Miguel Paludo reclaimed fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings with his third top-five finish in four races, putting himself within arm's reach of the top three in points. Paludo, who has two championships in road-course racing series, led 10 laps and survived an epic finish in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Brazilian finished third in the first international race in series history and first NCWTS road-course event in 13 years, earning four spots in the closing turns of the 2.459-mile track in the Duroline Brakes and Components Chevy.
With top-five times in the weekend's two extended test sessions and two official practice sessions, Paludo backed up the team's early performance by qualifying the No. 32 Duroline Chevrolet Silverado fifth on the grid. After taking the green flag, Paludo dropped briefly to the sixth position, but entered the top five once again just as the first full-course caution flag of the day waved on lap eight. Paludo relayed to crew chief Jeff Hensley that his truck was a tick tight in turn three and needed more grip off the throttle, but the team's fuel-mileage strategy kept the No. 32 out on the track.
Paludo restarted in the third position on lap 10, and overtook second place just one circuit later. Maintaining the runner-up spot, Paludo made his first pit stop of the day under green-flag conditions on lap 22, keeping with the team's strategic plan. The team provided Paludo with four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment, sending him back onto the track in 11th. When the caution flag waved for a stalled truck on lap 33 with Paludo running seventh, the Turner Scott Motorsports crew had an important decision to make in the strategy-intensive race: to pit or not pit. With 31 laps remaining, the Duroline Chevrolet was just outside their 25-27 lap fuel window. Sticking to his original strategy, Hensley made the call for Paludo to remain out on the racetrack, putting him third for the lap 36 restart.
With the slight adjustment on his first pit stop of the day, Paludo began to consistently run his fastest laps of the race, overcoming his competitors with both speed and experience. Before the completion of the first lap back to green, Paludo worked his way back into the second spot, then took over the lead just one lap later. Paludo held onto the first position for the next 10 laps, pulling ahead of the competition by multiple truck lengths. When the yellow flag waved on lap 46 for a stopped race truck, Paludo dove to pit road for his final pit stop of the day. The No. 32 crew performed a four-tire pit stop with a track-bar adjustment and enough fuel to make it to the end.
Scored in the 14th position with 15 laps remaining, Paludo had a long way to go in the closing laps. However, the road-course veteran had both tires and experience on his side, in addition to enough fuel to last in the event of multiple green/white/checkered restarts. As soon as the green flag dropped, Paludo ticked off positions with every trip around the circuit, battling his way up to seventh with four laps remaining. The racing action hit full tilt in the closing laps, with contact being made by his competitors in all 10 turns of the 2.459-mile course. As desires to win the first international NCWTS race came to a head in an exciting final lap, there were multiple wrecks in Paludo's path. The Brazilian narrowly avoided the melee, charging to third before crossing the finish line.
"This was so much fun," said Paludo after emerging from the Duroline Chevrolet. "We really had a truck to beat today, but unfortunately, our pit strategy just didn't pan out. It was a really good fuel strategy that we all agreed on before the race, and we'd probably be celebrating a win right now if the cautions had fallen when we needed them to. Our adjustments on that final pit stop took a few laps for us to get up to speed, and once I lost those positions from pitting under caution, I couldn't recover the lead. It wound up being a great points day for our team because so many of the guys in front of us had problems; we gained on everybody. I hope we have two or three of these road courses next year. It generated so much excitement and brought out a lot of very enthusiastic fans. I loved it. A big 'thank you' to the fans here at the track and at home. We gave you a great show and I hope that the trucks get to come back next year."
Paludo is now fifth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings, with just five markers separating him from third. The NCWTS heads from the capital of Canada to America's heartland at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, September 8. The Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland will air on FOX Sports 1 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.