GMS Racing has added a key piece to its 2018 driver roster, tabbing Dalton Sargeant for full-time duty in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season.
Sargeant, 19, will drive the organization’s new No. 25 Chevrolet as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate. He’ll have direction from longtime crew chief Doug Randolph, who most recently called the shots for Austin Cindric during last year’s deep playoff run for Brad Keselowski Racing.
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“Really excited about being in the Truck Series this year,” Sargeant told NASCAR.com “Racing in one of the top three levels in NASCAR is going to be something that’s really special and it’s always been a dream of mine. Really looking forward to that and seeing what we can do.”
Sargeant has six career starts in the Camping World Truck Series — four with Wauters Motorsports in 2015, and the last two races of the year with MDM Motorsports last season. His full-time driving duties in 2017 were in the ARCA Series, where he collected three wins and finished as the tour’s runner-up in the season-long standings.
Other facets of his new deal with GMS — including sponsorship and teammates — are set to be announced at a later date. But some of the known quantities for Sargeant include working alongside 2016 series champ Johnny Sauter, joining an organization that has enjoyed a steady rise in performance since it joined the Truck Series full time four years ago.
“It’s something that’s pretty incredible to watch because GMS Racing is a pretty new team,” Sargeant says. “Just to only be racing for a couple of years and to already have a championship and multiple wins under their belt is something that’s really encouraging. The first time I went to the shop and saw all the things that these guys are doing and the amount of hard work and effort that they’re putting in is something that’s special to be able to see.
“They want to keep growing and getting better and better, and want to keep winning. So that’s encouraging as well.”
Sargeant, a product of the NASCAR Next youth initiative, has already had some say in how his new team will look in 2018. He’ll campaign the No. 25 as a tribute to Tim Richmond, one of the hardest chargers in stock-car racing history. To emphasize the connection, the numerals on his GMS trucks will feature a strikingly similar font.
“Tim Richmond used to run it in the past, so that’s something that’s pretty cool — one of the guys that I look up to,” Sargeant said. “We kind of stylized the number a little bit after the way it looked when he ran it. Looking forward to that, it’s going to be pretty cool. He’s one of the best guys that’s raced in NASCAR.”
Sargeant also will have a veteran crew chief in his corner. Randolph has served as a crew chief in all three NASCAR national series, and has come close to Truck Series titles in two of the last three seasons — leading Tyler Reddick to a runner-up result in 2015 and helping direct Cindric to a third-place effort in the championship hunt last season.
Randolph landed with GMS after Brad Keselowski Racing disbanded following the 2017 campaign. Sargeant already is considering him a crucial asset.
“Doug’s a great guy. He seems really smart to me, really logical, down to the point,” Sargeant said. “He really cares about this a lot still. He wants to go out there and win as many races as possible. He’s definitely a great leader for our team and really looking forward to working with him. He’s going to be able to teach me a lot this year and we’ll see if we can’t have some great success together.”
Sargeant has called his 2017 campaign one of his most memorable in the sport, the latest chapter in a career that began with go-kart racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway near his south Florida home. He says he hopes that momentum buoys him in his first full season at NASCAR’s national level, with aspirations that tiptoe up to the ultimate goal at Homestead-Miami in November.
“I think as a whole, we have a lot of goals that we want to try to reach as a team,” Sargeant says, “but for myself and our group at the 25 truck, I think we’re really looking forward to going out there and definitely trying to compete for Rookie of the Year as well as pop off a couple of wins. Hope for the best, try and make it to the final four and see if we can’t win a championship.”