CONCORD, N.C. — It has been a hectic few years for 2009 ARCA Racing Series champion Justin Lofton.
Lofton, who makes his return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with NTS Motorsports this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, had a career year in the Truck Series in 2012. He scored his first series victory at Charlotte and ranked eighth in the standings.
Unfortunately for the California native, sponsorship dried up.
“The last year for me has been very interesting, dating all the way back to 2013,” Lofton said. “Sponsorship, obviously, is a big part of this sport and we hadn’t acquired really what we needed at the beginning of the 2013 season.”
Instead of challenging for the championship like Lofton had hoped, he was forced to the sidelines for most of the 2013 season. He entered eight Truck Series races, earning a best finish of fourth in the season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
To make matters worse, Lofton was involved in a wild crash during the Truck Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway that left him with a broken hand.
“Everyone knows about that one,” Lofton said. “Ended up breaking my hand and messing that up.”
Despite wearing a cast, he finished fifth in his final Truck Series start of the season a few weeks later at Texas Motor Speedway. But after that race, Lofton came to terms with the fact that he likely wasn’t going to find much sponsorship to continue racing.