Cole Whitt on his way to fifth in New Hampshire Getty Images

No pinion problems plagued Cole Whitt this time around at New Hampshire - just a furious pace by winner Ryan Truex.

Whitt finished fifth in Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race for his sixth top five of the season. After starting sixth, the No. 84 team opted not to pit early, and Whitt inherited the lead for 15 laps. He finally pitted on lap 47 and again on lap 76. He restarted outside the top 15 but soon regained his rightful place inside the top 10 with 25 laps to go. 

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From there, it was a matter of surviving two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish. He did, and Whitt emerged in fifth — his seventh top 10 in the season’s nine races. He’s one of only two drivers with six or more top fives (Truex has 7).

Whitt’s worst finish of 2010 came in June’s visit to New Hampshire. He finished 26th after a pinion broke in the rear gear and the team spent significant time behind the wall for repairs.

While the championship appears lost, Whitt can improve on his points position in Friday’s season finale at Dover. Whitt ranks fourth in the standings — 13 points behind third-place Brett Moffitt and 49 behind second-place Darrell Wallace Jr.

“Dover’s a track that suits my driving style, perhaps better than any track we’ve been to this season,” Whitt said. “It’s big, fast and I can’t wait to get there. Our goal hasn’t changed. We’re going to Dover with every intention of getting this No. 84 Red Bull car into victory lane.”

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