Bristol, TN – Timothy Peters took sole possession of the lead in the Camping World Truck Series point standings by winning Wednesday night's UNOH 200 in a flawless performance at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Peters, who started second, grabbed the lead from pole sitter Cale Gale on the opening lap and then ran in front for all 204 circuits around this 0.533-mile, high-banked oval, which was recently modified. He easily ran away from the field after four restarts within the final 50 laps.
The sixth caution for an accident involving Gale set up a green-white- checkered finish. Gale spun around and slammed into the inside retaining wall along the backstretch after he was bumped by Joey Coulter.
Peters held off his new Red Horse Racing teammate, Parker Kligerman, during the two-lap overtime finish, beating him at the line by a half-second.
"Oh man, what an awesome feeling," Peters said. "We had great speed the first practice (earlier in the day), and then we had a flat tire (in the final practice) that just screwed up our whole strategy, and we kind of got off a little bit. (Crew chief) Butch Hylton is so good about getting us all together and using his experience to calm us down. We met in the middle on some of the changes, and boy, (the truck) was flawless tonight."
Peters and Kligerman's 1-2 finish for Red Horse came on the same day team owner Tom DeLoach celebrated his 65th birthday. After his release from Brad Keselowski Racing, Kligerman quickly signed on with the No. 7 Red Horse team. He finished fourth in his debut with the team this past Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.
"I'm just so proud of these No. 7 guys," Kligerman said. "They've been working everyday since we signed this deal a few weeks ago. So to come out here and have a good finish, this is what we need."
Keselowski was Peters' biggest threat throughout the race. Keselowski was running in third just before the last restart, but he ran out of fuel before the green flag waved and ended up finishing three laps behind in 25th.
"I just kept running out of gas," Keselowski said. "We really wanted to win today, but we came up just a bit short."
Keselowski is the only driver who is scheduled to compete in all three of NASCAR's national touring series races at Bristol this week. The Nationwide Series runs here on Friday and the Sprint Cup Series on Saturday.
Rookie Ross Chastain finished a career-best third, followed by Coulter and Brendan Gaughan.
Ryan Blaney, James Buescher, Ron Hornaday Jr., Matt Crafton and Justin Lofton completed the top-10.
The first 81 laps ran under green before the first caution came for an incident involving Chris Jones. Truck teams entered this race with a lot of unknowns, since the top lane in the variable banking around this concrete surface was shaved.
Fan feedback after the March NASCAR races at Bristol convinced personnel from both the track and its parent company, Speedway Motorsports Inc., to make the changes. Variable banking was applied to Bristol's surface in the summer of 2007. The modifications were intended to bring back traditional racing at this track.
Todd Bodine crashed into the wall after he made contact with Gale and then cut his left-rear tire with less than 50 laps to go.
"(Gale) got up under me and just pushed," said Bodine, who also drives for Red Horse. "This racing is so tight and so competitive that these kids think that every lap you got to run it right to the limit. But sometimes you just got to let off and know that you're not going to be able to complete a pass, because it pushes and gets loose. Whatever the case was, that was racing."
Bodine finished 31st four days after he placed 24th at Michigan due to a wreck there.
Peters came to Bristol in a points tie with rookie Ty Dillon, but Peters now holds a 17-point lead over new second place Buescher. Dillon, who also ran out of gas prior to final restart, finished 21st. He is 25 markers out of the lead.