It was an up and down night for the Red Horse Racing teammates. Parker Kligerman led the way finishing in the 4th position. Timothy Peters finished 13th and maintained his 1st place in the driver standings. Todd Bodine brought up the rear by finishing where he started the night, in 21st place. Below is a recap of each driver’s night.
Hampton, GA — Looking to give Red Horse Racing owner Tom DeLoach his first intermediate track win on one of his personal favorite tracks, Parker Kligerman traveled to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday with high hopes. Driving up into the top-five twice during the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200, Kligerman showed he was capable of competing with class of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field. Fast pit stops and perseverance through tight handling conditions helped Kligerman score his third top-five finish in as many races with Red Horse Racing, finishing fourth.
Within the first few laps of practice on Friday afternoon, Kligerman had already radioed to crew chief Chad Kendrick that he was very pleased with the handling and drivability of his No. 7 Tundra. The team then went to work to make small adjustments per the driver’s request and came up with a race setup for that night. Fairly pleased with the handling during qualifying as well, Kligerman secured the ninth starting spot.
Wasting no time from the drop of the green, Kligerman maneuvered his way into the top-five after just 15 laps of racing. He reported to Kendrick and his crew that his Tundra had come to life and continued his charge towards the lead. With cheerleading from his spotter Rusty Webb and Kendrick, Kligerman remained in position to challenge for the lead prior to the first round of pit stops under caution on lap 31. A very quick stop by the No. 7 pit crew gave Kligerman the second spot on the restart, giving him a chance to take advantage and overtake the lead for one circuit and claim a valuable bonus point.
The second caution came quickly after Kligerman moved into the second position, setting up a three-wide battle on the following restart. Kligerman wisely chose to stay out of trouble when he got loose in the pack and backed into a comfortable position in ninth. During the ensuing long green flag run, he carefully picked off positions until he was back in the fifth spot before green flag pit stops on lap 83. Yet another great stop placed Kligerman in the fourth position when the pit stops cycled through.
The final caution of the night fell with less than 30 laps remaining, allowing the teams to come back down pit road for one final set of fresh tires. Reporting he was a little too tight on entry, Kendrick gave Kligerman one last adjustment and the crew sent him back out in the fourth spot for the restart. Kligerman soon reported that the adjustments were just a little too much and he wasn’t able to catch the leaders, taking the checkered flag in the fourth position.
“We had a fast Toyota Tundra on the long run and I was really happy with it during that first run when we drove straight to the front. After leading that lap there was just a lot of traffic on the following restart and I got too loose. We had to drive through the field and did it again. But from there, we made an adjustment that wasn’t exactly what we needed and that was the difference between first and fourth place,” Kligerman said.
“Championship-wise, consistent finishes like this will put you in the battle. We need to get a win to claim it all. But it’ll come. This team and Chad Kendrick do a great job and it’s amazing for us to have runs like this in our first three weekends together.”
Hampton, GA — Coming off a dominating victory last week, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship points leader Timothy Peters aimed to ride his momentum into Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday. Topping off a short practice with an eighth place qualifying effort, Peters battled through traffic and a variety of handling conditions throughout the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200. Solid pit stops and consistent driving by Peters kept the team out of trouble and near the front most of the night, securing a 13th place finish.
Pretty pleased with his Red Horse Racing machine through the first segment of Friday morning’s practice session, Peters and Hylton worked together to fine tune his race setup. Unfortunately, for the second week in a row, Peters suffered a flat tire near the end of the first session that would damper the team’s chances to get more laps on the track. Fresh tires at Atlanta are extremely important, so the team couldn’t afford to use another set for the final practice and chose to sit out the session. Forced to find out what they really had during qualifying, Peters was pleased when his qualifying effort placed him in the eighth starting spot.
Climbing into the top-five within the first few laps as he weaved through traffic, Peters settled in and reported to Hylton that he had two different handling conditions- loose on one end of the track and tight on another. Hylton assured his driver that the crew would fix him up, and Peters got the first chance under the lap 31 caution to come down pit road for four tires and adjustments. A quick stop by the No. 17 crew gained Peters four spots on pit road and he restarted in the fifth position.
Heavy traffic and three-wide racing on the restart shuffled Peters back to the 11th spot, where he radioed to his crew that he felt like his Toyota Tundra was really flat and needed more momentum to keep up with the leaders. Hylton and spotter Tony Hirschman called out lap times and coached Peters on his line to help get him through the long green flag run that ensued.
Holding on until the final stop of the night under caution with 24 laps remaining, Peters’ crew gave him four fresh tires and a final round of adjustments to send him back out to competition. Traffic after the final restart proved challenging for the No. 17 Tundra once again, as Peters reported to Hylton and his crew that the pack racing with other trucks made him even tighter than before. With less than 10 laps to go, Peters held his ground and finished in the 13th position.
“It just wasn’t our night, but that’s what this sport will do to you. One week you’re on top and the next week it’ll serve you a big piece of humble pie,” Peters explained.
“Everyone did a great job on our Toyota Tundra tonight but we just missed it a little bit. Having a flat tire and missing the second practice didn’t help us at all, and the truck just didn’t get into the track and grip like I wanted it to. But I’m not scared. We’ll be alright.”
Hampton, GA — The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series traveled to Atlanta on Friday for a hot night of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Admittedly a fan of the fast, slick 1.5-mile oval, Bodine entered the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 with a solid record and a chance to reverse his bad luck. After racing his way inside the top-10 early in the evening, Bodine began to slide back through the field while dealing with handling woes in his Tundra. A long green flag run put the No. 11 Toyota Care machine one lap down to the leaders with the laps winding down. Unable to get his lap back, Bodine finished the night in the 21st position.
During both of Friday’s practice sessions, crew chief Rick Gay and his team made several changes to get the two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion in good shape for the night’s 200-mile shootout. The adjustments to Bodine’s Tundra didn’t loosen him up quite enough for qualifying and he began the event from the 21st starting position.
After the drop of the green flag, Bodine radioed to crew chief Rick Gay for the first time on lap nine to report that his Toyota Care Tundra was now loose on entry and exit. Following up those statements before the first round of pit stops, Bodine told his crew he was also tight in the center.
The first opportunity to make changes for the two time champion came on lap 30 under the first caution of the night. The No. 11 Toyota Care crew clicked off a quick four tire stop with adjustments and sent “The Onion” back out for competition.
Shortly after taking the restart from the 13th position, Bodine moved up inside the top-10. A long green flag run ensued that didn’t play out the way the No. 11 Toyota Care crew had hoped. After running solidly inside the top-10, Bodine began to slide back into the top- 15, searching for grip off the corner. The team was forced to make a green flag pit stop and lost time due to the handling issues. With the lack of a caution period to allow the No. 11 team to catch back up to the rest of the field, Bodine fell one lap down to the leaders.
Searching for the “Lucky Dog” for the remainder of the night to get back on the lead lap, Bodine brought his Toyota Care Tundra down pit road one last time with less than 30 laps remaining to get four fresh tires and hoped for a chance to make a final dash to the front. He reported his Tundra was handling much better, but unfortunately, the rest of the laps clicked off caution-free and Bodine crossed the line with a 21st place finish.
“The track actually stayed pretty consistent throughout the night, we just missed it a little bit on the setup at the start. During the long green flag run we didn’t get to make the adjustments we wanted to make on the green flag stop and that hurt us. We went a lap down because it was so tight and we didn’t get it better until the end. We were just riding and hoping to get the lucky dog but the circumstances just didn’t go our way,” Bodine explained. “The good news is we finished and our Toyota Care Tundra is in one piece so we can take it to Kentucky.”
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