Justin Fontaine ready to tame Miles’ Monster Mile

DOVER, Del. – One of the longest breaks of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season is over and Rookie of the Year candidate Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) is recharged and ready to deliver his Niece Motorsports team its third top-10 finish of the year in Friday’s JEGS 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. 

Fontaine, driver of the No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Inc. Chevrolet has never been to the track dubbed “The Monster Mile”, but the Asheville, N.C. native hopes his excessive preparation pays off when he hits the track later this week.

“I’ve never been to Dover – but it’s one of those tracks, I can’t wait to experience,” said Fontaine. “I’m glad that this six-week break is over, and we can get back to business and hopefully earn another top-10 run.”

Devising his strategy with the one-mile concrete oval, the Asheville, N.C. native says he’s been aggressively studying film, surveying pictures and even spending hours on the online simulator program iRacing – all hoping they will allow him to get up to speed quickly before shifting concentration to race setup.

“Dover can be a monster, no-pun intended,” added Fontaine. “It’s a place where you have to be aggressive – but not too aggressive, otherwise you’ll find yourself in trouble pretty quick. I’ve been told when the trucks come off Turn 2 and go under the pedestrian bridge, it’s a huge sensation.

“It’s all going to be new, but I’m hoping I can adapt pretty quickly during the first practice – then we can spend the final practice working on qualifying and race runs.”

Fontaine also believes some of his ARCA experience at the treacherous Salem (Ind.) Speedway, a fast, half-mile high banked oval could play some benefit this weekend.

“I loved Salem,” recalled Fontaine who finished 11th in his track debut last fall. “It was a cool place with some similarities to what I expect at Dover this weekend. I hope what I learned there, I can apply this week and help combat the learning curve.”

Fontaine and his Darrell Morrow-led team also hope the fifth race of the season is a rebound for their No. 45 team after experiencing hardship in late March at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The 20-year-old made steady gains throughout the weekend and was competitively running inside the top-20 when he was collected in a Lap 158 accident. He finished 28th after starting 19th.

“Despite our Martinsville finish, I’m proud of my guys,” Fontaine added. “We made some serious strides from start to finish. In my Martinsville debut a couple years ago, I struggled in qualifying. In March, that wasn’t an issue.

“Our truck was pretty good, we were just biding our time and just became a victim of circumstances. We’ve had to wait nearly a month and a half to bounce back – but Dover race week is here and we’re ready.”

Fontaine and his Niece Motorsports teammate Austin Wayne Self will join several other Truck Series teams in a track initiative to support Autism Awareness by carrying the Autism Delaware Awareness logo for the 200-lap event Friday afternoon.

“I’m proud to help support the initiative and bring awareness to this weekend at Dover,” added Fontaine.

After three races, Fontaine sits 14th in the series’ standings.

In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine is also a freshman student at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte) where he is pursuing a business degree.

For more on Justin Fontaine, please visit JustinFontaine.com, like his Facebook page (Justin Fontaine) or follow him on Twitter @driverFontaine.

The JEGS 200 (200 laps | 200 miles) is the fifth of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., May 3 from 2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:05 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., May 4, beginning at 1:05 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 5:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).

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