SPARTA, KY — Ricky Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado KHI All-Stars team started the Built Ford Tough 225 from the third position. The qualifying effort marked the third time in 2009 Carmichael has started third, his career-best starting position to date. Running in the top 10 the majority of the evening, the No. 4 Monster Energy team was caught one lap down to the leaders following a round of green-flag pit stops, but was able to receive the “lucky dog” award late in the race to put them back on the lead lap. Carmichael was able to battle back and score his career-best finish of seventh and the best finish for the No. 4 Monster Energy team in 2009.
“Wow man that was awesome.” said Carmichael. “I am so pumped. We had a really good truck. We got too tight at the beginning of the race, but we kept working on it. I am still learning, I was driving in the corners too deep at the start of the race, but as my truck got better so did I. It was helpful that I had been to this track before. I came into this weekend more confident and it showed. I just want to thank John [Monsam] and all the guys; they did a great job. I feel like I’m finally getting in a rhythm and I’m ready for next week.”
As the race began, Carmichael and the team had a goal of a top-10 finish. The No. 4 Monster Energy truck took the green flag from the third position and Carmichael ran in the top six for the first portion of the race. During the first round of scheduled pit stops on lap 35 the No. 4 team took on four tires. The following lap the team came back in for fuel. Success on pit road allowed the No. 4 to maintain position and restart in the sixth spot. Carmichael struggled on the restart. The No. 4 got pinned to the bottom of the track by several other trucks, and gave up several position before sliding into 11th place.
The second caution of the race waved at lap 53 and Carmichael informed the team he needed help from the center of the corner to alleviate a loose-handling truck. By the half-way point of the race, Carmichael ran in the 12th position. The team brought the No. 4 Monster Energy truck to pit road on lap 97 for the second scheduled pit stop of the evening during a round of green-flag stops. The team added enough fuel to be able to make it to the end of the race. Carmichael returned to the track in the 17th position. An untimely caution on lap 110 caught the No. 4 one lap down to the leaders.
However, a crash amongst the leaders on lap 122, brought out the fourth caution of the day making the No. 4 the recipient of the “lucky dog” award, allowing Carmichael to return to the lead lap. By this point, Carmichael felt that he had a good truck and was ready to make a charge to the end. A rash of cautions late in the race helped Carmichael catch the leaders. Racing hard at the end of the event, Carmichael was able to move into the top 10 and achieve the team’s goal by finishing the race in the seventh position, as well as earning the top finishing rookie award. The run marks Carmichael’s career-best finish. Carmichael’s KHI teammate Ron Hornaday went on to win his fourth race of 2009, Mike Skinner was second followed by Matt Crafton, Timothy Petersand Aric Almirola.
The trucks return to the track next week at O’Reilly Raceway Park with Carmichael behind the wheel of KHI’s No. 4 Monster Energy truck.
July 18, 2009
Race: 12 of 25
Driver: Ricky Carmichael
Owner’s Point Standings: 17th
Race length: 150 Laps/ 225 Miles
Track layout: 1.5-mile
Shape: D-shaped oval
Number of Race Cautions: 7 for 30 Laps
First Practice: 11th (32.252 seconds; 167.431 mph)
Final Practice: 9th (31.707 seconds; 170.309 mph)
Qualifying: 3rd (31.178 seconds; 173.199 mph)
Next on the Truck Series Schedule:
Date: July 24, 2009
Track: O’Reilly Raceway Park
Event Name: AAA Insurance 200 presented by JD Byrider
Driver: Ricky Carmichael
Sponsor: Monster Energy
Broadcast Time: 8:00 p.m., ET on SPEED and MRN Radio