Peters wins NASCAR Trucks raceStarting Grid | Results | Recap
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
By CLIFF BRUNT
AP Sports Writer
CLERMONT, Ind. (AP) Timothy Peters hopes he didn't make history.
He passed James Buescher on lap 194, then pulled away to win the AAA Insurance 200 NASCAR Truck Series race Friday night in what could be the last trucks race at Lucas Oil Raceway. NASCAR has said it will not hold a trucks race here next season after 30 years at the track.
"I hope that they bring the trucks back here, and I hope that I'm not the last winner here," Peters said. "But if they do take it away, I can sit back home in my La-Z-Boy one day, retired, and say I won the last race there. That's pretty cool."
Peters started 16th and wasn't a factor early. He spun because of a tire problem that forced a caution near the race's midpoint.
"I went down in the corner and I had good grip, and all of a sudden, I lost it," he said.
He recovered, pushed into second place during the final 20 laps, then slowly reeled in Buescher before passing him. Peters felt his truck had the speed, but he had to be smart to pull off the win.
"At that point, when the tires are worn down like that, you just want to hustle because you may have a good truck," he said. "I was trying to be patient, trying to be patient with the throttle, and it paid off."
Buescher finished second after leading 97 laps. The 21-year-old has never won a race, but he finished in the top 10 for the ninth straight time.
"We led a lot of laps and pretty much showed how we're going to run the rest of this year like we've run these last 10 races," he said. "There's some momentum for sure."
Buescher remained in third place in the point standings and trimmed 22 points off Johnny Sauter's lead. Sauter remained at the top of the standings after finishing 23rd, and Austin Dillon, the polesitter, was ninth coming off his win in Nashville last week.
"It was not a bad night for us," Buescher said.
David Starr finished third and Miguel Paludo was fourth. Ron Hornaday Jr., who had won the race the previous two years, placed fifth.
After an opening-lap crash that involved Johanna Long, Jason White and Ryan Sieg, Dillon led for the first 36 laps before Sauter took over the lead.
Rain began to fall, forcing the second caution of the night during lap 41. Parker Kligerman found himself in front after several of the leaders went to the pits during a caution, then Buescher took the lead after the next caution.
Buescher and Kligerman drove side by side for several laps before Sauter passed Kligerman and moved into second at the halfway point.
Sauter slowed to a near halt during lap 135 after being in fourth place, leaving Buescher, Dillon and Matt Crafton to fight for the lead. Sauter pitted and got two tires replaced, then returned to the track, leaving a trail of sparks along the way.
Peters was in 16th place at lap 100 and seventh at lap 150 before finishing strong. He had led 67 laps the previous week in Nashville before finishing third.
"We came off of momentum last week in Nashville, we kind of felt like we let one slip away, but we made up for it today," Peters said.
Updated July 29, 2011