Justin Fontaine hopeful in Kansas Speedway return
With his Dover International Speedway debut in the books, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rookie Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) is upbeat about heading back to some familiarity when his Niece Motorsports team hits the track for Friday night’s 37 Kind Days 250 at Kansas Speedway.
The Asheville, N.C. native has just one prior start at the fast 1.5-mile superspeedway, but his solid 14th place outing in the season finale last Oct. in the ARCA Racing Series has the freshman driver optimistic for the sixth race of the season.
“I’ve been looking forward to Kansas particularly after our strong run in our No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet at Las Vegas a couple months ago,” said Fontaine.
“Niece Motorsports has worked very hard to bring competitive trucks to these intermediate tracks and I feel that we’ll continue to showcase our strength this weekend.”
Rewinding back to Las Vegas, the 20-year-old qualified 19th, but raced his way into the top-10, led his first laps of competition and used strategy to score a career-best ninth.
Knowing that Kansas offers some similarities to Las Vegas, Fontaine believes he and crew chief Darrell Morrow can up the ante for his Truck Series debut at Kansas.
“The mile-and-a-half tracks have been very exciting this year,” added Fontaine. “I expect that to continue this weekend. The biggest challenge for us will be making sure we keep up with the track conditions throughout the night, especially after practicing and qualifying during the day.
“That is nothing new for the trucks though, and I think we’ll be able to combat those changes. We did at Las Vegas, and hopefully that means a good result for us and ProMATIC on Friday.”
Posting his fourth top-20 finish this past weekend at Dover, Fontaine says the competition will continue to strengthen as the series cycles in a rotation of constant racing, but his Statesville, N.C.-based team has also been readily preparing for the upcoming stretch and is prepared to put themselves in the mix.
“We’ve made it through our big stretch of downtime in the Truck Series and now we’ll soon get into the rhythm of racing several times a month and that will make us better as a team.
“We’re really happy with two top-10 finishes in the first five races, but obviously, we’re hungry for more. If we continue to work hard at the shop, do our best at the track and attract some luck along the way – I think we’ll find ourselves in position to turn our top-10 finishes into top-fives.
“There’s still a long way to go in the season, right now – we just have to take it one race at a time. Build the points and hope when it comes to Playoff time, we’re one of the surprises.”
After five races, Fontaine sits 14th in the series’ standings.
In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine is also a freshman student at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte), where he is pursuing a business degree.
For more on Justin Fontaine, please visit JustinFontaine.com, like his Facebook page (Justin Fontaine) or follow him on Twitter @driverFontaine.
The 37 Kind Days 250 (200 laps | 200 miles) is the sixth of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., May 11 from 8:35 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. A final practice session is set for 10:35 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:05 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).
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