It was a big weekend for Justin Boston in the Commonweath of Kentucky; not only did he continue his pursuit for a top-five finish with Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, he made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing as well. Boston had a solid weekend, finishing ninth with his No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota Camry in Friday’s ZLOOP 150 and backing it up with another ninth-place finish in the JGR No. 20 ZLOOP Toyota Camry Saturday’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.
“It was definitely a memorable weekend,” Boston said. “To be able to make my Nationwide Series debut for a team like Joe Gibbs Racing is really awesome. Here’s a team that has won dozens of races and is a championship caliber team and to have the chance to work with them was a dream come true. They helped me get better all weekend long. We got faster and faster as practice went on and we made up a lot of ground in the last 50 laps of the race. The competition level there is really strong and to come out with a top ten finish in my series debut is a big accomplishment.”
Boston’s run on Friday was solid, but tinged with a sense disappointment. Boston started from the pole position and led laps in the early going, but track position lost on a mid-race pit stop forced him back in the pack and forced him to deal with the dreaded “dirty air.”
“When we pitted I knew we had a third-place car,” he said. “But we don’t come to the racetrack to finish third. So (crew chief) Billy (Venturini) took a big swing at it and we took a little extra time to put a spring rubber in to try to loosen us up. But that put us back into the field and once we got back in traffic the car just got so tight there was nothing I could do. No matter what I tried, the car was just too tight. We’re pretty bummed we finished ninth in the ZLOOP 150. That’s obviously a trophy I really wanted to take home. But we came to win, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. So we might be a little disappointed with the finish but I am one-hundred percent proud of the effort we made.”
Boston gets another crack at the Nationwide Series this weekend in the 5-Hour Energy 200 at the Dover International Speedway, again in JGR’s potent No. 20.
“After last weekend I am really confident going into this weekend,” he said. “I ran the K&N Pro Series race at Dover last fall so I have some experience at the track, and I think I am comfortable in the Nationwide Series cars now. Two-hundred laps at Dover is a long race and it’s going to be pretty physical. It’s an intense place. It’s a big challenge and it’s one I am definitely looking forward to.”
In addition to this weekend’s Nationwide Series action, Boston has one more race on his ARCA Racing Series schedule, the season finale at Kansas Speedway on Friday, October 3. Boston has two ARCA wins this season, at Toledo and Madison, and is virtually assured of finishing no worse than fifth in the series championship standings. Once the ARCA season concludes, he will run the final three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, and at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14.
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