CORNELIUS, N.C. — Pastrana-Waltrip Racing adds another talented young driver to its lineup this weekend as Cole Whitt drives the No. 99 Red Bull Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old driver races fulltime in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and is the youngest driver to ever lead the truck series point standings. In eight truck series starts, the Alpine, Calif., native has one pole, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Two-time K&N Pro Series East champion Ryan Truex will be back behind the wheel at Chicago.
COLE WHITT QUOTES
WHITT ON HIS FIRST NATIONWIDE RACE AT CHARLOTTE: “All the Pastrana-Waltrip guys have been awesome to work with, and all their equipment has been super nice. It’s nice to jump into a car like that. It just gives you some confidence going into the weekend. More than anything I am excited to see how the new Nationwide Series cars drive. I have two Nationwide starts but it was in the old car. I don’t know what to expect from the new car, but I am pretty sure Jerry Baxter (crew chief) will have the car pretty good right off the truck. It’s just a matter of me getting used to the track. Luckily, driving the truck race last week should help me a lot, and hopefully I will be able to carry that experience over to this weekend.”
ON WHAT HE LEARNED FROM THE TRUCK RACE: “More than anything, I learned you have to have a car you can race at the end. A lot of the guys were racing really hard at the start of the race, and it really didn’t get them anywhere. We kind of rode out the beginning of the race and waited for the end. This is one of the longer races for the Nationwide Series, so it’s going to be a long race. More than anything we need to get the car right for the end of the race and keep the fenders on it. The last 50 laps is really the time to let it all hang out.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
• Michael Waltrip Racing and Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will hold its annual Fan Day on May 25 in Cornelius, N.C. Truex will sign autographs starting 5:30 p.m. Michael Waltrip along with David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte, Martin Truex and Brett Moffitt will also be in attendance. Visit: www.michaelwaltrip.com for event details.
• Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Travis Pastrana own Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels’ have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, Calif. residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.
• Whitt finished 15th in his Nationwide debut last November at Phoenix and followed up with a 17th-place showing a week later at Homestead.
• Whitt is the only Camping World Truck Series driver to finish on the lead lap in all seven races this season, all at tracks he has never raced. He has completed 1,134 laps, 89% of those coming inside the top-15.