NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Produces Future NASCAR Stars

NEWTON, IA - JUNE 18: William Byron, driver of the #9 Liberty University Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Speediatrics 200 at Iowa Speedway on June 18, 2016 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

By the time a racer reaches the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, his career has already been under way for many years. But it’s in this first rung of the NASCAR national touring series ladder where each promising talent will learn whether his dreams of greatness have a true shot at becoming reality.

More than 20 drivers have regularly thrown their hats into the Truck Series ring this season, but only a handful will ever move up into the second-tier NASCAR XFINITY Series or the pinnacle of stock car racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Here are some of the most promising hopefuls competing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016.

RICO ABREU
St. Helena, California
No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra
When he first arrived in the sport, the fact that Rico Abreu was born with achondroplasia, a common cause of dwarfism, was considered a defining trait. These days, the 24-year-old is more often discussed for his rapidly accumulating list of achievements. After winning the Chili Bowl in January 2015, Abreu found victory in K&N Pro Series East in the same year before getting his shot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he competes full-time today.

WILLIAM BYRON
Charlotte, North Carolina
No. 9 Liberty University/Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra
2015 K&N Pro Series East champion William Byron is already making waves in his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series by breaking win records and remaining consistently near or at the top of the point standings. The 18-year-old won the K&N East title in his rookie season and could well repeat the feat in NCWTS in 2016.

COLE CUSTER
Ladera Ranch, California
No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado
Cole Custer also comes from a racing family, though his background isn’t as well-known: his father, Joe Custer, is currently Chief Operating Officer of Haas F1. At 18 years old, Custer has made the most of the opportunities he’s been given, scoring wins in part-time programs in ARCA and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in recent years. He’s getting his first full-time shot at NCWTS this year while also dabbling occasionally in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition.

CAMERON HAYLEY
Calgary, Alberta
No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley/ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra
Cameron Hayley is currently Canada’s torch-bearer as the only driver regularly competing in any NASCAR national touring series who hails from north of the border. Though the 20-year-old is still searching for his first NCWTS win, Hayley is regularly tipped as a very promising young talent who is working magic with less-than-peak equipment.

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
Mooresville, North Carolina
No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado
John Hunter Nemechek was unquestionably born into a racing family. The 19-year-old son of long-time NASCAR competitor Joe Nemechek competes full-time for the family team, NEMCO Motorsports, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He claimed his first series win at Chicagoland Speedway in 2015, the same year in which he was named NCWTS most popular driver.

NASCAR’s Up-And-Coming Canadian Is Knocking On The Door Of Superstardom

Cameron Hayley is currently the only Canadian racing full time in any NASCAR national touring series. The 20-year-old from Calgary will be the man of the hour when his No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley/ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra rolls off with the rest of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field for the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

One of the most notable aspects of Hayley’s career so far is that he doesn’t have the big name of a racing family to rocket him forward as has worked for so many of his peers. He started in go-karts at age four and was racing them by age seven, then began competing in stock cars at the age of 10 – all thanks to his own passion.

“I didn’t have any family or relatives that were in the sport, so I was the first one ever to get into racing and I fell in love with it,” Hayley says. “Now, to get to the level where I’m at, I sit here and think wow, I’m one of the only Canadians to ever get this far and do this well.”

NASCAR experts have had their eye on Hayley for many years. Not long after he made his debut in the K&N Pro Series West in 2011 as the youngest driver ever to start a race at 15 years of age, he was admitted to the NASCAR Next class of 2012.

From there, his results kept improving. He went on to win the UNOH Battle at the Beach East vs. West Shootout at Daytona International Speedway in 2013, and he finished second in points in K&N Pro Series East the following year. That 2014 season also saw Hayley race in three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, including the Chevrolet Silverado 250, where he finished with a strong 11th-place result.

That led to a full-season ride in the NASCAR Truck Series last year with ThorSport. And despite not always having best-in-class equipment, Hayley and his crew chief Eddie Troconis have been knocking on the door of that first win for the better part of this season.

“This is my second full year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and I’m still learning a ton,” Hayley says. “I don’t think even Jeff Gordon can tell you he’s learned everything he needs to, so every year I keep learning more and more.”

Racers are well-known for their superstitions and rituals, but Hayley says that’s one stereotype he doesn’t fit into.

“I can’t really be superstitious being that I have the number 13 on my truck,” he says with a laugh. “I more just like to try and calm down. I’ve always been the driver who gets really nervous before a race. One of the guys who used to crew chief me told me that if you’re not feeling nervous before a race, you’re not caring. So, I see being nervous as a good thing.

“I mostly like to calm down before a race, lay in the hauler and quiet my thoughts. As soon as I go out and buckle into that truck and start the engine, it all goes away.”
However, a fitness and diet regimen are essential for success at this level of motorsport. In that regard, Hayley has a routine.

“Eating healthy is a big part of it, and staying hydrated,” he explains. “It gets very, very hot in our trucks, and we lose at some races close to 10 pounds in water. So, staying hydrated is really a big thing week to week.

“During the season you don’t have a lot of time to do a lot of hard fitness. It’s more just maintenance work. In the off-season is when we really sit down to try and build on what we need to do to get better.”

Hayley has a plan for his career as well, though he admits that’s one thing he can only plan so far in advance.

“Hopefully next year I can make it to the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” he says. “I think I’m ready to move up and learn in that series, so that would be my next goal.”

“Into the future, I couldn’t really tell you when it might happen, but my dream has always been to become a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Hopefully I can get there one day.”

Right now, though, he’s preparing to take his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The impact of racing in front of the only Canadian crowd he’ll see all season is in no way lost on him.

“It’s a huge deal,” Hayley says. “I’ve always loved road course racing and I’ve always been good at it. Going to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and for the only home country race of mine, I see as an opportunity to go out and win, and I think I have the capabilities to do that.

“Now I don’t just have Calgary supporting me, I have all of Canada behind me. That’s a really cool feeling.”

Szoke Completes Perfect Superbike Season At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Brantford native Jordan Szoke capped off his championship season with an impressive win after a back-and-forth battle with Italian star rider Claudio Corti. Rookie of the year Ben Young of Collingwood finished third.

With victory in the shortened season finale, the 37-year-old completed a perfect season of seven wins from seven races aboard his Mopar Express Lane BMW Motorrad S1000RR for the second straight season. Szoke is the only rider to sweep all races in a Canadian Superbike Championship season in its history. He also managed the feat in 2010.

“This is awesome. It is such an honour to have a rider like Claudio here and to battle with him,” said Szoke of his rival, who has competed in MotoGP and World Superbike events in his career.

“It feels good to be able to defend our territory and say, ‘this is our house.’”

Mitch Card was victorious in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike race aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6. Kenny Riedmann finished second, securing the championship in the process, his third consecutive. Peterborough’s Tomas was third.

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (August 21) – Results of Sunday’s final race of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, showing finishing position, rider name, hometown, type of motorcycle and laps completed:

1. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 8 (173.731km/h)
2. Claudio Corti, Como, Italy, Aprilia RSv4, 8
3. Ben Young, Collingwood, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 8
4. Kenny Riedmann, Belfountain, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 8
5. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 8
6. Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que., BMW S1000RR, 8
7. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R1, 8
8. Sebastien Tremblay, Mirabel, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 8
9. Jeff Williams, Inverary, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 8
10. Darren James, North Vancouver, B.C., Yamaha YZF-R1, 8
11. Samuel Trepanier, St-Isidore-de-Laprairie, Que., BMW S1000RR, 8
12. Mitch Card, Ripley, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R1, 8
13. Ross Millson, Hamilton, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 8
14. Marco Sousa, Schomburg, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R1, 8
15. Sean Heydorn, Stouffville, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 8
16. Alex Coelho, Brossard, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 8
17. Mike Raniowski, Brighton, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 8
18. Ernie McCafferty, Leduc County, Alta., Yamaha YZF-R1, 7
Did Not Finish
Riley Gage Dawe, Toronto, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 6
Reiner Griese, Picton, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 5
Tomas Casas, Peterborough, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 5
Did Not Start
Franklyn Dominguez, Montreal, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R
Derrick Whyte, Oshawa, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R
Time of Race: 10:46.517
Average Speed: 173.731km/h
Margin of Victory: 2.725 secs.
Fastest Lap: 1:21.152 by Jordan Szoke on lap 8
Lap Leaders: Claudio Corti, 1-3, Jordan Szoke, 4, Corti, 5, Szoke, 7-8

Szoke Wins Race And Superbike Championship At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Brantford native Jordan Szoke continued to write the history books as he captured his 58th career Superbike win as well as securing his record 11th championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, August 20.

Szoke, aboard his BMW S1000RR, battled back-and-forth over the 20-lap race with Italian star Claudio Corti and Belfountain rider Kenny Reidmann, eventually making the pass for the win at the line. The margin of victory was just 0.046.

“Out of all of my race wins I honestly think this one means the most,” said Szoke after scoring his 13th straight Mopar CSBK win. “It was exciting all the way and there was so much going on. People ask me why I keep winning all the races, but I can tell you it’s not easy out there. I was just able to get these guys at the line.”

The Superbike Doubleheader Weekend concludes on Sunday with races in all five classes and remaining championships being decided.

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (August 19) – Results of Saturday’s sixth race of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, showing finishing position, rider name, hometown, type of motorcycle and laps completed:

1. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 20 (175.388km/h)
2. Claudio Corti, Como, Italy, Aprilia RSv4, 20
3. Kenny Riedmann, Belfountain, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
4. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R1, 20
5. Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que., BMW S1000RR, 20
6. Bodhi Edie, Warman, Sask., Yamaha YZF-R1, 20
7. Sebastien Tremblay, Mirabel, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
8. Darren James, North Vancouver, B.C., Yamaha YZF-R1, 20
9. Samuel Trepanier, St-Isidore-de-Laprairie, Que., BMW S1000RR, 20
10. Mitch Card, Ripley, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R1, 20
11. Franklyn Dominguez, Montreal, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
12. Derrick Whyte, Oshawa, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
13. Ross Millson, Hamilton, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
14. Scott Rupert, Gadshill, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 20
15. Marco Sousa, Schomburg, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R1, 20
16. Alex Coelho, Brossard, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 20
17. Sean Heydorn, Stouffville, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 20
18. Riley Gage Dawe, Toronto, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 19
19. Mike Raniowski, Brighton, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 19
20. Stacey Nesbitt, St-Lazare, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 19
Did Not Finish
Ernie McCafferty, Leduc County, Alta., Yamaha YZF-R1, 13
Tomas Casas, Peterborough, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 9
Ben Young, Collingwood, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 8
Martin Cote, Notre Dame de L’Ile Perrot, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 7
Chris Murray-Audain, Scarborough, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 5
Jeff Williams, Inverary, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 5
Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 2
Reiner Griese, Picton, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1
Did Not Start
Will Hornblower, Sarnia, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6
Grant Smith, Ottawa, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R
Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR
Michael Taylor, Toronto, Ont., Triumph 675
Brent Strong, Mississauga, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6
Philip Leckie, London, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-6R
Time of Race: 26:41.018
Average Speed: 175.388km/h
Margin of Victory: 0.046 secs.
Fastest Lap: 1:21.021 by Jordan Szoke on lap 3
Lap Leaders: Claudio Corti, 1-2, Kenny Riedmann, 3-4, Ben Young, 5-8, Riedmann, 10-15, Jordan Szoke, 16-18, Corti, 19, Szoke, 20

Szoke One Step Closer To Superbike Championship With Record Setting Pace

The legendary Jordan Szoke, of Brantford, ON took one step closer to clinching his eleventh Mopar Pro Superbike championship on Friday, August 19 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The 37-year-old will start both of this weekend’s Mopar Pro Superbike races from pole position aboard his BMW S1000RR after setting a new track record with a time of 1:20.778. Mississauga’s Matt McBride will start in second on his Rider’s Choice BMW S1000RR and rookie of the year contender Ben Young goes third.

The Superbike Doubleheader Weekend continues on Saturday with practice sessions in the morning for all five classes competing. The first races of the weekend begin in the afternoon, with the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike up first followed by the Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike, Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Racing Series, Mopar Pro Superbike Feature Race and the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike to wrap up the full day of two-wheel racing.

Szoke Seeks Historic Superbike Championship At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

The best in Professional and Amateur Superbike and Sport Bike racing will be heading to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Canadian Superbike Doubleheader Weekend August 19-21.

The Mopar Pro Superbike class will see an exciting battle between the top two contenders. Jordan Szoke (BMW) of Brantford, Ont. will be looking to secure his historic and unprecedented eleventh championship with a 51-point lead over Belfountain, Ont.’s Kenny Riedmann (Kawasaki). With up to 52 points available in a single round and two races set to be run on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 10 turns, anything could happen and this championship is still very much up for grabs. The 37-year-old Szoke’s achievements have earned him a place in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame; an honour that he will claim in an induction ceremony this October.

On top of the anticipated Mopar Pro Superbike class, the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike, Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike, Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike and the Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Racing Series will also take to the 3.957 km grand prix circuit for the last two rounds of the championship.

While he may be standing second in the Pro Superbike class, Riedmann, the two-time defending champion is looking to take the win in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike class. He currently enjoys a 98-point lead over fellow Kawasaki rider Alex Coelho. Veteran rider Michael Taylor (Triumph) trails Coelho by one marker as he looks to move up the standings.

The amateur classes are gearing up for their own tight races with only 33 points between the top contenders, Jean-Marc Bilger in first and Chris Brent in second, with Jacob Shaw-O’Leary not far behind in the Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike class.

The battle for the Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike crown sees just 49 points between first-place holder Brent and Shaw-O’Leary, with Eric Richard close behind in third.

The Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Racing Series delivers the tightest battle with just a single point separating Eric Quinitin and Brandon Pemberton. Jared Walker sits in third place, 76 points behind.

The event starts on Friday with practice sessions for all classes and qualifying in the afternoon for Pro and Amateur series; the afternoon will also have Mopar Pro Superbike Dalton Timmis Insurance SuperPole Qualifying rounds. Kawasaki Ninja 300 will hold their qualifying on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon heats up with the first races for all classes and Sunday hosts the second and final races for each class.

The Canadian Superbike Doubleheader Weekend will welcome back the BMW Motorrad Days for the tenth year, located in the lower paddock. The BMW Motorrad Days is a motorcycle lifestyle experience open to everyone and features a Freestyle Stunt Show by BMW Motorrad Stunt Rider Mattie Griffin, trials riding demonstrations, rider training, on and off-road demo rides, displays and vendors, Saturday night concerts and much more. Honda and Suzuki will also have their latest lineup of motorcycles on hand for demo rides during the weekend.

A three-day SuperTicket is just $50 until August 17 ($60 at the gate). Each ticket includes parking, access to the race team paddock and the CTMP Marketplace. As with all Canadian Tire Motorsport Park events, children 16 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult admission. Single day tickets are also available at the gate. Advanced General Camping passes are available for just $40 for the weekend when purchased before August 17 (tents or pop-up trailers). Advanced RV passes are just $60 ($70 at gate).

For more information on Canadian Superbike, visit www.csbk.ca. The Canadian Superbike Doubleheader will be broadcast on TSN, and spectators can tune their radios to FM 90.7 for track P.A. broadcasts.

For more information and to order tickets, call the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Hotline at 1-800-866-1072 (Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm ET), visit online at www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com, or email info@ctmpark.com.

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