By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
The 2018 ARCA Racing Series champion Sheldon Creed officially announced during Friday’s qualifying session at ISM Raceway in Phoenix that he’ll make the big move into the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on a full-time basis next season, driving for GMS Racing.
Creed, who’s driven for the Gallagher family-owned operation since Oct. 27 at Martinsville Speedway, where he finished on the lead lap in 19th, has quickly garnered success since shifting his focus from off road racing, where he notably won back-to-back Speed Energy Formula Off-Road Series titles from 2015-16, to stock car racing.
In his first full-season in ARCA, Creed was the class of the field, scoring four wins, four poles, 16 top-fives and 18 top-10s in 20 starts, beating Zane Smith by 461 points after winning the chaotic finale at Kansas Speedway Oct. 19.
The El Cajon, California native said he’s out there to learn and battle for victories in each race he competes in, and is determined to not fight for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, but compete for the championship at season’s end.
“I am extremely pumped about the opportunity to continue my asphalt career and transition into being full-time in the Truck Series,” said Creed. “My goal in whatever I race is to be able to go out and compete for wins every week, and hopefully be in a position to contend for a championship at the end. I really think I have that opportunity with GMS Racing. We were able to get a jump start on next season by running these final four races this year, and I think that will really be to my benefit when we kick off the 2019 season.”
While additional announcements such as truck number and sponsorships will be decided at a later time, GMS Racing President Mike Beam said he’s confident that the team will provide competitive trucks for the 21-year-old.
“We are really excited to add Creed full-time to our 2019 Truck Series line-up,” said Beam. “He is a talented driver that has the potential to have an impressive career in NASCAR. I know that the people at GMS Racing and GMS Fabrication will supply him with solid Chevrolets week in and week out.”
Creed qualified in 16th for the Lucas Oil 150 and would wind up in 10th for his first career top-10. Now he’ll make a visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida for the first time Nov. 16, wrapping up his “jump start” gig in the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado.