Race Weekend Central

Bill Lester Returns to Compete for David Gilliland at Atlanta

Bill Lester is back.

The 60-year-old racer will pilot the No. 17 Ford F-150 in a one-off for David Gilliland Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, marking his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series appearance since 2007.

The announcement comes after Lester hinted at a possible return to NASCAR last month on NASCAR Race Hub.

“I’m not out there to set the world on fire,” Lester told FOX Sports. “I’m out there to have a good run and a respectable run. And if I accomplish that, then I will have achieved my goal.”

One of the few African Americans to have raced in NASCAR is hoping that his return to the sport goes smoothly despite not being behind the wheel of a stock car in over 15 years.

“I’m sure there are going to be some raised eyebrows and some boobirds out there, but I don’t care,” Lester said. “The fact is I believe firmly and wholeheartedly that I can do it.

Lester was a stalwart on the Truck Series circuit between 2000-07, recording three poles in 142 starts. The Washington D.C., native also made two NASCAR Cup Series starts in 2006, his first of which came at Atlanta.

Lester joins David Gilliland and Riley Herbst as part-time drivers of the No. 17 Ford, which currently sits 15th in Truck owner points.

Atlanta Ford Dealers, Camping World and Tommy’s Express Car Wash will sponsor the effort.

About the author

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Never at a loss for words, Zach Gillispie is a young, talented marketing professional from North Carolina who talks and writes on the side about his first love: racing! Since joining Frontstretch in 2018, Zach has served in numerous roles where he currently pens the NASCAR 101 column, a weekly piece delving into the basic nuts and bolts of the sport. Additionally, his unabashedly bold takes meshed with that trademarked dry wit of his have made Zach a fan favorite on the weekly Friday Faceoff panel. In his free time, he can be found in the great outdoors, actively involved in his church, cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves or ruthlessly pestering his colleagues with completely useless statistics about Delma Cowart.

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Shayne Flaherty

Welcome back Bill.


Met him years ago and he’s a great guy.

Tom B

Let’s just hope nobody gets hurt on this fast track. Of course we say that about every race.

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