Miguel Paludo was once again denied the finish his truck was capable of when he was swept into another competitor's wreck in the closing dozen laps of the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway. Paludo was running solidly in the top-10 when another competitor wrecked, sideswiping the No. 32 Duroline Brakes Chevrolet and sending him spinning, forcing a late-race pit stop and resulting in a 13th-place finish at the "Tricky Triangle."
After running fourth in the weekend's only practice session, a stellar qualifying lap put Paludo in the third position for the 50-lap event's green flag. Hard three-wide racing at the start combined with a "super loose" Chevrolet Silverado caused Paludo to slip to the eighth spot in the first five laps, but the handling began to come to the Brazilian driver as the laps ticked by. Paludo regained the seventh spot on lap 18, and as green-flag pit stops began, he worked his way into the fourth position before peeling onto pit road to bring the No. 32 in for service. The Turner Motorsports crew provided their machine with four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment before sending Paludo back onto the three-turn track.
Paludo returned to the track in 12th as pit stops continued to cycle through under green-flag conditions. Re-entering the top-10, the Paludo took over ninth before the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 30. With the handling of the No. 32 truck significantly improved, the team opted to remain on the racetrack for position, taking the green flag on lap 34. Paludo quickly picked up one spot before the caution flag waved just one lap later. Following a wild three-wide restart, Paludo was on a march to the front of the field with 10 laps remaining, but when another driver spun while competing for space in the tunnel turn, the Duroline machine was struck by the nose of the sliding truck, spinning the No. 32 and causing damage to the right side and tail.
Paludo brought his truck down pit road for four tires and repair, returning to the racetrack in the 14th spot. Despite the damage, Paludo fought his way back into the top-10, but a final battle for position resulted in a careless move by another competitor and brought his group of trucks three-wide, causing the No. 32 to drop back into 14th. With a limited number of laps remaining, Paludo was only able to earn back one position before crossing the finish line of the "Tricky Triangle" in 13th.
Miguel Paludo: "This race may have been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season because had such a good truck. Every single person on this team believed that we could win today. It's so frustrating that we can't catch a break, that we got caught up in someone else's wreck, because we just keep getting better and better each week. We've hit a point where we're really gelling so well as a unit. It's only a matter of time before we start bringing home wins."
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has one weekend off before heading to Michigan International Speedway for the VFW 200 on August 18th. Paludo will use the off-week to make his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Watkins Glen International on August 11th.
Turner Motorsports PR