This weekend started a new adventure for me. Starting at Dover I will be driving the #94 for Premium Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series. This is very exciting for me and actually very new for me. This is my 5th season in NASCAR’s top ranks with 100+ starts between the Sprint Cup Series and the Xfinity Series but this weekend is only my 3rd start in the Camping World Truck Series.
Dover is a home track for me. Growing up in southern Maryland, I would go to Dover as a kid and have dreams of one day racing here. Little did I know, I actually would. Having raced at dover many times now, I was ready to tackle the Monster Mile in a truck for the first time! We would start our weekend on Thursday with our one & only 2 hour practice session.
My first laps on the track were very familiar but it took a lap or two for me to get adjusted to how much throttle input I needed for the truck. For those who may not know, the trucks have less horsepower than the Xfinity and Cup cars along with having more drag with the big truck bodies. This allows the trucks the go around Dover with more throttle input than I have experienced before. But we were happy to end practice in the top 25 without making a mock qualifying run.
Friday was race day for the Truck Series. First on our agenda was qualifying. Feeling very good about our #94 truck, we made very little changes for qualifying. The green flag for round 1 waved and we turned our lap. Made a very respectable lap and laid down the 21st quickest lap of the session. With the new format of qualifying having the top 24 qualifiers advance, we would advance to the second round. Ultimately we were happy with a top 24 starting position so we went out and made a lap putting us in the 22nd starting position for the race.
Now I have raced at Dover many times now so I know exactly why its called the Monster Mile and expected to see a fair share of wrecks in the race. As the green flag waved for the race, we picked up a handful of spots right away moving us inside the top 20. As I expected the caution flag was thrown right away for some early crashes. Through some cycles of cautions we were able to get off pit cycle from the leaders to run inside the top 10 for a portion of the race.
This race was a blast for me and I was feeling extremely good running inside the top 10! While racing hard for position, we made some contact with another truck and buckled the right rear quarter panel which took a lot of the side force out of the truck making it very hard to drive the rest of the race. However we kept fighting hard & continued to run inside the top 15 the remainder of the race. With 20 laps to go we had the right front tire come apart forcing us to pit under the green flag and lose a couple laps. However a few other trucks had to pit for fuel at the end and allowed us to sneak away from Dover with a 15th place finish!
This was my first race with the #94 Camping World Truck team and to come out of the Monster Mile with a 15th place finish is awesome! I had a smile on my face from the green flag to the checkered flag and I can’t wait t do it again! Our next race is this upcoming week as we travel to the Texas Motor Speedway. Be sure to tune in as we hope to better ourselves this week in Texas!