Peters holds on for Truck Series victory in wild race at Talladega

TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 18:  Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, poses in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 18: Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, poses in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

TALLADEGA, Ala.—Holding off all challengers in a race that went four-wide on the final two laps, Timothy Peters won the Fred’s 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Peters arrived at the finish line .143 seconds ahead of second-place starter and finisher Tayler Malsam. Spencer Gallagher ran third, followed by Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney, who trimmed 13th-place finisher Matt Crafton’s lead in the series standings to 17 points with four races left in the season.

The victory was Peters’ first of the season, his first at Talladega and the eighth of his career.

After ducking onto the apron to ensure a strong flow to the fuel pickup in his No. 17 Toyota, Peters, who had charged forward from the 26th starting position, led the field to a green-white-checkered-flag finish on Lap 94 of 95, after Norm Benning’s spin in Turn 2 slowed the field for the sixth time.

With a strong push from Malsam, Peters hugged the inside line into Turn 1 with Ryan Blaney to his outside. As the field spread out over the final two laps to three-wide and even four-wide, Peters doggedly held the lead and took the checkered flag with Malsam in his tow.

“Chris Lambert, who spots for me, did a great job from the time the green flag fell till the checkered flag waved,” Peters said. “It was system overload, telling me everything, how far apart they were in front of me, how close the guy behind me was, what run was coming on the outside coming to the checkered flag…

“We were making our Toyota Tundra as wide as we could (on the final two laps), and so it feels really good to come across the start/finish line and kind of wipe missing the Daytona/Talladega sweep by (16) hundredths of a second (Peters finished second at Daytona by that margin earlier this year).

“It just felt really good to go to Victory Lane.”

On the final restart, Blaney got a push from sixth-place finisher Erik Jones and thought he was in position for the win but acknowledged he didn’t expect a third line to develop to his outside as quickly as it did.

“I thought we were in the perfect spot, leading the outside line into Turn 2,” Blaney said.

But the side draft from the outside line separated Jones from Blaney and broke their momentum, dropping them out of contention for the win.

A rare engine failure torpedoed Johnny Sauter’s championship hopes. Sauter’s Toyota slowed on Lap 24 and coasted onto pit road. His resulting 31st-place finish left him fourth in the standings, 36 points behind Crafton, his ThorSport Racing teammate.

“Whatever… the championship’s over,” a disconsolate Sauter said in the garage as his team worked on his Tundra. “From here on out, we can just race like hell.”

At a track legendary for wild action, Ben Kennedy sustained the hardest hit on Lap 65, when Joe Nemechek lost control of his truck and knocked Kennedy’s Chevrolet into the outside wall.

Nemechek’s first concern was for Kennedy’s safety. After learning he had walked away from the wreck, Nemechek radioed, “Put all of the blame for that one right square on my shoulders,” indicating his Toyota had been sucked around in turbulent air.

Note: Daniel Suarez finished 15th in his NCWTS debut. On Sunday, he races in his native Mexico in the NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Fred’s 250 Powered By Coca-Cola

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Saturday, October 18, 2014

1. (26) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 95, $58220.

2. (2) Tayler Malsam, Chevrolet, 95, $41210.

3. (21) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 95, $28976.

4. (1) Tyler Reddick #, Ford, 95, $25680.

5. (5) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 95, $16835.

6. (6) Erik Jones, Toyota, 95, $15065.

7. (11) Chris Fontaine, Toyota, 95, $12280.

8. (9) John Wes Townley, Toyota, 95, $14045.

9. (27) Darrell Wallace Jr., Toyota, 95, $13945.

10. (8) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 95, $15125.

11. (15) Brennan Newberry, Chevrolet, 95, $13750.

12. (19) Bryan Silas, Chevrolet, 95, $13580.

13. (16) Joey Coulter, Chevrolet, 95, $13480.

14. (3) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 95, $14385.

15. (17) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, 95, $14110.

16. (7) Jeb Burton, Toyota, 95, $13190.

17. (25) Tyler Young #, Chevrolet, 95, $13090.

18. (24) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 95, $12995.

19. (29) Korbin Forrister, Chevrolet, 95, $12875.

20. (23) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 94, $12150.

21. (20) Clay Greenfield, Chevrolet, 94, $10430.

22. (30) Scott Stenzel, Chevrolet, 93, $11330.

23. (28) Ryan Ellis(i), Chevrolet, 92, $10235.

24. (33) Michael Affarano, Chevrolet, 91, $10135.

25. (36) Milka Duno(i), Chevrolet, 90, $10185.

26. (32) Derek White, Chevrolet, 82, $9940.

27. (31) Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, Overheating, 70, $9845.

28. (13) Ben Kennedy #, Chevrolet, Accident, 65, $9745.

29. (12) German Quiroga, Toyota, Accident, 30, $9645.

30. (18) Jimmy Weller #, Chevrolet, Engine, 26, $10050.

31. (4) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, Engine, 24, $9430.

32. (10) Mason Mingus #, Chevrolet, Accident, 11, $9335.

33. (22) Ryan Sieg(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 11, $9235.

34. (14) Ron Hornaday Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 11, $9185.

35. (34) Justin Jennings, Chevrolet, Vibration, 2, $9140.

36. (35) Mike Harmon(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 0, $9083.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  132.632 mph.

Time of Race:  01 Hrs, 54 Mins, 19 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.143 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 22 laps.

Lead Changes:  18 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders:    0; T. Malsam 1-5; R. Blaney 6; T. Malsam 7-10; R. Blaney 11-12; J. Cobb 13; M. Duno(i) 14-15; M. Affarano 16; R. Blaney 17-43; J. Nemechek 44-48; E. Jones 49; T. Malsam 50-58; T. Peters 59-76; J. Townley 77; T. Peters 78-79; J. Townley 80-83; T. Peters 84-93; R. Blaney 94; T. Peters 95;.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  T. Peters 4 times for 31 laps; R. Blaney 4 times for 31 laps; T. Malsam 3 times for 18 laps; J. Townley 2 times for 5 laps; J. Nemechek 1 time for 5 laps; M. Duno(i) 1 time for 2 laps; J. Cobb 1 time for 1 lap; M. Affarano 1 time for 1 lap; E. Jones 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: M. Crafton – 674; R. Blaney – 658; D. Wallace Jr. – 646; J. Sauter – 638; T. Peters – 597; J. Coulter – 593; G. Quiroga – 574; B. Kennedy # – 562; J. Burton – 555; R. Hornaday Jr. – 494.

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