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GMS Racing Race Report: Martinsville Speedway‏

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Mid-Race Tangle Relegates Joey Coulter to 30th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway




After being involved in a mid-race incident at the Martinsville Speedway, Joey Coulter and the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet Silverado team finished 30th in the Kroger 200. The Miami Springs, Fla., native started strong for the 200-lap event, from the 11th position on Saturday afternoon. Coulter showcased that he was one of the fastest drivers in the 36-truck field by climbing into the top 10 by Lap 50, and then to eighth place by Lap 60. With the race slowed by four early-race cautions, Coulter eventually settled into the 12th position. After 100 laps completed around the .526-mile track, Coulter was forced into the wall during a multi-car pileup in Turn 1. Coulter brought his Chevrolet Silverado to pit road so crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz and the GMS Racing team could evaluate the damage. A lengthy pit stop ensued, with the team repairing the front end of the pink and white machine. Coulter returned to pit road under caution on Lap 106 for four Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel. Coulter lost laps to the race leader during the extended pit stops and restarted in the 31st position when green-flag racing resumed on Lap 107, only to return to pit road under the next caution period two laps later. Over the next 90 laps, displaying his perseverance, the 24-year-old ran between the 32nd and 29th positions, providing feedback to Stankiewicz and giving the Allegiant Travel pit crew an opportunity to make chassis adjustments to improve the handling on the No. 21 Chevrolet Silverado. When the checkered flag was displayed, Coulter crossed the finish line in 30th-place. Coulter is in the seventh position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.




Start - 11 Finish - 30 Laps Led 0




Joey Coulter Quote:


"It is disappointing for the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet Silverado team to come out of here (Martinsville Speedway) with a 30th-place finish with a Chevrolet Silverado that was running in the top-10 before the accident. The damage we suffered in the incident was something we just couldn't overcome in the end. We'll look for our luck to change next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway."




Max Gresham Earns Hard-Fought 22nd-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway




GMS Racing's Max Gresham and the No. 23 AmWINS Group Inc. Chevrolet Silverado team exited Saturday afternoon's action-packed short track race at Martinsville Speedway with a top-22 finish. Gresham started the Kroger 200 from the 17th position and quickly noted to crew chief Ryan Pickle London that the No. 23 AmWINS Group Inc. Chevrolet had a tight-handling condition. One of the six Georgia drivers entered in the Virginia event, Gresham moved into the 16th spot before a caution flag slowed the field for the first time on Lap 4. Gresham methodically picked off competitors around the 0.526-mile track and took advantage of the early caution periods to maximize track position. By Lap 60, Gresham moved into the top 10 as the AmWINS Group Inc. team decided not to pit during the fourth caution period. Just past the halfway point of the 200-lap marathon and under caution, London called Gresham to pit road on Lap 104 for four tires, and fuel. A caution flag on Lap 109 awarded the "Lucky Dog award to the GMS Racing driver, allowing him to rejoin the lead lap. Under caution on Lap 110 Gresham was scored in 24th place. Once back on the led lap, the Milner, Ga., native steered clear of many accidents and eventually worked his way into the top 11 by Lap 140, and by Lap 160 the 21-year-old driver improved to seventh. From there, Gresham would remain in the top-10 for much of the remaining laps. Gresham maintained the ninth position before a caution on Lap 189 set up the race for a final six-lap dash for the checkered flag, but on Lap 198 Gresham was spun out by another competitor and was forced to settle for a disappointing 22nd-place.




Start - 17 Finish - 22 Laps Led 0




Max Gresham Quote:


Our No. 23 AmWINS Group Inc. Chevrolet Silverado team ran 195 strong laps, but the last five did not show what our GMS Racing team was capable of. We had a very strong Chevrolet Silverado all day. However, I was a little tight most of the day and I couldn't stop sliding the left-front tire. We were able to move into the top 10 within the first 60 laps. Due to issues with the left-front tire, we ended up a lap down and fought back to a race-high of seventh-place. I ended up being dumped by another competitor and that just finished our day.






Late-Race Incident Relegates Jones to a 32nd-Place Finish




The tight confines of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway dealt Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 33 Russell Chevrolet Silverado, a 32nd-place finish in his debut with GMS Racing, after being swept up in a late-race accident.




The 17-year-old showed speed in Fridays opening practice session when he clocked in with the third fastest time, earning him a 16th position for Saturdays Kroger 200. In the opening laps, Jones showed a matured sense of patience, running consistent laps and effectively navigating lapped traffic. On Lap 15, crew chief Shane Huffman informed Jones that his lap times were consistent with the race leaders. Jones advanced into the top 15 by Lap 24 and held his position until the races first caution was displayed at Lap 28 for fluid on the track. Under the yellow, Jones reported a similar condition as in practice; his No. 33 Russell Chevrolet was way too loose into the center, but good on exit. Huffman kept Jones on track during the caution, but a really free balance held Jones from progressing further through the field on the ensuing lap-35 restart.




Jones escaped a spin on Lap 57 with no damage, after tangling with two other trucks in Turn 3. Under the yellow, Jones came to the attention of his GMS Racing team on pit road for four Goodyear tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and spring rubber adjustment to alleviate his loose balance. By the halfway mark, Jones had broken into the top 20, and cycled into the top five by staying out under caution at Lap 109 when the race leaders came to pit road for scheduled stops.


From a restart on Lap 115, Jones older tires proved to be a hindrance, as the GMS Racing driver found himself outside the top-15 by Lap 135. Another quick caution allowed Jones to gain positions by staying on-track, and he restarted 13th on Lap 150.




On Lap 151, Jones day would come to an unceremonious end after contact from the No. 05 truck sent his Chevrolet hard into the Turn 1 wall, bringing his debut with GMS Racing to a premature conclusion. Jones was credited with a 32nd-place finish. The Atlanta, Ga., native will be back behind the wheel of the No. 33 Chevrolet at Phoenix (Az.) International Raceway on November 7.




Start - 16 Finish - 32 Laps Led - 0




Brandon Jones Quote:


Thats Martinsville (Speedway). We were trying to work on a pretty cool pit stop strategy that we had going on. That kind of stuff happens, and I hate that we got caught up in some elses mess. We ran in the top five, and felt like we could have finished up there. We got shuffled back because of tire strategy. We werent far from coming back to pit road to put tires on it and start making our way back up there. A couple guys got together behind us, and we got caught up in that mess. Unfortunately, thats how Martinsville can go.








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