The Frontstretch: Tearing Apart the Trucks: Davis, Johnson Set to Debut by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Thursday February 24, 2011

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Tearing Apart the Trucks: Davis, Johnson Set to Debut

Tearing Apart the Trucks · Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday February 24, 2011


As the Camping World Truck Series rolls into Phoenix International Raceway for the second race of the season, teammates and fellow rookies Dusty Davis and Justin Johnson are set for their series debuts. The two sat out last weekend as they’ve not yet been approved by NASCAR to run on the superspeedways.

Dusty Davis got his start in motorsports eight years ago racing karts. He scored his first race win at age 14 behind the wheel of a Legends Car. Last season, the 18-year-old made his NASCAR debut in the Whelen All-American Series for Vision Aviation Racing. He finished second in the overall standings to teammate Justin Johnson.

Just 12 years ago, at the age of 13, Justin Johnson began his racing career driving Bandolero cars. Before long he had moved onto Legends Cars and then Thundercars. After spending a little time behind the wheel of Late Models and Super Late Models, Johnson scored the 2010 championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Both drivers intend to work their way up to a career in the Sprint Cup Series, but for now, they’re content to fight it out amongst one of the largest rookie classes in a long time in the Truck Series. They both join the newly merged Billy Ballew Motorsports / Vision Aviation Racing team.

Penalties Announced for No. 15 Team

Following a questionable non-call last weekend in the season-opener, NASCAR has issued penalties in relation to the spoiler failure on Michael Waltrip’s winning No. 15 Toyota. The truck was found in violation of Sections 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20B-3.12E (rear spoiler did not meet specifications in post-race inspection).

Crew Chief Doug Howe was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until December 31st, and owner Billy Ballew was docked 25 owner points. Waltrip will not receive a fine since he’s not running for the Truck Series championship, and his win will stand.

After a rough 2010 ARCA campaign and missing the season opening Truck race at Daytona due to illness, Chase Mattioli will be locked into the field for Friday night’s Truck race.

Chase Mattioli Makes First 2011 Start

After qualifying 18th for the season opener last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, Chase Mattioli ended up having to give up his ride in the No. 99 Ford to Chad McCumbee, thanks to a gastro-intestinal infection. Now, Mattioli is set to make his first 2011 start tonight at Phoenix. This weekend, Mattioli will pilot the No. 10 with Jennifer Jo Cobb listed as the owner.

Double Duty For Skinner at Phoenix

After failing to qualify for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, Mike Skinner and Eddie Sharp Racing team up once again this weekend in hope of making their first race of the season. Climbing in behind the wheel of the No. 45 Cushman / Paytas Homes Toyota Tundra, Skinner hopes to put the frustrations of last weekend behind him.

“Last week at Daytona International Speedway was tough, but we are going to come back with the Eddie Sharp Racing team and honor our commitments to Cushman, Paytas Homes and Toyota. I think we learned a lot, and we are ready to go out to Arizona,” Skinner said. “If you look back in history, you can tell that I must like Phoenix International Raceway, or the track certainly likes me. I’ve had a ton of success there and have run well in all three divisions.”

Skinner will also attempt to qualify for the Sprint Cup Series race behind the wheel of the newly formed FAS Lane Racing No. 32 Ford. The 53-year-old has 262 starts in the Cup Series, with a best finish of second at Talladega in 2000.

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