Craig Goess Jr. And Eddie Sharp Racing Hope To Build Off Nashville Success
DENVER, April 28, 2011: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Rookie of the Year candidate Craig Goess Jr. maneuvered a solid ninth-place finish in last Friday night’s Bully Hill Vineyards 200 at Nashville (Tenn.) Speedway giving the Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team some much needed momentum towards the rest of their rookie season.
Goess Jr., driver of the No. 46 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota Tundra had never seen the intimidating 1.33-mile concrete oval of Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway before practice on Friday but the inexperience wouldn’t faze the rookie as he leaned on the expertise of crew chief and former Nashville winner Tripp Bruce for guidance.
Using Bruce’s notes as a baseline setup, Goess Jr. utilized practice to gain comfort and speed with his truck before qualifying a respectable 24th in the 36-truck field.
Only having 150 laps to make a dent in his competition, Goess Jr. would show patience and determination as he steadily guided his No. 46 ESR Toyota Tundra through the field which included green flag pit stops to climb into the top-10 approaching the half-way mark.
With coaching from his team including truck owner Eddie Sharp, Goess climbed into the top-10 approaching the 100-lap mark and held steady to take the checkered flag in the ninth position collecting a career best finish in just his seventh career NCWTS start.
Previously, Goess had finished 10th in his truck debut at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after starting 19th in October 2010.
“I’m very encouraged by our performance at Nashville,” said Sharp. “Craig, Tripp and the entire ESR team really worked hard not only before the race but during the race. Craig showed a lot of maturity for his experience in these trucks to navigate such a difficult track. We’ll look to build on this run at Dover and for the remainder of the season.”
The team’s performance in round five of the season propelled Goess to 13th in the championship standings tied with David Starr at 129 points a piece. Just seven markers keep the former ARCA Racing Series winner from entering the top-10. Sharp is 15th in the truck owner standings remaining in a “locked-in” position for the next contest.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a stop at another concrete oval. The Lucas Oil 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway is set for Friday, May 13th. The event will be tape-delayed on SPEED beginning at 8:30 p.m.