Ray Black Jr. has had a successful season as a rookie driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) thanks to the great teamwork of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com crew and guidance from veteran team leaders. Together their hard work and dedication has led to eight Top-15 finishes and an 11th place position in the championship standings.
Veteran members of the NASCAR community, team owner Bobby Dotter and crew chief Jason Miller, lead Black’s team. They have been vital in providing Black with the knowledge, guidance and support needed to succeed in the premiere levels of auto racing.
Dotter, who returns to his hometown of Chicago this week, comes from a racing family. His dad was a three-time ARCA Champion, and Dotter himself was a race car driver in the 1980’s, competing in multiple series including the NASCAR West Series and Camping World Truck Series.
“Bobby is great. He’s cool, a stand-up guy,” said Black. “He loves what he does and is 100 percent passionate about racing, and you can see that when you’re talking to him – it’s always about racing. It’s cool to be a part of that. Bobby is like the epitome of what NASCAR is about. He has done everything in this sport.”
Miller has also been around the sport for many years, working with Andy Petree on the No. 55 Square D Cup car and as a member of Bobby Hamilton’s championship truck team in 2004.
“Jason is great to work with as well. He can be really vocal, but also really calm and efficient,” explained Black. “He knows how to say the right things at the right time. He just wants to do really good, and he sees potential in everything that’s going on here, so he puts everything he has into it.”
Black’s team often spends long hours both at the shop and the race track preparing for each week’s race. The team focuses on being as efficient as possible in order to get things done and perform at a top level of competition in the series.
“Everything is magnified on a smaller team. With this team I know everyone,” said Black. “I’m personable with everybody and I know everybody’s job, so if I’m having trouble with something I know who to go to. There’s not a lot of room for error with us. We’re a smaller team in a big NASCAR world.”
“In the beginning, we had a little bit of growing pains. Everyone had to sort themselves out and figure out their positions on the team. Now everyone knows what they need to do to make it a successful team. They’re really good at their jobs. They don’t complain; they get the job done.”
One of the biggest areas Black personally had to work on with the team was communication. Everyone has their own way of talking about racing, so figuring out what works with his team was important.
“Communication has strengthened with our team this year, and it’s a key ingredient in NASCAR racing,” explained Black. “You have to be able to tell your team the right information at the right time. Otherwise, something might get changed and send you in the wrong direction and by the time you figure it out, it’s too late. This is especially important because these are all new tracks that I’m visiting. The track conditions may change, and I could be still trying to figure out how to race on it, but I need to be able to tell my team how the truck is handling.”
Regardless of any growing pains, the ScubaLife team has come together during the season and their hard work clearly pays off – the No. 07 team has scored eight Top-15 finishes this season and sits 11th in Championship Points. The crew spends a great amount of time during the week prepping the trucks so that they are consistently able to be one of the first teams through tech, allowing Black more time out on the track. This has payed dividends in helping the NCWTS rookie gain experience and secure solid finishes all season long.
“The team really is everything in this sport. They do all the support work in the shop and setup all the cars. Then during practices they focus on making sure we are consistently getting better and faster,” said Black. “They have a lot of responsibility during the race too. They have to manage pit stops, make the correct adjustments on the truck and clean up any damage. It's a lot to handle, but they do it well. Everyone has to do their job for us to start working towards winning championships.”
Black and his ScubaLife crew are headed to Chicagoland Speedway and are set to compete in the American Ethanol E15 225 on Friday, September 18. FOX Sports 1 will provide live race coverage beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. MRN will provide radio coverage of the event.
Fans can keep up with Ray Black Jr.’s Chicagoland race weekend by following him and his sponsor, ScubaLife, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @TeamScubaRacing and @RayBlackJr. Learn more about Ray Black Jr. and Team Scuba by visiting www.rayblackjr.com and www.teamscuba.com.
Ray Black Jr. PR