Beth Lunkenheimer · Wednesday May 8, 2013
Once again, the Camping World Truck Series sits idle while the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series head off to Darlington Raceway. And during down times like the ones that have plagued the early parts of the year for a while now, there’s little going on that’s worth talking about. So to help keep the Truck Series in your mind ahead of next Friday night’s showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I’m here to share some of the latest and greatest news coming out of the series.
John King Still Planning Return
John King captured the NASCAR world by surprise in last year’s season opener at Daytona International Speedwa,y after the virtual unknown snagged his first career victory in a wild finish at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The following race, King posted a solid top-10 result, but despite that trip to victory lane, the 25-year-old found himself without a ride after just five races, a victim of sponsorship woes that have plagued the Truck Series for quite a while now. He went on to make a pair of starts for Wauters Motorsports at Kentucky and Phoenix but wrecked out of both events before the halfway point in each event.
All hope was not lost for King, though, when Eddie Sharp Racing gave him a chance to defend his Daytona victory back in February. The one race deal had the option of more events, provided they could secure the sponsorship to continue running. And while he didn’t run all that well, finishing 18th after getting caught up in a last lap wreck, King remains hopeful that he’ll return to the Truck Series very soon.
“We’ve been working hard on it, and we’re close to putting something together for a sponsor,” King told the Bristol Herald Courier’s Allen Gregory. “Hopefully, we can announce something soon and race for the rest of the season. We’re ready to go. It’s just a matter of putting everything together.”
And it’s not like it would be a bad thing for King to re-enter the series. Sure, his results following that win at Daytona were less than stellar, but he was part of the 2012 rookie class and has just a handful races under his belt. With a team like Eddie Sharp Racing behind him, good things are bound to happen as long as they’ve got the money to keep running each week. While there’s nothing set in stone at this point, never underestimate the tenacity of a driver determined to race. If there’s a will, the driver will find a way to make it work.
Peters Returns to His Roots
Last weekend, Timothy Peters returned to his racing roots at South Boston Speedway, scoring his first victory since 2004 when he took the track’s Late Model championship. In a dominating race at the 0.4-mile oval, Peters led 118 laps to take the win over Bobby McCarty in last Saturday’s CenturyLink Late Model 150.
“In my own opinion, this is the toughest short track in the country. To come back with all these guys, with the way these cars have changed, it’s unbelievable. It’s cool to come back and race,” Peters said after his victory. “Obviously, this will be a confidence booster. With all the stress that’s been going on, ti’s been fun just to get away and have fun. This is cool just to come and have fun. This is what it’s all about.”
Peters currently sits 13th in the Truck Series standings after a pair of top-10 results at Martinsville and Kansas combined with a pair of wrecks at Daytona and Rockingham, and he’d love nothing more than to head to Charlotte and right into victory lane when the checkered flag flies.
Newberry Gains Talladega Experience
Rookie Brennan Newberry has used some of his time off in the Truck Series to gain experience that should prove valuable to the young driver later this season. Last weekend, he and his NTS team headed off to Talladega Superspeedway to run the ARCA Racing Series event. With the help of teammate Ron Hornaday, Jr., Newberry started in the top 10, thanks in part to series officials disallowing the qualifying times of four of the competitors. After narrowly missing the big one, Newberry had high hopes of a solid top-10 finish, but as rain surrounded the track, a tough restart left him sitting in 11th, the same spot he was credited when officials called the race 21 laps short of the full distance.
“I was excited for this race as we logged laps in practice, qualified well, and then ran around the top 10 all day. I’m a little frustrated at the final results because we had a better car than where we ended up,” Newberry said after the race. “I got hung out and lost the draft on the last restart, losing some spots before the rain hit, but that is superspeedway racing. Overall, I’m proud of the work our NTS guys did in the shop, as well as the crew here on their weekend off, and I learned a lot that I can bring back to the truck race here in October.”
Sometimes experience is all it takes for a driver to feel more comfortable in what is arguably one of the biggest wildcards on this weekend’s schedule. And with the input from teammate and veteran Ron Hornaday, Jr., don’t be surprised to see Newberry full of confidence when the Truck Series reaches the 2.66-mile superspeedway in October.
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