Newbie News: Ryan Truex Wins Camping World Series East Race at Lime Rock
Rookie Ryan Truex, little brother of Martin Truex, Jr. and developmental driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, went racing on the road course at Lime Rock Park and ended up in Victory Lane.
Truex, who came into the race weekend in the points lead in the Camping World Series East, solidified that lead heading into the remainder of the East season.
This win is Truex's third win of the season. He got his first win at another road course at Watkins Glen. A few weeks later, the rookie got his first oval win at Thompson Speedway.
Truex seemed a bit surprised at his success at the road courses. "Honestly, I thought we'd come to the road courses and struggle," Truex confided. "Getting all the shifting, right, it's pretty tough."
Truex was able to do some testing at Virginia International Raceway and he credits the testing and the coaching of fellow Michael Waltrip Racing team mate Marcos Ambrose with helping him master the art of road racing.
"Actually Marcos Ambrose helped me a lot," Truex said. "I went testing with him and he showed me a lot of stuff that helped out a lot."
Truex was good all race weekend long at Lime Rock. He qualified second for the race, right behind his nemesis Matt DiBenedetto, a Joe Gibbs Racing development driver.
Polesitter DiBenedetto led for a race-high 56 laps but then was caught up in an accident on Lap 70. Truex, who had been lurking right behind him, took advantage of the mishap and assumed the lead, the second time he had done so in the race.
The next challenge for the 17-year-old phenom from Mayetta, New Jersey, was to survive a green, white, checker finish that extended the race by three extra laps.
Truex was able to hold off Eddie MacDonald, an East regular and Jason Holehouse, a Skip Barber instructor, who finished behind Truex in second and third respectively.
Defending race winner and East Series Past Champion Matt Kobyluck had troubles from the start of the race weekend. A fuel-contamination problem prevented him from even taking time in qualifying for the event.
Kobyluck then had further engine problems during the race. His Mohegan Sun team got him back out on the track for 38 laps before he was collected in the late race wreck that involved then race leader DiBenedetto, taking both out of contention.
Truex was ecstatic in Victory Lane, claiming his win. "My guys gave me an awesome, awesome race car. We were fastest all day and all the credit goes to them, every one of them."
Truex admitted that his goal was to "hang with" the No. 18 race car of DiBenedetto, which he did most of the race. He had one error during a pit stop, where he stalled his car.
But he went back out and with his crew chief keeping him motivated, just kept "busting off laps" to work his way back into the front. Although Truex felt badly for the troubles of DiBenedetto and Kobyluck, he moved quickly to take advantage of the situation.
Of the green, white, checker finish, Truex said, "Towards the end there, I wasn't really worried about the car there, I was worried about myself."
"I was really, really tired," Truex admitted. "I was working really hard trying to get back up to the front."
"The crew gave me an awesome car and that's why we are in Victory Lane," summarized Truex.
The top ten finishers in the East Series Mohegan Sun 200 race were as follows:
1. Ryan Truex
2. Eddie MacDonald
3. Jason Holehouse
4. Alex Kennedy
5. Mike Olsen
6. Jesus Hernandez
7. Ryan Duff
8. Dustin Delaney
9. Brett Moffitt
10. Jeff Anton
Previous race winner Steve Park came in 11th in the race. Polesitter Matt DiBenedetto finished 16th, and champion Matt Kobyluck finished 17th.
With this race win, Truex is now 50 points ahead in the championship battle, with only two races remaining. The Camping World Series East next travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Heluva Good! Fall 125 on September 18th.
Please note that this is my 300th article with Bleacher Report and there is nothing I would rather write about than the up and comers in the world of racing, especially when they are from the Garden State!
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