NEWTON, Iowa (July 17, 2011) — David Mayhew climbed into the driver’s seat of the No. 2 MMI Services Chevrolet Silverado for his second appearance with Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) during the 2011 season, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series headed to Iowa Speedway. Mayhew qualified in the pole position for the Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee, his first career Truck Series pole, and maintained a position in the top 10 for the full 200-lap event and led laps before driving to a third-place finish.
Mayhew led the field to the green flag as the sun began to set on the Newton, Iowa track on Saturday. The Bakersfield, Calif. native had grown a sizable lead over the field when the first caution waved on lap 12. Mayhew continued out front as racing resumed and again began to pull away from his fellow competitors when the second caution of the night came on lap 18. The No. 2 KHI crew opted to stay on track during the first two cautions to maintain their track position.
As the field returned to green on lap 21, Mayhew was shuffled out of the lead and into the sixth position. Crew chief Bruce Cook encouraged his driver to keep digging and relayed that his truck was turning lap times as quick as the leader. As the race continued Mayhew alerted his team the truck was too loose getting into the corners.
Cook called the driver to pit road for the team’s first pit stop of the evening on lap 66 after the third caution of the race came out on lap 65. The crew quickly went to work making a chassis adjustment, filling the truck with fuel and bolting on four tires. The No. 2 MMI Services Chevrolet made its way back on track restarting the race in the fifth position. The driver informed the crew that he was happy with the changes and the truck was handling much better heading into the turns.
A fourth caution followed on lap 77. The No. 2 team stayed off of pit road to maintain their track position after moving into the fourth position just prior to the yellow flag waving. Back under green-flag conditions, Mayhew set his sights on the top three and continued to gain ground on the front runners until the fifth caution of the night fell on lap 103 for an accident on the frontstretch. NASCAR officials displayed the red flag to give track personnel time to fix a cracked barrier wall caused by the accident.
The field resumed green-flag racing on lap 110 after the almost 15 minute red flag with the No. 2 KHI machine running fourth. The driver wheeled his way back into the top three with 50 laps remaining in the event. As the laps wound down, Mayhew informed the team the truck felt loose and he wasn’t able to get into the corners like he wanted.
Just as the team was beginning to prepare for a green-flag pit stop, the sixth and final caution fell on lap 154. Cook called Mayhew onto pit road for their final stop of the night on lap 155. The No. 2 KHI crew filled the truck with fuel and took two right-side tires. The quick stop allowed the driver to restart in the second position.
Only 40 laps remained in the race when the field went back to green-flag racing. The No. 2 truck slipped back to the third position but Mayhew continued to run a consistent line around the track and maintained some of the fastest lap times in the field. With only ten laps remaining, Cook again encouraged his driver to keep hitting his marks as he was slowly gaining on the second-place driver. Time ran short on Mayhew’s run for the second position, leaving him to cross the finish line in third place.
The Truck Series will be back on track next Friday, July 22 for the Lucas Deep Clean 200 at Nashville Superspeedway with Elliott Sadler in the driver’s seat of the No. 2 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet Silverado. Catch the action live on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET and MRN at 7:45 p.m. ET.
Thoughts from the Driver – David Mayhew:
“This was a great run for us tonight. I can’t thank Bruce Cook and the No. 2 KHI team enough for their hard work this weekend. Kevin and DeLana have built such a great program and I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to run with them. I wish we could have gotten a win for the team and sponsors, but we ran a great race overall. A second third-place finish is good, but I would have really enjoyed winning for this team.”