Peters grabs lead late, wins trucks race at Newton
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) -- Timothy Peters let the best driver in the history of the NASCAR trucks series beat him once on a late restart.
Given another chance at Ron Hornaday Jr. with 10 laps left, Peters seized control and finally grabbed a win to go along with his lead in the points race.
Peters won the NASCAR trucks series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night, notching his first victory of the season and extending his points lead to 12 points over Justin Lofton.
It's the fourth career win for Peters, who overtook Hornaday on the race's final restart to become the third pole-sitter to win a trucks race in four events in Iowa.
"I know Ron is considered the restart king,'' Peters said. "We just launched really well and got a really good restart and beat him to the corner.''
Peters gave his lead up to Hornaday, the four-time series champion with 51 career wins, on a restart with just over 30 laps left. But Peters got one more shot at Hornaday and used the low inside line to take the lead for good.
Hornaday was second, followed by Matt Crafton, the winner in Iowa in 2011. Johnny Sauter was fourth and Lofton was fifth. James Buescher led for 91 of the 200 laps on Iowa's .875-mile oval before blowing his right front tire two-thirds of the way through the race.
Hornaday said that he was told by his crew shortly after taking the lead to conserve fuel because he was likely about half a lap short. His tires weren't in the best shape either, leaving him without enough to hold off Peters.
"We had a pretty good truck. We made some adjustments in the race. We made it tight. Just not good enough,'' Hornaday said.
With the Sprint Cup and Nationwide regulars in New Hampshire for the weekend, the trucks series had the track to itself for just the third time in nine races this year.
Peters, who entered with a four-point lead over second-place drivers Lofton and rookie Ty Dillon, won the pole for the first time in 2012. Nelson Piquet Jr. also started on the front row, followed by Lofton and Buescher.
Peters grabbed the low line and slipped past Buescher for the lead 42 laps into the event. Buescher slipped back to fourth following a caution, with Hornaday moving into second, but Buescher regained the lead from Peters shortly after Jason Leffler got loose, leading to a restart.
Buescher and Peters quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field, with Hornaday falling more than three seconds behind in third place. But that all changed when Buescher's tire blew, sending him hurtling high up Iowa's steep-banked oval and into the wall.
Sauter moved into second behind Peters, who appeared to have the race sewn up until Hornaday surprisingly seized control with just over 30 laps left. Hornaday kept his advantage on a prior restart, but Peters had the strongest truck out there, leading for 87 laps.
"He got a pretty good jump on me,'' Hornaday said. "He got me.''
Peters' win was a sharp contrast to his previous efforts in Iowa. Peters hadn't finished better than eighth in three previous starts.
"I love going to places where our results were OK and turning them into the best finish. (Saturday) was definitely a milestone in my career,'' Peters said. "Hopefully this is one of many more.''
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