Pre-Race: Talladega

Joey Coulter Takes Seat of No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota for Talladega

Posted April 30, 2013

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 30, 2013) – A new name will be over the door of the Monster Energy Camry this weekend, that of a young driver tackling the 33 degree banking of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the first time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) driver Joey Coulter will have the wheel of the No. 54 Toyota on Saturday with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the Aaron’s 312 event. It will be the first of three Nationwide Series races this season in which Coulter will support the JGR/KBM Monster Energy program, this weekend at the 2.66-mile high banks of Talladega, July 21 at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway and September 21 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

The 22-year-old’s full-time ride is currently the No. 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry at KBM where he has earned this year, one top-five and one top-10 finish along with 15 laps led. In his Camping World Truck Series career over three years, Coulter holds one win (2012, Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA), 14 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes along with three poles. Coulter is no stranger to the Nationwide Series, however, accomplishing two starts in 2012 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami (Fl.) Speedway in which he achieved 10th and 14th-place finishes respectively.

Crew Chef Adam Stevens will be a good influence on the Miami Springs, Florida native. Stevens has led series regular Kyle Busch and team to four wins out of seven races so far this season. Stevens is also the defending winner of this Spring Talladega event, having achieved a second-place finish in the first Alabama NNS race of 2011, then accomplishing victory here last year with Joey Logano. Stevens registers two top-five finishes and 17 laps led in two race starts, with an average finish of 1.5 - -needless to say he’s the right coach to guide the young Coulter.

With a third-place finish in last week’s Richmond (Va.) International Raceway event, the JGR team and owner J.D. Gibbs increased their first place lead in the series’ Owner’s Championship points, by four, to 31. This week they look to maintain that lead with a successful run with Nationwide Series rookie Joey Coulter who wants nothing more than to contribute to the strong performance this No. 54 Monster Energy team has had over seven weeks this season.

Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:

Are you excited to have this opportunity to drive in the Nationwide Series?

“I am very excited for the opportunity to drive the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. The organization and that team in particular have had tons of success this year already. It means a lot to me to be given the chance to race for a legendary owner and a company like Monster Energy, both who are known for winning in every sport they are involved in. I am ready to work with the entire No. 54 team and to use this opportunity to grow my career in the future. I'm looking forward to a great weekend and I can't thank everyone at JGR/KBM and Monster Energy enough for this chance.”

What expectations do you have for yourself at Talladega this weekend?

“I think Talladega in the Nationwide series could be one of the most exciting races I have ever participated in. I have been fortunate enough to run a number of races at Talladega in the ARCA and Truck series and I think that experience is going to help a lot. As far as expectations go, I am pushing myself to have a solid day with little to no mistakes. The No. 54 team is a fantastic team that produces fast racecars each week. I feel if I keep out of trouble and stick to our plan, we can set ourselves up for a run for the win. But like I said, having a good day and keeping the No. 54 up in the Owner’s Points is what is the most important.

Working with Adam, the little bit I have, has been a real pleasure. He is incredibly smart and pays an enormous amount of attention to detail which makes everyone on the team, including myself, look at everything harder. Adam has given me his expectations, which are similar to mine. We need to just have a good day with no mistakes. A day like that will put us up front where we need to be.”

Adam Stevens, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:

How do you prepare for this Superspeedway, one you’ve had success on, and this week with a rookie driver in the seat?

“Talladega will be my first race with Joey. The last couple of years this place has been all about two-car tandem racing. This type of racing poses a unique set of problems. For one thing, it’s very difficult to keep the water at a safe operating temperature. Second thing is that the “switch” between the drivers is difficult to do quickly. Finally, security is of concern when being pushed, it can be a problem if the drivers are not on the same page.

Each and every restrictor plate race, since the tandem came about, NASCAR has implemented a new rule to make it more difficult and less beneficial in hopes of returning the field to old-school pack racing. Over the course of the past two years they moved the grill opening, reduced the size of the opening, reduced the cooling system pressure, mandated the fill volume, extended the rear bumper covers down, eliminated the lubrication of the bumpers, and eliminated driver to driver communication. This time around they have changed the rear spoiler. The net effect is that the speed of the pack will be about the same as the speed of the tandem. That being said it may still come down to the tandem on the last lap. It will be an exciting race. So much of the outcome is completely out of the crew chief’s and team’s control. The driver has to make good decisions all day and make sure he has something to race with at the end. I will work closely with Joey to make that happen.”

Notes of Interest:
>Crew Chief Adam Stevens’ NNS Talladega Superspeedway statistics include two races, one win (2012, Joey Logano), two top-five finishes, two top-10 finishes, zero poles and 17 laps led.

>The No. 54 Monster Energy Camry has registered four victories with Kyle Busch at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (3/2/13), Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (3/17/13), Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (3/23/13) and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (4/12/13).

>Kyle Busch has a birthday this week, turning 28 years old on Thursday, May 2.

Joey Coulter @ Talladega Superspeedway in All Series over Career:

Series

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Led

Earnings

AvSt

AvFn

Truck

2 races

0

0

0

0

0

$26,975

9

17

 

Joey Coulter NASCAR Career Results:

Series

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Led

Earnings

AvSt

AvFn

Nationwide

2 races

Charl/Hmstd

0

0

1

0

0

$32,390

18

12

Truck

51

1 (’12)

4

29

3

135

$721,165

10.6

10.8

 

What are fans saying about Joey on Social Media sites?
Twitter: @joeycoulter (14,230+ followers)
Steven@SNL24 @joeycoulter @kansasspeedway Great job today! Was hoping you would bring it home P1! You'll get'em next time! (April 20)

Taylor ‏@daytona21TH @joeycoulter Yes it was a great race! Congrats on the great run! :) (April 20)

Darren Rulason ‏@smokenbusch @joeycoulter you WILL get the win soon Joey, if you have to come in second, Matt is a GREAT guy to follow. (April 20)

Nina ‏@neentx @joeycoulter @toyotaracing @GwynnFoundation What a stud you are Joey! It was really fun to watch as a fan too! (April 20)

Facebook: Joey Coulter (2,627+ followers):
Rick Bristol The man plays guitar, races and now softball…he is amazing! (April 24)

Todd Fortin Keep up the good work!! (April 21)

Georgina Reynolds Good luck Joey!!! (April 19)

John F Fulp II Awesome run Joey. Keep up the good work! (April 20)

Joey’s preferred Monster Energy drink flavors:
Original Green Rehab Tea + Lemonade Mean Bean


-KBM/JGR-

Kyle Busch Motorsports Sponsors