By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
It has without a doubt been a very long year for Justin Carroll.
Still seeking to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, Carroll is 0-4 so far in 2022. Carroll has attempted Martinsville, Gateway, Nashville, and Richmond but all of them sent the No. 90 packing. Carroll hasn’t entered an ARCA Menards Series event so far in 2022 with all the focus on the NCWTS program but that changes at Bristol.
“It’s definitely been a struggle trying to make a truck race,” said Carroll. I’ve got to say that the Truck Series has a lot of very talented teams and drivers and we are trying to do it all ourselves. I for sure love the challenge but it’s very difficult, we’re not going to give up on it. ”
The stout Truck Series fields have really put a hindrance on Carroll making his Truck Series debut. It has been a rare occurrence to see less than 39 trucks attempt to qualify in the 36-truck field. Carroll is running some of these tracks for the first time in his career, though some he has starts in the ARCA Menards Series, it’s still made it a challenge learning as he’s going. Bristol though is a track that Carroll has the most experience of any of the tracks that ARCA and Trucks both race at.
“Bristol has been a pretty good track for me in the ARCA Menards Series,” said Carroll. “It’s one I’ve had circled on the truck schedule for sure that we want to try and make that race and I think we should be pretty good there. We just hope that we’re good enough in the truck to make the race and try to build more on our Truck Series stuff.”
Carroll has two ARCA Menards Series and three ARCA Menards Series East starts at Bristol in his career. Bristol is also the track where he tallied his first top-10 finish in the ARCA Menards Series in 2020. He has five starts in the ARCA Menards Series and 20 ARCA Menards Series East starts in his career. His return to the ARCA Menards Series will mark his sixth start in the series.
“Most definitely the more seat time the better,” said Caroll. “That’s one thing about trying to qualify for these truck races is that I’ve never been to some of the tracks besides Richmond and that was a whole seven years ago in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East car. Being at Bristol with the ARCA car, as well, will for sure help me tremendously with trying to get the most speed I can out of the Truck.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has become a very competitive series with many drivers looking to get the start or continuation of their racing career. Carroll is just the next driver seeking to make his way up the ranks in NASCAR and his drive to make his debut truly has been heavy and isn’t without a lack of effort.
“I honestly feel like several of the issues we’ve had we’ve just needed to clean up on our end,” said Carroll. “Every time I’ve been in the truck, it’s gotten better and I feel like I have as well. I’ve had a good attitude we’ve just been lacking on overall speed which hopefully will be better at Bristol.”
With the support of Carroll’s Automotive, Carroll has continued a drive towards his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start. Carroll is actively searching for more sponsorship and just needs a big break to show who he is and the kind of driver he is.
“Carrolls Automotive has been involved with the truck since the first race we attempted,” said Carroll. “It’s our family business but since we’ve had some new partners come on board as well with Luxterra Electrical, Inc. and Dodd RV & Marine. We are always looking for more partners and have been really grateful for those that we have gained. As well as getting us on track, we want to be able to represent them well on and off track.”
As for the rest of the 2022 season, Bristol will more than likely be the final Truck Series race the team will attempt. The Bush Beans 200 ARCA Menards Series race will also be the sole ARCA start but he will be setting his focus on Late Model racing including in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. Carroll exclusively confirmed to Kickin’ the Tires that they will be building a newer truck as well as circling a few more ARCA races in 2023.
“Honestly, Bristol is going to be my last Truck attempt this year,” said Carroll. “It will also be my only ARCA start this year as well. We are gearing up for next year in the Truck Series by building a newer truck and we also hope to run a few more ARCA races next year. There are several big Late Model races we have planned to end the year starting with Martinsville on September 24th but we are really looking forward to next year and hopefully, we’ll have a lot more success.”
Photo: Christian Koelle/CCK Photography (w. Kickin’ the Tires)