As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Watkins Glen International for the first time in two decades, many skilled road course racers have been looking for the opportunity to compete in the landmark event, including Will Rodgers, who will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Saturday’s United Rentals 176.
Thinking of keeping the wrap on for this weekend…what do you think @marcuslemonis want to jump on board?
— Will Rodgers (@willrodgers65) August 2, 2021
The 26-year-old currently competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Sam Hunt Racing and will participate in Saturday’s event for Dawson Cram and Cram Enterprises, piloting the No. 41 Chevrolet Silverado. Rodgers will be searching for his first top-10 finish in NASCAR’s top-three series while also searching for an all-time best finish for the organization.
Rodgers exclusively told TobyChristie.com how the whole deal came about, noting that driving a truck wasn’t necessarily in the cards. Rodgers was prepared to head to the Watkins Glen Fan Zone to promote his Race To End Hep C program during the weekend, but a manufacturer commitment was added to his schedule.
“I needed to get a last-minute plane ticket because that morning, I was supposed to run on a manufacturer simulator,” Rodgers told TobyChristie.com.
Rodgers called Sam Hunt, who got him in touch with Pat Cole, who is involved with the Elevated Performance, who helped get Rodgers a plane ticket for the weekend. But Cole had another offer on the table, asking the Hawaii native about his plans for Watkins Glen. After discussing his plans with Race To End Hep C, Cole asked Rodgers if he’d be interested in the Truck Series ride, marking what would be his series debut. Rodgers happily agreed.
Cole called Rodgers back, explaining that the ride would be the No. 41 Cram Racing Enterprises Silverado. With sponsorship being formed, the deal is set.
“Literally, two days later – here we are,” Rodgers said with a chuckle. “Out of just trying to find plane tickets, I find myself just about to make my first Camping World Truck Series start. That’s it; I kid you not.”
The organization’s best finish of 2021 came earlier in the year at Daytona International Speedway’s Road Course, as team owner and primary driver Dawson Cram, working his way through the chaos in the closing stages of the event to capture a 17th-place finish.
“Obviously excited to drive the No. 41 truck with Kevin Cram, Brian Keselowski as the crew chief. I know those guys have been working hard this season,” Rodgers said. “Expectation wise – top 15, me being a road course guy, knowing Watkins Glen really well, winning there before – I think I’ve got a bit of an up on some of those other truck guys since the series hasn’t been; there for quite a while.”
Rodgers will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on Saturday, August 6th, at 12:30 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 1.