As the teams of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series make their way to Austin, Texas for Saturday’s inaugural Toyota Tundra 225 at Circuit of The Americas, many drivers with extensive road racing experience are looking for their shot to qualify for the historic event.
For the first-time in the organization’s history, CMI Motorsports will have three entries at the track attempting to qualify for a single NASCAR Truck Series event, with three drivers that are looking to make their NASCAR National Series debuts at COTA and be a small part of the series’ history.
Brad Gross – despite being announced as the pilot of the No. 49 for COTA — will shift over to the No. 83 Manufacturing News Chevrolet Silverado at Circuit of The Americas, a track where the Grapevine, Texas-native has prior experience through his prior starts in Trans Am. Matt Cooper will serve as Gross’ crew chief, as the No. 83 team attempts to make their first event of 2021.
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John Atwell has enjoyed a nearly decade-long career as a driver and team owner in various divisions of Trans Am, but will attempt to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Circuit of The Americas, piloting the No. 49 Trussworks LLC | LeComte Homes | Multi Building Incorporated Ford F-150. Tim Silva will be partnered with Atwell this weekend, in hopes of catapaulting the organization up the owner points and into a better position when the series returns to having no practice or qualifying.
Finally, piloting the organization’s third entry will be Flower Mound, Texas-native Sam LeComte, who much like his other two CMI Motorsports teammates has competed at the Austin, Texas road course through his multiple years racing in the Trans Am TA2 Series. LeComte will pilot the No. 72 Trussway | LeComte Homes | Multi Building Incorporated Chevrolet Silverado this weekend, with Steve Kuykendall – who most recently worked with Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing in 2019 — calling the shots on the entry.
However, if Gross, Atwell or LeComte is hoping to take the green flag in Saturday’s Toyota Tundra 225, they will have to post a lap time inside the top-31 in the series’ second qualifying session of the season, which will take place the morning of the event. The No. 49 team sits 42nd in Owner Points with the odds of getting a provisional currently looking low, while the No. 72 and No. 83 have yet to earn a single point this season.