Mansfield: Kevin Dowler preview

Dowler set for NASCAR Truck debut EMCO Western Series champ set for inaugural Truck race at Mansfield EDMONTON, AB - On Sunday, May 16, reigning CASCAR EMCO Western Series champion and current points leader Kevin Dowler will participate in ...

Dowler set for NASCAR Truck debut
EMCO Western Series champ set for inaugural Truck race at Mansfield

EDMONTON, AB - On Sunday, May 16, reigning CASCAR EMCO Western Series champion and current points leader Kevin Dowler will participate in the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Ohio's Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Dowler will be driving a MOPAR Truck, owned by Sun Valley Speedway (Vernon, BC) owner Ron Rhodes, with sponsorship from Northern Provincial Pipelines (NPP).

NPP is located in Edson, AB and is owned by Dwight Kennedy, who backed Dowler in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway, during Speedweeks in February.

Mansfield Motorsports Speedway is a new, .44-mile oval located southwest of Cleveland, OH. According to Dowler, who hails from Sherwood Park, AB, making his first Truck Series outing at Mansfield will put him at less of a disadvantage than he would otherwise be, were he to make his inaugural NASCAR appearance at a track where his competitors have a lot of experience.

"This is a great opportunity given that the track will be new to everyone," said Dowler, who won the season-opening CASCAR EMCO Western Series race a few weeks ago at Sun Valley. "For the past few years I've been looking at different options for getting into a Truck race and I'm excited that it's going to happen racing for Dwight Kennedy and Northern Provincial Pipelines in a Canadian-owned Truck."

Dowler is confident about what he can accomplish Sunday in the NPP MOPAR, although his goals are tempered by the knowledge that he'll be getting into the Truck for the first time, and driving for a team that has struggled to make the starting field in the highly competitive Craftsman Truck Series.

"I've wanted to give this a try for a long time and I think we can have some success," said Dowler, whose Apollo Motorsports team is focused on the CASCAR Western EMCO Series. "I hope to do a good job for Ron [Rhodes] and Dwight [Kennedy] by getting the Truck qualified and into the race; that's been the big challenge so far this year. The Truck Series is extremely competitive."

Dowler's first chance to gain experience in the NPP Truck will take place prior to race weekend when NASCAR hosts a one-day open practice at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. It will be the first opportunity for all of the teams to test their Mansfield Truck setups in advance of Sunday's race. "There is a day of open practice before qualifying, which is good for us because I have to get some practice driving a Truck," said Dowler. "Knowing that the other teams won't be coming to race with extensive notes on the track should be beneficial to us, too."

At this point, Dowler is looking at the ride as a one-off, but is open to doing more in the future if things go well. The UAW/GM 250 starts Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. (ET) and will air on SPEED.

-itn-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Dowler