By Lori Vizza, Special to the NASCAR Wire Service:
Timothy Peters took advantage of a rare mistake by Ron Hornaday Jr. on the final restart at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to win the Smith’s 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
Peters started 12th and when the final caution came out late in the race, he was running second to Hornaday, who is known for his prowess on restarts. When the green flag flew with two laps to go, Hornaday spun his tires and Peters powered to the lead. As Hornaday faded back, Peters held off Johnny Sauter to record his seventh career victory, his second of the season and his first in Las Vegas.
“Track position was so important,” said Peters. “You had to get all you could on the restarts because once you spread out that dirty air, it was bad to pass. I mean, they were crazy. I was really thankful for that last caution. I was getting good restarts all night long. Just everything went our way tonight. This is huge.”
In a city where numbers mean everything, Peters, who drives the No. 17 Toyota, won the 17th race of the season in the series’ 17th race at the 1.5-mile speedway.
Sauter finished second, followed by Miguel Paludo, pole winner Ty Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr., the highest finishing rookie in the race.
“It was a crazy race,” said Sauter, who posted his seventh top-five finish of the season. “That last restart it looked like Ron (Hornaday) spun the tires a little bit and he lost momentum. Then he fanned out and I thought, ‘Hey there’s a hole there and I’m taking it.'”
Matt Crafton held onto the series points lead with an 11th place finish.
He led two times for 30 laps and was leading with less than 30 laps to go when the handling went away on his No. 88 Toyota and he started to fall back through the running order. It marked the first time in 2013 that Crafton has finished outside the top 10.
“All of the sudden it just went dead loose,” Crafton explained. “Within one lap it was a little bit loose and then it went to un-drivable and we lost one second on that run.”
Crafton’s lead holds steady at 41 points over James Buescher with five races to go in the season.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take the next two weekends off before returning to action at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 19.