With his Thunder Valley debut behind him, Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) is ready to check off another “first” during his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie campaign, as the Niece Motorsports driver will make his road course debut in Sunday afternoon’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).
Fontaine has embraced the challenges of new surroundings with an upbeat demeanor and “never give up” attitude, and while his newest test awaits him, the Asheville, N.C. native, is ready to embrace Canada’s 10-turn course.
“It’s now or never,” Fontaine joked about his road course debut. “Seriously, though. It’s important for me to take these steps to broaden my racing resume – while experiencing all elements of Motorsports competition. I made my dirt debut last month at Eldora, now it’s time to go road course racing.”
To help adjust to turning right and left, Fontaine’s Niece Motorsports sent him to a driving school at the Bowmanville, Ontario race track, where he spent a few days with teammate Austin Wayne Self studying the course and experiencing its technique for himself, driving around the 2.459-mile road course in an equipped vehicle.
“My Niece Motorsports team has done everything that they can to prepare me for Canada,” said Fontaine. “They’ve provided support with video, photos and even sent me to Canada earlier this summer to experience its twists and turns for myself.
“It’s a nice venue with some speed and finesse mixed in. The goal for me is making gains from the first practice to the final practice and getting ourselves in a good spot for qualifying and seeing if we can utilize some strategy to put us near the front during the race.
“I think if you can keep all four-wheels on the track, it’s going to be a good day.”
Fontaine also plans to rely on the support of Self for guidance and advice around conquering Canadian Tire.
“Austin’s been here twice, and I’ll be able to pick his brain a little bit with any questions that I have,” he explained. “I think it’s going to be important for me to get behind someone like Austin who has been to Canada before and see if I can follow them in their footsteps.
“Once the race starts, it’s every man for himself. I’d be happy to come out of Canada with a top-15. A top-10 would feel like a win for sure.”
After 16 races, Fontaine sits 16th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 20.1 entering Canada. He earned a career-best ninth place result at Las Vegas in March.
In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine is starting his sophomore year as a student at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte), where he is pursuing a political science degree.
The Chevrolet Silverado 250 (64 laps | 157.37 miles) is the 17th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Sat., Aug. 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:35 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 6:00 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag on Sun., Aug. 26 shortly after 2:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).
Justin Fontaine PR