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Quiroga wrecks with bold move, angers Gaulding
No. 77 makes it four-wide trying to take the lead RELATED: Sauter goes after Peters post-race MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- German Quiroga is trying to win races this year in hopes of securing a ride for next year. That's why, with 12 laps remaining in the Kroger 200 and his No. 77 Toyota in third place, the Red Horse Racing driver made it four-wide at the smallest track on the NASCAR circuit. Leader Darrell Wallace Jr . went high around the lapped truck of Wendell Chavous , second-place Johnny Sauter held his line and Quiroga dove down to the apron. The kamikaze move didn't quite work, as Quiroga and Wallace met in the middle after making their respective passes, which turned Quiroga's truck around and brought out the final caution of the day. It was a similar late move that set the stage for a post-race discussion between Quiroga and Gray Gaulding that went on outside the watchful eye of television cameras, which were focusing on a different fracas -- that of Sauter and Timothy Peters . While Quiroga remained steady and talked calmly after the race, an irate Gray Gaulding blasted the 34-year-old driver, who is 18 years his senior. "Yeah, you can't talk to him," said Gaulding, who was still incensed nearly 10 minutes after the checkered flag fell. "He just don't know what he's doing. I was going down the straightaway there and he just turned left and just killed my right front. We were going to have a top-10. "I'm telling you, the guy has no idea what he's doing out there." Quiroga , meanwhile, explained his side by saying Gaulding just didn't know his group was running four-wide. "He told me I was running him off, but we were running four-wide at the time," Quiroga said. "He didn't realize that. That's what I was telling him when he (confronted) me, and I told him to chill out." Quiroga would nurse his battered Toyota Tundra across the start/finish line in 10th place, while Gaulding settled for 14th. The 16-year-old driver -- whose age was exposed when his metal braces gleamed in the Virginia sunshine on pit road -- started sixth and ran as high as second before getting outside the racing groove on a Lap 53 restart, plummeting 27 spots in the running order. The NASCAR Next driver, competing in his eighth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the season, worked his way back up through the field and settled on a different pit strategy to put himself in position to challenge for his second top-10 of the year. "We were fighting our way back through," Gaulding said. "But just, right there at the end when it gets bottled up and when German does crazy moves that he knows aren't even going to work -- I was at his left front tire, and he still wants to turn down. I should have just spun him out. We fought our way back, but unfortunately we came home 14th." Quiroga was more despondent over the failed late-race move, which he said nearly worked, than his talk with Gaulding. "I didn't stick the rear tires," he said. "I left them up. But we're looking for our first win. It's coming. Hopefully we can get everything together and pull it off before the end of the year, because I don't have anywhere to go next year. Hopefully, we can make it happen." Quiroga has been close this year. He has two runner-up finishes and was in contention in other races. But this isn't the first time he's left Martinsville with someone angry at him. In March, it was teammate Timothy Peters . Peters had a dustup of his own Saturday, but offered his perspective after finishing second to Wallace. " German had a really good truck and I hate to see what happened," Peters said. "Obviously, maybe four-wide might not be ideal at Martinsville. German had a great truck today. He has a ton of talent. As soon as that is contained to keep it there at the end, he's going to win a lot of races. He's shown that he has the ability, and I appreciate a man like that." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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