Bristol, Tenn. (Aug.19, 2016) – Gray Gaulding, driver of the No. 60 Krispy Kreme Ford Mustang, recovered from a blown tire to finish 13th in his NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“We could have had a top-ten finish if not for that cut tire,” Gaulding said. “We had a good car, and I learned a lot in my first XFINITY race. We can’t wait to go to Richmond and do it again.”
Gaulding took the green flag from the 21st position and immediately began driving forward through the field, passing teammate Ryan Reed for the 18th position on Lap 26. He radioed to crew chief Drew Blickensderfer that his Krispy Kreme Mustang was loose on entry as his tires began to wear down. He lost several positions and a lap to the leaders on the long green flag run. The first caution of the event came out on Lap 75, allowing Blickensderfer to bring Gaulding down pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and chassis adjustments.
As the race continued, Gaulding would try both the top and bottom grooves of the racetrack, maintaining his 19th position but losing a second lap to the lead car before a second caution flew on lap 151. Continuing to advance through the field after four new tires and more adjustments, Gaulding was running in the 16th position when he cut a left rear tire on Lap 192 and hit the outside retaining wall. With no one on the same lap, the No. 60 crew was able to take additional time to repair the left rear damage and put four new tires on.
Four laps down to the leaders, Gaulding restarted in the 21st position on Lap 200 and was told to keep his car clean and maintain his position. The young driver was able to pick up eight positions in the closing laps to finish 13th.
Gaulding’s next start with Roush Fenway Racing will come Sept. 9 at Richmond International Raceway, close to his hometown of Colonial Heights, Va.