BLAZIN' WAY TO START 2012: Prior to the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, if you said "John King," people responded...."Who?" The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rookie made a name for himself in his debut with Red Horse Racing by climbing through the field and holding off series veterans to claim victory at the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway in only his eighth Truck Series start. King is currently the Truck Series points leader heading into this weekend's Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.
YES HE'S BEEN HERE: The Fort Blackmore, VA resident has one Truck Series start at the Virginia paperclip shaped track. In 2010, he started in the back of the field and ultimately brought home a19th-place finish after an incident in the closing laps of the race. He also has three late model stock starts at the short track. His best finish came in 2009 where he crossed the finish line in the 12th position.
THE TOAST OF THE TOWN: Ever since claiming victory in Daytona one month ago, King has been non-stop. The Truck Series rookie flew back to Charlotte immediately to sit down for an appearance on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. The next week, King appeared on CNN's John King's USA after the duo exchanged tweets following his win. Additionally, the rookie made appearances on numerous radio programs and TV shows. Topping everything off, King received the keys to his native hometown Kingsport, TN two weekends ago during the Sprint Cup Series pre-race ceremonies at Bristol Motor Speedway.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 7 team will utilize chassis No. 001 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. This chassis has five starts with teammate Timothy Peters behind the wheel, including a pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway and two top-five finishes at Nashville and Bristol Motor Speedway. Peters also ran chassis 001 at Kentucky Speedway, where he started 25th and finished16th and Chicagoland Speedway where he started 24th and finished 17th.
SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLOSION: What does winning the Truck Series race at Daytona do for your social media popularity? It explodes your social media circle. King's followers on Facebook and Twitter (@JohnKingRacing) dramatically increased after his Daytona victory. Looking at the stats, prior to Daytona, King had 310 Twitter followers. Heading into Martinsville, the Truck Series points leader now boasts over 2,215, which is an increase of over 600%. He had 843 fans on Facebook prior to Daytona; he now has over 1,600 fans in just over a month period of time.
THEY SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY: This weekend King will climb into the No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra on Saturday and on Sunday will celebrate his 24th birthday. On April 1, 1988, Ronald Regan was serving as the 40th President of the United States, and The Fresh Prince, a.k.a. Will Smith, and DJ Jazzy Jeff premiered "Parents Just Don't Understand," which went on to claim the first ever Grammy for "Best Rap Performance". King share's his birthday with rapper Method Man (40), and film actress Debbie Reynolds (79) among others.
John King talks about Martinsville Speedway: How much will you rely on Timothy Peters for advice for Martinsville? "I've raced against Timothy at Martinsville in a late model before and I know what an experienced driver he is here. He's, in a sense, almost short track king. I've picked his brain a lot already and I'm going to pick it a lot more too this week. He's the kind of guy that any question I ask, he'll answer it. No matter how many times I ask it or how many different questions I ask or how long. It's really neat being able to be on a team with him."
What is it like to win a race and then have five weeks off? "It's pretty cool to be the points leader for five weeks. For five weeks, I've turned on Speed and watched 'Race Hub' and seen my name scroll across the bottom of the screen, pretty wild. I was ready to go somewhere the next Monday morning. I was ready to load up and go back to the race track somewhere. We're all just really excited. The win at Daytona is good for the whole organization and gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum going into this next race. We've got some really nice trucks for Martinsville and the rest of these races."