A flat tyre midway through the Camping World Truck Series AAA Insurance 200 race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on Friday night proved the making of Red Horse Racing's Timothy Peters. It put him off-strategy and crucially enabled his team to improve the truck's handling, allowing him to work his way back up and pass James Buescher with six laps to go until the chequered flag.
"That's what saved our night right there," Peters agreed afterwards. It's Peters' third Truck victory in 106 races and his first since Daytona in 2010, making him the ninth different winner in 12 Truck races this season.
It's Buescher's third series runner-up spot but he has yet to win a race despite leading here for 97 laps, most of the latter half of the race. The first part of the evening had been controlled by polesitter Austin Dillon, but Johnny Sauter took advantage of traffic to get past him after a lengthy caution for light rain under skies that were stormy all evening. Sauter would lead for 44 laps but suffered a cut tyre and a broken sway bar that meant he finished in 23rd position. He retains a slender points lead over Dillon after the #9 finished in 9th place after tangling with Todd Bodine late in the race.
"I thought I was clear [of him]," said Bodine, taking the blame and apologising for the incident. "Austin is the last person in the world I would do that to."
Last year's winner Ron Hornaday ran toward the front all night and finished in fifth place, while former F1 drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. and Max Papis both finished two laps off the lead in 14th and 18th positions respectively.
33 cars were still running at the end of the 200 laps, the most to finish a Truck race at the 0.686 mile Lucas Oil Raceway. With NASCAR recently announcing that this is the last weekend of Truck and Nationwide Series racing that will be held at the historic venue - previously known as Indianapolis Raceway Park - the facility is likely to be shut down in 2012, so the record will never be beaten.
Unusually, no Cup drivers were involved in Friday's race despite the Brickyard 400 race being held only a few miles away in the same city at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. Kyle Busch, who is an owner-driver in the Truck series, had sponsor commitments and left the running of the #18 to Josh Richards who finished three laps down in 22nd. The only Nationwide Series regular in attendance was Elliott Sadler, who finished in 24th.
Full results plus qualifying and practice