HOMESTEAD, Fla. – With the checkered flag of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season just 201 miles away, rookie Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) heads to Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway for Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 looking to end his inaugural season on a high note.
And with the season-finale on deck, the Asheville, N.C.-native would like to end his year with the same result he started his 23-race journey; a top-10 finish.
Fontaine, driver of the No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports also knows once he unbuckles from his 26th career Truck Series race – he’ll leave behind a dream accomplished, as he’ll step out of racing and turn his attention towards academics as a student at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte).
“I can’t believe the end of the season is here,” said Fontaine. “It’s been an incredibly humbling season driving for Niece Motorsports and we’ve had a lot to be proud of. I’d like to think we can add to our success this year with a strong run under the lights Friday night.”
Fontaine has never been to the iconic 1.5-mile speedway, but that scenario isn’t new for the 21-year-old. Much of his first full-time season has been getting adjusted to racing full-time in trucks, while tackling tracks he had never experienced previously.
While Fontaine doesn’t hide that the results have been mixed, he doesn’t shy away from the factor that the effort from his Niece Motorsports team hasn’t lacked.
“I’ve had to embrace a lot and learn a lot, quickly at times,” added Fontaine. “Sometimes, it worked out well.
Sometimes it didn’t. Through the good and bad though, my Niece Motorsports team has stuck behind me and I know Homestead will be no different this weekend.
“I’ve heard a lot about the track and a lot of the drivers have told me it’s one of their favorites because it’s a place where there is lots of room to race. There’s a lot on the line for some on Friday night, but for us, it’s business as usual. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Poised to collect his third career top-10 finish, Fontaine knows that staying on the lead lap and making the most of the opportunities to make his truck better will aid his effort.
“Matt (Weber) will again be my crew chief this weekend and I think we’ve built a pretty good relationship,” added Fontaine. “He’s smart and listens and tries to give me everything I need.
“He wants to end the year on a high note, just like I do. Hopefully, we can get it done.”
After 22 races, Fontaine sits 16th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 20.2 entering Homestead. He earned a career-best ninth-place result at Las Vegas in March.
In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine just started his sophomore year as a student at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte), where he is pursuing a political science degree.
The Ford EcoBoost 200 (134 laps | 201 miles) is the 23rd of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Nov. 16 from 8:35 a.m. – 9:25 a.m., while final practice is set for 10:05 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 3:45 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. with live coverage on FS1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).