BRISTOL, Tenn. – It’s no secret that the UARA-STARS Late Model Series produces racing’s future stars, and Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway bears proof of that claim.
One quarter of the entries have some sort of tie to the UARA-STARS and over a dozen series wins, two championships and one top rookie are represented in the field.
The most notable UARA-STARS representative in the field is two-time series champion Matt McCall, driving the No. 92 Black’s Tire Service Chevrolet for RBR Enterprises on Wednesday night. McCall won the last time the UARA-STARS visited Bristol Motor Speedway in March 2009 and went on to claim his second championship that year. The Denver, N.C., native has 10 series wins to his credit in addition to his championships, and is also the raceday engineer for Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity,” said McCall, who will be making his first NCWTS start in 10 years. “I’ve worked with Ricky (Benton) over the last several years with my late model team and he and Black’s Tire have been big supporters. It is an honor to be able to drive the truck at Bristol.”
“We won the UARA race at Bristol in 2009 in pretty dominating fashion. I think we led like 94 of the 100 laps or something,” McCall continued. “I think any track time you can have at a place, no matter the vehicle, is always a gain. I’m just excited to be able to go race at one of my favorite tracks and am so thankful for the opportunity Ricky and Diane Benton have given me.”
Another notable making his first Truck Series start at Bristol is Darrell Wallace Jr., the 2008 UARA-STARS Rookie of the Year. Wallace has one series win to his credit (Caraway 2008) and has a career best finish of fourth at the speedway in UARA-STARS competition.
Brandon Jones, a second-year UARA competitor, will be making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on Wednesday night. Jones has made select NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts this season and will be piloting a truck for Turner Scott Motorsports, the same team that fields his late model stock car. Jones has one career UARA win after taking home the trophy at Concord Speedway last summer.
“I can’t thank Turner Scott Motorsports and Katy Spring enough for this opportunity to get into one of their trucks at Bristol,” said Jones, who is currently fifth in UARA points. “Bristol can be a tough track so I’m happy that my team and I ran the K&N race there earlier this year. We were also able to test at Gresham earlier this week and I feel like that really helped me understand the truck. I have set some realistic goals for this race and I feel my Katy Spring team and I are prepared to meet those goals.”
“I feel like the trucks will be really equal, just like most of the UARA cars I have to race against in the tour each week,” Jones added. “Passing will probably be really difficult, and we go to a lot of tracks on the UARA-STARS tour that are hard to pass on, like the high-banked Newport Speedway. There’s nothing quite like Bristol, but learning to pass guys at places like that will certainly come in handy when we get into the race at Bristol.”
Other drivers on the entry list for Wednesday’s UNOH 200 who have UARA-STARS experience on their resumes include 2012 NCWTS Rookie of the Year Ty Dillon, who rejoined the tour for the race at Rockingham this past April and finished 4th, Timothy Peters (one UARA win – 2002 Orange County), Clay Greenfield (41 starts), Caleb Holman (eight starts), Nate Monteith (eight starts), and Joey Coulter (three starts and part-time team owner).