Chad Hackenbracht, who made a name for himself in the ARCA Racing Series, is set to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra in this weekend's WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth. This weekend's Truck Series stand-alone race will be the first of four Truck Series events for the 21-year-old New Philadelphia, OH. Native, which also include: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (Aug. 3), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada (Sept. 1) and Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (Sept. 28).
Across 47 ARCA Racing Series starts since 2010, Hackenbracht has amassed 1 win (Pocono, 2012), 2 pole awards, 8 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes while leading 230 laps. The young driver finished eighth and fifth, respectively, in the year-end championship point standings in 2011 and 2012.
"This is a huge opportunity for me, almost a one in a lifetime kind of thing," said Hackenbracht. "To be a small part of Kyle Busch Motorsports and their quest to win an owner's championship is a big step in my career. It's not only a shot for me to showcase my talent and what I'm capable of doing; it's an opportunity to be a part of something even bigger than me."
"It means a ton for me to run for Kyle both as an owner and a teammate," Hackenbracht continued. "I just met him last week and already he has been an open book and I'm confident that he will be a great teacher of these trucks and the tracks that I have minimal to no experience at. Kyle is a driver I've always looked up to and respected and this is a dream come true that I will not only be driving for him but sharing a truck with him as well."
As a veteran of quarter midgets and Legends Cars, including the 2008 National Asphalt Legends championship, Hackenbracht has been leaving his mark as he takes the necessary steps to prepare to climb the ladder into the NASCAR ranks. After spending the last two seasons competing full-time in the ARCA Racing Series, the first-generation driver feels he is ready to take the next step in his career by making his NASCAR debut for KBM.
"I feel like everything I have done up to this point in my racing career has given me the knowledge and technique I need to be successful in this next step of my career in the Truck Series," Hackenbracht said. "I have had the opportunity through ARCA to run at some of these NASCAR sanctioned tracks like Texas and Pocono. Mossport will be new for everyone in the Truck Series, but I have road course racing experience and actually got my first ARCA pole at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2012. Of course there will be pressure with the success that the 51 has had this year, but all I can do is go out there and do my best, that's all anyone can expect."
Hackenbracht enters this weekend's NCWTS event at TMS with big boots to fill. After back-to-back wins by owner-driver Kyle Busch, the No. 51 Toyota Tundra is up to second in the 2013 NCWTS owner point standings. In six starts this season Busch and rookie driver, Erik Jones have accumulated three top-five and five top-10 finishes including 153 laps led.
"Everyone wants to win, that's what we are here for," said Hackenbracht. "However, with this being my debut not only in the trucks, but in NASCAR, I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself. I just want to go out there and do the best that I can. This is good equipment and everyone knows that it's capable of running up front and winning. My goals are mainly to complete all the laps, gain knowledge and have solid finishes. These four races are going to be building blocks to my future and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I plan to come in and be a sponge - soak up all the knowledge I can."
Live television coverage of the WinStar World Casino 400 from Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth will air on SPEED at 9 p.m. ET.
Follow Chad Hackenbracht on Twitter, @HockenSomethin