Timothy ‘Iceman’ Peters stays cool, earns hot GWC win at ‘Dega

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Timothy Peters was like an Iceman in Saturday’s Fred’s 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Rather than get all hot and worried about all the trucks behind him, Peters coolly went out and drove his race, holding on to earn the green-white-checker victory.

“It was exciting,” Peters told Fox Sports. “It feels good to come back to a superspeedway and get back into victory lane.

“We were good all day today. … This is such a great effort.”

It was Peters’ first win of the season and extends a streak where he has at least one win now in each of the last six seasons.

“Man, we really needed this,” crew chief Marcus Richmond told Fox Sports. “This Red Horse Tundra has been really good. It was good at Daytona.

“We had our ups and downs this year. We felt like we had fast trucks. This whole team has been awesome and stuck together. (The team owners) didn’t give up on us. This is awesome.”

Tayler Malsam finished second, followed by Spencer Gallagher, rookie pole-sitter Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney.

Blaney looked like he might steal the win away from Peters but lost the draft and faded in the last half-lap.

Erik Jones finished sixth, followed by Chris Fontaine, John Wes Townley, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Joe Nemechek.

Points leader Matt Crafton finished 14th but lost just two points in the championship standings. He was leading Johnny Sauter by 19 points coming into the race; he now leads Blaney by 17 points unofficially.

Several drivers’ championship hopes took a big hit.

Sauter suffered engine failure, the first time a ThorSport Racing truck has experienced such a malady in more than two years.

The incident was caused when a bolt went through the radiator of Sauter’s truck.

Sauter dropped from second to fourth place and goes from 19 points to 36 points in arrears to Crafton.

“Just another kick in the [butt], I guess,” Sauter told Fox Sports. “It didn’t feel like it blew up. It’s weird. The water temperature didn’t show anything and it just kind of stayed.

“They said it probably just pushed it out so fast it didn’t have an opportunity to reflect anything.

“Whatever. The championship’s over. From here on out, we can just race like hell.”

German Quiroga Jr. also took a big hit – in more than one way. Quiroga triggered a four-truck wreck on Lap 12, ending his day and dropping from sixth to seventh in the points.

Quiroga came into the race 85 points behind Crafton; he’s now 100 points back.

Others involved in the wreck were Mason Mingus, Ron Hornaday Jr., and Ryan Sieg.

On the ensuing caution, as Crafton was leaving his pit stall, he ran into the side of Bryan Silas. Crafton’s truck sustained damage to the right front of his truck, prompting him to pit again for his team to pull out the damaged sheet metal.

Then with about 40 laps to go, Crafton was penalized by NASCAR, along with Joe Nemechek, for tandem drafting.

Crafton claimed he had nothing to do with it, since Nemechek was the one pushing him, but NASCAR officials didn’t see it that way and penalized both drivers with pass-through penalties.

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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.