Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (formerly Indianapolis Raceway Park and O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis), is a 51year old short track that has held many exciting NASCAR events through out the years. About 17 years ago, The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series started racing at Lucas Oil Raceway. Unfortunately in 2012 it is possible that this exciting short track will be closing. That’s why Friday nights Camping world Truck series race was an exciting and special race, that you race fans did not want to miss!
The Evening of July 29th, the tough trucks of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned for a “Friday night under the lights race” at the historic famed short track. The Truck series drivers had two things on there mind going into qualifying and the race. The first thing was getting a good starting position, because track position is a very big key to winning a race at a short track. The second thing that a lot of drivers had on there mind, was getting the win and being possibly the last truck series driver to win at Lucas Oil Raceway.
One of the biggest stories going into the race was that Kyle Busch was not in his truck again this weekend. Kyle gave 2009 and 2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Champion, Josh Richards another great opportunity to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. A lot of people probably have never heard of the name Ross Chastain until Friday night. On July 20th, Turn one racing announced Southern Florida late model standout 18 year old Ross Chastain was selected to pilot the No. 66 Chevrolet in Friday night’s 17th Annual AAA Insurance 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway. That was only a one race deal for Ross, but maybe someday in the future we will see him in more truck races. One driver who had an excellent chance at winning, was Ron Hornaday. He has four wins at LOR and all his wins came from a top5 starting spot. James Buescher also had a pretty good shot at getting the win. Buescher has 8 straight top 10 finishes this year so far . At LOR he finished 5th and 6th in his 2 starts there. 2011 looks like to be the best class of rookies in the truck series, Keep your eye on Parker Kligerman. This season he has 12 starts- 5 top 10s, and his best finish is second. This year rookie Joey Coulter has had a best finish of 5th 3 times, so you might want to also keep an eye on this young gun.
Before the truck race, the trucks were out on the track for practice and qualifying. 21 year old Austin Dillon, grabbed his fourth pole of the year at LOR. His qualifying lap time was, 22.425 seconds (110.127 Mph). In Practice Dillon was seventh in the first session and second in the final practice session. Kevin Harvick Inc driver, Elliot Sadler was 6th in the first practice session and he was the fastest truck in the final practice. In qualifying Elliot just didn’t have enough speed to snatch the pole away from Dillon, Elliot qualified 2nd for the race. His lap time was 22.544 seconds (109.546 Mph). Rookie Joey Coulter was struggling in the first practice and ended up 14th fastest. In the Final practice Joey found enough speed to slide into the 3rd fastest position. Joey showed good speed in qualifying, and qualified 3rd. Coulters lap time was 22.551 seconds ( 109.512 Mph.). Points leader Johnny Sauter, was second in practice #1 and seemed to of lost speed in the final practice, he ended up 7th fastest. Johnny gained a little bit more speed in qualifying to take the 4th
starting spot for the race. His qualifying lap time was 22.561 seconds (109.463Mph.) 4 time NASCAR Camping world truck series Champion, Ron Hornaday was 3rd in practice #1 and lost speed in practice #2, he ended up 11th fastest. Ron found some speed after the last practice to qualify in the 5th position for the truck race. Ron’s qualifying lap time was 22.591 seconds (109.318 Mph). Ross Chastain was 25th in practice #1 and he picked up a little bit of speed in the final practice to end up 19th fastest. In Ross’s qualifying attempt, he qualified 15th for the race. Chastain’s lap time was 22.863 seconds, (108.017 Mph). All 36 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for the 200- lap race.
All in line- two by two -thirty six trucks about to trade some paint at Lucas Oil Raceway. Coming out of turn 4- the green flag flew and “Friday night under the lights” short track racing was underway! 1st caution at the first corner of the race track.: It appears that Johanna long got into Jason white. That caused Jason to lose control of his truck and slam into the wall. Ryan Siege had nowhere to go and he ran into Jason white.
On the restart Austin Dillon chose the outside line, as the green flag flew Austin got a great restart and charged away from the field. Austin had a big lead over 2nd place Johnny Sauter at lap 17. KHI driver Elliot Sadler was running in 3rd, Joey Coulter was running in the 4th position and Parker Kligerman was doing great in the 5th spot. Points leader Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon battled hard for the lead, but at lap 37 Sauter charged past Dillon and took the lead!
As a light rain shower began to fall on the track, the second caution came out at lap 40 for rain. Before the restart, the trucks rolled on to pit road for there first pit stop. As the pace car headed off the track to go on pit road, Austin and Johnny were both side by side coming around turn 4 for the restart. The green flag flew in the air and Sauter had a great start and charged away from the field.
As the 3rd caution came out on the race track, all the lead lap trucks came on pit road for a pit stop. Parker Kligerman led the field to the restart, and got an excellent start as the green flag flew in the air. The 4th caution came out at lap 90, Timothy Peters was racing hard with Steve Arpin, both of there trucks made contact, and that resulted in Timothy having a cut tire. Max papis got the Aarons lucky dog, and got back on the lead lap.
The pace car turned back on to pit road, and the green flag flew back in the air at lap94. Parker Kligerman and James Buescher battled side by side for the lead for about 5 laps until finally at lap 100 James charged past Parker and pulled away from the field. On lap 136 points leader Johnny Sauter came to pit road because he cut a right front tire. At about Lap 138 Sparks flew out of Johnny’s truck- it appears that his right front sway bar was broke . Johnny about 2 laps down, stayed on the track and kept losing positions. With 33 laps to go- James Buescher was the leader and Austin Dillon was running second. Matt Crafton running in the 3rd position, Ron Hornaday 4th, and David Star 5th. Timothy Peters grabbed the lead from James Buscher at lap 6 and didn’t look back.
Timothy raced around the final turn, and crossed the finish line the winner of the AAA Insurance NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Lucas oil Raceway! James Buescher finished 2nd, David Star finished 3rd, Miguel Paludo finish 4th and rookie Joey Coulter finished 5th. Ross Chastain did an excellent job in the race and got himself a 10th place finish. As Timothy Peters did his victory celebration, Ricky Carmichael and Austin Dillon were still trying to cross the finish line- Ricky Carmichael ran out of gas, and Austin Dillon’s truck just didn’t have much power and also had a flat tire because Todd Bodine put him in the wall with 2 laps to go. Josh Richard’s really struggled all night, and he ended up finishing in the 22nd position. It was a really tough night for points leader Johnny Sauter, he ended up finishing 24th-4 laps down. Johnny has the points lead by only 4 points over Austin Dillon.
Overall the truck race brought most race fans an exciting “Friday night under the lights” race to watch possibly for the final time at Lucas Oil Raceway . Timothy Peters and his team have shown that they are strong and they are going after that Championship this year. Right now, Timothy sits 4th in points -22 points behind the points leader Johnny Sauter. In my opinion Timothy has an excellent chance at claiming the Championship this year. Even if he doesn’t claim the championship this year, I truly believe we will hear the name Timothy Peters as a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion in a few years.
To All Race Fans: Do you want to see the next generation of Sprint cup series drivers? If So, then Check out the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Pocono Raceway, August 6th -1pm ET only on Speed!To Timothy Peters: Congratulations on your 3rd career NASCAR Camping world Truck Series win, and good luck at the “Tricky triangle” of Pocono Raceway next weekend..