Race Weekend Central

2012 NASCAR Driver Review: Joey Coulter

Joey Coulter

2012 Ride: No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2012 Primary Sponsors: Darrell Gwynn Foundation, Steak-umm
2012 Owner: Richard Childress
2012 Crew Chief: Harold Holly
2012 Truck Series Stats: 22 races; 1 win, 8 top fives, 15 top 10s, 1 DNF, third in points

High Point: Coulter scored his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory in August at the Pocono Mountains 125. After a late-race accident wiped out many of the top contenders while placing a dominant Nelson Piquet Jr. back in the pack, the door opened for Coulter in this track position race. Leading the final seven circuits, he posted an emotional win in the first Truck Series event since the triangular facility got a complete repaving job.

Low Point: Coulter got the low point of his year over with early. His only DNF and second lowest finish of the year in 18th came in the first race after a crash at Daytona and his worst finish of the season was a 30th at Martinsville, the second event. 24th in Truck Series points, after just two starts it took the rest of the season to climb out of the hole, leaving Coulter virtually out of title contention right away.

Summary: The 2011 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year continued to learn and improve in 2012 in his second season at Richard Childress Racing. In addition to his first win and 15 top-10 finishes in the 22-race season, Coulter notched pole positions at Michigan, Kentucky and Las Vegas. Ending the year with four third-place finishes in the last six events, it’s clear Coulter has this “consistency” thing down pat, too. His climb of 21 spots from 24th after the second race of the season to third in the final standings was nothing short of impressive.

Team Ranking: First of two. at Richard Childress Racing. Rookie Ty Dillon outpaced Coulter virtually all year long in the standings, but a late-race wreck at Homestead wiped out his edge. Coulter after a late-season surge was able to pass on by and finish a career-high third in points.

Off-Track News: In addition to racing, Coulter attends classes at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) for Mechanical Engineering.

2013 Outlook: Coulter will run the full season for Kyle Busch Motorsports with sponsorship from Dollar General. Crew chief Harold Holly will come with him. Many will remember the Kansas incident in 2011 when some aggressive racing between the rookie and the veteran followed by contact from Busch after the race led to a fight between team owner Richard Childress and Busch.

Turns out Coulter made an impression on Busch that day – just not the one most people thought. Busch was impressed by the young driver, so much so that he will make KBM’s first championship run in 2013.

2012 Frontstretch Grade: A

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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