HAMPTON, Ga. – When it counted the most, Tyler Young and his Young’s Motorsports team were able to take advantage of a well-balanced truck to finish a solid 13th in Saturday afternoon’s Great Clips 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.
“It was a good day for our No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet,” said Young. “We didn’t unload the way we wanted to, but Andrew (Abbott, crew chief) and the guys did a good job getting the truck faster from start to finish. At the end of the race, our truck was the strongest it had been all weekend long. I’m excited for our team to be off to such a strong start in 2016.”
“I’m so proud of this Young’s Motorsports team.”
On the heels of a career-best sixth place finish the weekend prior at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Young and his family-owned team rode the wave of momentum to the rough and tumble 1.5-mile track.
With an open-practice session at Atlanta on Friday, Abbott took advantage of the three practice sessions to dial in the No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet Silverado to Young’s liking.
Leaving the garage late Friday afternoon, Young and his team were confident their changes would carry over to qualifyingSaturday morning. Under brisk conditions, Young, a native of Midland, Texas qualified 22nd for his 58th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race.
The green flag flew shortly after 4:30 p.m., with Young forcing to play catchup after the high line failed to take off when the race began.
Through the early stages of the race, Young persevered and was able to climb inside the top-20 as the time began to wind down on the newly created caution clock.
On Lap 32, race leader Matt Crafton passed Young to put him a lap down, a few moments later, the clock struck zero triggering the first yellow flag of the day. Young proved to benefit from the first caution as he would be receive the free pass, putting his No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet Silverado back on the lead circuit.
After early pit stops for fuel, tires and adjustments, Young restarted the race 20th, but at the tail end of the longest line.
By the halfway point, Young continued his steady climb through the field hovering inside the top-20 all while dealing with a tight No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet Silverado.
The caution clock produced another yellow flag nearing the end of the race, producing a 20-lap shootout for the competition.
With the driver satisfied with the performance of his truck, Abbott brought his driver down pit road for his final stop consisting of four tires, fuel and no adjustments.
Restarting 19th, Young was able to miss a wreck on the restart which put the field under the red flag for cleanup with the Young’s Motorsports team securing the 14th position.
Racing resumed with 15 laps to go with Young ready to prowl until the leader blew a right front tire seven laps from the finish, once again putting the field under yellow with Young sitting 13th.
Lined up for the two-lap shootout Young was able to protect his position on the track to earn a career-best run at Atlanta. Last season, Young finished 22nd.
The finish also moved up Young one position in the series standings to fifth after two races.
“We’re real proud of what we’ve accomplished so far in 2016,” added Young. “We still have some work to do, but we’re off to our best start ever in trucks and we need to work hard to make sure we’re prepared for Martinsville and we can go there and have another strong showing.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take nearly a five-week break before returning to action at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday, Apr. 2.
Young’s Motorsports Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway Fast Facts:
Driver: Tyler Young (@TylerYoung02)
Owner: Randy Young (Young’s Motorsports)
Crew Chief: Andrew Abbott
Manufacturer: Chevrolet Silverado
Engine Builder: Collins Automotive
Status: Running (130 / 130 laps completed)
Points: Fifth (-8)