On Saturday, Sept. 15th, New Boston native Ryan Lynch took the first green flag of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career at the American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee at Iowa Speedway. Lynch and the crew worked under the direction of truck series veteran, Rick Crawford, as they prepared to race on the 0.875 mile oval. After two successful practice sessions and a qualifying time of 23.919 seconds, Lynch started the race in the 27th position driving the #27 BlankHood.com Chevrolet.
“We made small changes throughout practice to get me comfortable in the truck. By the time qualifying came around the truck was handling great and we managed to post our fastest lap of the day,” Lynch said.
Lynch started the 200 lap event keeping in mind the goal of his first NCWTS race was to complete as many laps as possible. Shortly after the green flag waved, Lynch settled into the top 30 and began to race for position. Around lap 20, Lynch began to struggle as the truck started to push when he used the inside racing groove as race leaders approached. On lap 23, Lynch was racing hard to keep track position when he felt the back of the truck give way on the exit of turn 2 and spun towards the inside wall on the backstretch. Lynch was not able to save it from striking the wall, and a tap to the front bumper caused enough damage that the truck had to be taken behind the pit wall for repairs. Quick action from the team allowed Lynch to enter back onto the track in the 33rd position on lap 37. Lynch spent the next several laps trying to make up time on the track with front-end damage. Around lap 98, NASCAR alerted crew chief, Jack Johnston that Lynch’s truck was leaking fluid and he needed to pull onto pit road. As the crew checked under the hood, they discovered a vibration from the front-end damage had caused the radiator cap to come off, and water from the radiator was the source of the leak. The team quickly pushed Lynch’s truck behind the wall for a second time, and Lynch was able to head back onto the track on lap 111 in the 32nd position. With the remainder of the laps, Lynch used a successful green flag pit stop and consistent lap times to work his way to 30th. Lynch picked up one more position and avoided several late race incidents to finish in the 29th position after completing 173 of 200 laps.
After the race, Lynch commented, “Rick and the crew were amazing. They were patient with me as I learned the limits of the truck, and they did a great job getting the truck repaired and back on track after the spin. I learned so much even with the damage. Rick stayed calm on the radio and continued to coach and encourage me during the remainder of the laps and pit stops. They gave me a solid truck, and we were able to accomplish our goals despite an early race caution. I can’t thank Rick and MPM enough for putting this opportunity together and allowing me to get the BlankHood.com truck on the track for my first race. We finished the race, and at the end of the day I could not be more proud of the team for hanging in there with me and giving me the best shot at a good finish.”