Toyota Takes Truck Winning Streak to Iowa
By: John Singler on July 10, 2014 | 10:02 A.M. EST
Timothy Peters returns to Iowa Speedway as defending race winner, part of a strong Toyota contingent that's won every race so far this season. (Photo: Getty Images)
The good news for most Camping World Truck Series competitors today is that Kyle Busch won’t be anywhere near Iowa Speedway this weekend.
The bad news for many of those same drivers is that a menacing fleet of Toyota trucks is bound for the Midwest oval and Friday night’s American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen.
Toyota has won all eight of this year’s races … including five with Busch behind the wheel of his No. 51 Tundra. Erik Jones gets the call this weekend with Busch some 1,300 miles away for Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series duty in Loudon, N.H.
The odds of Toyota making it nine-for-nine in 2014 are pretty good. Timothy Peters won last year’s race and is back to defend in the No. 17 Red Horse Racing … Toyota. The ThorSport Racing duo of Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton sits atop the point standings and is bound for "The Magic Mile" in a pair of … you guessed it … Toyotas.
With back-to-back top-five finishes this season, Peters has climbed to third in the point standings and is eager for the return trip to Newton, Iowa.
"Finishing fourth at Kentucky Speedway (in his last start) was great for our team," Peters said. "Every weekend, we’re learning a little more. We’ve gained some ground in the point standings and head to Iowa with a lot of momentum."
In winning last year’s summer race on the seven-eighths-mile oval, Peters drove past leader Ty Dillon 27 laps from the finish and remained in front the rest of the way for his sixth career victory. Jones ran second.
"My confidence level this year is definitely stronger," said Jones, who just turned 18 in May. "I have a better feel for what I need out of the truck and am able to communicate that to the crew."
Though he is without a top-10 finish in his three starts so far this season, Jones points out that favorable circumstances and good fortune have not yet found the Kyle Busch Motorsports team with him driving.
"We’ve had fast trucks for all three starts but have had some unfortunate situations at the end of those races that didn’t allow us to get the finishes we deserved," said Jones, whose average finish is 17th in his three starts. "I feel good going into Iowa. It’s another race where I’m confident that we will unload a fast truck, go out and compete for the win."
Teammate Darrell Wallace Jr., victorious last month at Gateway Motorsports Park, rides into Iowa Speedway with three straight top-10 finishes.
"This is one of my favorite tracks," said Wallace, presently eighth in points. "I’ve finished in the top 10 in every one of my starts there. We’re carrying momentum from the past few weeks and hopefully, we can add another mark to the win column."
There are 37 drivers on the preliminary entry list for Friday night’s race. Since the Truck Series debuted at Iowa Speedway in 2009, six different drivers have won the seven races. Peters is the only one with multiple victories … both coming in a Toyota.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams will open practice Friday morning and qualify at 5:40 p.m. (ET). Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of the American Ethanol 200 is presented by Keystone Light. Air time will be 8 p.m. Friday, with live streaming at MRN.com.