News & Media


Truck Preview: After some bad luck, White hoping to finish strong

October 28, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Results haven't matched performance for White and the No. 23 team this season

If you believe in luck, Camping World Truck Series team owner Joe Denette no doubt experienced more of it back in May 2009 than the Average Joe ever will.

Denette, a longtime NASCAR fan who had been laid off from his job and unemployed for four months, won the Mega Millions lottery -- a payout worth $70 million. This, coincidentally enough, came after just winning four tickets to that May's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

"We're trying to end this year strong, and I think doing what we did at Talladega, running the way we were the last couple weeks, obviously shows we can run in the top five. We just have to put it all together."

--JASON WHITE

Being such an ardent enthusiast of all things NASCAR, Denette later used part of his earnings to form a new NASCAR team -- Joe Denette Motorsports -- that entered Truck Series competition at the outset of 2011.

Now, it's Denette's driver -- Jason White -- who could use a change in fortunes. Saddled 16th in the Truck Series standings a year after finishing a career-best 10th in points, White wants to conclude a thus far frustrating campaign on a positive note.

The Richmond, Va., native matched his best finish of the season with a fifth last weekend at Talladega, and hopes to build on that effort in Saturday's Kroger 200 at Martinsville.

"To end up with a top-five at Talladega was awesome and then the last few weeks before then -- Kentucky and Vegas -- we were running top five with 10 laps to go in both of those races," recalled White, who has four top-10s in 22 starts this season. "One week we had a tire go down and the other week we had an alternator problem. So we've been very competitive the last few weeks.

"We're trying to end this year strong, and I think doing what we did at Talladega, running the way we were the last couple weeks, obviously shows we can run in the top five. We just have to put it all together."

Never did bad luck bite harder than in August at Bristol, where he led 44 laps and was running second late when a fuel pickup problem ended his bid for a strong outcome. He finished 16th, one lap down.

And there have also been several other occasions this season when the stars just simply didn't align for White and his No. 23 Chevrolet team.

"We definitely had way higher expectations than what we've done so far," said the 32-year-old driver, who is still seeking his first victory after 126 career series starts. "It's just been tough. Starting a new team from scratch three weeks before Daytona has been tough for us. We've always been kind of behind the eight ball."

Despite Joe Denette Motorsports lacking the resources and experience of the series' top-tier teams, White says he has enjoyed his time with the company and plans to return in 2012.

But with three races still left in 2011, he hopes he doesn't have to wait that long to capture that first victory.

Martinsville, where he finished fourth last fall, presents a potentially compelling opportunity.

Martinsville Nuggets

• Twenty of the 25 Truck races at Martinsville have been won from the top 10, 14 from the top five and five from the pole.
• Twenty different drivers have won a Truck race at Martinsville.
• The winner at Martinsville has gone onto win the championship only once (Johnny Benson - 2008).
• Todd Bodine is the only Truck driver with 10 or more wins that has not won on a short track.
• A rookie driver has yet to win at Martinsville.
• The leader of the most laps has won 10 of the 25 Truck races at Martinsville.
• The driver leading with 10 to go has won 23 of the 25 Truck races at Martinsville.
• Martinsville has produced more first-time Truck winners (six) than any other track.

"I think there's been about five races this year that we've had a legitimate shot to win and it's been close," White said. "Hopefully, this weekend's another weekend where we have a chance."