Richard Childress Racing
February 10, 2012
Joey Coulter Set To Embark on Second Full Camping World Truck Series Season
"I saw a lot of great things with the team near the end of last season. The pit stops went from good to great. The communication between my crew chief, Harold Holly, and me just got better."
Author: Ashley McCubbin
Date: February 9, 2012
In 2011, Joey Coulter had his biggest year in racing to date as he moved up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to run the entire schedule for Richard Childress Racing. The year was a success as with five top fives and 13 top 10s, Coulter won the Rookie of the Year award.
“It’s the biggest accomplishment of my career,” the driver of the No. 22 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Chevrolet Silverado says. “The whole team put in a lot of effort. Right from the beginning the year, that was the goal that Mr. Childress set for our team. Austin winning it last year added a little bit of positive pressure for us to try to win it and the whole team – all of us – we kept pushing forward and at the end of the year, we were able to keep it together and bring it home. It was a really important, huge accomplishment.”
For this season, Coulter will once again run the entire Camping World Truck Series schedule for Richard Childress Racing. With a year under his belt and teammate Austin Dillon winning the championship last season, the pressure is there.
“We feel like seeing what Austin, my teammate, did last year, we really got a good shot at the championship,” he says. “There’s obviously a lot of tough competition out there – James Buescher, Ron Hornaday – I could name hundreds of them. But I really feel like we have a good opportunity to go out there and run for a championship.
“I saw a lot of great things with the team near the end of last season. The pit stops went from good to great. The communication between my crew chief, Harold Holly, and me just got better. The goal is to win a few races and come home with the championship.”
With the new year, though, there comes a change in the line-up as with Austin Dillon moving up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Coulter’s new teammate for 2012 will be Austin’s little brother Ty Dillon. Coulter says that he’s looking forward to working with Ty this year.
“The few races that Ty ran last year – he did an awesome job,” Coulter adds. “We talked at the shop last year – I think we’re going to work great together. We both watched the Daytona race from last year and gone over a lot of notes, just kinda talked back and forth about a lot of different things. We both pumped up and ready to get there.”
The beginning of the season will start in two weeks with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The race will be run on Friday February 24th at 7pm EST.
“I’m really excited to get back to Daytona,” Coulter says. “I think it’s going to be exciting. I don’t know if the tandem thing is going to go away or not – but it’s going to be great. I love super speedway races and I think seeing all the work that the guys back at the shop – the body shop – put into this speedway truck and the awesome motors they build, I’m really looking forward it. We’re going to have an awesome hotrod.”
Besides running the truck race, Coulter will also run in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona on February 18th in the ARCA Racing Series for his father’s team. This year marks a big year for ARCA as it is their 60th year of competition.
“I think it’s awesome,” Coulter says. “I really like the ARCA Series a lot. Even though I only ran two full seasons myself, my dad still has an ARCA team that’s going to run the majority of the races this year with Matt Lofton in the car so I really think that’s an awesome series. I’m really excited that they’ve been around 60 years. It’s a huge stepping-stone series. That’s how a lot of people look at it – like the minor league NASCAR. It’s a league of its own. It helps young drivers, even younger than me, and older drivers learn how to drive a really heavy car on a big fast race track with a lot of horsepower. It’s a great series. I’m glad my dad’s team is going to be able to run this year.”
Part of the off-season for Coulter was spent helping his dad with setting up the ARCA program for 2012. Coulter kept busy during the off-season, going to classes as he is a mechanical engineering student at UNC while working out and doing pit crew practice at RCR. He also embarked on a new journey as he bought a dirt super late model to start racing.
“Never been on dirt before so it’s going to be an exciting new venture,” Coulter says.
Though as February rolls around and Daytona Speedweeks are near, the focus will soon turn to the 2012 NASCAR season for Coulter as he goes not only for his first NASCAR championship, but his first truck win. It’s very easily possible that it could come on a favourite track of Coulter’s.
“I look forward to places like Delaware,” Coulter says of his favourite tracks. “Iowa is one of my favorites. I love Martinsville, Bristol, O’Reilly Raceway Park – ‘cause those are the short tracks. There are a lot of places that I like to race at.”
He sums it up by saying that his favourite race track is the one that he goes to next.
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