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Sep 09, 2013 - 04:01 PM
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Paludo Overcomes Early-Weekend Adversity to Score Top 15 at Iowa Speedway
Posted by: newsla on Sep 09, 2013 - 03:56 PM
NASCAR News
Paludo Overcomes Early-Weekend Adversity to Score Top 15 at Iowa Speedway


Miguel Paludo entered the weekend at Iowa Speedway with momentum on his side and the "perfect" truck before a stuck throttle resulted in a mid-practice wreck, forcing the No. 32 AccuDoc Solutions team to utilize a backup for the Fan Appreciation 200. Paludo and crew persevered in a truck that did not make a lap of practice, fighting back from a lap down to finish 14th.

 

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Running fifth in the weekend's first and only practice session, Paludo had completed 15 laps when he experienced a stuck throttle, sending him into the wall and destroying the team's primary truck. The No. 32 team worked quickly to prepare their backup chassis, but were unable to return the track before the completion of the session. Making his first laps of the weekend in his backup truck in qualifying, Paludo put the AccuDoc Solutions Silverado on the starting grid in the 20th position.

When the green flag waved, Paludo immediately relayed to crew chief Jeff Hensley that his truck was too tight, especially back to the gas, but it wasn't until the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 38 that the team would have an opportunity to make adjustments. Pulling onto pit road in the 19th position, the Turner Scott Motorsports crew provided their driver with four tires, fuel and a major track-bar adjustment.

Lining up 17th for the lap 45 restart, the AccuDoc Chevrolet was now a little free on entry, but remained tight in the middle and back to the throttle. Over the course of an extended green-flag run, Paludo battled against his truck's handling and maintained his position, but was now one lap down. When green-flag pit stops began on lap 122, Paludo advanced into the sixth position before peeling his own truck onto pit road. Hensley called for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, and the crew sent Paludo back onto the track after a quick stop.

Paludo was scored 18th when the caution flag waved for debris on lap 136, and the Brazilian reported to his team that his truck was still snug off but better on entry. Paludo was 17th when green-flag racing resumed once again on lap 141, and by lap 167, the No. 32 was laying down times only 0.10 seconds off the leader. As Paludo continued to battle with the truck that his team had worked hard to improve all day, the No. 32 was faced with another setback when a competitor made contact with him in the closing laps, causing him to spin. However, he was able to quickly right himself and the caution flag was not displayed, forcing him to drop to the 20th spot and fight a bad vibration as a result of the contact. Despite the obstacle, Paludo did not give up and he was still able to run competitively and pick up positions with his wounded machine.

A caution with only three laps remaining put the Fan Appreciation 200 into overtime and set up the field for its first attempt at a green/white/checkered restart. Paludo took the green in 16th and in position for the free pass, and a quick yellow one lap later meant that Paludo would return to the lead lap. Despite starting at the tail end of the field, Paludo was able to gain two more positions in the final two laps, taking the checkered flag in 14th.

"I'm obviously very disappointed with this weekend," said Paludo after the race. "I give Jeff [Hensley] and everyone on my team a lot of credit, because they built me a fantastic truck for this weekend and we didn't get to race it. We could have competed for the pole and for the win in our primary truck. Unfortunately, when the throttle stuck in practice, there was nothing I could do to save it and we took a hard hit. Still, the entire Turner Scott Motorsports team worked together to prepare the best truck we could in the time before qualifying and impound, and they worked hard throughout the race to improve it without any practice to assess it. This isn't the kind of weekend we wanted, but we fought hard and I'm proud of my guys and to say that we finished on the lead lap. I'll be glad to leave Iowa behind me and I'm looking forward to Chicagoland next weekend."

Paludo's 14th-place finish means that he is now sixth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings, just one point behind fifth. The NCWTS next heads to the Windy City to Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, September 13. The EnjoyIllinois.com 225 will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30 p.m. EDT.


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