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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