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Truckin’ Thursdays

Truckin’ Thursdays: Five Young Guns To Watch At Martinsville

Truckin’ Thursdays: Five Young Guns To Watch At Martinsville

After a thrilling season opener at Daytona International Speedway last month, the Camping World Truck Series will be back on track next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. It marks a huge change of pace for the drivers as they go from high-banks and big packs at Daytona, to the tight confines of Martinsville. Heading into next weekend’s race, here are five drivers that you should keep an eye on. No. 13 for ThorSport Racing: Jeb Burton Coming off a solid rookie ... Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Drivers Worth Watching This Season

Truckin’ Thursdays: Drivers Worth Watching This Season

Sometimes, it’s a struggle to come up with something to talk about in a series that takes five weeks off after its first event. With just one race under their belts, it’s hardly time to start talking about championship favorites, though you’d have to look at Matt Crafton’s near-invincibility last season and wonder who might have that good fortune this season. But instead of looking at championship favorites, how about a look at a few drivers worth keeping an eye ... Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Meet Your 2014 Rookie Class

Truckin’ Thursdays: Meet Your 2014 Rookie Class

Following an exciting race at Daytona International Speedway, opening the 2014 season, the Camping World Truck Series heads off to … a five-week break before returning to the track at Martinsville Speedway on March 29th. It’s not all that exciting, huh? In the meantime, we’ll take a look at this year’s rookie class. *Tyler Young, Tyler Reddick, Ben Kennedy and Mason Mingus* all have plans to run full-time this season in hopes of capturing the Sunoco Rookie of the Year ... Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: The 2014 Season Dawns

Truckin’ Thursdays: The 2014 Season Dawns

Welcome back readers! Here we are on the eve of another season in the Camping World Truck Series. In some ways, the off-season was incredibly short, but there were also times when it seemed to drag along. As we get ready to go back to racing, there are plenty of changes you should be aware of coming into the 2014 season. First and foremost, NASCAR officially unveiled the newly redesigned bodies for the trucks on Wednesday. They were designed to ... Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Peters’ Roots, King’s Return and Newberry’s Experience

Truckin’ Thursdays: Peters’ Roots, King’s Return and Newberry’s Experience

Once again, the Camping World Truck Series sits idle while the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series head off to Darlington Raceway. And during down times like the ones that have plagued the early parts of the year for a while now, there's little going on that's worth talking about. So to help keep the Truck Series in your mind ahead of next Friday night's showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I'm here to share some of the latest and greatest news coming out of the series. Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Matt Crafton On ThorSport’s Recent Success

Truckin’ Thursdays: Matt Crafton On ThorSport’s Recent Success

Just four races into the 2013 season, ThorSport Racing has visited Victory Lane in three of four events, while drivers Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter sit one-two in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. Despite a lackluster year last season, both Crafton and Sauter have finished in the top 10 in points for six and four consecutive year, respectively, making their organization the closest thing to "dynasty" you can get in one of NASCAR's lower divisions. So what is the key to their success and longevity in the sport? I sat down with Crafton at Kansas Speedway almost two weeks ago, after the Truck Series' final practice session, to talk a little about just that. Read More »

Truckin' Thursdays: Meet The 2013 Rookie Class, Part II

_Author's Note: Welcome to Part II of our Rookie Class Preview for the 2013 season. Did you miss the first part? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Just \"click here\":http://www.frontstretch.com/blunkenheimer/42514/ to read Part I where we featured Ryan Blaney, Jeb Burton and Brennan Newberry._ *German Quiroga* <div style=\"float:right; width:240px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15539.jpg\" width=\"240\" height=\"299\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">German Quiroga looking GQ in those white sunglasses. Wait a minute…I think we just coined a nickname.</p></div> *2013 Ride:* No. 77 Red Horse Racing Toyota *2013 Teammates:* Timothy Peters and Jon Wes Townley *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* Six (two in 2011, four in 2012) *Best Finish:* Eighth at Talladega (2012) *Daytona Result:* 25th (Running, three laps down) German Quiroga made his Camping World Truck Series debut with Kyle Busch Motorsports in late 2011, behind the wheel of the No. 51 Telcel Toyota Tundra, in a deal that was meant to determine whether the NASCAR Mexico champion even had any interest in pursuing the Truck Series. Fast forward to 2013 where, just days before the season opener at Daytona, Quiroga has signed on to run the full season with Red Horse Racing. \"I am very happy to join Red Horse Racing,\" Quiroga said after his signing was announced. \"I looked around the RHR shop back in December and was very pleased with the entire organization and how well they support each other.\" While a 25th-place result at Daytona isn't all that exciting, Quiroga had run well prior to being collected in a wreck not of his own making. However, in his limited starts last season, Quiroga has shown promise and will definitely be on to watch in the upcoming season. *Victory Lane This Year?* Red Horse Racing managed to visit victory lane five times last year with all four drivers that made starts with the organization. While Quiroga has just limited experience in the Truck Series, he's a three-time NASCAR Mexico champion and will likely snag a victory later this year. *Darrell Wallace, Jr.* <div style=\"float:right; width:250px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/14528.jpg\" width=\"250\" height=\"381\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">With a Nationwide Series pole in just his fourth career start last year, is a win that far off for Darrell Wallace, Jr. in the Camping World Truck Series?</p></div> *2013 Ride:* No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota *2013 Teammates:* Joey Coulter and Kyle Busch *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* none *Best Finish:* N/A *Daytona Result:* 12th Having never made a Camping World Truck Series start, Darrell Wallace, Jr. joined Kyle Busch Motorsports during the offseason to run full time this year. The Joe Gibbs Racing development driver will pilot the No. 54 Toyota throughout the season and has another young driver right alongside him in Joey Coulter. \"I can't wait to get started,\" Wallace said. \"I appreciate everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports for working this out and providing me the opportunity to compete for Rookie of the Year and the championship in the Truck Series. Having the opportunity to run a full season in the Tundra is exciting.\" With such raw talent, it imperative to watch the development of Wallace throughout the season since there's one of two ways it can go for him. He can either be rushed through the ranks like so many promising young drivers before him, or built up gradually for long-term success (see Austin and Ty Dillon). *Victory Lane This Year?* Considering Wallace's only experience in the Truck Series came at Daytona in the season opener, it's easy to count him out for a shot at the victory this season, especially with the learning curve of getting used to driving a truck, however he's already impressed in the Nationwide Series. Plus, he's got the benefit of learning valuable insight from team owner Kyle Busch as well as the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization. With all of that being said, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him head to victory lane at some point in 2012. ———- *Miguel's Corner* *Tweet of the Week* \"*@miguelpaludo:*\":http://www.twitter.com/miguelpaludo Amei meu novo chassis TSM#227. / Loved my new chassis TSM#227 girl. Great day of testing @MartinsvilleSwy. @TSMotorsports \"*@PatiSouzaPaludo:*\":http://www.twitter.com/patisouzapaludo Nite nite. U all enjoy your families and friends. I'm very blessed with all the families and friends that I have. Just good vibes around me. *Photo of the Week:* <div style=\"float:center; width:400px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15538.jpg\" width=\"400\" height=\"400\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Jelly everywhere! Photo courtesy of Patricia Paludo.</a></p></div> *Connect with Beth!* <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/Beth_Frntstrtch\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/6502.jpg\"></a><a href=\"http://www.facebook.com/writerbeth\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/6501.jpg\"></a><br> \"Contact Beth Lunkenheimer\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/14353/ Read More »

Truckin' Thursdays: Meet The 2013 Rookie Class, Part I

_Once again, the Camping World Truck Series boasts several drivers all hoping to take home the coveted Rookie of the Year title in November. But other than their names, what do you really know about each of those rookies, including their past experience, who they're driving for and what to expect from them this season? Read on as we take a closer look at each of the newest faces in the series, profiling the 2013 rookie class._ *Ryan Blaney* *2013 Ride:* No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford *2013 Teammates:* Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain and Dave Blaney (sharing No. 19 Ford) *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* 9 (all in 2012) *Best Finish:* 1st at Iowa Speedway *Daytona Result:* 8th Ryan Blaney made his Truck Series debut at Bristol last season after Brad Keselowski Racing parted ways with driver Parker Kligerman, and he impressed straight out of the gate with a solid sixth-place finish. Then, in just his third series start, the 20-year-old led 50 laps en route to his first career victory at Iowa Speedway. Aside from two DNFs due to crashes late last season, Blaney posted finishes no worse than 11th. Look ahead to this season, and Blaney has signed on to run full-time for the same team he scored his first career victory with. <div style=\"float:right; width:273px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15505.jpg\" width=\"273\" height=\"400\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Ryan Blaney is leading the next wave of second-generation Cup drivers. His Keselowski connection has him paired with Penske by proxy – not a bad place to be in for a 20-year-old driver who already won in his \"pre-rookie\" year of 2012.</p></div> Blaney also made seven starts for Penske Racing last season in the Nationwide Series, recording five top 10 results, including a runner-up finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Add in the six events he ran for Tommy Baldwin Racing, and you've got some pretty impressive numbers for such a young driver: seven top 10s in 13 starts. *Victory Lane This Year?* Yes. While Blaney already has one Truck Series victory to his name, the pure talent that this driver shows proves that he will visit victory lane this season–and likely multiple times at that. *Jeb Burton* *2013 Ride:* No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet *2013 Teammates:* James Buescher, Miguel Paludo and Ryan Truex (Daytona) *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* 5 (all in 2012) *Best Finish:* 8th at Charlotte Motor Speedway *Daytona Result:* 5th Jeb Burton made his debut last season at Martinsville Speedway with Wauters Motorsports in hopes of running full-time for Rookie of the Year honors. Unfortunately, the young driver's Truck Series career was put on hold when sponsorship woes sidelined him, just five races in. But it wasn't the end of Burton's hopes to race in the Truck Series–having talked to Turner Scott Motorsports and sharing mutual interests, the 20-year-old signed a two-year deal with the organization. <div style=\"float:right; width:275px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15469.jpg\" width=\"275\" height=\"412\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Jeb Burton, son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton finished fifth at Daytona. Could that be a harbinger of things to come for the Turner Scott Motorsports driver?</p></div> \"I'm really proud that I can race for Turner (Scott) Motorsports over the next two years. This team has had so much success, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to work with such a team,\" Burton said. \"We all have high expectations for the 2013 season. It's clear that Turner Scott Motorsports is a growing organization that believes in young talent.\" Burton joins teammates Miguel Paludo and defending champion James Buescher and will have plenty of resources and information to share in his first full season in the Truck Series. *Victory Lane This Year?* Yes. While he's got a limited amount of Truck Series experience at this point in his young career, Burton has already shown that he can get himself through some tight spaces while driving smart and making it to the end of each race. That ability, combined with the performance Turner Scott Motorsports showed all last season, makes it simply a matter of time before he finds his way to victory lane. *Brennan Newberry* *2013 Ride:* No. 14 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet *2013 Teammates:* Ron Hornaday, Jr. *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* 10 (all in 2012) *Best Finish:* 19th at Michigan International Speedway *Daytona Result:* 33rd; DNF Brennan Newberry made his Truck Series debut last season at Martinsville Speedway but didn't quite make it to the finish after being caught up in the seventh and final caution. Fast forward to the off-season, and his family-owned team merged with Joe Denette Motorsports in an effort to pool resources and create a partnership mutually beneficial to both sides. \"I am just so excited for the opportunity that 2013 brings in my first full season in the Truck Series,\" Newberry said of the merger. \"To be able to work with Dan Deeringhoff as my crew chief for the second year in a row, the opportunity to work with veteran and proven champion, Ron Hornaday, to learn and gain knowledge from our new director of competition, Bruce Cook and the amazing opportunity to be working out of the same shop that Kevin Harvick, Inc. became so successful in, is a dream come true.\" While Daytona wasn't very kind to Newberry in the race itself, he did start off the season with a pole and beat out several series veterans in the process. *Victory Lane This Year?* No. As much as I want to see all rookies in this sport succeed, I'm not quite sure Newberry is set up for the success he'd like to see. Everyone knows that money talks in NASCAR, and that couldn't be more true when it comes to performance on the race track. Since Newberry drives for a small team, it's likely they don't quite have the resources to remain up front and grab the victory. But with that being said, the combined resources at the newly merged NTS Motorsports, along with the valuable information he can learn from series veteran Ron Hornaday, Jr., give Newberry that hope that he could see victory lane. I'm just not convinced it will be this season. _Author's Note: Looking for the rest of the 2013 rookies? Don't worry because you'll find them in next week's Truckin' Thursdays._ *Miguel's Corner* *Tweet of the Week* \"*@miguelpaludo:*\":http://www.twitter.com/miguelpaludo Indo correr agora e depois gravacao da @FoxSports_br na minha casa. / Heading to the gym and then @FoxSports_br footage in my house. \"*@PatiSouzaPaludo:*\":http://www.twitter.com/patisouzapaludo That's the last picture of Oli and Pedrinho hanging out together. The same night of the day that I posted… \"http://instagr.am/p/WaKJtcPcL8/\":http://instagr.am/p/WaKJtcPcL8/ \"*@PatiSouzaPaludo:*\":http://www.twitter.com/patisouzapaludo We r getting better everyday. Love u little Oli. \"http://instagr.am/p/WcSq5YPcOF/\":http://instagr.am/p/WcSq5YPcOF/ *Photo of the Week:* <div style=\"float:center; width:400px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15504.jpg\" width=\"400\" height=\"400\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Miguel, Patricia and Oliver Paludo spending some quality time together before the season opener at Daytona. Photo courtesy of Patricia Paludo.</a></p></div> *Connect with Beth!* <a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/Beth_Frntstrtch\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/6502.jpg\"></a><a href=\"http://www.facebook.com/writerbeth\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/6501.jpg\"></a><br> \"Contact Beth Lunkenheimer\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/14353/ Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Three Drivers To Watch One Race Into 2013

Truckin’ Thursdays: Three Drivers To Watch One Race Into 2013

Here we go again. Every year around this time, the Camping World Truck Series heads off into Daytona for the season opener, puts on a great race and stops dead in its tracks for several weeks. Once again, the 36-truck field put on an impressive event Friday night only to turn around and take time off until April 6th. That's right ... April 6th! So while we're on this extended break, I'd like to take some time to look at a few drivers to keep a close eye on this season. _Author's Note: Did I miss a driver you think will show up the rest of the field? Let me know on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below._ Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Miguel Paludo on Offseason Fun and Prepping for 2013

Truckin’ Thursdays: Miguel Paludo on Offseason Fun and Prepping for 2013

I can't believe how fast the offseason went by. I thought it wouldn't be that quick but it really was. After Homestead, it was the first time since we moved to the United States that we didn't go to Brazil right away. We applied for our green cards and you can't travel until you receive the card. Well, you can travel but you have to get a visa and it takes a really long time. So we planned to be here in the U.S. for Christmas and New Year's Eve. It was nice to be here in a different situation -- not just racing. I had my in-laws come in and Patricia was happy to have them here. We enjoyed Christmas and New Year's Eve together at home. It was pretty simple for just ourselves with a nice dinner. Read More »