LAS VEGAS - Ricky Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado team’s goal of a top-10 finish was deterred by an on-track incident on lap 35 of the 146 lap Las Vegas 350. Carmichael, Max Papis and Todd Bodine were racing for position when the No. 4 broke loose in turn four and spun hard into the outside wall. The truck sustained heavy right-rear damage. The team brought Carmichael down pit road for multiple pit stops to make repairs and was able to rejoin the race in the 25th position two laps down to the leaders. Ultimately, the team continued to work on the truck and finished the race in the 22nd position.
“It’s just unfortunate for the No. 4 team, said Carmichael following the race. “We qualified well and I was really learning a lot out there racing in the front of the field. John (Monsam, Crew chief) was doing a great job with pit stratgey and adjusting on the truck. We just kept getting better and better the longer the race ran. I wish we could have gotten a better finish, but we will go back and look at the tape. I want to thank Monster and all my guys for all of their hard work. We had a really competitive truck and that is what I’m most proud of.”
Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy team were optimistic coming into the Las Vegas 350. Carmichael qualified in the eighth position and when the race began he made a daring move to the outside into the top five. By lap 12, Carmichael followed Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) teammate Ron Hornaday in the sixth position. The second caution of the evening waved on lap 22 for a spin in turn four. Carmichael radioed crew chief John Monsam that he was too tight all around the track. The team brought the No. 4 truck down pit road on lap 23 for four tires and an air-pressure adjustment and then the following lap for fuel. Ten other trucks decided to take fuel only, dropping Carmichael from sixth to 14th for the restart on lap 28. Carmichael slowly began to pick his way through traffic sliding by Taylor Malsam and Bodine. On Lap 35, Carmichael, Papis and Bodine were vying for the 12th position when Carmichael dove under Papis with Bodine close behind. The No. 4 truck became extremely aero-loose, as the back end of the truck snapped around, sending the No. 4 spinning toward the outside wall. Carmichael made heavy contact with the right-rear of the truck.
The team brought Carmichael down pit road for multiple pit stops going two laps down and returning to the track on the restart on lap 40 in the 25th position. Carmichael continued to drive his wounded race truck to the conclusion of the 146-lap event ending the Las Vegas 350 in the 22nd position six laps down to the leaders. Rookie Johnny Sauter went on to win his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race followed by ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton, Jason White, Todd Bodine and Timothy Peters.