Cole Whitt to Drive Full-Time in the 2011 NCWTS
Turn One Racing Saves Seat for Red Bull's Cole Whitt
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Fresh off his first season in stock cars, Red Bull Racing Team development driver Cole Whitt is taking the next step in his NASCAR career. The 19-year-old will drive Turn One Racing's No. 60 full-time this season in the Camping World Truck Series.
Whitt and Turn One Racing, owned by veteran NASCAR driver Stacy Compton, have a one-race head start on 2011. The driver made his Truck debut in the No. 60 last fall at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"The equipment, everything at Turn One Racing is put together really well," Whitt said. "I'm excited to go run these new tracks. I think I can hang with the top guys out there and help take Stacy's team to the next level and turn it into a front-running team every week."
The 2008 USAC National Midget Series champion, Whitt spent 2010 in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East. In his first start, Whitt won the pole and finished third at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. He went on to finish fourth in points with two poles, six top fives and seven top 10s in only 10 races.
That success carried over to a late-season introduction to NASCAR's top ranks. Whitt, in the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, debuted in the Nationwide Series in November, putting together impressive weekends back-to-back at Phoenix International Raceway (15th) and Homestead (17th).
In the Truck finale at Homestead, he qualified 10th and finished 28th after an on-track incident ruined what could have been a top-10 day. Whitt established a baseline for communication with crew chief Marcus Richmond, who returns to call the shots in 2011.
"We are really excited to add Cole to our driver lineup," Compton said. "We had the opportunity to work with him at Homestead last year, and he proved to us that he has a ton of talent and the ability to win. By adding Cole to our lineup as a teammate to Justin Marks, we will have two of the rising talents in the Truck Series driving for us."
Whitt takes over a truck that finished 14th in the 2010 owner points. He and Marks, in the No. 66, will unload next month for Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway with a brief test session, practice and qualifying -- all leading up a 100-lap, 250-mile race to start the season Feb. 18.
"It's going to be awesome to say I've ran at Daytona," Whitt said. "I've dreamed about it growing up. Daytona, you just say it, and everybody knows what it is. To be able to race there is going to be a pretty big deal."