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“They Said What?” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Edition

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Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face, you have no clue what they may say and a couple of times you’ll hear something that surprises you or gives you a bit of a perspective.

Throughout the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, I had the opportunity to speak to a bunch of different competitors. During those interviews, there were some quotes that stood out. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

I guess everybody has their opinions, but I would take away a lot of the downforce we have and give us more horsepower. In the Truck Series especially, we’re running wide open at all these mile-and-a-halves that we got to. I feel like it provides for better racing and it’s not about drafting and momentum, but rather mechanical and set-up. That’s one of the big changes that we’d make is maybe take the splitter off, cut the spoiler in half, and give us 150 to 200 more horsepower. – Grant Enfinger

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

I am actually going to be running the full season next year, but unfortunately will not be without Young’s Motorsports as we’re going a slightly different route in 2019. As far as details go, I am not supposed to be saying it for at least another week or so. But once the team I’m committed with and signed with comes out with their press release and talks about it and makes it public, then I’ll be able to talk about it. But as far as right now, they want me to keep it hush-hush. It’s definitely looking really good going full season in the truck season and I’m very excited about it. – Austin Hill

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

It’s definitely a challenge but I think it makes me a better racecar driver because of it. I know that it’s hard to get into a rhythm from trucks to K&N to ARCA and super late models, and hop into each car or truck and be fast right off the truck; it’s a challenge. But I think having to do that, it helps me for situations where I may go to a new race track and pick it up real quick. So I think it definitely helps me, but it’s a challenge for sure. – Harrison Burton

ARCA

I feel like the hardest thing is having the funding to do it. Anybody can go race, but having sponsors and funding is the hard part. So you need to find that, and have a never give up attitude. – Sheldon Creed

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

Canada was obviously really cool for us, and not a lot of people know, but I have a road course background. It’s kind of one of the races that I had circled for a long time and wanted to run well there. We ran well there last year as I qualified second and finished fourth after a bad pit stop. I’ve always just had this monkey on my back at these road courses races that I couldn’t win. I’d go run TransAm, K&N cars, ARCA cars – always finish second, track record, pole, but never win a race. Finally I got the win in Canada on a road course and that meant a lot to my family in putting in a lot and coming from a road course background.

But the last few laps, obviously they were very intense. We were very under-motored all day. The Toyotas had brought their manufacture motors and KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) had actually gone up and tested both motors to see which was better, because we all had a suspicion. They were just almost a second and a half faster than us a lap, and we were kind of the underdogs all day; me and John Hunter (Nemechek)were the only ones that could keep up with them all day.

The last few laps, we had that restart where I restarted third and I knew I couldn’t run down Todd (Gilliland), or Noah (Gragson), or keep up with them for that matter. So I let Noah go on that restart for the green-white-checkered. I knew my best chance I had was to have Noah go up there and get into Todd, and that happened. I had that in the back of my mind. It was one of those things like you have a lot of faith in something, and there was something in the back of my head saying it would be okay, to let Noah go and it would come to you. It was pretty intense and obviously they got together, and the seas parted for us and it was a cool experience. – Justin Haley

RUSSELL LABOUNTY | NKP

“I think we can go to the final four for sure. Some people doubt us, and that’s fine. That’s more motivation for me. That makes me hungrier as a driver when I see stuff like that. I know I have a good team that can compete on a weekly basis. Now it’s just going out there to prove everyone wrong.” – Noah Gragson

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

I look back on my career, and I think so much of it is keeping your faith, and knowing that God has a plan for us, whether the plan you want or he wants. I always share this with my guys but whatever is going to happen, is going to happen whether you want it to or not. All you can do is keep showing up every day and doing the best job that you can, and I think that’s the biggest thing.

That’s how we run this race team – we do the best that we can with what we have, and we enjoy the ups and downs. It’s kind of like that t-shirt saying that we had with the saying ‘never give up’ and the picture of the mountain top. If you start at the top and stay there, you don’t appreciate the journey as much as when you start at the bottom and have to start and claw from the bottom.

Every day, you have to keep yourself in check. I used to keep journals back when I was racing Late Models and I look back at the goals and things I wanted to accomplish and to see where we are now, it’s definitely been a blessing.

The biggest thing I would say to drivers is don’t let anybody discourage you from your dreams, what makes you stay up at night, and the things you want to accomplish because with a little bit of time, a lot of faith, persistence, and keep showing up striving after the goal, it’s amazing what you can accomplish. – Jordan Anderson

Logan Whitton | NKP

It means a lot. They know what makes me happy and they know I can be successful at it, so they stand behind me, which makes me very thankful for everything they’ve done for me and believe in me. – Korbin Forrister on his parents’ ownership of his team

NIGEL KINRADE | NKP

It makes things a little difficult with our set-up stuff as we don’t get the long runs in practice to know what the truck will do after 25, 30 laps. That’s the only thing. Those guys can afford to go out and wreck a truck in practice, pushing it to the max for everything that it’s got. We can’t do that because it’ll put us behind for the next weekend that we’re going to race. It’s a lot of work for our guys. – Wendell Chavous on what it’s like with a smaller budget

Barry Cantrell | NKP

It’s definitely really helpful. I’d say Johnny Sauter is probably been the biggest help, but he is one of the main veterans in the series. He has so much knowledge and experience. It’s something special to be able to work with him. At the same time, I feel he’s very open and willing to help younger guys like myself run well in the Truck Series. – Dalton Sargeant

ROBBY LYONS RACING

It’s absolutely huge. The last time I ran a full season in 2014 when we were competing for the Legend Car National Championship. The end of that season, we think we ended up going through two motors in three days, and ended up finishing fourth in National points. One of the things that I strive on is consistency, which has been one of the tougher things in the last bit in not knowing when my next race would be, and then when I did get that chance, just having the pressure to make the most of it to get to another race. I always like having dates on the calendar to look forward to, and there’ll be a lot of that this year.

Jay Robinson – I can’t say enough about him. He’s one of the most stand-up guys that I’ve ever met in racing – not just in racing, but life in general. He’s given me a lot of good advice, and I thank him for giving me a great opportunity this year. – Robby Lyons

John K Harrelson NKP

I think we’re a bit of ways from that right now.  It would take partners, the age old requirement of money. But I think if we keep doing what we’re doing, I don’t see a reason that we can’t eventually build to that level. You can never say never, and it would take more green to do that, but right now we’re just focused as we’ve been on just doing quality races over quantity. If ever that opportunity comes along, we’ll be completely prepared to make it happen.

But I think there’s an element of fun in what we’re doing, and that’s just showing up and trying to win races and get to victory lane. As I said before, it’s very unique. So unless we’re fully prepared and in a top level situation to run for a championship, I don’t think we’re going to sacrifice a chance to win races just to be able to run all the races. – Parker Kligerman

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN PS

Definitely the weight of them, the amount that they roll over compared to the Pinty’s cars that I’ve run and am used to, and horsepower, a little bit; you kind of get where you’re going a lot quicker. But definitely the weight; the weight transfer is a lot different. They don’t slide; like the Pinty’s NASCAR car you slide – almost like a winter day on ice. But in the truck, you can’t do that. Once you slide the tires in the truck, you’ve lost all momentum and it’s hard to drive. That was the big thing for me.

Phoenix, it took me awhile to get used to the truck. I would say probably say after practice before qualifying, I was pretty comfortable. But we were respectable in the race and at the end, we ended up P11. 

Kubota (Tractors) jumped on board and helped us out. That’s really what inspired our team to get more involved. We probably weren’t going to run as many races if Kubota didn’t get involved, but their involvement inspired us. They’d say let’s go do that and have some fun. Our schedule was kind of based off having fun, and picking races we wanted to race, and trying to get the best results at the end of the day. I’m a fortunate racecar driver. – Jason Hathaway

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.