GOING "ALL-IN" VEGAS STYLE9/24/2013
In life you have to play the hand you are dealt. Sometimes that hand is a bust and sometimes you can go all in. Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra would agree that his hand has been a challenge in 2013, but the young driver isn’t giving up yet. With only six races remaining on the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule, the Miami Springs, Fla. native knows he has nothing to lose and will do what it takes – even gamble – to add another “W” to the column after Saturday night’s Smith’s 350 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.
One year ago, Coulter claimed his third series pole, led 40 laps and finished a track-best third in the Smith’s 350 at the famed 1.5-mile oval on the Las Vegas strip and knows a solid run this weekend is just what he needs to get back in the game. With a 26 point deficit on 10th-place Brendan Gaughan, Coulter is tired of folding; the 23-year-old driver is ready to play the hand he’s dealt – he’s going all in Vegas style.
Joey Coulter, Driver of the No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra:
You had a strong run at LVMS last year. What will it take to win the race this year?
“Last year was a really good weekend for us, we just needed to capitalize on the last couple of restarts and make it count at the end. This year I think we have the same chance to be just as fast. Vegas is a rough track, not very smooth, but you can really race in several grooves and you can change your line to get more speed, which makes it fun. We have had some good runs on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, so I’m looking forward to this weekend’s event. We are going back with a very similar setup to last year with a few Toyota Tundra tweaks and the same truck that we raced in Chicago, so we should be pretty solid.”
You practice during the day and race at night. What kind of challenges as a driver does that present for you?
“The truck series is notorious for having to deal with racing in different conditions than what we see in practice. For a driver and a crew chief I think it comes down to how well the two can communicate with each other. When we practice during the day it will be hot, less grip which will be similar to the track conditions when the race starts. As we get into the race, the temperatures will cool down and the trucks will get tight. As a driver you have to find a good balance and that starts with good communication during practice.”
Vegas is known for gambling - do you consider yourself a gambler on the race track?
“I think to win at Vegas or on any track for that matter, you have to roll the dice. Whether it’s with tires or fuel mileage, at some point you are going to gamble. That is one of the fun things about Vegas, you never really know how the race will shake out. It seems to be different every time we go back. With the point’s position we are in this year, we have to take chances, gamble a little bit, see what’s out there – we have nothing to lose.”
Harold Holly, Crew chief of the No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra:
What is the biggest challenge as a crew chief when you come to LVMS?
“The bumps getting into Turn 1 seem to really upset the truck, so we’ll spend a lot of time trying to address that. The other thing we’ll keep an eye on is that -- like a lot of the other mile-and-a-half tracks -- you seem to get a little on the free side at night. So we will need to leave enough room to keep adjusting on the truck as the race goes along, so that we don’t over adjust it.”
Joey Coulter’s No. 18 GunBroker.com Toyota Tundra:
Chassis KBM17: The No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team will unload chassis KBM17 for the third time in 2013 in the Smith’s 350 at LVMS on Saturday. Built new for the 2013 season, this chassis was last seen at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. for the EnjoyIllinois.com 225. Qualifying sixth – Coulter’s best start in eight races – the 23-year-old driver was handicapped prior to the half-way mark in the 150-lap event when his No. 18 Toyota Tundra ran out of fuel on the backstretch and the Miami Springs, Fla. native was relegated to a 23rd-place finish.
Chassis KBM17 Performance Profile:
Date Site Driver Start Finish Laps Laps Led Status
6/7/13 Texas Coulter 11 25 78/167 0 Running
9/13 Chicagoland Coulter 6 23 148/150 0 Running
Notes of Interest:
Joey Coulter – Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
• In two NCWTS starts has one pole award (2012) and 40 laps led en route to one top-five finish (3rd, 2012)
• Best start: first (2012)/Best Finish: 3rd (2012)
• Completed 80.1 percent of laps attempted (234 out of 292)
• Average Start: 9.5/Average Finish: 12.5
Joey Coulter NCWTS Performance Profile- Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
Series Date Start Finish Laps Laps Led Status
NCWTS 10/15/11 18 22 88/146 0 Running
NCWTS 9/28/12 1 3 146/146 40 Running
Joey Coulter 2013:
• Ranks 13th in the NCWTS driver point standings with 4457 points; 26 markers behind 10th-place Brendan Gaughan, 70 points behind fifth-place Ryan Blaney and 152 markers behind series points leader Matt Crafton
• Recorded a season-best second-place finish at Kansas Speedway (4/20/13)
• Recorded a season-best fifth-place start in the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway (6/27/13)
• In 16 starts in 2013, Coulter has led 17 laps en route to three top-five and five top-10 finishes
• Has completed 93.3% of laps attempted (2338/2506) and has an average start of 14.1 and an average finish of 15.6
• Third full-time season in the NCWTS
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 18 Toyota Tundra:
• In three starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 2010, has led one lap en route to two top-10 finishes
• In 2013 has an average start of 14.1, an average finish of 15.6 and has led 17 laps en route to three top-five and five top-10 finishes
• Currently 15th in the 2013 NCWTS owner’s point standings
• Finished fifth in the 2012 NCWTS owner championship standings
• Over the final 18 races of the 2012 season, collected 683 owner’s points, the most among Truck Series teams during that span
• Led the NCWTS with 17 top-10 finishes in 2012, including nine straight to end the season, while collecting seven top-five finishes and one win (Brian Scott 11/9/12 at Phoenix International Raceway)
• All seven drivers that made a start in 2012 posted a top-10 finish (Ku. Busch, Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Herring, Leffler, Mayhew and Scott) and six of the seven led at least one lap
• Since debuting in the Truck Series in 2010, has compiled 17 wins, 8 poles, 42 top-five and 61 top-10’s across 87 starts
• Led the Truck Series in wins in each of its first two seasons: 2010 (8) and 2011 (8)
• In 2010, became first team since the NCWTS originated in 1995 to win the owner’s championship in its inaugural season
Last NCWTS Event-EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway:
Following a solid sixth-place qualifying effort – his sixth top-10 start in 2013 – the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver was handicapped just prior to the halfway mark in the 150-lap event, when his No. 18 Toyota Tundra ran out of fuel on the backstretch. Forced to pit under green, a culmination of events never allowed Coulter to gain track position and the KBM team was relegated to a 23rd-place finish in the 16th race on the 2013 NCWTS schedule.
Joey Coulter’s Karting Challenge benefitting the Darrell Gwynn Foundation:
Coulter is hosting a two-hour endurance go-karting race at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C on Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 5:30-9 p.m. ET to raise money for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. With the help from his NASCAR competitors and industry personnel, 22 karts will go head-to-head for the prestigious bragging rights – champion of the cup. In addition to a silent auction, vendor sampling and raffles, NASCAR fans can come watch all the action for a $5 donation. For more information visit: JoeyCoulter.com