DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –With the green flag on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season set to wave, it’s evident that Young’s Motorsports plans to be a contender from Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 to the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in November.
During the off-season, Austin Hill completed his transition for his family-owned team to the flagship No. 02 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado. With crew chief Chad Kendrick turning the wrenches, building new trucks and scoping out the new NT1 optional engine, Hill, a native of Canton, Ga. heads to the “World Center of Racing” eyeing his career-best finish in the 100-lap race.
“I’m ready to go at Daytona,” said Hill, a NASCAR Next alumnus. “I can’t thank the guys enough on the Young’s Motorsports team for putting a lot of effort into our Daytona truck program. It’s important for us to have a good run on Friday night to propel towards building some early season momentum that we can carry to Atlanta and Las Vegas.
“Young’s Motorsports has proven over the last two years or so – that their restrictor plate program is very solid. No matter who was driving it. I think the addition of the NT1 spec motor is going to level the playing field for the most part and that should be the boost that we need to have a shot at the Playoffs come September.
“That’s not for a long while, so we just need to do what we can to get this No. 02 Chevrolet near the front on a permanent basis.
For Daytona, GoShare which connects truck and van owners with people and businesses who need with moving, hauling or delivering cargo will serve as the other primary marketing partner.
Overkill Motorsports, a Jacksonville Beach, Fla. company will serve as a major partner for the season-opening race. Established in 2009, Overkill Motorsports has quickly become one of the most trusted and successful Motorcoach, Trailer and Golf Cart dealers in the United States.
In addition to two new marketing partners, Hill will have a teammate for Friday night’s anticipated thriller. Something that the 23-year-old isn’t accustomed too during his NASCAR career.
At Daytona, however, Hill believes the addition of Scott Lagasse Jr. to the team’s program could be a benefit not only to himself, but the Young’s Motorsports team.
“Teammates have never been more important in competition, especially at places like Daytona and Talladega,” sounded Hill. “I know that Tyler (Young, general manager and co-owner) has been vastly working on putting together a strong second truck not only for Daytona but for a majority of the season.
“Scott hasn’t raced the trucks a whole lot, but he is stout when it comes to restrictor plate racing. He could be the glue that takes Young’s Motorsports to a whole new level, especially on a plate track. I’m looking forward to leaning on him for his knowledge, but his craft on plate racing too.
“I really think we can surprise a few people Friday night.”
Lagasse, a native of St. Augustine, Fla. will make his 28th career start at the 2.5-mile superspeedway and eyes his second consecutive finish at Daytona after finishing seventh last Feb.
The veteran driver made his Young’s Motorsports debut at Iowa Speedway last summer earning a solid 13th place finish after qualifying 20th at the 0.875-mile short track.
“I’m very excited to be back racing in the Truck Series and apart of the Young’s Motorsports program,” said Lagasse who has four top-10 finishes in Trucks. “We didn’t have a whole lot of time to put this deal together for Daytona, but the guys at Young’s Motorsports I feel have gone above and beyond to make sure that both Austin and I have competitive trucks at Daytona.
“I’m also eager to see how this new spec motor performs, especially at a place like Daytona. Tyler has assured us we’ll have some good trucks this weekend. I hope we can repay him and the team for their endless efforts with two worthy performances on Friday night.”
His efforts will be backed by the American Cancer Society and ScreenYourMachine.org.
For Young, also a part-time competitor in Trucks, he’s glad the stars aligned allowing his team to take two competitive trucks to Daytona.
“Man, we’ve been looking forward to this,” added Young. “Both Austin and Scott are going to have trucks that we feel like contend for strong finishes at Daytona. “Of course, I’d be biased and say that I’d like a Young’s Motorsports 1-2 finish, but we’re also keeping our expectations realistic, hoping that something will develop that will not only keep them out of trouble but make them contenders when push comes to shove, and that payday window opens.”
In practice on Thursday, Hill produced the 21st and 23rd quickest laps in practice respectively, while Lagasse maneuvered the 20th, 16th and 11th fastest laps overall.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 (100 laps / 250 miles) is the first of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Feb. 16 beginning at 4:30 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).
For more on Young’s Motorsports, please visit YoungsMotorsports.com or tweet @youngsmtrsports.
Credit: Young’s Motorsports