NEWTON, Iowa — Ricky Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado KHI All-Stars team fought back from a practice crash to score a 13th-place finish in the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway.
“I can not say enough about these No. 4 Monster Energy guys,”, Carmichael said. “We struggled all weekend with our truck, then we had the crash in practice, but this team never gave up. We didn’t have the greatest qualifying run, but I was able to find a good line and move through traffic. I really learned a lot this weekend. I’m bummed because I let (Austin) Dillion get by me there at the end, but all in all a good weekend for us. ”
The inaugural race at Iowa Speedway allowed teams to take the track for five practice sessions. Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy team were able to tweak on the truck and gain valuable data. However, during the fourth practice session on Friday, the truck broke loose and Carmichael backed the truck into the wall in turn four. The team quickly assessed the damage and pulled out the back-up truck. With two more practice sessions to change the truck over, the team worked well into the night to prepare for the race. Carmichael fought a very loose truck in qualifying, giving the team a 26th-place starting position.
As the green flag waved, the No. 4 KHI All Stars team had high hopes to improve on what had been an otherwise difficult weekend. When the race got underway Carmichael quickly began to pick off trucks one by one. By lap 20, he had passed Todd Bodine for the 19th position.
Leader Mike Skinner set a blistering pace from the start and quickly caught the tail end of the field. Carmichael was able to keep Skinner and second place Matt Crafton at bay, maintaining his lead-lap status, when the caution came out on lap 57. The No. 4 team brought the truck down pit road for four tires and on the following lap returned to pit road for fuel. Quick pit stops helped Carmichael gain several spots to restart the race in the 15th position.
By lap 76, Carmichael moved into the 13th spot. Under caution on lap 109, the No. 4 team brought the truck back down pit road for another scheduled pit stop for four tires and on following lap Carmichael came back down pit road for enough fuel to make it to the end of the race. By lap 116, Carmichael had battled his way to the 12th position. On lap 150, a frustrated Carmichael radioed the crew telling them that his tires felt like they were greased over and he could not complete passes for position.
With 25 laps remaining, Carmichael told the crew, “Boy’s I’m giving it all I’ve got, these tires are just worn out.” On the final restart on lap 196, Carmichael battled the No. 3 of Austin Dillon, who had fresh tires, for position and was able to take the checkered flag in the 13th position.
Skinner went on to dominate the Lucas Oil 200 leading 180 of 200 laps, Aric Almirola, Colin Braun, Carmichael’s KHI teammate Ron Hornaday, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.
September 5, 2009
Race: 17 of 25
Driver: Ricky Carmichael
Race length: 150 Laps/ 225 Miles
Track layout: 0.875-mile
Next on the Truck Series Schedule:
Date: September 12, 2009
Track: Gateway International Raceway
Event Name: Copart 200
Driver: Ricky Carmichael
Sponsor: Monster Energy
Broadcast Time: SPEED 2:00 p.m., EST MRN 2:00 p.m., EST