Feeling refreshed after a two-week break from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition, rookie Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) heads to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) eyeing his third top-10 of the season in Friday night’s Rattlesnake 400.
The Asheville, N.C. native has never been to the newly repaved 1.5-mile speedway located in the heart of The Lonestar State – but Fontaine is hoping he’ll be able to quickly adapt to Texas with the support of his Niece Motorsports team and fellow Truck Series drivers.
“I’ve been ready to go for the past week or so,” offered Fontaine. “It was nice to have a break after Charlotte, for us to be able to regroup, but it’s time to get back down to business and see what we can do at Texas.
“I’ve never been there, but I’ve done a lot of studying. From watching video, talking to others and even examining photos. I’m doing everything I can to be at the top of my game this week.”
Not only will Fontaine have to experience the fundamentals of a new track for the seventh time this season, but the former ARCA Racing Series competitor will also compete in the hottest conditions of his recent memory.
With temperatures expected to soar to near 100 degrees on Friday, Fontaine says he’s been trying to mentally and physically prepare himself for the conditions for the eighth race of the season.
“I always try to look at the forecast ahead of time and I when I did for Texas, I knew I needed to do everything I could to get myself ready. I’ve been working out regularly and I started hydrating myself over the weekend and will continue to drink fluids throughout the week.
“Even though the race is at night, it’s still going to be humid and we’ll practice and qualify during the heat of the day, so it’s going to directly impact us. And it will influence our trucks too.
“It’s usually pretty hot in Texas, but this is going to be seriously hot. It’s going to be important not only for me – my crew to stay cool as much as they can and for them to drink plenty of fluids. At times, I think they’ll have it worse than me.”
Combating the heat off the track – Fontaine hopes their performance on the track is sizzling strong.
After all, the mile-and-a-half tracks have been a strength for the Niece Motorsports team this season and Fontaine expects no different this weekend.
“Other than Charlotte, I feel like the mile-and-a-half tracks have been pretty kind to us,” he said. We’ve showed strength and speed on them. Reviewing the video from last year, it appeared that the draft was key at Texas and that reminds me of Las Vegas.
“If that’s the case, that should be good news for our ProMATIC team on Friday night.”
After seven races, Fontaine sits 13th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 17.0 entering Texas.
In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine is also finishing his freshman year as a 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 Rattlesnake 400k (167 laps | 250.5 miles) is the eighth of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., June 7 from 3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 5:05 p.m. – 5:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., June 8 beginning at 4:45 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:00 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).
Justin Fontaine PR