SPARTA, Ky. – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver Joey Coulter displayed a heavy dose of horsepower in his No. 22 Richard Childress Racing truck at Kentucky Speedway today while leading both practice sessions for tonight’s UNOH 225.
Coulter, who’s set to make his third career NCWTS Kentucky Speedway start at 8 p.m., turned his fastest practice lap of the day at 171.336 mph (31.517 seconds) in final 90-minute practice and led the opening session with a 170.530 mph (31.666 seconds) circuit.
“It was a good lap. (The track) is real hot and greasy right now and we know it’s really going to change tonight. We’re really sliding around and that really wasn’t a comfortable lap.
“It’s a loose and tight situation out there depending on how you enter the turns. That’s the trick, trying to keep the balance between too loose and too tight,” said Coulter, who took respective seventh- and 13th-place NCWTS finishes at the speedway last July and October.
Brad Keselowski Racing driver Parker Kligerman, who finished second in last season’s UNOH 225 and delivered a July 18, 2009 ARCA Racing Series victory in the Bluegrass State, was second quickest in the first session with a 170.487 mph (31.674 seconds) lap in his No. 29 truck. Current NCWTS standings leader Justin Lofton turned the third-fastest lap of the session at 170.374 mph (31.695 seconds) in his No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing machine.
“This is the first mile-and-a-half I ever came to in an ARCA car. We ran pretty well, won the second race (that season) and came back here in the truck and finished second. We you have good runs at a place, you start to feel some confidence in yourself that you know what you are doing.
“From there you just start to make the right decisions and find exactly what you want in the race truck. We could’ve had P1, we just got blocked on our (mock) qualifying lap, so we have some speed in the truck,” Kligerman said.
Miguel Paludo placed his No. 32 Turner Motorsports truck second on the speed chart in the second session by turning a 171.070 mph (31.566 seconds) lap and last weekend’s Road America NASCAR Nationwide Series race winner Nelson Piquet Jr., was third in the session with a 170.919 mph (31.594 seconds) circuit.
Lofton showed 12th on the final session’s speed chart with after turning a 168.539 mph (32.040 seconds) lap.
“We are doing pretty good so far. We are really fast, but we are struggling with driveability and making sure we can drive aggressive. The bumps are definitely different than last year, they are quite bit bigger and there are more of them,” Lofton said.
He placed 22nd in last year’s UNOH 225 and followed up with a fourth-place showing when the NCWTS returned in October.
This afternoon’s best practice speeds failed to threaten the standing series track qualifying record 179.868 mph (30.022 seconds) lap laid down by Austin Dillon on Oct. 1, 2011.
Qualifying for tonight’s race is set for 5:00 p.m.
Tickets remain for the 14th NCWTS tilt in speedway history and can be purchased at the speedway gates.