Carrying some momentum from the end of her rookie season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE), Canadian Dominique Van Wieringen (@DominiqueRacing) will make her NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.
For Friday night’s penultimate race of the season, Van Wieringen and her Rette Jones Racing (RJR) team have formed an alliance with Young’s Motorsports putting Van Wieringen in the No. 02 Durobyte Ford F-150 for the Lucas Oil 150.
“I’m very humbled by this opportunity to make my Truck Series debut at Phoenix,” said Van Wieringen. “We’ve been working hard on this project since the checkered flag flew at Dover in October and I’m excited to go to Phoenix and see what we can do.”
Van Wieringen was one of the hottest drivers on the K&N tour at the end of their 2016 season. Heading into the season finale at Dover last month, Van Wieringen carried back-to-back top-five finishes at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway and New Jersey Motorsports Park.
She made it three back-to-back top-five runs with a third place run at Dover. The performance leaped her to ninth in the championship standings, moving four positions (13th) in the standings over the last four races. Overall, the K&N Pro Series East rookie ended the year with three top-fives and five top-10 finishes, including a career-best third at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in September and at Dover. Additionally, she started inside the top-10 for 10 of the 14 races, earning a best start of second three-times (Mobile, Bristol and Columbus).
In addition to becoming the first female competitor to score three consecutive top-five finishes in K&N Pro Series East history, she also become the highest leading female in the series with 140 laps led in three races and the most laps led in any single event with a whopping 88 laps led at Stafford Motor Speedway in June.
Knowing the competition bar will be raised to another level this weekend at Phoenix, Van Wieringen has an achievable goal in mind, finish the race.
“I know Phoenix is going to be a completely different atmosphere for me, but I’m surrounded with a lot of great people who will help me with my learning curve,” she added. “Mark (Rette), my Rette Jones Racing guys and of course the help from Tyler (Young) will no doubt be a huge asset for me.
“I’ve never been to Phoenix, so we just have to use practice to the best of our ability and then work on just getting faster and faster from the first practice to the final practice and then qualifying. I’m pretty sure we’re locked into the race – and that’s a big relief, but I want to qualify on time and then just race towards a clean and respectable finish. If we can do that, it will be a great weekend in the desert.”
Rette, a championship winning crew chief in the ARCA Racing Series says he has a lot of faith in his driver and crew to turn some heads in the next to last race of the 2016 season.
“We wouldn’t be going to Phoenix if we didn’t think Dominique could do a good job,” Rette said. “Our goal is to just get here some laps, earn some respect and see the checkered flag. “Dominique proved she is a phenomenal short track racer in K&N this year and with Phoenix having that short track mentality, I think her adjustment to the trucks will be quick and she’ll find her groove easy.
“If we can keep our nose clean, we should get out of Phoenix with a solid finish and something to carry us over into 2017.”
Van Wieringen is active on Twitter. You can follow and tweet with her @DominiqueRacing. You can also like her exclusive fan page on Facebook.com. Her team, Rette Jones Racing is also active on Twitter. Follow them @RetteJones30 or like their Facebook page.
The Lucas Oil 150 (150 Laps / 150 Miles) is the 22nd of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the 2016 schedule. Practice begins Fri., Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m., while a final session has been etched in from 1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Qualifying will take place later in the day at 6:30 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly thereafter at 8:00 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 (Mountain).