peters qualified 18th on Saturday afternoon but felt confident the truck would be good when the green flag dropped.
As the sun set behind the grandstands on Saturday night, Peters and the other competitors were ready for green flag racing under the lights in Las Vegas. When the race started, Peters quickly moved through the field, picking up the 16th spot on lap seven. A quick caution came out on lap 11 and Peters told the crew his Tundra was a little free and bouncing pretty hard over the bump but that he had been trying different lines on the race track to make the truck better. Crew chief Jeff Hensley opted to bring his driver to pit road on lap 14 for fuel and adjustments only. The team gave Peters a wedge adjustment and removed some tape from the nose of the truck. Most of the other trucks stayed out but Hensley felt confident the strategy would work itself out.
Peters restarted 15th and quickly moved into the 12th spot by lap 20. Another caution on lap 21 gave Peters the chance to tell his team that the #17 was still too loose. Hensley called for Peters to stay out while most of the trucks hit pit road. Peters inherited the lead for the restart on lap 23.
Leading three laps, Peters fell into the third spot on lap 27. Working the top groove of the track, the #17 had so much momentum even trucks with new tires couldn't get past Peters. He used that momentum to take the second spot on lap 32, right before another caution on lap 38. Peters returned to pit road again on lap 40, taking four fresh tires and fuel. He also picked up another wedge adjustment. Peters restarted 14th on lap 45.
It didn't take long to get his momentum back. He climbed to the 11th spot on lap 54 and another caution came out on lap 59. Peters was still reporting a loose condition. Needing to make additional adjustments, Hensley brought his driver back to pit road on lap 61 for fuel and a track bar adjustment. With most of the trucks taking tires, Peters gained track position on pit road and restarted fourth.
Running consistent lap times in the top-five, Peters was confident he would be able to earn a solid finish. On lap 84, those thoughts came to an end when Peters attempted to get by a lap down truck. Running fifth, Peters went to make the pass and the lap down truck abruptly changed lanes and the hood of the #17 made contact with the other truck's bumper. The damage crushed the duct work under the hood and it didn't take long for the engine to start overheating. Reaching 280 degrees before he could hit pit road, the team hooked the engine up to a cool down unit. The temperature wasn't coming down fast enough, so Peters had to bring his truck behind the wall allowing additional time for the temps to come back down. The #17 spent 11 laps behind the wall before the engine returned to the normal temperature. Peters pulled back on the track on lap 101, running in the 27th position. He rode out the rest of the race unable to pick up more than one spot before the laps ran out. Peters finished 26th which caused him to take a hit in the point standings. He is now tied for fifth in series driver point standings with five races remaining.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will enjoy three weekends off before heading to Peters' home track in Martinsville, Virginia. The Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, October 23rd.