(EXCLUSIVE) After running a couple of seasons in the NASCAR K&N Series, @CameronNHayley got the chance to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut last season at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The 18-year-old would have a solid performance, finishing 11th in his debut.
He would then make his second start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, finishing sixth. The solid performance would catch the attention of Duke and Rhonda Thorson, the owners of ThorSport Racing.
“They started looking at me then,” Haley told POPULARSPEED.com. “They didn’t contact me yet.”
Hayley then made one more start to finish off the season – Texas Motor Speedway – once again posting another solid performance as he finished 10th.
“At the end of the season, they called and said were impressed with what I did in my three truck starts, and they’d like to have me come on board as their third driver,” Hayley continued.
The discussion between Haley and ThorSport Racing resulted in Hayley behind hired to drive the No. 13 Cabinets by Haley Toyota Tundra full-time in the Truck Series.
“It’s a huge opportunity to get my first full Camping World Truck Series ride with ThorSport Racing,” he commented. “I have to thank Duke and Rhonda Thorson for that. They gave this opportunity this year, and I think we have a really good shot to go out there and win a couple races, but more importantly, win the Sonoco Rookie of the Year Award.”
Hayley joins veteran drivers @Matt_Crafton and @JohnnySauter to complete ThorSport Racing’s 2015 driver line-up. Being able to work alongside a pair of veteran drivers is something that the Calgary, Alberta native welcomes.
“I’ve been growing up watching Johnny Sauter race forever,” he commented. “Obviously, Matt Crafton has been a long time veteran of the sport as well. Getting two championships the past two years is obviously something that everybody always strives to get. To have the knowledge and just experience those two guys have behind me this year, it could turn a good season into an amazing season. I think it’s really going to benefit me a lot.”
Hayley will kick off his rookie campaign at the end of this week with the Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The event marks his first ever race on a track that is two and a half miles. It marks only the beginning of a series of tracks that he will have to get used to.
“The last three years I’ve been racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and they only race up to one mile tracks. So obviously I’m going to be on two and a half mile, two mile, one and a half mile tracks, and that’s something that I have to get used to,” he noted. “I think it’s going to come quick. Jeff Hensley is going to be my crew chief, and he has a ton of experience. Eddie D’Hondt is going to be my spotter, and he has a ton of experience with Jeff Gordon. So I think we have a very good shot to win a couple races this year and definitely rookie of the year at the end of the year.”
In trying to get used to the tracks, Hayley has one thing going for him – the experience from last year. The experience from last year allowed him to start to get used the tires that the trucks run on versus that of the K&N Pro Series.
“It’s a radial tire, versus a bias-ply tire than the K&N uses. It’s a totally different rubber,” he explained. “It’s a lot harder, but at the same time, it gives you a lot more grip. It just changes the way you drive, and it changes the way you feel what the truck is doing, versus the car. It was something that I had to adjust to really quick, but I think it’s something that suits my style, so I’m glad that I got those few races in, to get used to that tire.”
Looking ahead at the schedule, Hayley is most looking forward to getting to Dover International Speedway, following a top-five performance in the K&N Pro Series.
“Dover was just a track that you grew up wanting to race at,” he commented. “I got a chance to race there last year, and I think I have a really good shot at winning that race this year in the truck.”
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