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Dawson Sutton to Attempt Truck Debut at Wilkesboro in Second Rackley WAR Entry

Photo Credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America

Dawson Sutton, a standout in Late Model competition for Rackley WAR, will make his debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series later this month at the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway, the organization announced on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old driver is the son of Curtis Sutton, co-owner of Rackley WAR and President of Rackley Roofing, and has been with the organization racing on the grassroots level for multiple years. Sutton will get behind the wheel of the No. 26 Rackley Roofing Chevrolet Silverado in the Wright Brand 250, a second entry for fourth-year team Rackley WAR.

“I have been super excited waiting to share this announcement that I’ll be making my NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut,” Sutton said. “I really want to thank all of my supporters, including Rackley Roofing Company, WAR Shocks, and Team Chevrolet. I’m also grateful for my parents. My dad has invested so much into me since I started racing two years ago, and my mom as well, as she’s been with me every step of the way at racetracks all over the country.”

Last season, Rackley WAR made its first appearance in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series post-season with Matt DiBenedetto, scoring 13 top-10 finishes and ending the season ninth in series owner points. This season, Ty Dillon has been tapped as the team’s primary driver, under the guidance of veteran crew chief Shane Wilson, to continue its efforts.

“My team owner Willie Allen has also been a huge help to me personally from the start of me running Pro Late Models all the way to this point,” added Sutton. “Having his racing background and knowledge is something I don’t take for granted to have at my disposal. Willie and I have been putting in countless hours of sim training, pit stop practice, and discussions about what to expect in the new Truck ride.”

Rackley WAR has previously fielded multiple entries in the NASCAR Truck Series, once for William Byron at the team’s home track of Nashville Superspeedway in 2021. The following season, the organization fielded the No. 26 in multiple events for Tate Fogleman.

“I’m really proud of Dawson [Sutton] on and off the race track,” said Rackley WAR CEO and Dawson’s father Curtis Sutton. “When I became an owner in Rackley WAR, I defaulted to my business partner, Willie Allen, for all the driver advice and coaching for Dawson. He was 16 years old then, and I told him he had two years to show me he could be competitive in a race car. He took that to heart, and he’s done an incredible job in proving himself.”

“His experience with Joe Ryan and Ron Hornday, Jr., during his first year as a Legends driver was probably the best training he could have had. He went to boot camp so to speak with the Joe Ryan Team of drivers and learned the value of leadership, teamwork, physical and mental preparedness, and how to be the best you could possibly be by functioning as a unit.”

Stepping into a racecar for the first time in 2022, Sutton was a quick study, scoring wins and consistent podium finishes in the US Legends Car Series under the direction of Joe Ryan and Ron Hornaday’s driver development program.

“I’m so proud to see how far Dawson – aka Soup – has come in such a short time. I was at his first legend car race and to see how he has progressed from Legends to Late Models is amazing,” said Hornaday. “He is very focused and wants to learn, and that means a lot if you want to have success in this sport. I will definitely be there to support him as he makes his Truck debut too.”

The following year, under the direction of Willie Allen, Sutton began ramping up his driving career, competing in 34 Pro Late Model races across the country, including a handful at his home track of Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Despite his lack of experience behind the wheel of a NASCAR Truck Series vehicle, Sutton has done his homework in advance of his debut.

“I made sure to make the trip to Kansas Speedway two weeks prior to my start to learn a lot from my Rackley W.A.R. teammate Ty Dillon and the rest of the crew, and to soak in as much information as I can,” added Sutton. “It’s also really exciting to be making this start at a track like North Wilkesboro Speedway, a place with so much history that got brought back to life last year.”

This season, Sutton has committed to the full ASA STARS Super Late Model tour schedule in addition to entering other marquee events throughout the country, and continues to turn heads. For 2024, Dawson has recorded six pole awards and seven top-fives, including three Pro Late Model wins at New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt.

Rackley W.A.R. co-owner Willie Allen acknowledges this day has come with great anticipation by the race team.

“This is no doubt a huge step for Dawson in his driving career and speaks volumes of his development,” Allen said. “He’s wrapped his mind around learning and growing his skillset in the race car, and the entire race team is really pumped to add him to our North Wilkesboro roster with Ty Dillon. We are super excited about the growth of our program. Team Chevrolet has been a huge help in Dawson’s development with us and we are extremely thankful for our relationship with those folks all around.”

“The team is ready to go,” Sutton added. “I’m looking forward to making the most of this opportunity too.”

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