Todd Peck, driver of the No. 40 family-owned Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet, will attempt to make the field for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 21. The young driver has limited experience on superspeedways, and though he has to qualify on speed, has high hopes for the race.
"Every driver dreams of racing at Daytona," Peck said. "The history, the excitement, the competition - it's definitely a one-of-a-kind venue. I grew up in a racing family, so I've always had a deep appreciation for the track. It's hallowed ground. When I stop and think about all of the legends who've reached victory lane and all of the unbelievable moments that have taken place there, it really humbles me. My first time driving at Daytona was during testing last December. I couldn't believe I was actually driving around Daytona. I'm still in awe."
Although Peck ran a limited schedule in 2013 and doesn't meet the points requirements to have a guaranteed spot in the Daytona race, he and his No. 40 team has faced similar adversity throughout its truck series campaign and look forward to the challenge.
"This will be our first race at a superspeedway; obviously we have a lot to prove," said Keith Wolfe, crew chief and general manager of Peck Motorsports. "Our first order of business is to make the race. We're not guaranteed a spot, so we're going to have to earn it the old-fashioned way. Once we're in the show, we can focus on dialing in our truck for drafting and pack racing. I know it's going to be a really competitive field trying to make the race. Our team doesn't have the resources that some of the larger teams have, so we know it's going to take a lot of hustle and hard work if we want to race on Friday night. That's OK, though. We've faced those circumstances every time we've entered an event and we're not going to let it deter us. If there's one thing we'll never do, it's give up."
Daytona will be a new adventure for Peck, and for the fourth year, his team will continue its partnership with the Arthritis Foundation. Diagnosed with arthritis as a child, he paired with the Arthritis Foundation to remind everyone who has been diagnosed with the condition that they can still live an active and fast-paced lifestyle.
"I'm really excited to be working with the Arthritis Foundation again," Peck said. "It's one of the most gratifying elements of our race program. We'll be involved with several special projects and events this year and that should be a lot of fun. I was diagnosed with arthritis at 15, so this is a cause that's close to home for me. I have a lot of passion for it. I'm honored to be carrying its message on our truck at Daytona and continuing our relationship in 2014."
Peck started his career driving go karts. He worked his way up to the national level before advancing to the Allison Legacy Series. In addition to the Truck Series, he also competes in Super Cup Stock Car Series, in which he won the 2013 championship. Peck has won in every type of race car he has driven and is looking for the same success in his NASCAR endeavors. He will run a limited Truck Series schedule this season. The events are to be determined.
Peck and the rest of the NASCAR Camping World Truck competitors will be competing in newly designed bodies for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race trucks, set to debut on Friday night in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona, which can be seen/heard at 7:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The newly redesigned bodies will now match the look of their respective showroom counterparts.
Today’s introduction of the new truck bodies follows successful launches of race vehicles in NASCAR’s other two national series – the Gen-6 car last year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the new models in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010.
“Each manufacturer has designed distinctly different trucks that they can use to promote their showroom models through their involvement with NASCAR racing,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development. “We have worked closely with all three manufacturers for the past several years, and we’re excited to unveil a new truck body that will make one of NASCAR’s most exciting series even better.”
Extensive research and testing went into the development of the new bodies, with the goal of continued close competition while allowing specific features from each model. The new trucks have a unique design that will make it easier for fans to recognize their favorite model.
“The truck has a new look that fans can relate to with their own truck at home,” said Chad Little, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series managing director. “The competitors have been happy with the new trucks in testing in January and we expect to continue to have some of the best racing in NASCAR for our fans at Daytona.”
Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter, and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR,#DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA. You can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long, and follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising.
Over the next week or so, this column will strive to provide full coverage of the events leading up to the Great American Race, including a possible interview with the head of the CJ Mears Gang himself, Casey Mears, as well as other members of the NASCAR garage.
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