Justin Fontaine looking forward to familiar Pocono turf
With his Eldora Dirt Derby debut in the books, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rookie Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) is happy to be heading to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, the site of Saturday afternoon’s Gander Outdoors 150.
The 2.5-mile track is dubbed the “Tricky Triangle” for its unique characteristics and its road-course like demeanor, but the three-turn layout is a favorite of the Niece Motorsports driver.
“I’m looking forward to Pocono,” said Fontaine. “This weekend will be my second time in a truck and I feel like I can take what I learned there last year and apply it towards, hopefully, a successful weekend for our No. 45 ProMATIC Automation team.”
Fontaine, a native of Asheville, N.C. qualified 30th last year at Pocono after experiencing a hiccup during qualifying.
However, once comfortable in his No. 66 ProMATIC Automation truck, the 20-year-old pushed his way through the field to a solid top-15 performance.
This weekend, Fontaine is keen on putting his Niece Motorsports team in position for their third top-10 finish of the year.
“This race is over pretty quick,” recalled Fontaine. “Last year, I made a mistake in qualifying and got us behind the eight-ball.
“I learned a lot during the race though. You have to attack each corner differently. You have to get yourself off Turn 3 well so you can carry the speed down the front straightaway. You need good rotation through Turn 1 to take you through the Long Pond straightaway to the tunnel turn.
“It’s a very technical track for sure and I’m looking forward to getting back there. I know my Niece team is bringing me a really good truck.”
Heading into Long Pond, Fontaine is also hoping to rebound from a challenging debut on the dirt of Eldora. After qualifying 30th, Fontaine gained five positions throughout the race to claim 25th.
Fontaine says his team is better than what they showed at Eldora and he’s vowing to prove that on Saturday.
“Eldora was tough for me,” Fontaine added. “I’m not used to that kind of racing and I needed more time to adjust. We persevered though and finished the race. My guys don’t deserve 25th, they deserve top-15, top-10 runs. That’s what we’re aiming for not only at Pocono – but the rest of this summer stretch.
“There’s some fun tracks coming up with Michigan and Bristol – then a wild card race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park late next month, so between now and then, it’s important for us to stay focused and put some strong runs together.”
After 13 races, Fontaine sits 16th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 19.7 entering Pocono. 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 Gander Outdoors 150 (60 laps | 150 miles) is the 14th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Fri., July 27 from 12:00 p.m. – 12:55 p.m., while final practice is set for 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., July 28 beginning at 10:00 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 1:00 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 (Eastern).
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