The top three series in NASCAR head to Nashville on Father’s Day weekend for a stacked schedule of races. This track is new to the majority of drivers, so three Cup Series stars are getting in some early laps. William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Preece will all take part in the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, June 18.
NASCAR released the early entry list for the upcoming race on Monday, June 14, confirming that Byron will drive for Rackley W.A.R. while Preece will drive for Team DGR. Chastain will drive for Niece Motorsports, his fourth start of the season for the team. He previously suited up at Atlanta (seventh), Kansas (second), and Texas Motor Speedway (disqualified).
“I am excited for the opportunity to get behind-the-wheel in the Camping World Truck Series again,” Byron said in a press release, per The Checkered Flag. “I haven’t been in a truck for a while, so the opportunity to do so with Rackley W.A.R. allows me to get back and accustomed again. I have never raced at Nashville Superspeedway before either.
“While I think that the NASCAR Cup Series entries will handle differently compared to the trucks, the Rackley Roofing 200 will give me a chance to learn a few things on my end that I may not be able to try. Plus, this gives me a chance to get more acclimated to the track overall – I can learn the braking zones, pit road entrance and exit, and the overall characteristics of Nashville Superspeedway.”
Byron Has Considerable Truck Series Success in Limited Starts
The current driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, Byron does not have an extensive number of Truck Series starts on his resume. He only competed in one full season (2016) while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Byron made 23 starts during the 2016 season and showcased his skills behind the wheel. He posted 16 top-10s, 11 top-fives, and seven trips to Victory Lane while driving the No. 9 Toyota. His list of wins included races at Iowa, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kansas among others. He also won the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway but did not claim the championship trophy.
Byron actually saw his championship dreams fade during the Round of six. He finished 27th in the final cutoff race at Phoenix after experiencing engine problems and faced elimination as a result. Timothy Peters, Christopher Bell, Matt Crafton, and eventual champion Johnny Sauter moved on to the final round.
Preece Makes His Truck Series Debut in Middle Tennessee
When Preece gets behind the wheel of the No. 17 Ford F150, he will mark a major moment in his career. The JTG Daugherty driver is currently in his third full-time Cup Series season, and he has 59 Xfinity Series starts on his resume. However, he has never started a Truck Series race in his NASCAR career.
The trip to Nashville will be Preece’s first in an F150, which he will make while working with Hunt Brothers Pizza. He will then return to the Truck Series on June 26 at Pocono Raceway with support from Morton Buildings.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to run Nashville and Pocono and partner with Hunt Brothers Pizza and Morton Buildings,” Preece said in a March 2021 statement, per Racing News. “DGR has done an awesome job building its program from the short tracks to the national level. I said it at the beginning of the season, I’m going to be in the seat as much as I can be.”
Preece has 93 Cup Series starts in his career, 88 with JTG Daugherty Racing. He has seven top-10 finishes in his career, as well as one top-five at Talladega Superspeedway in 2019. Preece’s best finish during the 2021 season is sixth in the season-opening Daytona 500.