Timothy Peters Gambles on Fuel to Win on His Home Track, Martinsville
Mother Nature cooperated long enough on Saturday for Timothy Peters to break through, collecting his first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on his home track, Martinsville Speedway.
Peters made his lone pit stop on Lap 33, making two stops for tires and fuel. Then led the final 84 laps to beat Todd Bodine by 1.716 seconds for the win a mere 15 minutes from home.
Mike Skinner in the No. 5 PC Miler Navigator Toyota started on the pole, it was his third pole of the season and his 50th career pole.
Ron Hornaday Jr. in the VFW Chevrolet started from the outside pole position and it's his seventh start this season from the front row.
Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Bounty Chevrolet started third, Denny Hamlin in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts/Graceway Pharmaceutical Toyota started fourth and Brian Scott in the No. 16 Albertson's Toyota started fifth.
The race start was delayed by 90 minutes, for the track to be dried after it rained all morning.
At race time, it was 69 degrees, and cloudy. 36 trucks started the race and the pit window is 140-150 laps. Will a team use pit strategy, make one stop for just fuel or tires.
From the drop of the green, you had three-wide action on back through the field and a great start by a couple of veterans.
Skinner takes the green flag, but Hornaday on the high-side would get the lead by a nose coming out of turn two and be leading by a truck length coming back to the stripe.
By Lap Five, Hornaday would have a three truck length lead over Skinner in second. Scott running in fifth, would pass Hamlin for fourth on the low-side.
On Lap Eight, Hornaday leads by 0.755 seconds over Skinner in second. Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Menard's Chevrolet started the race in 22nd and has worked his way up to 16th.
By Lap 10, Hornaday leads by 0.843 seconds over Skinner in second and has caught the tail end of the field.
On Lap 12, Peyton Sellers in the No. 17 Danville Ready Mix/SPF Toyota would lose a left rear tire, but would make it to pit road, get new left side tires and loses two laps on pit road.
On Lap 16, Hornaday leads by a second now over Skinner in second, but the best racing was Stacy Compton in the No. 60 SafeAuto Insurance Toyota in seventh and Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 Fun Sand/Rodney Atkins/Curb Records Chevrolet in eighth.
On Lap 17, Sauter with drafting help from David Starr in the No. 24 Zachry Toyota would pass Compton for the position.
By Lap 19, Hornaday still leads, the best racing was Scott in fourth and Hamlin in fifth. As the last couple of laps, the two have been battling it out, Scott has been able to just stay in front of Hamlin and block him from being able to pass.
Harvick would also pass Skinner for second.
After 22 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading, Harvick second, Skinner third, Scott fourth and Hamlin fifth.
By Lap 31, Hornaday leads by 1.871 seconds over Harvick in second and he's lapped the field up to 27th position.
The first caution flag came out on Lap 33, for Burt Myers in the No. 07 Wyatt Winstead Foundation Chevrolet would get loose, spinning and backing into the wall.
Under this caution, Hermie Sadler in the No. 48 Virginia Lottery Chevrolet was the Aaron's Lucky Dog Award winner.
On Lap 35, Pit road would open, but the leader Hornaday, Harvick in second and Skinner in third stayed out and everyone else pits making one or two stops.
After pit stops, the top five was; Hornaday leading, Harvick second, Skinner third, Hamlin fourth and Max Papis in the No. 9 Geico Toyota was fifth.
On the Lap 39 restart, Hornaday would take the green get a great start on Harvick pulling away by several truck lengths.
On Lap 42, Hornaday would lead by 0.323 seconds over Harvick in second.
The best racing was Hamlin in fourth and Bodine in fifth are battling for those respective position and have the lapped truck of Chris Fontaine in the No. 84 Glenden Enterprises Chevrolet to contend with.
On Lap 45, Crafton made a late stop for fuel under the last caution, he just got out in front of the leaders and has caught up to the back of the field.
After 50 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading by 0.495 seconds, Harvick second, Skinner third, Hamlin fourth and Bodine fifth.
The second caution flag comes out on Lap 54, for Hermie Sadler gets pinched into the wall after contact with Rob Fuller in the No. 71 Draco Springs Chevrolet.
On Lap 56, the pits open Hornaday the leader, Harvick second and Skinner third, pit this time making the first of two stops and a few others also pit.
On Lap 57, NASCAR lets Hornaday, Harvick, and Skinner know they were speeding coming onto to pit road for their first stop. All three make a second stop for fuel and adjustments.
They'll restart the race with Harvick 17th, Hornaday 18th, and Skinner 19th after servicing the pass through penalty.
On the Lap 58 restart, Hamlin takes the green, pulls away from Starr by a couple of truck length.
On Lap 62, Harvick would lose his left rear tire, he slow down limp around sliding a little but make it to pit road okay.
He'd lose two laps in the pits, getting tires but has plenty of time to make it back up and willl have to race hard to pick up at least one lap on his own without the help of a Aaron's Lucky Dog.
After 67 Laps, the top five was; Hamlin leads, Starr second, Scott third, Crawford fourth and Peters fifth.
The third caution comes out on Lap 73, for debris and T.J. Bell in the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota is the Aaron's Lucky Dog Award.
On the Lap 79 restart, Hamlin takes the green has Starr all over his bumper trying to make a pass work on the bottom but coming back to the stripe Hamlin leads by a truck length.
On Lap 80, the best racing was Colin Braun in the No. 6 Con-Way Freight Ford in 12th, Hornaday in 13th and Skinner in 14th.
On Lap 84, Hornaday would make the pass stick on the low-side getting 11th from Braun, as they go three wide with both passing Crafton.
By Lap 86, Todd Bodine in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota is running in seventh, he has had Hornaday who's made it back to eighth locked on his bumper.
Hornaday has picked up three positions, by just following Bodine who seems to be just able to stay in front of him driving in the line Horn needs to pass him.
On Lap 89, Hamlin leads by 1.283 seconds on Starr in second. The best racing was Sauter 10th, Skinnner 12th and Crafton 13th are on each other's bumpers battling for those positions, respectively.
On Lap 91, Sauter would get 10th by passing Braun on the low-side and would still have Skinner on his bumper.
On Lap 93, Harvick who is running currently two laps down, would pass the leader Hamlin and make up a one of his laps back by racing hard.
The fourth caution flag comes out on Lap 95, for Sauter spinning after contact with Skinner and he was fortunate not to hit anything.
On Lap 96, several trucks pit making one or two stops. Fontaine would be the Aaron's Lucky Dog Award winner under this caution.
On the Lap 99 restart, Hamlin takes the green, gets half a truck length lead on Starr in second.
By Lap 102, Hamlin leads by two truck lengths on Starr in second. Bodine and Hornaday have made it up to fourth and fifth respectively.
On Lap 104, Hamlin still leads by 0.325 seconds on Starr, but Peters in third passes Starr for second and Bodine is racing side by side with Starr for third.
On Lap 105, Bodine takes third, Hornaday just follows him through also passing Starr for fifth.
On Lap 106, the lapped truck of Harvick again passes the leader Hamlin, gets back on the lead lap the hard way by racing for it.
A shame that he had the flat; he definitely is the fast truck on the track and unfortunately for him he'll race his way back to a great finish but doubt he'll get the win.
By Lap 108, Hamlin leads by 1.185 seconds over Peters, but three laps later Peters has cut Hamlin's lead to 0.623 and he's the fast truck on the track.
The fifth caution flag comes out on Lap 116, for contact between Papis, Myers, that also collected Chris Jones in the No. 87 Copy Wizard Chevrolet and Marc Davis in the No. 19 Howard University Radio WHUR Chevrolet.
The pits opened on Lap 116, Hamlin would come to pit road, along with Starr, Crafton and a few others also make one or two stops.
Harvick, due to the caution, is way back on the lead lap and the caution helps catch him up to the field.
After pit stops the top five was; Peters leading, Bodine second, Hornaday third, Skinner fourth and Scott fifth.
On the Lap 119 restart, they didn't run a lap before the sixth caution flag flew for Tayler Malsam in the No. 81 One-Eighty Toyota who missed a shift on the restart blew up coming to a stop on the track.
On the restart, Harvick got the jump on Fontaine passing him on the outside for 21st and due to Malsam has to squeeze between the two back to the low-side.
On the Lap 125 restart, Peters takes the green gets a good jump on Bodine to pull away by 1/2 truck length from him.
On Lap 127, Sauter loses a right rear, spins out but keeps going and no caution comes out.
A lap later the seventh caution flag comes out as Sauter spins a second time in front of the leaders trying to get to pit road.
This will help him making him one lap down versus being multiple laps down. Myer's was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner under this caution.
On the Lap 134 restart, Peters takes the green, starts good gets a truck length lead on Bodine and he has Hornaday all over his bumper in third.
A lap later Peters open up the lead over Bodine to 0.337 seconds, Hornaday is still working on Bodine to try to pass on the low-side.
After 137 Laps, the top five was; Peters leading, Bodine second, Hornaday third, Skinner fourth and Scott fifth.
By Lap 140, Peters stretches the lead to 0.503 seconds on Bodine in second and he's benefiting from Hornaday in third pressuring Bodine.
On Lap 141, the best racing was Scott in fifth, getting pressured by Braun in sixth and starts working on him to make the pass.
On Lap 143, Braun finally passes Scott on the low-side for fifth and pulls away after Skinner in fourth.
On Lap 145, Scott sixth, Dennis Setzer in the No. 8 Malcolmson Construction Chevrolet seventh and Harvick eighth are the best racing as they are battling for those positions.
By Lap 148, Peters leads Bodine by 0.522 seconds in second and Hornaday in third is 0.843 seconds back.
On Lap 157, Peters continues to stretch out his lead, it's now 0.832 seconds over Bodine in second and Hornaday in third is now 1.483 seconds back of the leader.
Hornaday also would bounce off of wall, while being pressured by Skinner in fourth and other than rubbing Goodyear off of his right front his truck looks okay.
By Lap 161, Peters continues to pull away, but right now he's in heavy lapped traffic and his crew chief reminds him on the radio to be patient.
Four laps later, Peters has picked his way through the lapped traffic really well, has been catching everyone just right but did have slight contact with Jones.
The eighth caution flag comes out on Lap 169, for Myers and Fontaine making contact and Skinner with no where to go gets collected in the wrecked.
Skinner loses his right front tire and has sheet metal damage to his right front.
On Lap 173 restart, Peters takes the green gets a couple of truck length lead on Bodine in second and he's being pressure by Hornaday in third.
By Lap 175, Peters leads by 0.630 seconds over Bodine in second and 0.834 seconds over Hornaday in third.
On Lap 177, Harvick uses his bumper gets Scott loose and passes him for sixth position.
On Lap 179, Peters leads Bodine in second by 0.834 seconds and Hornaday in third is now 1.5 seconds back.
By Lap 181, Peters stretches his lead to 1.782 seconds over Bodine in second and Hornaday is 1.832 seconds back in third.
On Lap 182, Hornaday lets his crew chief Rick Ren know they just lost the brakes, they have nothing to catch Peters now and he's switching to racing for a top five finish.
On Lap 184, Peters leads Bodine in second by 2.003 seconds, and third thru sixth are right their stuck behind the slower Bodine.
On Lap 187, Scott runs out of fuel makes it to pit road. They pitted on Lap 33, stopping only once for tires, their strategy doesn't work since they needed more caution laps than the 24 we've had on eight cautions for the strategy to work.
Scott finished the race in 24th, five laps down to the leader and loses one position in the points. Dropping fourth to fifth and basically is eliminated from the title hunt.
By Lap 188, Peters who pitted the same time as Scott, has slowed his pace down some and Bodine in second is 1.782 seconds back now.
Hornaday in third is still two seconds back, being pressured by Braun in fourth.
On Lap 190, Braun passes Hornaday for third, then blocks him when he tries to re-pass him coming back to the stripe.
On Lap 192, Peters continues to lead, it's now a 1.3 second on Bodine in second and 1.833 seconds on Braun in third.
With six laps to go, Peters crew chief Chad Kendrick lets him know your leading by five seconds and to save him some fuel.
Kendrick would be shown by Speed on the pit wagon with his head in his hands unable too watch his driver in the closing laps.
On Lap 196, Peters while he has slowed a little bit, still holds a 1.5 second lead on Bodine in second.
On Lap 197, Peters starts to hit some lapped traffic, but he's able to maintain his lead on Bodine in second and Braun in third hasn't been able too catch Bodine.
Peters takes the white flag, he just has to make it to turn four and still get the win if he runs out of fuel on the final lap.
The fuel concerns wouldn't matter as Peters comes around just fine, makes it back around to claim his first career win in the Truck Series.
Peters who lives 15 minutes from the track, would get his first win on his home track. The fans were cheering for the hometown driver in the closing laps.
Peters becomes the sixth driver to pick up his first career win at Martinsville, and the win comes in his 64th career start.
He would salute the fans with victory burnouts. He stopped at victory lane on the front stretch right on the track, gets a kiss from his wife, thanks his team, slaps Kendrick on the back and thanks him, then thanks Strutmasters.com and owner Tom Deloach.
Peters also dedicated the win to his late dad, who passed away in 2001, and he nearly walked away from racing after losing his dad.
He was a young man, whose parents were right their making sacrifices for him to race. His dad was always right there getting his hands dirty helping his son doing whatever he could so his boy could race.
In the end Peters sold his dad's Corvette after talking with his Mom, he never gave up and now he's a winner in NASCAR.
Todd Bodine was second, he ran a great race, came up short with getting his first career short-track win and moves up one position in the points to fourth from fifth.
Colin Braun was third, ran a really great race, unfortunately he ran out of laps or probably would have won.
Ron Hornaday Jr. was fourth, he did what he needed to do leading 54 laps, over came a speeding penalty and picked up 27 points on Crafton.
Kevin Harvick was fifth, ran a excellent race not only overcame a speeding penalty but also made up two laps after losing a tire and earned them back by racing for them.
Sixth through 10th were; Denny Hamlin, Dennis Setzer, David Starr, Matt Crafton and Terry Cook.
It was a popular victory as first Compton, then Hornaday and several other drivers made their way to victory lane to congratulate Peters on the win.
The points now have Hornaday leading by 224 points over Crafton in second, and 326 points over Skinner in third.
The next race is Oct. 31: the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeeedway on Speed at 3:30 p.m. the Set-Up Show and 4 p.m. Race start.
Not only is it a popular win in the trucks, it's what makes this series so special as it the fourth race won in 2009 by a first-time winner and it's another Martinsville classic by the trucks.
Authors note: This race recap is based solely on my race notes, any mistakes are my own.
Photo Credit: sports.yahoo.com
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