NEWTON, Iowa — Timothy Peters considered it a milestone victory. It certainly was memorable.
Peters took the lead off a restart with 10 laps remaining to dash to victory in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series American Ethanol 200 Saturday night at Iowa Speedway. The win was the first of the season, allowing him to increase his season points lead to 12 over Justin Lofton.
“I love Iowa and I love going to places where our results are OK and turning them into a best finish,” Peters said. “Today was definitely a milestone in my career, I feel like, because I’ve never sat on the pole and never led like we did tonight to win the race.”
The Red Horse Racing driver claimed his first pole position of the season. He became the third trucks driver in four races to win from the pole.
Peters achieved it in dramatic fashion. A late wreck forced a seventh caution with less than 20 laps remaining to set up the final restart between Peters and veteran Ron Hornaday Jr. When Hornaday spun his tires slightly at the starting lineup, Peters moved ahead, never looked back and pulled away for his fourth career win.
The last caution was a welcome sight to Peters.
“We just launched really well, and got a really good restart and beat him to the corner for a good start into turn 1,” said Peters, who was determined to improve his restarts from the Kentucky Speedway race in June. “He couldn’t get by. I was sitting there praying that the caution wouldn’t come out.”
Peters exacted a little revenge from Hornaday, who snatched the lead from him on a restart with 33 laps to go, diving to the inside of both Peters and Johnny Sauter.
“He just came out of nowhere,” Peters said of Hornaday. “He’s always good on restarts.”
Hornaday was just the third leader after more than three-quarters of the race was dominated by Peters and James Buescher, who was vying for his third win of the season.
The pair traded leads, distancing themselves from the field. Buescher was in control when an unexpected accident eliminated him from contention and helped Peters.
Buescher blew his right-front tire, sending him into the wall coming out of Turn 2 on Lap 135.
“We’ll take it,” Peters said. “I felt like that he and I did have the stronger trucks. It was going to be decided by him or I so in the end I’m glad I’m sitting here talking to (the media).”
Peters lead 87 laps, which was four less than Buescher. He praised the work of his crew for producing a powerful Toyota Tundra.
“I can’t thank these guys enough for what we accomplished tonight,” Peters said. “Hopefully this is one of many more.”
Peters mentioned the importance of a victory to enhance his ability to contend for the points title.
“It’s nice to get the monkey off our backs and get to Victory Lane finally,” crew chief Butch Hylton said. “We’ve been working really hard to do that.”
Hornaday placed second for his best performance of the season. He was encouraged by the finish.
“We made some adjustments in the race,” Hornaday said. “We made it tight. It was just not good enough.
“That was a big leap and gain for the racing team and the new truck we just built. It shows a good sign we’re on our track.”
Matt Crafton, who won the Coca-Cola 200 last year at Iowa Speedway, was third, giving him four top-four finishes at the 0.875-mile track.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader Ty Dillon was the highest finishing rookie. Dillon, who had top-two finishes at Iowa Speedway in the ARCA Series in 2010 and 2011, finished seventh after opening the race in 15th.
By K.J. Pilcher|NASCAR Wire Service