News & Media

Coulter aces restart at Pocono for first Truck win

August 04, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service,

LONG POND, Pa. -- Pulling away after a strong restart with seven laps left in Saturday's Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway, Joey Coulter notched his first Camping World Truck Series victory, beating James Buescher to the finish line by 1.224 seconds.

Coulter charged from third to first moments after a restart on Lap 44 of 50 at the 2.5-mile triangular track, after a caution on Lap 39 that included series leader Timothy Peters, who finished 22nd, 10 laps off the pace. Peters was racing through the Tunnel Turn, got loose beneath another truck and spun into the wall, as two separate incidents (watch) in the same corner damaged five vehicles..


2. James Buescher Chevrolet
3. Nelson Piquet Jr. Chevrolet
4. Matt Crafton Toyota
5.Denny Hamlin Toyota

* Final Laps | Victory Lane | Post-Race Reactions

"As soon as the spotter said 'green,' I put the foot to the floor and just let the ECR [Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines] Chevrolet horsepower do the rest," Coulter said. "We needed to make moves quick. Track position was real important.

"It was new pavement [since last year's Truck race], and it picked the speeds up, but it sure did make it hard to pass. I knew we had to get it done right there, or we weren't going to have a second chance at it."

Third-place finisher and pole-sitter Nelson Piquet Jr., who led 33 laps and brought the field to green for the final time, said restarts are complicated at Pocono, which features the longest straightaway in NASCAR racing at 3,740 feet.

"The last restart was a bit of a problem," Piquet said. "It's so wide. I didn't know if I would defend on my left -- Coulter -- or if I would try to keep my line with James [Buescher] next to me, and it ended up being three-wide in the first corner.

"That was it. I lost all my position -- still recovered to third. But it was a shame. Obviously, we had a fast truck, the quickest one out there. All we wanted to do was win."

Matt Crafton and Denny Hamlin finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Ty Dillon, Parker Kligerman, John Wes Townley, Justin Lofton and Ross Chastain completed the top 10.

Piquet survived a run-in with Todd Bodine, who surged forward after a restart on Lap 34 but turned across the nose of Piquet's Chevrolet (watch) when he moved down the track into Piquet's line.

"I'll take the blame for that whole thing just because I should have known better than to trust an idiot to do the right thing," Bodine said. "I pulled down to draft off of James and I should have known that Nelson wasn't smart enough to pull over with me and side-draft me.

"If it was the last lap of the race, I could see that. He thinks he owes me one anyway from Kansas, I think it was, but it's a shame."

Piquet dismissed Bodine's suggestion.

"It was right at the exit of the corner, James was to my outside, and they passed me to the outside, so I didn't even have time to tuck behind [Bodine]," Piquet explained. "His spotter should have told him that I was beside him. ...

"There's nothing I could have done. I was never expecting something like that. The move he did was a bit inexperienced. You would expect somebody like me to do something like that. [Piquet is in his second full NCWTS season; Bodine is a two-time series champion.]


• Joey Coulter scored his first career win in his 36th start; his previous best finish was third, earlier this season at Texas.
• Joey Coulter is the fourth first-time winner of 2012; he's the ninth different winner this season.
• Richard Childress Racing scored its 26th career win, second of 2012 and first at Pocono.
• Chevrolet has won all three races at Pocono and seven races this season.
• James Buescher (second) posted his sixth top-three finish of 2012; he gained 20 points on the leader and is in third place, 15 back of Timothy Peters.
• Nelson Piquet (third) led 33 of the 50 laps and posted his fifth top-three finish of 2012.
• Matt Crafton (fourth) scored his fifth consecutive top-five finish and second top- five at Pocono; he has finished eighth or better in all three starts there.
• Ty Dillon (sixth) posted his 12th career top-10 in his 14th start; he's now second in points, just 8 behind Timothy Peters.
• Timothy Peters (22nd) posted his only finish worse than 11th this season; he lost 15 points of his lead in the standings.

"It was after a corner, after a restart -- everybody's kind of chaotic over there. Not much to say. I couldn't have done anything else."