Red Horse Racing welcomes NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year contender John King as driver for the No. 7 Toyota Tundra for the 2012 season. The NextEra Energy Resources 250 will mark King's first venture on a superspeedway, having his largest previous start on 1.5-mile tracks during his debut into the Truck Series in 2010 and 2011. The 2.5-mile high banks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway will be the young driver's eighth Truck Series start.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CONTENDER: The Fort Blackmore, VA native got his start racing on dirt in a Crate Late Model in 2006. King continued to race in the Late Model division until 2008 when he was asked to be a part of the Bill Elliott Driver Development program. There he competed in the UARA-STARS Late Model division on asphalt. King made his way onto the Truck Series scene in 2010 with starts at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. To date, the 23-year old driver has a career-best finish of 15th which came in his Truck Series debut at Bristol. King was also able to find seat time in 2011 at both events at Kentucky Speedway and again at Bristol in August.
OFF SEASON ADVENTURES: King and a group of five of his closest friends took a trip to Middlesboro, Kentucky for a little 'off-road' riding. The group rode their four-wheelers up and down the old coal strip mines, riding over 60 miles in one day. King also spent time working on his Late Model car preparing for the 2012 UARA Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series seasons.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 7 team will utilize chassis No. 140 this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. This chassis was last seen at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway where it finished 18th with Miguel Paludo. Teammate Timothy Peters kicked off the 2010 season in Victory Lane with chassis No. 140.
John King talks about Daytona International Speedway:
What are you most excited about entering your rookie year in the Truck Series? What are your expectations for the season?
"I'm most excited about running and racing with these veterans and having the chance to learn from the guys that have been in the sport for years. The seat time at tracks that I have not been to before is very important. I need to finish races and have consistent finishes. Having good finishes will produce good results. With having only 22 races there are a limited amount of points and not finishing a race will hurt our chances at the rookie of the year title."
What are your feelings heading to a historic track like Daytona?
"Running at a superspeedway is something I have never done. There are a lot of feelings. I am excited and anxious. With Daytona being the first race of the season and the first for a rookie driver, there is a lot of pressure. There is no wading in the pool; we are diving into the deep end head first at the start. But I am ready for the new experience and the chance to be part of history at Daytona. I think the majority of drivers coming into this historic place of racing feel the same when it's their first race. Just hearing 'Daytona' gives you a thrill. Because the largest track I've competed at is 1.5-mile, I am really looking forward to the experience to run on a superspeedway -- and even better to have Daytona be the first."