Justin Lofton earns pole for Friday night’s Truck race at Texas

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Justin Lofton will start Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from the pole at Texas Motor Speedway.

Lofton (179.677 mph) edged second-fastest Mat Crafton (179.384) to take the pole.

Third-fastest was Ryan Blaney (178.636), followed by Johnny Sauter (178.601), Erik Jones (178.577), Joe Nemechek (177.637).

Seventh through 12th were Darrell Wallace Jr. (177.503), German Quiroga (177.491), John Wes Townley (177.299), Ron Hornaday Jr. (176.916), Jeb Burton (176.846) and Tyler Reddick (176.713).

 

Here’s the starting grid for Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400:

Row 1 Justin Lofton, Matt Crafton

Row 2 Ryan Blaney, Johnny Sauter

Row 3 Erik Jones, Joe Nemechek

Row 4 Darrell Wallace Jr., German Quiroga

Row 5 John Wes Townley, Ron Hornaday Jr.

Row 6 Jeb Burton, Tyler Reddick

Row 7 Brennan Newberry, Tayler Maisam

Row 8 Timothy Peters, Bryan Silas

Row 9 Tyler Young, Ben Kennedy

Row 10 Joey Coulter, Mason Mingus

Row 11 TJ Bell, Jennifer Jo Cobb

Row 12 Jimmy Weller, BJ McLeod

Row 13 Justin Jennings, Norm Benning

Row 14 Ryan Ellis

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Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

Doug Mathews/IndyCar
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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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