By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
For the first time in his career, Justin Haley will compete in the complete NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. Haley, who was too young to compete at Daytona and Atlanta last year, will return to GMS Racing for the 2018 Truck Series season. The 18-year-old will once again have the Fraternal Order of Eagles as the primary sponsor of his No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado.
In 2017 Haley scored three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. His best career finish came at Kentucky Speedway when he finished third. Haley also scored his first career pole position at Texas Motor Speedway in the Playoffs. He ultimately finished 12th in points, despite missing the first two races of the season.
“We found a lot of success toward the end of the 2017 season, so there’s a good amount of momentum that we can carry over into this year,” said Haley. “The No. 24 team is working hard in the off-season to take us to that next level, to be able to keep running up front and improving week to week. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be competing for a championship when we get to Miami, and I couldn’t be more excited to be heading in that direction with GMS and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.”
Haley will once again have Kevin Bellicourt calling the shots on top of the pit box in 2018. Bellicourt worked with Ben Rhodes, Alex Bowman, and Scott Lagasse, Jr. before joining Haley last season. The duo also captured a victory in the ARCA Racing Series at Talladega Superspeedway.
“It’s been really encouraging to see the work that not only this team has done, but that Justin has put in over the off-season,” said Bellicourt. “From working in the gym to time on the simulator, he’s focused on getting himself prepared to make a run for the title. The team has put everything we’ve got behind him and we’ve watched him do the same. It feels like all the pieces are coming together at the right time.”
Haley won two of his three ARCA Racing Series starts in 2017. One came at the previously mentioned Talladega Superspeedway, while the other came at Pocono Raceway. He finished inside the top-10 in all three starts.
Now Haley, the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion, Bellicourt, and the entire GMS Racing team will look to continue GMS Racing’s streak of winning the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.