Shore Lodge Tundra Driver Overcomes Several Obstacles to Post Respectable Finish in Rain-Shortened Event
Date: June 1, 2012
Event: Lucas Oil 200 (Race 6 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 17th / 13th (Running, completed 147 of 147 laps)
Winner: Todd Bodine of Red Horse Racing (Toyota)
Brian Scott's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start since 2009 turned out to be an adventurous one. Although it was shortened due to rain, Scott's playbill in the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway featured two fender-benders, two pit-road penalties - one for speeding exiting the pits and another for a miscue by the pit crew - and two rain delays. When the skies opened up and the curtain fell on his debut performance at Kyle Busch Motorsports, the 24-year-old driver had brought a battered Shore Lodge Tundra home with a respectable 13th-place finish.
"Wow -- what a way to come back to the Truck Series with everything we had happen today," reflected Scott about his adventurous race. "We had a fast Shore Lodge Toyota. We had great partners on board with us today in Flexco, DuPont, All Metal Fabricators and Dollar General and I have to thank all of them. We had an eventful day. Unfortunately, I didn't qualify up as high as I wanted to and we were stuck in the middle of the pack. There was a wreck early in the race that we took a little damage from, but we rebounded from that and were coming back through the field. Then we got put in the wall by the 9 truck (Ron Hornaday Jr.), then we got a pit road penalty and then the rain came and then we got another pit road penalty. We had some cosmetic damage and fought loose and worked hard to fix it and when we finally got it fixed we were a little too tight and then it rained again."
After finishing in the top five of both practice sessions on Thursday, Scott qualified 17th for Saturday's race with a loose-handling Shore Lodge Tundra. Over the first 25 laps of the race, the No. 18 Toyota remained just outside the top 15 as its driver communicated to crew chief Eric Phillips that his truck was a bit snug off the exit of the turns.
The first of several developments for the Idaho native unfolded on lap 28 when Jeb Burton and Cale Gale got together in front of Scott. Despite a valiant effort to avoid the incident, the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra got caught up in the crash and ended up with minor cosmetic damage to the left front fender and door area.
Under caution, the crew put on four fresh tires, filled the truck with fuel and made quick repairs to the left side. Scott, trying to make up for time spent on the repairs, was clocked for speeding exiting the pits and had to restart the race from the tail end of the field.
By the time the next caution occurred on lap 68, Scott had maneuvered his way back up to the 13th position, despite communicating that the cosmetic damage had turned his truck from tight to loose. Phillips summoned his driver down pit road, where the over-the-wall crew replaced the right side tires and made chassis and air pressure adjustments in attempt to give their driver more rear-end security.
The adjustments paid immediate dividends as the former Dover Truck Series winner was able to pick up multiple spots on the lap-72 restart. Scott had a strong run on the outside of Ron Hornaday Jr. when Hornaday moved up the race track in an attempt to impede Scott's progress forcing him into the outside wall.
With cosmetic damage on both sides affecting the aerodynamics of the Shore Lodge Tundra, Scott was able to continue but communicated to Phillips that his Toyota was "wrecking loose" as he fell back outside of the top 10. The No. 18 was scored in the 11th spot when the fifth caution of the day occurred on lap 96. With rain showers quickly approaching, Phillips elected to keep his driver on the track, despite the need for adjustments.
The race became official under caution on lap 100 and went back to green-flag conditions one lap later. With three trucks electing to pit, Scott moved up to the eighth position for the restart. He moved into the seventh position for several laps but Matt Crafton was able to work his way around the No. 18 Tundra just before the next caution occurred for an accident on the backstretch. Shortly after the yellow waved, rain drops began to fall and on lap 110 NASCAR red-flagged the event and brought the trucks down pit road.
After a 15-minute delay, the trucks were re-fired and returned to the track. Able to get an up-close look at the damage, the over-the-wall crew formulated a plan to make repairs to their Tundra. Scott came down pit road and the crew put on right-side tires, filled the truck with gas and made quick repairs to the cosmetic damage on the right side. While hustling to make repairs, one crew member lost contact with the used tire and per NASCAR rules the team was assessed a penalty.
Scott restarted from the tail end of the field for the second time of the race on lap 124. A single-car accident on lap 128 brought out another caution. Already being scored the last car on the lead lap, Phillips summoned his truck to pit road for chassis adjustments and more repairs to the right-side damage.
Shortly after the race resumed, Scott voiced his pleasure with the chassis adjustments, "Here we go boys, now we have something to work with." He worked his way from 15th to 13th and was reeling in several other trucks for position when rain drops fell again causing the race to end prematurely.
Todd Bodine picked up his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory this season and first in the Truck Series at Dover under caution. Parker Kligerman finished second and Kevin Harvick third. Nelson Piquet Jr. and Cale Gale rounded out the top-five finishers in the rain-shortened event.
There were nine caution periods for 46 laps. Nine drivers failed to finish the race.
Scott's top-15 finish moved the No. 18 Tundra up two positions in the Truck Series Owner's point standings. The team currently ranks 18th in Owner's points, 83 points behind the first-place team, Eddie Sharp's No. 6 Chevrolet.
Jason Leffler returns to the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra next Friday for the WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The 167-lap race begins at 8:30 p.m. ET with live coverage provided by SPEED beginning with the NCWTS Setup Show at 8 p.m. ET.