After a welcome one-week break from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition, Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) is feeling refreshed heading to Kentucky Speedway for Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225.
Fontaine, the Asheville, N.C. native has fond memories of the 1.5-mile race track, including scoring one of his two top-10 finishes in ARCA Racing Series competition last year.
Surging ahead for his 15th career Truck Series start, the 20-year-old Fontaine is confident that his Niece Motorsports team can put him in a similar scenario aboard the No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet.
“I had a lot of fun at Kentucky last year,” offered Fontaine. “We got spun early in the race, but we had a good car and raced back to the top-10. I know the circumstances are completely different racing an ARCA car to a truck – but my Niece Motorsports guys have been working really hard and I like our chances for a strong finish.”
Maneuvering his second top-15 finish in the last three races, the Truck Series rookie says he’s proud of his Niece Motorsports team and their ability to produce fast trucks on all types of tracks, despite a demanding schedule the last six weeks.
“The Truck Series isn’t easy,” added Fontaine. “The competition is stiff and there’s a lot of good drivers. Niece Motorsports grew from a one-truck team to a two-truck team this season and I think we’re showing near the halfway point that we can be someone to contend with in the second half.
“We had a good truck at Chicagoland. My crew chief Cody (Efaw) and I have been working together the last few races and I feel like our communication is strong.
“The last three weeks we’ve had a really good truck and I think we’ll go to Kentucky this week and pick up right from where we left off at Chicagoland.”
With Kentucky marking the halfway point of Fontaine’s freshman season of Truck Series competition, the North Carolinian says it’s important for his No. 45 team to keep the momentum rolling and produce more top-10 finishes.
“The start of the season went really well picking up two top-10 finishes in the first three races, but we had some bad luck along the way that derailed our momentum.
“I feel like we’re back on track and the team is as focused as ever to put nice looking and fast trucks on the race track.
“It’s a team effort, however. I need to do my job too.
“I need to keep working with Cody and the guys and make sure I’m not putting myself in an awkward position during the race that might cost us an opportunity for a good finish.
“When it comes to Kentucky Thursday night, I remember how bumpy that place is, and we just need to make sure we’re working to get our No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet handling through the bumps and carrying the speed off the corners. If we can do that, it should be another strong night.”
After 11 races, Fontaine sits 16th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 19.5 entering Kentucky. He earned a career-best ninth place result at Las Vegas in March.
In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine just completed 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 Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 (150 laps | 225 miles) is the 12th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., July 12 from 9:00 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:00 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 5:10 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 (Eastern).
Justin Fontine PR