By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Even breaking his back in a violent crash at Daytona International Speedway can’t keep Justin Fontaine away from track. The 2018 season will mark his first full-time season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Niece Motorsports. Fontaine will pilot the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado as a teammate to Austin Wayne Self who was announced as the team’s other full-time driver in November.
“This is an exciting time in my career and I believe I’m ready for this next challenge with Niece Motorsports,” said Fontaine, a native of Asheville, N.C. “I know I have a lot to learn, but with the leadership of Niece Motorsports and the support of my management team at AM Racing, I believe I can transition well and produce some good results in my rookie season.”
Fontaine, a Business Major at University of North Carolina Charlotte, still managed to compete in 13 of the 20 ARCA Racing Series events despite the back injury. He scored two top-10 finishes for Win-Tron Racing with a best finish of ninth at Winchester Speedway.
“It (getting healthy) was a process,” Fontaine said as he explained his recovery, “I was in a back brace for months. I think the biggest thing for me was the psychological and mental aspects, getting my confidence back when in a racecar. Just getting physically and mentally prepared to get in a racecar again. We got back in the beginning of June in the ARCA Series and ran about half the races, two Truck races, just building a foundation for next year to try to come back stronger.”
Fontaine is not a stranger to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His cousin, Chris Fontaine, is often a threat for victory lane at Superspeedways. Justin Fontaine has three Truck Series starts with a best finish of 15th at Pocono Raceway for Bolen Motorsports.
Niece Motorsports first started competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016. In the organization’s 25 starts since, it has scored seven top-15 finishes with Jeffrey Abbey, T.J. Bell, and Self. Fontaine drove for Niece at Chicagoland, finishing 17th. To date, Niece Motorsports team owner Al Niece has had seven different drivers behind the wheel of his Trucks.
“We are thrilled to have Justin join the team next season,” said Niece. “In speaking with Justin, his excitement for the 2018 season is contagious. As a group we are really looking forward to getting this season started. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we have a solid group who’s ready to hit the ground running.”
Now Fontaine, Self, and the entire Niece Motorsports team will look to build to be strong in the 2018 Truck Series season.