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Friday night, the Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Kansas Speedway for the 37 Kind Days 250, and of course, there are plenty of storylines to follow.
Darrell Wallace Jr. will be running double duty, making his Truck Series return for the first time since winning a one-off start at Michigan International Speedway last season. Joining him in running both races is Kyle Busch, who will pilot the No. 4 Toyota in place of Todd Gilliland, who will turn 18 next week.
For the last three seasons, this race has been the Toyota Tundra 250, and prior to that, it was the SFP 250 for three years. But last week, Kansas Speedway announced a partnership with 37KindDays.org for naming rights for Friday night’s race and to encourage people to “Take Henry’s Challenge – 37 Days of Kindness.”
“I’m honored that we are able to partner with 37 Days of Kindness for our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “This is a special organization that wants kindness to others to become a habit and I urge everyone to join me in taking Henry’s Challenge in the hopes of helping others.”
Henry Williams was a young boy who passed away at 12 years old unexpectedly last year, something no parent should ever have to deal with. But following his passing, “letters, cards and personal stories were shared with us (parents Keith and Cheryl) about the many kind things that our son had done.”
As it turns out 37 was Henry’s favorite number, and it also happens to be a good timeframe to develop new habits. Thus the challenge was born. The non-profit organization depends on donations from others and has spread kindness in all 50 states and 12 countries.
“Cheryl and I are so very proud that the Kansas Speedway is honoring our son’s way of life by promoting “37 Days of Kindness” at the upcoming NASCAR event,” said Keith Williams, founder of 37kinddays, Inc., “Our son was a professional go-kart racer and a great kid that found time to do daily small acts of kindness which influenced friends, teachers and others. Since his passing last year, we developed this unique challenge to continue his way of spreading kindness.”
Anyone interested in taking Henry’s challenge can make the pledge at 37KindDays.org. Kansas Speedway will be handing out wristbands Saturday at the track or you can get one free of charge through the website. The rules are simple: register your wristband, wear it and have fun being kind for 37 days. But what’s perhaps most important is that you share what you’re doing with others so they can join too. The organization states that if just 5,000 people take the challenge for 37 days, over 185,000 days of kindness (over 500 years) will be shared.
And while those numbers are large, their hope is to create a new habit that lasts beyond the challenge. “Kindness is not hard, it does not judge, it knows no bound of spiritual constraints (although it is present in many faiths), it is the “good stuff” that can give both the recipient and the giver great joy.”
- NASCAR announced earlier this week that the Truck Series will be rebranded as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series beginning next season. Camping World signed on as the title sponsor in 2009 and extended with a seven-year partnership in 2014, expanding the contract through 2022. Last May, Camping World chairman Marcus Lemonis purchased and rebranded Gander Mountain to Gander Outdoors, allowing the name change for the Truck Series while keeping the current contract intact.
“Nearly a decade ago we felt strongly our entitlement sponsorship would dramatically increase Camping World’s customer base and it’s delivered,” Lemonis said in a release. “We expect the passionate fans of NASCAR will embrace Gander Outdoors the same way they supported Camping World and we couldn’t be more excited about the future of the series.”
- As of press time, 30 drivers are entered for Friday night’s race. In addition to the double duty being run by Wallace and Busch, John Hunter Nemechek returns to pilot the No. 8 Chevrolet for NEMCO Motorsports, and Brandon Jones will make his first 2018 Truck Series start behind the wheel of the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.
- Todd Gilliland’s No. 4 team was hit with a minor penalty coming out of Dover. One lug nut was loose on the truck, and crew chief Wes Ward was fined $10,000.
- With Mother’s Day this weekend, Austin Wayne Self and Justin Fontaine will each have their mom’s names on their trucks Friday night at Kansas Speedway. Niece Motorsports will also use its Facebook and Twitter feed to honor moms using the hashtag #RacingForMom.
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