Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Talkin' Trucks: John King pulls off an amazing win at Daytona...as a rookie!

John King, rookie driver for Red Horse Racing, celebrates in victory lane at Daytona.
Credit: Red Horse Racing 
Daytona International Speedway takes experience, luck and being in the right place at the right time. Two out of three ain't bad, right?

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie John King was in the right place at the right time, probably had a fair share of luck on his side but was completely lacking experience. The Red Horse Racing driver has never been to a big track as intimidating as Daytona.

Speaking four days after the win, it still has not sunk in for King.

"It's four days later and I still cannot go to sleep when I lay down at night. Just thinking about it, it's unbelievable! We are just so fortunate to be able to have such a good run in our first attempt there, guys race there their whole careers and cannot get a win. It's something else, I am very blessed, that is for sure."

The pressure to win is always intense, but the pressure to perform in your first race for a new team is magnified tenfold.

King and DeLoach in victory lane.
Credit: Red Horse Racing 
"A whole new groups of guys, who have only spent a few weeks together then we haul off to Daytona, a track I have never been on in my life. I had never drafted before in my life, never pushed before, never done any of those things and it says a lot for the whole organization at Red Horse Racing. We have a lot of support, great leadership through Tom DeLoach and everyone does their jobs. You've heard the saying, everything falls into place, well that is kind of what happened."

Looking at the race itself, King started in 23rd but elected to hang back in the rear of the field. He and teammate Timothy Peters planned that move well in advance to avoid the melees that are a product of plate racing. Turns out, that was a smart move because King and Peters were able to play it smart and make their move when it counted.

The win was not without a little bit of controversy, though. King unintentionally wrecked Johnny Sauter as Sauter was leading the race headed for the win.

"I started rolling out of the throttle to sit and wait a minute and I couldn't stop. Once I got to him, I could not get off of him and I wrecked him. It wasn't until after the race that I learned I did have some help from behind. We were all hooked up, it was just one of those unfortunate events. It would never be my intention to wreck someone, I do not think I have ever wrecked anyone intentionally in my whole racing career nor would I under those circumstances."

With just over a month until the next race, King is raring to go!

"I am focused and just the support we have from TRD and Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing engines, it's a fairy tale deal. Got a great crew chief (Chad Kendrick) and I cannot wait to see what transpires over this year."

Headed into Martinsville, King has all eyes on him. His story has captivated NASCAR fans attention and is now the driver to watch. Competing for Rookie of the Year honors, King will be running the full season with Red Horse Racing as the team continues the sponsor search for the young driver. I think the win at Daytona may help that situation.



Amanda Ebersole brings the readers of Skirts and Scuffs interviews and insight into the people who make NASCAR the sport we all love. Besides interviews, Amanda also writes her weekly columns In the Rearview Mirror and NASCAR By the Numbers. Catch up on all Amanda's writing by clicking here. Feel free to contact Amanda via Twitter or e-mail. 

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