Race 31 of 33: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
Track Details: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval / 200 laps
No. 08: Gray Gaulding Result: 13th
Team 08 ‘The Country Network’ Chevrolet Camaro:
Gray Gaulding secured his sixteenth Top-15 finish of the season for Bobby Dotter and SS Green Light Racing after finishing in the 13th position at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Gaulding made his first laps of the weekend around Texas Motor Speedway Friday afternoon for two practice sessions. The 08 ran a total of 23 laps in two practice sessions with a fastest time of 29.789 seconds, which put him 22nd quickest on the board. Gaulding laid down a lap of 29.354 seconds Saturday evening, which earned him a 22nd place starting position for the 200 lap race.
As the race began the 08 car began steadily moving forward. When the first caution of the day waved on lap 19, Gaulding was up to the 20th position. The remainder of the stage went caution free and when the green and white checkered flag signaled the conclusion of the first stage, Gaulding remained in the 20th position.
Crew Chief Patrick Donahue called Gaulding to the pits for service. After four fresh tires, fuel, and adjustments to the 08 Chevy, Gaulding was ready to tackle stage two. The on track action continued heating up with caution flags flying on lap 60 as well as lap 79 for two separate incidents. On lap 81 Donahue made a strategy call to bring Gaulding to the pits under caution, so they could stay out at the conclusion of stage two. By the end of the stage Gaulding was able to work his way up to the 15th position.
The 08 car would start the final stage from the 7th position. On lap 128 the caution waved for the 98 of Chase Briscoe. Gaulding had slipped back to the 15th position, but was still running competitive lap times. Donahue called Gaulding to the pits on lap 130 and sent him back out on track. After an incident on lap 140, Gaulding stayed out on track once again and would restart from the 4th position with 55 laps to go. After a treacherous final 50 laps, Gaulding was able to escape the late race carnage and pilot his No. 08 Chevy to a 13th place finish. After an impressive run at Texas Motor Speedway Gray Gaulding was able to surpass the No. 51 of Jeremy Clements in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings. Gaulding now sits in the 13th position and has a 12 point lead over Clements.
“We came away with a 13th place finish here at Texas Motor Speedway. We’re pretty happy with that considering where we were with practice on Friday and where we qualified. Thanks to my guys at SS Green Light Racing. Thanks to LokaMedia.com, Oil Fire, the Country Network, OT Tavern and all our great sponsors for being on board for Texas. We’ve got some great partners and we couldn’t do this without their support.”
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“Gray and the 08 team fought hard all night and were able to come away with another top-15 finish. It was a wild night of racing, so I knew if we could stay out of trouble we were going to end up having a good night. Really proud of all the effort from both of my guys. It’s been a fantastic season and I’m looking forward to these last two races.”