With a pair of top-10’s so far, Dalton Sargeant enters the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway hopeful to break into the top-five. But before taking to the track, the GMS Racing shared his thoughts for POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts going into Martinsville this weekend?
DALTON SARGEANT: I’m really excited going into Martinsville. I grew up short track in late models. I’m really excited about it. I think we’re going to have a really strong Performance Plus Oil Chevy this weekend. When you look at GMS Racing and Martinsville, they have such a strong background – Johnny Sauter winning, as well as Chase Elliott winning last year. I’m really excited and looking forward to it.
PS: What’s the biggest challenge of Martinsville?
DALTON: I would probably say how close quarters the racing is. You have to be really smart to keep your truck in one piece throughout the entire race, and obviously there’s going to be a mix-up between the built and spec motors which will have some controversy I’m sure. But we’re just going to try and focus on our truck, and make it as fast as possible to challenge for the win.
PS: How would you characterize your season so far?
DALTON: Our season has been a mix of ups and downs. At some points, we’ve had highs but also some lows. My biggest takeaway from the season so far is we’ve had some lowpoints but rebounded back from them. We wrecked at Daytona, but came back at Atlanta and had a good run there. I feel like our team is being smart, and making the best out of each situation. But at the same time, we need to be a little bit better. Hopefully we can turn our luck around at Martinsville, get out front and chase down the checkered.
PS: Being your rookie campaign, what are your goals for this year?
DALTON: I’d say my biggest goal is to go out and win a couple races, and make the championship four at Homestead. As a team and organization, that’s the goal that everyone is trying to strive for and achieving.
PS: As a rookie, what’s it like having the crop of teammates at GMS to be able to lean on?
DALTON: It’s definitely really helpful. I’d say Johnny Sauter is probably been the biggest help, but he is one of the main veterans in the series. He has so much knowledge and experience. It’s something special to be able to work with him. At the same time, I feel he’s very open and willing to help younger guys like myself run well in the Truck Series.
PS: What track are you most excited to get to in the weeks to come?
DALTON: Well, we have quite a bit of a break after Martinsville, so I’m just focused on getting on track this weekend. But I’m also looking forward to Dover in a couple of weeks. It looks like a pretty cool place. I’ve never been able to race there before, so I’m looking forward to that quite a bit as well.
PS: Who is your racing hero?
DALTON: That’s a tough one. There’s a couple different guys that I look up to. Tim Richmond for kind of his character and the things that he did not only on the track, but off the track. But current day-wise, I’d have to say Jimmie Johnson just because of how smart he is and where he has come from, and how far he’s gotten. He’s always an inspiration and a guy to look to. You can’t overlook a guy that has seven championships; you have to look at what he’s doing and see what it is to be so successful. I think he’s a guy that a lot of people look up to.
PS: Having some fun now – favourite food?
DALTON: I guess I would have to say probably pizza. I lived overseas for awhile so I’m big on Italian food.
PS: What’s your favorite topping to go on that pizza?
DALTON: That’s a tough one. It all depends on the mood. Sometimes I would have to say a Hawaiian pizza, but you can never go wrong with a plain cheese as well.
PS: Least favorite food?
DALTON: I would have to say vegetables. Definitely not a fan of spinach, broccoli, anything too healthy like that. There is some stuff that I like – I do like a lot of fruits, but definitely shy away from some of the stranger vegetables.
PS: What is your favorite TV show?
DALTON: There’s so many. I guess I would have to say – I’ve been binge watching Atlanta lately.
PS: You’ve ran your fair share of late model events. If you won the Rattler 250, would you make friends with the snake?
DALTON: That’s a tough one. Growing up in South Florida, there’s quite a bit of snakes and they’re always something that I shy away from. So I’d have to say I’d be pretty scared there.
PS: If you were stuck on an island, what are three things you must have?
DALTON: Water, fire, and shade.
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