The start of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season has a look of familiarity for driver Cody Coughlin. The season will kick-off with the same race format, points system, primary partners and series sponsor from the previous season as the 22-year old, in his second full-time season, heads to the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 on February 16.
The green flag traditionally indicates the start of the race for both the drivers and spectators in all auto racing, but for the driver of the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado, the waving of the flag on Friday will signal significant changes as well. Coughlin has moved to GMS Racing, working with new teammates, veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter, manufacturer, number and an updated JEGS paint scheme with a yellow base and black polka dots. In addition, NASCAR has made some changes as well with one fewer pit crew member over the wall on pit stops and a new NASCAR inspection process.
There is comfort in familiarity amidst the changes for Coughlin and the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado, as this weekend marks his third Daytona International Speedway appearance with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Delaware, Ohio, driver has earned an average starting position of 13.0 and an average finishing position of 21.0. Coughlin made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track debut on February 19, 2016. In addition, he has one start with the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Racing Series at the Daytona Beach, Fla., facility in February 2015. Coughlin started second, and led eight laps en route to a fourth-place finish.
In the 2017 NextEra Energy Resources 250, Coughlin survived an incident-filled race that saw six caution periods and finishing under caution, where he finished in the 11th-place.
While this year’s Daytona International Speedway event will mark the first time Coughlin and the No. 2 JEGS crew will work together in an official race capacity, the GMS Racing crew participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series open test at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on January 24.
“I am excited to have a fresh start with GMS Racing for the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season,” Coughlin said. “There are always nerves and excitement when you start with a new group, but we have gelled well together over the off-season, especially with our productive test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. As a team, we are looking forward to a strong run in Daytona and the rest of the year with GMS Racing.”
GMS Racing won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season-opening event two consecutive years, in 2016 with teammate Johnny Sauter, and in 2017. Since entering the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2013, the Statesville, N.C.,-based organization has logged 10 starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, resulting in two victories, two top-five finishes, three top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 5.0 and an average finishing position of 14.2.
Coughlin is the newest driver among GMS Racing’s four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado contingent, joining veteran Sauter, Justin Haley, and Dalton Sargeant.
Baxter has comprehensive experience at the ‘World Center of Racing,’ having one pole award and one victory (2017), one top-five and two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the track. The Baxter-led GMS Racing team was victorious at the Daytona Beach, Fla., facility with Kaz Grala after starting in the pole position last season.
In addition, Coughlin will have the guidance of Kevin Hamlin, the Cody Coughlin Racing team manager, and former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) crew chief for Dale Earnhardt, as well as from Terry Cook, former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, as his spotter. Hamlin boasts two top-five finishes with Earnhardt as crew chief, as well as two pole awards (1997) with Mike Skinner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the Daytona International Speedway. Cook has 10 starts at the Daytona International Speedway including three top-five finishes.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 will be broadcast live on FS1 on Friday, February 16 starting with the pre-race show at 7:00 p.m. (ET). It will also broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Qualifying for the first event of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will air on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on FS1. In addition, the practice session on Thursday, February 15 will be televised live on FS1 at 11:30 a.m. (ET), 2:30 p.m. (ET) and final practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the Daytona International Speedway will re-air on Saturday, February 17 at 2:30 a.m. (ET)on FS1.
To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, visit Cody Coughlin on his personal Twitter and Instagram page – @Cody_Coughlin. For more information on Cody Coughlin visit CodyCoughlin.com. Also, follow Team JEGS’ Twitter page – @TeamJEGS, and on Instagram at @team_jegs. You can also “like” JEGS Performance on the official Facebook page at /Jegsperformance.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!