Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Fireball Roberts are just a sampling of the NASCAR Hall of Famers who have won at historic Bristol Motor Speedway – known as “The Last Great Colosseum.”
Three members of the NASCAR Next initiative with ambitions of racing stardom will attempt to add their names to the list of Bristol winners in Wednesday’s UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the half-mile track (8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) – Dalton Sargeant, Cole Custer and John Hunter Nemechek.
Sargeant, a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East full-time standout, makes his NCWTS debut competing for Wauters Motorsports. In 11 NKNPSE starts this season, the 17-year-old Boca Rotan, Florida native has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
“To say I’m excited to make the next step in my racing career is a big understatement,” Sargeant said. “My primary goal is to gain experience, run as many laps as possible, get comfortable and try to compete with some of the best up and coming and veteran talent in NASCAR.”
Custer, the youngest winner in NASCAR national series history, makes his first start since two races ago at Eldora. The 17-year-old JR Motorsports driver won at Gateway in June and is making his sixth start of the season on Wednesday. He placed eighth at Bristol last year.
“Bristol is a place where we qualified second last year and were fast all race long,” Custer said. “If we can maintain speed throughout our race runs, I think we’ll be very good this time around.”
On the cusp of his first career NCWTS win, Nemechek claims one top five and two top 10s in eight starts this season. He finished sixth at Bristol in 2014.
“Coming here (to Bristol) it suits my driving style,” Nemechek said. “It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s a driver’s track. You have to get your truck to handle. If you’re a little bit afraid to get your foot down on the pedal to the metal, then you aren’t going to be very fast.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race Guide
Race: UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Date and Time: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Tune-in: FOX Sports 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 106.6 miles (200 laps)
What to Watch For: NASCAR Next member Dalton Sargeant and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Standout J.J. Haley will make their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debuts. … Ryan Blaney competes for Brad Keselowski Racing as he competes in his first of all three NASCAR national series races this weekend. … The points lead can change at any moment as Matt Crafton (-8) and Erik Jones (-9) have closed in on first-place Tyler Reddick. … Daniel Suarez returns to the NCWTS for the first time since July 9 at Kentucky Speedway. Suarez has yet to finish outside the top 10 in the series for Kyle Busch Motorsports.