NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series

Lester Ready for Return

BY: MITCHELL BREUER

For the first time since 2007, Bill Lester will be making a start in the Camping World Truck Series driving the No. 17 for David Gilliland Racing.  

His return to the sport came as a shock to many and was something that Lester himself said he was not looking to do. However, with the recent release of his motivational memoir, “Winning In Reverse: Defying the Odds and Achieving the Dreams”, Lester began to get the itch again.  

“I thought you know what? Why not give it a bit of an extra boast and give it a little more attention and publicity by getting out there and practicing what I preach,” Lester said. “I talk about getting out of your comfort zone and this will truly be an example of my getting out of my comfort zone. I could very easily sit on the couch and watch and do that sort of thing but here I am. Jumping back into the deep end on one of the fastest tracks on the circuit, a track that I like and that I have fond memories of because of the fact I made my Cup debut in 2006 there.” 

A big factor that helped facilitate Lester’s return was funding. Alongside Greater Atlanta Ford Dealers and Tommy’s Express Car Wash, a familiar face played a role in getting Lester back in the sport. Marcus Lemonis, whose been known for sponsoring trucks this season, again stepped up and provided funding to Lester, who will feature Camping World on his truck.  

So, how did DGR get involved?  The connection was made by one of Lester’s old crew chiefs, Doug George. 

Lester said he had been out of the sport for so long, he needed a middle man that still had connections. Enter George, who has remained involved in the truck series.  

“Doug has been good enough to go and ring a few people and say ‘hey, there’s an opportunity out there is that something you want to consider?’  and low and behold, DGR came back and said ‘yeah, we’ll entertain it’ and one thing led to another and we were able to put a program together,” Lester told News From The Pits.  

Ahead of this weekend, Lester said he is excited to work and learn with David Gilliand, saying he is somebody he has long respected. The combined experience between the pair will be critical as Lester comes out of a hiatus with no practice or qualifying, noting stage racing will likely help him throughout the race as he adapts to the conditions.   

The 60-year-old will start from 31st on Saturday.  

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