Richard Childress Racing
February 25, 2012
Coulter Takes Wild Ride on Final Lap, Finishes 18th at Daytona
The 2011 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year spent 91.7 percent of the 250-mile race running inside the top 15.
Start - 9th
Finish - 18th
Laps Led - 0
Points - 17th
After running in the top 15 for a majority of the 109-lap event, Joey Coulter and the No. 22 Mama Lucia Meatballs Chevrolet team finished 18th after a frightening accident ended their night coming to the white flag on a third attempt for a green-white-checkered finish. The 21-year-old driver, in his second fulltime season with Richard Childress Racing, started the race ninth. He entered the top five by lap five and stayed there until the first caution flag waved on lap 19. Restarting second after crew chief Harold Holly called for fuel only on the first trip to pit road under caution, the Miami Springs, Fla., native faded back through the field while trying to get back to the preferred bottom line of the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Once he was settled back in, Coulter moved around inside the top 15 until a caution-flag period on lap 63 prompted Holly to call his sophomore driver to pit road for left-side Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel. While exiting pit road, Coulter made contact with the No. 23 truck, but the damage was minimal and he continued without any issues. The reigning Sunoco Rookie of the Year ran the next 30 laps in the top 10 while developing a strategy with his RCR teammates- Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan- for a last-lap dash to the checkered flag. After a late-race accident created the first of three green-white-checkered finishes, Gaughan and Dillon were both collected in a multi-truck accident on the ensuing restart, forcing the fourth-place running Coulter to work with Todd Bodine for the final two-lap shootout. On the restart while pushing Bodine to the white flag, Coulter's Chevrolet Silverado was clipped in the rear by another competitor, sending the No. 22 end-over-end and airborne into the DIS catchfence. The battered truck came to rest at the entrance to turn one and Coulter was scored in the 18th position after final review by NASCAR officials. Coulter was all smiles and uninjured after the spectacular crash.
JOEY COULTER QUOTE:
"I'm fine, just really amazed that I'm not hurt. Thanks to everyone that provides safety equipment for me, including Sparco suits, Shock belts, Butler seats and Simpson. It was unbelievable. When I felt the back of the truck get airborne, I thought to myself, 'this is going to be big.' I had my eyes closed for most of it so I'm not sure how big it was. I'm just extremely grateful and surprised that I didn't get hurt. Thanks to everyone on the No. 22 Chevrolet for an awesome night. Thank you to Mama Lucia Meatballs for coming on board. I hope they enjoyed watching it. I thought we had something for them at the end, but I knew it was going to be wild."