MOORESVILLE, N.C. – After three weeks off, Joey Coulter and the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation team head to Kentucky Speedway for this week’s UNOH 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event. After a disappointing 25th-place finish in his last outing at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Coulter couldn’t think of a better place than the 1.5-mile oval to get back on track for 2013. In his last visit to the “Bluegrass State,” Coulter started on the pole and led 39 laps en route to a fourth-place finish in the 2012 Kentucky 201, a track-best for the Miami Springs, Fla. native. In fact, out of the seven 1.5-mile venues that the NCWTS visits in 2013, Coulter’s stats at Kentucky Speedway are the strongest; one pole, 47 laps led, one top-five, three top-10 finishes and 99.7 % of laps completed.
The 23-year-old driver also spent some time at the track testing with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammates Kyle Busch, Darrell Wallace, Jr., and Erik Jones in preparation for this week’s event. While the 18 team was not able to bring a Toyota Tundra of their own, Coulter was able to get behind the wheel of both the 51 and 54 Tundra’s to get a feel for their set-ups and left the two-day test with an expanded notebook of information.
In addition to his success at the track and additional seat time since his last visit to Kentucky Speedway, Coulter will have a little extra “star” power on board the No. 18 Tundra this weekend. In memory of former KBM driver Jason Leffler, Coulter will carry #LEFturn above his driver’s door in this weekend’s UNOH 225 and the No. 18 door number will reflect the color’s Leffler carried at Kentucky Speedway in 2012 when he piloted the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra as part of his nine-race schedule with KBM.
Coulter describes Kentucky Speedway as having a lot of character, fun to drive and at the top of his list of favorite tracks – a combination he hopes can get him back on track in 2013.
Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
You attended the KBM test at Kentucky Speedway a couple weeks ago, what did you learn from that test although you weren’t able to test one of your own trucks? “Both the 51 Tundra and the 54 Tundra made a lot of changes and tried multiple setups that will give us a great baseline for this week. I was able to drive both trucks throughout the day and although both setups were very different, both trucks were very fast. It is great testing with Kyle (Busch) and being able to listen to his feedback and then get in the same truck and feel exactly what he is talking about. It would take me all day to describe what I learned during the test. Being able to drive Darrell’s truck was also a great way to learn a different feel. It is neat seeing how all three of our driving styles compare and what the small differences are and making changes that we all like. It is a huge advantage having the teammates that I have. With all of the bad luck the 18 had we were unable to bring a truck to the test so we are relying on what we learn from our teammates, which means we are going to have a lot of great information to work with. That is the best part about being at KBM and the Toyota family – it’s a real team effort with great results.”
Harold Holly, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
Joey attended the KBM test at Kentucky Speedway, but the 18 team did not. Do you think the 51 and 54 Tundra’s will have an advantage when they unload compared to the 18? “No, I don’t think so. Joey was able to attend the test with them and was able to drive the 51 and 54 set-ups while we were in the shop trying to get caught up on inventory. Joey was really comfortable in the 54′s set-up, so that is what we will go back with and will unload identical to the 54. It’s quite a bit different in terms of set-up than what we have normally unloaded with in the past, but Joey was happy with it so that’s what we are going with.”
You practice during the day and race at night. How will you facilitate that transition on the 18 Tundra? “The good thing about the test at Kentucky Speedway last week was that it went from 2-10 p.m. So they were able to go from the heat of the day to late in the evening and were able to see how much the balance swing was during that transition. The second day of the test they were able to get their set-up’s dialed-in to where it wasn’t that big of a swing from day to night. What we will be implementing this weekend is based on what the 51 and 54 teams learned.”
Joey Coulter’s No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra:
Chassis KBM08: Coulter will pilot KBM08 for the second time this season in this weekend’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. This Toyota Tundra went to victory lane in its debut in the 2011 N.C. Education Lottery 200 with Kyle Busch behind the wheel at Charlotte
(N.C.) Motor Speedway. The last time the NCWTS was in Kentucky, Brian Scott qualified 10th and led 14 laps en route to a fifth-place finish.
-Kyle Busch Motorsports PR