By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
While the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season started last month at Daytona International Speedway for most competitors, 17-year-old Justin Haley’s season starts this weekend in the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway. This is because NASCAR’s rulebook only allows drivers that are 16 and 17 years of age to compete on road courses and tracks 1.1 miles or smaller.
Haley’s 18th birthday is April 28, which will allow him to compete for the complete 2017 NASCAR Camping Word Truck Series season. NASCAR has also stated that Haley will be granted an exemption from being required to attempt every race to qualify for the Playoffs because he was not eligible to compete in the first two races of the season due to his age.
Haley won the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro East Series Championship while driving for Harry Scott Jr. In 31 career K&N Pro East Series starts, he has two wins, 19 top fives, 25 Top 10s, and two pole positions. Haley’s average finish in 2016 was an impressive 3.4.
Haley also has six career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts with a best finish of seventh at Phoenix in 2015. He has two previous starts at Martinsville Speedway, both of which ended with late race crashes.
In the first and only practice session of the weekend due to weather, Haley placed his No. 24 AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet Silverado 15th on the speed chart. A total of 34 trucks took part in the practice session. Haley’s GMS Racing teammates Kaz Grala, Johnny Sauter, and Chase Elliott were fourth, eighth, and ninth on the charts respectively.
Haley took to Twitter to express his excitement for finally getting his 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season started with GMS Racing:
Can't wait to get out on track in my Accudoc Solutions #24 GMS Chevy! https://t.co/OZbD8esxHe
— Justin Haley (@Justin_Haley_) March 30, 2017
Haley and his GMS Racing team will now look to turn heads as the 17-year-old enters Martinsville with excitement, enthusiasm, and optimism.