As Dalton Sargeant continues his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for GMS Racing he continues to seek input from all those around him.
From 2016 champion Johnny Sauter to fellow drivers, Sargeant is always learning and one of his best teachers this season is veteran crew chief Doug Randolph.
Randolph moved over to GMS Racing this season after Brad Keselowski Racing ceased operations at the end of last season and enjoys working with another young driver.
Sargeant, who currently sits ninth in the series standings, is preparing for his first race at Charlotte Motor Speedway which is known to be a challenging track for a veteran much less a rookie.
One advantage the Boca Raton, Fla., native will have is the experience of Randolph to help guide him through race day.
“Doug has had some great success at Charlotte and that will be really helpful for me this Friday,” said Sargeant. “I feel he’ll be valuable to help me learn my way around the track and learn what we need to do to be as fast as we can.
“The weather will be a little bit of a factor. I feel Doug and I work the best when we have time to debrief and talk. I feel we should be in pretty good shape if we’re able to do that.”
In addition to the experience of his crew chief, he’ll also have one of the best spotters in the business up top helping guide him through the race, T.J. Majors. Majors spots full-time for Joey Logano in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and also works with Sargeant in Trucks.
Having both of them in his corner gives Sargeant confidence and support.
“I also feel he does a really good job of calling a race from the pit box and also coaching me directly or through my spotter TJ Majors,” said Sargeant of his crew chief. “T.J. does a great job of providing me a lot of information.”
After a handful of races this season, Sargeant said he and his team are getting more comfortable with one another.
“The biggest thing was at the start of the year he (Randolph) didn’t know me that well so we have to learn one another and after five races or so, we’re able to communicate and look at things after the race and it gives me a new perspective that I might not have seen before,” he said.
As for Majors, Sargeant feels having a veteran spotter is helping him a lot as well.
“I feel from my point of view, the more information the better for me racing around veterans and it gives me a feeling of comfort knowing TJ is there. He’s been a great part of our team this year,” he said.
Randolph, who has nearly two decades of experience in NASCAR, feels his experience working with younger drivers will help he and Sargeant reach their goals this season.
“It seems to take five races to see where we’re at and that’s where we are right now,” said Randolph. “We’re able to look and see where we can help Dalton. You have to be comfortable in the truck and you have to have confidence but you have to be comfortable in the truck to have confidence.”
“The great thing about Dalton is he’s done an excellent job of not putting himself in bad situations. A lot of young guys want to be fastest and what Dalton has done well is managing what he has and not making any mistakes that will take him out of a race.”
Randolph hopes his experience at Charlotte will help Sargeant in his first race there on Friday.
“Charlotte is such a strange animal and it changes so much,” Randolph said. “I’ve had some success with one driver and come back with another driver and be miserable. I feel like I understand Charlotte and I feel like that is what I can help Dalton with the most. He’ll still have to experience it and drive through some kind of adversity, that’s just the way Charlotte is.”