Track Specs: 3.41-mile road course / 46 laps
Paludo’s finish: 9th
Points position: 40th (-230)
Miguel Paludo drove the No. 88 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish on Saturday at Circuit of the Americas, overcoming a spin in the early going with solid performance and strategy. The finish was the Brazilian driver’s second top-10 in six career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, following a seventh-place effort last season at the Daytona International Speedway road course, and his second top-10 for primary sponsor BRANDT Professional Agriculture.
· Paludo qualified his No. 88 Chevrolet 17th for the 46-lap race around the sweeping COTA layout. In the first lap of green-flag racing, Paludo spun after contact and dropped all the way to 38th the first time across the line.
· Gathering up his BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, Paludo climbed six spots over the next three circuits and got back into the top 30 by the time lap eight was in the books. He was 24th at lap 11, when several cars ahead began short-pitting the end of Stage One.
· Telling crew chief Jason Stockert that the balance of his Camaro was good, Paludo climbed all the way back to 21st at the end of the 14-lap Stage One. On the ensuing pit stop, Paludo took four tires and fuel for Stage Two.
· In Stage Two, Paludo again moved steadily forward, reaching the top 20 in just five laps. As the laps wound down, Paludo started to feel a loose condition developing in his BRANDT Camaro, and he came to pit road for tires and fuel a couple of laps before the end at lap 30. He finished 19th.
· At the beginning of the final stage, Paludo fired off from 10th position and was running 13th when the caution flag waved with 13 laps remaining in the event. On the radio, Paludo told Stockert that he was struggling with what course to take on restarts, as he kept getting caught in the middle.
· With nine laps remaining in the 46-lap event, Paludo was running 12th when the caution waved yet again. On the radio, Paludo reported he was losing some grip and had a small vibration, but did not want to pit and lose track position.
· On the ensuing restart, a logjam occurred at the top of the hill in Turn 1, but Paludo managed to miss most of it and settled into 14th for the run to the checkered flag. Moving up to 12th, the Brazilian driver crested the top 10 with two laps remaining and improved one more spot to ninth at the checkered flag.
· Paludo’s finish gave JR Motorsports three cars in the top 10, along with teammates Noah Gragson and Sam Mayer.
Miguel Paludo, driver No. 88 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet team
“I can’t thank BRANDT Professional Agriculture and JR Motorsports enough for this opportunity. Jason (Stockert, crew chief) did a great job giving me a great car today and I am happy that we were able to come away with a top-10 finish, especially in front of all of the guests we had here today from Brazil. Hopefully we can build off of this and have another solid run later this year at Road America. I can’t wait to be back.”