AVONDALE, Ariz. – While John Wes Townley continues to heal from an ankle injury, Athenian Motorsports and Dylan Lupton Racing jointly announced today that Dylan Lupton will rejoin the organization for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to drive for Athenian Motorsports this weekend at Phoenix,” said Lupton. “I hope John Wes (Townley) is on the road to a speedy recovery and can return soon.
“In the meantime, I’m looking forward to going to Phoenix this weekend and having a good run in our No. 05 Lupton Excavation / Zaxby’s Chevrolet. Phoenix is one of my best tracks, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in Friday night’s race. We’ll have a good truck, so our goal is to run up front and get a good finish.”
Lupton, the Wilton, Calif. native ran eight NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races for Athenian Motorsports last year led by crew chief Mike Ford. Lupton made his debut at Phoenix but earned his career-best finish on the road course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where he finished ninth after starting 16th.
The finish remains the lone XFINITY Series top-10 run for Athenian Motorsports in 41 career starts.
Lupton, a NASCAR Next alumnus returns to the Truck Series after making his series debut last month at Talladega Superspeedway driving for Young’s Motorsports. After a flat tire in qualifying relegated them to a 27th place qualifying run, Lupton quickly drafted to inside the top-10 during the race, later spun and recovered for a solid 12th place finish in his series debut.
This time around, the 22-year-old realizes the circumstances will be different comparing Talladega to Phoenix, but he is anxious to continue his learning curve in trucks while he begins to hash out his racing plans for the 2017 season.
“I really experienced a lot in the truck at Talladega,” Lupton recalled. “But, Phoenix will be different compared to track sizes, feel, rhythm and more. The good thing for me is that I’ve been with two teams (Young’s Motorsports and Athenian) who care about my best interest and want to see me succeed. We’ll make the most of practice, try to qualify up front and see how the race plays out.
“I’m not sure if I’ll be racing at Homestead, so a good run at Phoenix will definitely give me some momentum to carry into the off season.”
After finishing second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship in 2014, Lupton advanced to the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015 in a partial schedule with Athenian Motorsports. Additionally, Lupton has been elected twice to the NASCAR Next program. An evolution of the Next9 initiative that began in 2011, the NASCAR Next program (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) is an all-embracing industry initiative to help spotlight the sport’s rising stars – and boost fan recognition around talent that will grow into NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mainstays.
In particular, Lupton has been an advocate for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project where he has spent time informing students about the fundamentals of NASCAR and how each subject applies.
Lupton graduated this past May with a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from UNC Charlotte.
For more on Dylan Lupton follow him on Twitter @LuptonDylan or visit his Facebook page.
The Lucas Oil 150 (150 Laps / 150 Miles) is the 22nd of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the 2016 schedule. Practice begins Fri., Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m., while a final session has been etched in from 1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Qualifying will take place later in the day at 6:30 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly thereafter at 8:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Mountain).