The driver of the No. 22 RCR/darrellgwynnfoundation.com Chevrolet got his first win in the 3rd annual Pocono Mountains 125 and the first win ever in his Truck Series career.
Coulter is the ninth different winner this season to visit Victory Lane and the fourth different first-time winner of 2012.
“It feels amazing and there’s no way to describe it,” Coulter said. “I just can’t thank everyone enough for the opportunity. I can’t thank them enough for sticking behind me.”
“It’s a dream come true,” Coulter continued. “Call me in three days when it finally hits me.”
Coulter acknowledged that his racing has always included his family and that indeed his mom was even more excited than he was.
“For us, it’s always been a family event,” Coulter said. “They’ve been the ones to help me get here.”
“To have them at the race track every weekend is a huge part of my career.”
Coulter’s mother Susan echoed the family pride in her son’s racing career and his first trip to Victory Lane.
“I am so proud of him,” Susan Coulter said of her winning son. “He’s worked so hard for this since he was 8 years old.”
“He did this one himself,” Susan Coulter continued. “We have the best team in the world. I’m so happy.
While Coulter’s family was ecstatic, team owner Richard Childress was equally proud of his young driver. And he also revealed that Coulter, in his opinion, is ready to go to the next level in the sport.
“Joey’s had a really fast truck for the last two years and misfortunes would take him out of the winner’s circle,” Childress said. “I’m really happy for his family and for the whole Coulter team.”
“We’re talking about running in the Nationwide Series with him next year,” Childress continued. “Sponsorship is the key to putting it together.”
An important part of that Coulter RCR team has been crew chief Harold Holly. Coulter fully credits Holly with “teaching him how to drive” when they first started together in the ARCA Series.
“This is as big as any of ‘em win-wise,” Holly said of the win. “We have such a strong support group.”
“I’m tickled to death.”
James Buescher, piloting the No. 31 Koike Aronson/Ransome Chevrolet, finished second. This was his second top-10 finish in three races at Pocono and his seventh top-10 finish for the season.
“The Chevy was decent but we were tight all day long,” Buescher said. “Just couldn’t get it to turn on exit on any corner.”
“I was just trying to keep up with Nelson and stayed out to lead a lap,” Buescher continued. “The truck was good but it wasn’t the fastest truck out there.”
“We’ll just dust it off, take it to Michigan and try to get back to it.”
Probably the most disappointed racer when the checkered flag flew was Nelson Piquet Jr., who sat on the pole and was by far the dominant truck for most of the race. Piquet Jr. finished third, scoring his first top-10 finish in two races at the ‘Tricky Triangle.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Piquet Jr. said. “There’s only one word that can describe it and that’s frustration.”
“The last restart was a bit of a problem,” Piquet continued. “It’s a shame.”
“It was another race that we could have won.”
Piquet Jr. was also involved with one of the more dramatic moments of the race when he and veteran Todd Bodine tangled, with Bodine getting the worst end or it, including a trip to the infield care center.
After exiting his race truck, Bodine hurled his helmet in the direction of Piquet, Jr.
“Nelson didn’t get a good run off two and I pulled down to start drafting,” Bodine said. “I should have known better not to trust Nelson to do the right thing, just move over and side draft with me.”
“You watch tomorrow in the Cup race and you’ll see it a million times,” Bodine continued. “I know Nelson feels like he owes me one, from Kansas I think.”
“We had a great truck,” Bodine said. “It’s a shame that ignorance has to take you out of the race.”
Without a doubt, Piquet Jr. had a different take on the incident.
“His spotter should have told him that I was behind him,” Piquet Jr. said. “There’s nothing I could have done.”
“The move he did was inexperienced,” Piquet continued. “With all the experience he has, there’s no explanation.”
“Not much to say,” Piquet said. “I couldn’t have done anything else.”
Ty Dillon, driving the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, was the highest finishing rookie driver. Dillon, teammate to race winner Joey Coulter, finished in the sixth spot.
“I’m kind of disappointed,” Dillon said. “I made a rookie mistake on the first lap that really put us behind.”
“I’m so proud of my teammate Joey Coulter though,” Dillon said. “That was awesome. I’m really happy for Joey. He’s put his time in.”
Dillon was most excited about gaining some points in the championship standings. He is now just eight points behind leader Timothy Peters.
“We’ve got some good momentum coming,” Dillon said. “I think we’ve found something.”
“We’re second, only 8 points out,” Dillon continued. “And we’ll keep trucking.”
Matt Crafton, in the No. 88 Jeld Wen/Menards Toyota, finished fourth and Danny Hamlin, driving the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 GNC Live Well/M&Ms Toyota rounded out the top five.
“The power of those guys in front of us was big,” Hamlin said. “We just didn’t have a great handling truck.”
“Hopefully now I can give them a little bit of feedback for what I feel like this program needs to work on.”
|Unofficial Race Results|
|Pocono Mountains 125, Pocono Raceway|
|3||1||30||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Chevrolet||43|
|6||2||3||Ty Dillon *||Chevrolet||38|
|8||11||9||John Wes Townley *||Toyota||36|
|10||20||8||Ross Chastain *||Toyota||34|
|12||18||98||Dakoda Armstrong *||Toyota||32|
|14||15||33||Cale Gale *||Chevrolet||30|
|15||6||2||Tim George Jr.||Chevrolet||29|
|16||25||27||C E Falk||Chevrolet||28|
|17||19||99||Bryan Silas *||Ford||27|
|24||7||5||Paulie Harraka *||Ford||20|
|36||24||10||Jennifer Jo Cobb||Ram||8|