Ryan Truex delivered a career best second-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after leading 28 laps in the UNOH 175. Truex drove his No. 16 Price Chopper / Bar Harbor Toyota Tundra to his third consecutive top-five finish and the best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finish for Hattori Racing Enterprises. In the last six races, Truex and the HRE team have recorded five top-five finishes, dating back to Pocono Raceway in July.
Truex transferred to the final round of pole qualifying on Saturday morning, and earned the seventh starting position. Once the green flag dropped, Truex encountered a tight balance in the center of each corner that dropped him to 10th position on lap two. Despite a lack of lateral grip and not enough roll speed in the center of the corners, Truex managed to claw his way back up to seventh by the end of Stage 1 on lap 55. Truex brought the Price Chopper / Bar Harbor Toyota Tundra to pit road where crew chief Scott Zipadelli gave him four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment under the caution period.
After the first pit stop, Truex restarted fifth on lap 63 courtesy of quick work by the HRE pit crew. The adjustments allowed Truex to climb up to fourth position by lap 70, and he continued his march to the front with a stunning three-wide move in turn one for the third position. Truex finished Stage 2 in third, and collected eight additional championship points. Under the stage caution, Truex pitted for the second and final time for four tires and no chassis adjustments.
On lap 119, Truex restarted fourth and promptly moved into the runner-up spot a lap later. A caution flag on lap 128 presented Truex the opportunity he needed to challenge for the race lead. Truex took the top spot on lap 132, and paced the field for the next 28 laps. Truex put up a valiant fight to hold off the No. 4 truck of Christopher Bell, but was passed for the lead with 16 laps to go. Truex took the checked flag in second position for his best-career NCWTS finish and his third straight top-five result.
Ryan Truex Quote:
“We’re getting really close. Now we’re leading laps. I knew when I got the lead and the No. 4 cleared the No. 27, I knew I was going to have to deal with him that whole run. He played it smart. He didn’t push it hard. He didn’t try to pass me. He waited until my tires started to give up, and I think he saved a little. So, he had a little bit in the bank. It’s nothing to hang our heads about, losing to him. He’s been the class of the field all year, and that truck and KBM is really just been strong. This is chassis No. 001 for Hattori Racing. This is its best finish by like 10 spots. I didn’t have much confidence coming in here. We last ran it at Bristol and finished 16th. We went to work yesterday in practice and did a lot to get this thing better, and the guys worked hard. And Scott (Zipadelli) called a perfect race. So, can’t ask for much more.”
“I didn’t think I’d hold him off that long, honestly. It was tough to pass. Restarts were really important and I was very, very aggressive on restarts. But with the VHT on the very bottom, it felt like you could kind of ‘slide job’ people if you got down in there with all four tires and kind of pray that you were going to make it at the end of the corner…I was driving my truck for everything it was worth. It was a good finish. That was chassis No. 001, and I hate that truck (laughs) and we almost won with it. That’s its best finish by a lot. The last time we ran it was Bristol, and we ran, I think we never got higher than 15th. That’s a testament to how good this team is, how well we work together, and how much confidence I have in Scott and he has in me to make the right adjustments to get the truck fast.”
“Thanks to Price Chopper and Bar Harbor Foods for their support and it’s feels great to give them a great run at their home track. This team is close. We’re getting to where we want to be. I can’t wait for Las Vegas next week and race for a win again.”