Deep into the first break of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, Niece Motorsports rookie Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) suffered his first hardship last month at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in his No. 45 ProMATIC Automation | Superior Essex Chevrolet Silverado.
Even with the tough 28th-place finish at Martinsville, Fontaine, a native of Asheville, N.C., has utilized much of his downtime to reflect not only on his fast start, which included two top-10 finishes in the series’ first three races, but also embracing the learning curve of a tough short track like Martinsville.
Using determination, Fontaine is poised to bounce back and move forward through the remaining 19 NCWTS races beginning with the JEGS 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Fri., May 4, live on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
Following Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Martinsville, Fontaine, an ARCA Racing Series graduate is 14th in the championship standings with an average finish of 16th.
Fontaine, 20, recently sat down for a question and answer session, reflecting on the first four races of the year, a glimpse into his personal life and what lies ahead for his Niece Motorsports team.
1. Obviously, Martinsville didn’t go the way you had hoped. However, you did get more experience for your return to the famed paperclip this fall. Talk about the weekend.
Justin Fontaine: “Martinsville has been a tough track for me, but I’m determined over the next couple of months to get it figured out. We made some gains during the weekend, but not enough to be satisfied.
“I hate that we didn’t have a good finish, but we realize that some races aren’t going to turn out as we’d hope. I’m going to get it and we’ll fight back in October with our No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet.”
2. The Truck Series is in the midst of a five-week break before returning at Dover International Speedway in early May. Is this break a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to you and the Niece Motorsports team?
Justin Fontaine: “I think the break is a good thing for a team like us to reset and not only get ready for Dover, but some of the upcoming races. It’s a very relaxed schedule to start the year – but it’s going to get busy soon and it’s nice for some of the smaller teams like us to have some extra time at the beginning of the year to get in a good place.”
3. You’ve never been to Dover International Speedway. It can be a monster of a place for someone who’s never been there. How do you prepare? Who will you talk to?
Justin Fontaine: “Mostly, I watch film a lot. Most of these tracks are new to me but that’s not a challenge I’m unfamiliar with. My team is working hard to build me competitive trucks and I’m prepared to do what I can behind the wheel to give 100 percent.
“I go back to my season in ARCA last year where I had never been to a lot of tracks, but we did well and that’s motivating me for sure.”
4. When people see Justin Fontaine, you’re always sporting your aviator sunglasses. How did that look come about and how many pairs of sunglasses do you own?
Justin Fontaine: “Honestly, I think it started as just a necessity for eye protection. I used to be a student pilot and I had them when I flew so it just carried over to racing.
“It’s the only type of sunglasses I wear, but they’re unique and it fits my brand. I’m loyal to any product that I think fits.”
5. What is something you think your competitors should know about you?
Justin Fontaine: “I think what people should know about me is how much of a homebody I am. I love traveling and racing and being on the road, but being at home with my family and friends is a priority to me and something I don’t take for granted.”
6. Looking ahead, what race track are you really looking forward to this spring and early summer? What track are you looking forward to least and why?
Justin Fontaine: “Honestly, I think I’m mostly looking forward to Charlotte and Texas. Our mile-and-a-half program at Niece Motorsports has been on point this year, so I’m excited for those. I think I’m most nervous about the road course.
“I don’t have a lot of road racing experience, so my debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this summer will be a challenge, but a challenge I’ll accept and hope for the best.”
For more on Justin Fontaine, please visit JustinFontaine.com, like his Facebook page (Justin Fontaine) or follow him on Twitter @driverFontaine.
Niece Motorsports PR