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Jul 26, 2014 - 05:45 PM
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2014 Eldora: Gaulding NASCAR Truck Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 26, 2014 - 05:43 PM
NASCAR News
2014 Eldora: Gaulding NASCAR Truck Race Recap


Tucked deep in the Western Ohio corn fields the NASCAR Camping World Truck series takes to Eldora Speedway. Gaulding who had zero stock car experience on dirt took to Wednesday's 1800CarCash MudSummer Classic with an open mind set on having fun and making it a learning experience.

 

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With rain showers threatening the area crew chief Jeff Hensley and Gaulding were eager to get on track during the opening 60 minute practice session. After Gaulding's first laps on dirt he turned 31 laps in opening practice posting the 21st quickest time. "We are in good shape" said Gaulding "I'm just getting the hang of things. It's definitely nothing like I have ever raced, but I'm learning and we're headed in the right direction."

With the constantly changing track conditions and rain shower in and around the area, Gaulding didn't waste anytime getting back on track in final practice. After turning 58 laps in final practice, Gaulding posted the 20th quickest time of a 20.912.

Gaulding slated to go out 29th for two lap qualifying knew the track would slow down during the constantly changing track conditions. With a time of 20.572 Gaulding qualified 22nd and would start 5th in the 2nd heat race.

With 5 heat races slated and the top-5 transferring into the main event and other racing their way in through a last chance race. When the green flag dropped on the 10 lap heat race, Gaulding just sat in cruise control and rode in 4th where he would continue to run when the checkered flag flew which would line Gaulding up 17th for the 1800CarCash MudSummer Classic.

When the green flag dropped on the 150 lap 1800CarCash MudSummer Classic, Gaulding looked to find his groove and began searching high and low for more grip. When the first caution flag flew at lap 26, Gaulding pitted for a track bar and wedge adjustment. Gaulding rested from 28th when the field took the green at lap 32.

As laps started clicking away Gaulding started moving back forward before the second caution flag flew at lap 36. The field once again received the green at lap 42. Gaulding maintained his track position for the remainder of the first segment. Gaulding pitted for four tires, fuel, a track bar, and wedge adjustment.

The field received the green for the second segment at lap 62, a near immediate caution flag flew at lap 64. The field received the green once again at lap 69. Gaulding stayed silent on the radio as he raced hard for positions. The fifth caution flag flew at lap 86. When the green flag flew at lap 99, it was a 10 lap shootout till the second competition caution. Gaulding pitted under the lap 100 competition caution for two tires, fuel, and chassis adjustment. The field received the green with less then 40 laps remaining with Gaulding just outside the top-20.

The final caution flag flew at lap 127, Gaulding stayed out with there being few laps remaining. The field received the green with 18 laps remaining. Gaulding raced door to door all the way to the checkered flag for a 20th place finish.

Gaulding's next race in the No.20 Chevrolet Silverado is Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20th.

Start: 17th / Finish: 20th / Owners Points Standings 13th (-71)

From the Driver's Seat with Gray Gaulding: "It was definitely different than racing on asphalt. It was really hard to pass out there, and my truck really liked the top and guys could move up and block. We got going pretty good at the end and I think we were able to learn a few things for next year."

From the Box with Crew Chief Jeff Hensley: "Gray did a great job adjusting to the different situations and scenarios thrown in front of him. We learned a lot to only race on dirt once a year, and it be Gray's first time ever."

Track Facts - Eldora Speedway
0.5-mile Clay Oval
24 Degrees of Banking in the corners
8 Degrees of Banking on the straights


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