[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignright” width=”250″][/media-credit]Red Bull development driver Cole Whitt has been tearing up the tracks in his No. 60 truck for his rookie season in the NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series. He has had one pole, led 30 laps and currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year competition.
To date, Whitt has three consecutive top-10 finishes, with an average start of 11.2 and an average finish of 8.5. The young driver is currently tied for third in the point standings, just seven points behind leader Johnny Sauter.
To what does Whitt credit his success so far this season in the Truck Series?
“Everyone has just been working hard is the main thing,” Whitt said. “We’re not the biggest team and we’re not the most expensive team in the world but we get good results with what we got.”
“That’s what’s kind of cool is everyone knows what we’re working with,” Whitt continued. “We’re trying really hard. Everyone puts so many hours in. It’s pretty cool to have guys that care about it that much.”
Whitt likes to lead by example, going to the race shop every day.
“I’m there from 7:00 AM in the morning to 4:00 PM in the afternoon,” Whitt said. “I like to go in and show them that I care and give back to them what they give to me.”
Whitt also credits his team’s chemistry with the success that they have all enjoyed in the early goings of the 2011 season.
“I’m a firm believer in chemistry and that your team has to be all gelled together,” Whitt said. “I try really hard at making the team work together. Everyone needs to communicate and everyone needs to get along. That’s how our team operates.”
“We’re having fun racing and we’re loving it,” Whitt continued. “It’s been enjoyable.”
One of the races that Whitt was not looking forward to, however, was the one now in his rear view mirror, the Kroger 250 at Martinsville. In spite of his apprehension about that race, Whitt qualified second and brought his truck to the checkered flag in sixth.
“I wasn’t looking forward to Martinsville”, Whitt said candidly. “I feel like I run pretty good everywhere, but Martinsville is not the kind of track I look forward to.”
“But to qualify as well as we did and race all day like we did and be fast all day was really exciting,” Whitt said. “We passed the most trucks, I think 53, by the end of the day so it was a long day but our truck was good.”
With that good finish, Whitt is now ready to tackle the next race, the Bully Hill Vineyards 200. As is the case with many rookies, this will be Whitt’s first time ever at the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tennessee.
“I’ve never seen the place so I don’t know how it’s going to be,” Whitt said. “I’m usually good at places I’ve never seen though like Darlington, which was one of the best races of the year and I’d never seen that track a day in my life.”
“We’ll spend time making sure our truck is the way we want it to be,” Whitt continued. “Other than that we’ll get our feet wet in the first practice session, learn the track the best we can and put the hammer down.”
Whitt has only one wish as he heads into the Nashville race weekend.
“I want to go win the race,” Whitt said. “That’s the way we approach every race. We go to run good and we’ll take what we can get, but we go to every race to win.”
With that confidence comes a great deal of pride in his accomplishments to date. Whitt also revels in the increased attention that he and his team have garnered thanks to their performance.
“I’m proud of everything and the way that it’s all gone down,” Whitt said. “I feel like our team deserves it.”
“It’s kind of funny because we’re not a team that’s expected to run really good,” Whitt said. “But hopefully by the end of the year, we can change everyone’s minds and make it where everyone thinks of us as a winning team.”
“I think a lot of people are now thinking that we’ve run well this far, but how long will they last?” Whitt said. “We’re looking to doing it all year.”
Whitt will get that chance to run the full season and is especially excited about a new sponsorship deal that has just been announced. Fuel Doctor will be an associate sponsor for the next eight races starting with the Nashville race.
“We’re pretty excited about that,” Whitt said of his new sponsorship deal.
“Hopefully when we roll through the gates, everyone will worry that we’re there. That’s what we are working towards.”