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Crewman had been suspended in August, completed Road to Recovery Program DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR has reinstated Troy Cupples, a crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series , upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. On Aug. 11, 2014, Couples was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the NASCAR Rule Book. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
23-year-old made seven starts in NCWTS in 2014 Ray Black Jr. is partnering with SS Green Light Racing to run a full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015. Black will drive the No. 07 ScubaLife Chevrolet Silverado. "We've got the full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the schedule for 2015 and I am excited about that," Black said in a team release. ScubaLife is on board to be the primary sponsor, while NASE Worldwide and CDA Technical Institute will also support the effort. Black ran seven races in the Truck Series last season for the Bobby Dotter-owned team, with his best finishes of 18th place coming at both Chicagoland Speedway in September and Texas Motor Speedway in October. Black led his only lap of the season in the Chicagoland race. The 23-year-old Floridian will compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2015. "I've waited a long time for this opportunity and now that it's official I can't wait to get it going," Black said. "I couldn't be more happy for the team; it's a great group of guys that I really enjoy being around." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Testing sessions sparse, but extended practices in the works While NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will have numerous opportunities to take part in open team tests in 2015, organizations competing in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series will also get additional track time. But unlike the Sprint Cup sessions, which will coincide with Goodyear tire and NASCAR tests, the two series will be provided extended practice sessions during race weekends. The only off-site test currently scheduled for XFINITY and the NCWTS is a Goodyear tire test set for May 5 at Iowa Speedway . Representatives from Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing , which finished 1-2 in owner points in what was previously known as the Nationwide Series , are slated to take part in the Iowa test along with those from Kyle Busch Motorsports and ThorSport Racing (1-2 in the NCWTS). The use of extended practice sessions "is a cost-effective way for giving XFINITY and Trucks testing without sending them off on a separate trip," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development Gene Stefanyshyn said. "So we're giving those two series where cost is a bigger concern extends practice sessions, which we will fit into the race-schedule weekends. "We're not going to add days (at the track) and all that; we're going to figure out how to stuff it in there." The extended sessions will be only for XFINITY and NCWTS teams, although sessions for Sprint Cup have been altered in the past when necessary (such as due to weather issues). The length of the extended sessions will vary, depending on at-track activities for each event, with a maximum of three hours. Stefanyshyn said the sanctioning body also has a "bucket" of testing called rookie development sessions that currently is for the NCWTS only but can be adapted to the XFINITY Series if necessary. Additionally, there is a new organization testing piece that "is applicable to all three series ," he said. "Although in reality most people come through truck and work their way up. "We think we've got a good balance here of providing the Sprint Cup teams lower costs, higher value testing, but at the same time if you look at it very holistically, we're providing XFINITY and Trucks a very cost-effective way to do what they need to do, take care of rookies and take care of the organizations." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Organization will run three trucks next season Kyle Busch Motorsports will shuffle its crew chiefs ahead of the 2015 Camping World Truck Series season, the organization announced on Thursday. Veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter, who was teamed with Darrell Wallace Jr . for five wins over the past two seasons, will serve as the crew chief for the No. 51 truck . That truck has won back-to-back owner's championships in the series and will be driven by team owner Kyle Busch , Matt Tifft and Daniel Suarez in 2015. RELATED: KBM sets 2015 lineup "Jerry came to KBM with a history of success working with young drivers, and Darrell thrived under his tutelage the last two seasons," Busch said in a team release. "Now, he'll get the chance to mentor Daniel (Suarez) and Matt (Tifft) -- two more young guys with a lot of potential -- and with Eric's (Phillips) departure, he and Rudy will take on some added responsibility on the competition side." Phillips moved up to the XFINITY Series and will serve as a crew chief for the No. 18 entry to be driven by Suarez. RELATED: JGR sets crew chief lineup for 2015 Shannon Rursch, who spent the past season as a crew chief for Turner Scott Motorsports in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series , will be the crew chief for the No. 54 entry to be driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Justin Boston . "I'm really honored to be joining KBM -- an organization that has a proven track record of being able to win races and championships," Rursch said in a team release. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to come in and learn what has made them so successful and hopefully bring a few things to the table. I don't see any reason why Justin can't go out and win some races and be a leading contender for the Rookie of the Year Award with the equipment we have in place and the resources available to us from Toyota." As previously announced, Ryan "Rudy" Fugle will be the pit boss for Erik Jones ' first full-time campaign in the series . The two teamed together for Jones' first national series win in 2013 at Phoenix. Jones will drive the No. 4 Toyota Tundra. Last season, Jones, Wallace Jr. and Busch combined for 14 wins, the most ever by an organization in a single season of Camping World Truck Series competition. The 2015 season will kick off on Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Becomes first driver to win back-to-back titles in Camping World Truck Series RELATED: Wallace Jr. wins Ford EcoBoost 200 HOMESTEAD, Fla. – After becoming the first driver to ever win consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles, Matt Crafton could talk about making history. "Definitely an awesome feeling," Crafton said, after joining Ron Hornaday Jr ., Todd Bodine and Jack Sprague as the only drivers to win the NCWTS crown more than once. "To be on the list with those guys is unreal. To say that I've done it back-to-back and no one has done that, it's such a good, good feeling." But Crafton, sitting between crew chief (Carl) Junior Joiner and ThorSport Racing General Manager David Pepper, wasn't about to take all the credit. "To say I made history is definitely very, very cool. But it's all about the guys that are behind me. Without them, I'm just an average race car driver at best." Completing his 14th full season, Crafton, 38, has run his entire NCWTS career for Sandusky, Ohio-based ThorSport and owners Duke and Rhonda Thorson. "The very first time I sat down with Duke at the end of 2000 he told me going to run this like a business," Crafton recalled. "He said: 'We're going to make it better and better each year but I'm not going to outspend myself or go away in two or three years. I'm going to be an owner who will be around for the long haul. If you want to stick it out with me, we'll win races and win championships.' " Stick it out, Crafton did. He didn't win a race until 2008, finished no higher than fifth in the point standings until 2009 and didn't win two races in a season until this year when he triumphed at Martinsville and Texas. "That's what makes it so much sweeter to be where we are today," Crafton said. "We didn't have all the resources and all the tools that we have today. I'd say (Duke) has been a man of his word – as has Rhonda – since the day I met him." Crafton said that after winning his first title a year ago, he promised Joiner the team would lead more laps and win more races in 2014. "We led more laps and won two races," he said. "We had the capability to win more if we didn't have bad luck in the middle part of the season. It's a damn shame, because I feel we should have won at least five races, without a doubt." But Crafton is hardly complaining. "I think I'm the luckiest man on earth," he said. "I'm getting paid to do what I love. I'm getting paid to drive a race car." Crafton entered Friday's Ford EcoBoost 200 with a relatively comfortable 25-point lead on Ryan Blaney . He knew that a finish of 21st or better in the 36- truck field would get the job done. He finished ninth, good enough to finish 21 points ahead of Blaney, who persevered for a fifth-place finish despite finishing the race with vise-grips replacing his broken shifter. He also raced cautiously throughout the first half of the race, maintaining a low line to keep a safe distance from the wall while maintaining his spot within the top 10. Any hope Blaney had virtually disintegrated during the fourth caution period of the race. The 20-year-old, who had been running second for much of the early going, suffered that shifter problem and dropped all the way to 15th on the restart. "That was one of the worst trucks we've had all year," Blaney said. "I can't believe we (managed to) finish fifth. That was tough." Kyle Larson led 96 of the first 100 laps and ended up chasing Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Darrell Wallace Jr . to the finish line in the closing laps. Wallace, driving the No. 54 Tundra, was thrilled to finally "beat the boss." Kyle Busch Motorsports captured its third NCWTS owner's championship in five seasons (second consecutively). Erik Jones made 12 starts and Busch drove 10 races in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra, which edged ThorSport and Crafton for the owner’s title by 24 points. "It's a great milestone for us," said Busch, who is ineligible to race for the driver's championship because he is a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor. "It's what we can race for. We've had a lot of people come to KBM to work who have stayed a long time. Some move on to other things. That's really what the Truck Series is all about: a proving ground and a growing series ." Wallace's victory gave KBM 14 wins for the season and provided Toyota with 18 triumphs, tying Chevrolet’s 2010 mark for most wins in a single season. Ben Kennedy was named NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year, despite settling for 17th in his No. 31 Chevrolet. "We weren't really all that great tonight," Kennedy said, "but it pays off for the whole season we put together. It's a testament to this team and how hard the guys at Turner Scott Motorsports worked. When we were on, we were really on – up there with the top dogs. When we were off, we struggled a little bit, but we worked hard and we worked together to make the most out of each position and each lap." Kennedy held off Tyler Reddick (sixth in his No. 19 Ford on Friday) for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, based in part on each team's 14 best finishes of the season. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will be on pit road on Friday (FS1, 8 p.m. ET) By winning the Keystone Light Pole Award for Friday night's Ford EcoBoost 200 (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) at Homestead-Miami Speedway , Kyle Larson got the top selection for a pit stall for the race. Larson chose the pit stall closest to the pit road exit. This is Larson's first Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead since qualifying second and finishing 27th at the 1.5-mile track in 2012. With his pit stall, Larson will have an opening in front of him to pull out of his pit box. Darrell Wallace Jr . (starting eighth), Kyle Busch (starting fifth), points leader Matt Crafton (starting sixth), Timothy Peters (starting 15th), Ryan Blaney (starting second), Tyler Reddick (starting fourth), Johnny Sauter (starting 17th) and Ty Dillon (starting seventh) will also have the advantage of an opening in front of them on pit road. Ray Black Jr. chose the pit stall closest to the pit road entrance in the series' season finale. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule