News & Media

King hopes for return to 'dream ride'

June 01, 2012, David Caraviello,

Daytona winner still trying to find sponsorship, get back in truck relatively soon

John King was not at Dover International Speedway on Friday, but that doesn't mean he was sitting idly by. He still has a garage full of late model cars, including a dirt version that Bill Elliott will drive in the Prelude to the Dream charity race on June 6. And there's plenty to do on the farm, with all the horses and cattle and it being the height of hay season in King's native Virginia.

"There's always stuff going on," he said. "If I'm not working, I'm busy with a bunch of other stuff."

"I felt like we had good runs going. [The shutdown] was kind of a punch in the stomach, almost. "


Even so, there's little doubt where King wanted to be. The winner of the Camping World Truck Series event at Daytona International Speedway and a leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award on that circuit, King's ride at Red Horse Racing was suspended this week because of a lack of sponsorship funding. The organization continues to back the trucks of Todd Bodine and Timothy Peters, the latter of whom entered Friday's race one point out of the series lead.

King's truck carried sponsorship in three of five previous events, and he's hoping a deal can be reached to get him back into the No. 7 relatively soon.

"We started off the year, we had a lot of things working and just haven't gotten anything done yet," he said. "Myself and Red Horse, we both have some really good prospects working. It kind of came as a surprise to me, because I just didn't foresee it being so soon. But we're still working on stuff. I've got some big stuff to do next week, some meetings. So that's kind of where we're at."

King, 24, had only seven starts in the Truck Series prior to this season. He followed his Daytona victory with a ninth-place finish at Martinsville, crashed at Rockingham and salvaged a 13th-place finish in a backup truck at Kansas after being wrecked in practice. His most recent outing was a 33rd-place finish two weeks ago at Charlotte, the result of a cut tire that sent him into the wall.

"I'm not sure what else we could have done different as far as those races go," he said. "I felt like we had good runs going. [The shutdown] was kind of a punch in the stomach, almost. I need all the laps I can get. I have very limited laps at these race tracks, if any at all. The majority of them I hadn't even been to. So I was really excited looking at this year and being able to run a full schedule. It just didn't work out for us."

Now, the hope is to find sponsorship and get back in the truck as soon as possible. Leaving Charlotte, King stood 13th in points and second in the rookie standings, 25 behind leader Ty Dillon.

"It's just a shame that we had to shut down early. We had a really good year going," King said. "I was just ecstatic to be with Red Horse and [owner] Tom DeLoach. They're really good people. It was the dream ride, with TRD and the help of Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing engines and a great crew chief in Chad Kendrick. It was a really good for me as a rookie.

"It was a dream come true for me to be able to sit down in that seat. So I have high hopes of reviving it, and I think it will happen pretty soon."