You’ve heard of like father, like son?
Well, in Saturday’s Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, it’ll be like uncle, like nephew.
Enrique Contreras III, nephew of veteran Mexican racer Carlos Contreras, will make his NASCAR trucks debut – with the hope that it may lead to a NCWTS part- or full-time ride in 2015.
“I’m very humbled by the opportunity to make my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend,” Contreras said in a media release. “Typically, the fall Martinsville race has been one of the most competitive short track races on the schedule, but we’re hoping to find ourselves in that mix with a lot of hard work and some luck.”
The younger Contreras, 22, will drive the No. 07 RaceTrac Chevrolet Silverado in a partnership between SS Green Light Racing and Rick Ware Racing.
Contreras recently completed his second full season in the Mexico-based NASCAR Toyota Series, finishing a career-best 18th in the final standings, with four top-10 finishes in 14 starts.
A native of Mexico City, the younger Contreras is carrying on a family tradition:
* Father Enrique II previously raced in the Indy Lights Series between 1992 and 1995, making nine total starts.
* Then there’s Uncle Carlos, who has made a career-high 12 starts thus far in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, and also finished 27th this season in the Toyota Series in his homeland.
Enrique III’s debut is just another illustration of NASCAR’s continuing efforts to increase diversity across all of its racing series.
And the younger Contreras is taking his first start ultra-seriously.
“Our goal is to finish the race on Saturday,” Contreras said. “You have to be prepared for anything. Sometimes, the races at Martinsville can by physical or calmer than normal. However, if we keep our initial goals in check, we should be able to give RaceTrac and everyone who supports us, something to be proud of when the checkered flag waves.”
Enrique has seven prior starts in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East spread across the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
“Some will argue that the K&N Series has some of the stoutest competition in racing throughout the year,” Contreras said. “And even though it may have been a little bit since I’ve run on the tour, I remember the races like yesterday.
“I’m used to competing on short tracks for most of my life, so I’m hoping what I’ve learned over the year will (hopefully) pay off in a truck. Most of all, I’m looking forward to learning a lot.”
Ware has a good feeling about putting the younger Contreras in his race truck.
“Enrique knows the challenges that competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series brings, but he’s a talented young-man with a lot of passion and motivation,” Ware said. “Collectively, we felt Martinsville was a good opportunity to turn some laps in a truck and learn from some of the best.
“If we can take the green flag and see the checkered flag in relatively good shape, we’ll consider the weekend a success.”
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