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Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 from Martinsville Speedway may not be a debut for Jeffrey Abbey, but it may feel like one.
With a successful past racing on dirt, the 19-year-old with tackle his first Camping World Truck Series effort on asphalt after competing at Eldora Speedway this summer.
“I’m used to running dirt back in Texas,” Abbey told Frontstretch. “Two years ago, we were watching the Eldora Truck race on TV and my dad said that he wanted to do that. It’s just like any racing: you have to give and take. When there’s room to be given, you have to give it. When there’s room to take, you have to take it.”
While the mentality is similar, the race team is the same, as the Texan returns to Niece Motorsports’ No. 45 Chevrolet for the second time.
“We started looking for teams last summer and found Niece Motorsports,” he said. “Al, the team owner, is based out of Texas. We got hooked up, they’ve a really good group of guys.”
With six top-15 finishes this year, mostly with veteran TJ Bell behind the wheel, Abbey has taken notice of Niece’s improvement in their first Truck Series season and has used Bell as a mentor in his early starts.
“They’re always up there pretty well,” he said. “They have good equipment and they’re moving their team in the right direction.
“TJ has helped me out a lot in practice yesterday. Gave me a lot of advice and we picked up almost a second.”
With no further races slatted for 2017, Abbey is eying a return to Eldora with possible others sprinkled in for Niece in 2018.
“We’ll run Eldora for sure next year,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll run some races on asphalt as well. We’ll probably run short track stuff, Id love to run Texas for sure.”