Timothy Peters survives to win wild Truck Series race at Talladega
Red Horse Racing’s Timothy Peters celebrated his second consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday in the Fred’s 250, besting the field on a green-white-checkered finish.
Peters led 22 of the 97 laps, and was in front of the field when Spencer Gallagher and John Wes Townley wrecked on the green-white-checkered restart. Taking the lead from Brandon Jones on the final restart of the day, Peters moved high to block Gallagher’s run and when Gallagher tried to move under Peters’ No. 17 Toyota, the No. 23 Chevrolet bobbled and shot into the outside wall to bring out the caution, ending the race.
On the final restart, Peters said the only goal was to keep the field at bay behind him.
"You don’t ever want to wish anyone bad luck, but it wouldn’t your feelings either to see that caution," said Peters. "I’m glad everybody is okay — I hope they’re okay for sure. Just thanks to everybody that’s involved with us — everybody that plays a big part of this right here. It’s just a very awesome, awesome feeling.”
Unofficially, Jones finished the day second, followed by Mason Mingus, Erik Jones and Tyler Reddick. With his top-five finish, Erik Jones maintained his lead in the series standings, as two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton suffered through multiple problems before eventually getting caught up in a late wreck and finishing 24th after dominating early.
As a result, Crafton dropped from second to third in the points standings, 23 behind Jones with four races remaining on the schedule.
A great Truck Series debut for Brian Keselowski went away as the field was coming to the green-white-checkered restart. Running third in the field, Keselowski’s truck ran out of fuel on the backstretch and stalled on the track. Leading 11 laps, Keselowski was in contention to win throughout the entire race, but ended the day a disappointing 17th.
A caution with nine laps to go set up a restart with four laps to go, with Keselowski and Jones leading the field. With three laps to go, the ‘Big One’ took place on the backstretch when the field squeezed together on the backstretch. Among those involved were Crafton, Ben Kennedy, Timmy Hill, Matt Tifft, Tyler Tanner, Chad Boat, Tyler Reddick and Johnny Sauter.
Prior to the caution, Christopher Bell was penalized for pushing Brandon Jones to the lead, as NASCAR does not allow drivers to push each other in the draft. While Bell was supposed to serve a pass-through penalty, he was sent to the tail end of the field after the caution came out.
Crafton led the majority of Saturday’s race, but had a piece of debris became stuck on the grille of the car, sending the engine temperatures soaring with 30 laps to go. Giving up the lead, Crafton fell to the back of the pack, cleared the debris from the grille and went to work making up the ground lost.
However, as green flag stops were underway with less than 20 laps to go Crafton ran out of fuel off Turn 4 and brought his truck to the attention of his ThorSport Racing crew. Dropping back to 21st and out of the draft, Crafton was helped out when Clay Greenfield’s truck stalled on the track to bring out the third caution of the race.
Racing his way back to the front, Crafton was involved in the day’s big wreck, heavily damaging the No. 88 Toyota. While he was able to finish out the race, the damaged truck crossed the line 24th. As a result, Crafton dropped from second to third in the championship standings with four races remaining.
Saturday’s race featured 15 lead changes among nine different drivers and was slowed seven times for the caution flag and featured one red flag period. The Camping World Truck Series heads to Martinsville Speedway next weekend for the Kroger 200.