Joey Coulter of the Rip It Energy Fuel team drove his No. 22 Chevrolet to a third place finish at the season ending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"A third-place finish is a great way to end the season," Coulter said. "At first I didn't think the Rip It Energy Fuel crew was going to be able to pull off that strong of a result, we really struggled during the first part of the race. But thanks to the call Harold (Holly, crew chief) made at the end for right-side tires only, we gained a lot of track position and were able to hold on at the end."
Coulter started racing Go-Karts in 1999 in Florida and racked up 50 wins and two state championships in just six years before making NASCAR news today. He moved to full-size vehicles and hasn't stopped since making his NASCAR debut in 2011 when he drove the same No. 22 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Coulter was excited at the prospect of racing in front of his family and friends prior to the race. The Florida native started the 134-lap race in 11th place. He was able to stay within the top 15 through the earlier parts of the race. After being called in for a pit stop by crew chief Harold Holly for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Coulter was tossed back into the race in 9th place. After battling among the top 10 in throughout the remainder of the race, with one lap left and a caution restart, Coulter found himself in 4th place. Fighting for track position, the 22-year-old racer was in the third position at the wave of the checkered flag.
Coulter credits his crew for the quick pit stop. Gasman Andrew Harris took a minor slip before dispensing the 22 gallons into Coulter's tank. Holly took a shot at him, although there was no consequence to the trip.
"Even with that (slip) we still got three spots off it," Holly told the Sacramento Bee. "These guys in the pits have been flawless all year long. I think their average for the year is around 13.5 (seconds)."
Holly added that the crews is one of, if not the best team he's had a chance to work with.
After all was said and done, Coulter ended third in the overall standings of the 2012 Camping World Truck Series.