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May 15, 2014 - 06:18 AM
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2014 Charlotte: Jimmy Weller NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on May 15, 2014 - 06:16 AM
2014 Charlotte: Jimmy Weller NASCAR Truck Race Preview

• Coming back to Charlotte Motor Speedway... For the first time in 10 years, Jimmy Weller will compete at one of the tracks at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway complex. On October 13, 2004, Weller sustained critical injuries while attempting to make his USAC debut in a race at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The then 18-year-old Weller was racing for the lead in his heat race when his car caught a rut and flipped into the catch fence. With the roll cage damaged, Weller's head made contact with one of the support posts breaking his neck and back. After two weeks in a coma, Weller spent several weeks recovering at a Charlotte-based hospital and rehab facility. Just 18 months later, Weller was cleared to race and climbed back in the cockpit-this time with his dream refocused on climbing the stock car ranks. Ten years later, Weller is competing on a part-time basis in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the No. 08 Geneva-Liberty Steel / Hopek Hardware Plus Chevrolet Silverado for SS Green Light Racing.


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• New partners on board... Jimmy Weller will return to his usual No. 08 Chevrolet Silverado at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but this time he will have a few new partners decorating his truck. In addition to having Geneva-Liberty Steel on the hood of his Chevrolet Silverado, Weller's truck will also display logos for Hopek Hardware Plus and the Joedance Film Festival. Hopek Hardware Plus, an exclusive online distributor and store for automotive and hardware parts, is a sister-company to Engine Parts Plus who partnered with Weller for the season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Friday's event will mark Weller's first race with Joedance Film Festival, a non-profit focused on raising funds and awareness for rare pediatric cancers.

• Featured on NCWTS Setup... FOX Sports 1 spent time with Jimmy Weller and his family reflecting on Jimmy's career leading into this weekend's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Visiting the family at their Hubbard, Ohio home and speaking with Jimmy at nearby Liberty Steel, the crew also followed Jimmy back to The Dirt Track at Charlotte to reflect on a life-changing accident and Jimmy's subsequent comeback and climb up the stock car ranks. Tune in to NCWTS Setup on Friday, May 16 at 8 p.m. EDT to see the finished piece.

• Dirt racing update... As if the NASCAR schedule wasn't grueling enough, Jimmy Weller is mixing several races at Sharon Speedway into his personal race schedule. The 28-year-old started his racing career at the Ohio short track at the age of 15, and continues to run big block dirt modifieds at the 3/8-mile speedway whenever possible. After finishing fifth in the feature this past week, Weller will be back at it on Saturday night following Friday'sCamping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

• Motivating students at Cloverleaf Elementary... Jimmy Weller will visit students at Cloverleaf Elementary in Statesville, N.C. on Friday, May 23. Speaking to approximately 400 students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades, Weller hopes to motivate students leading into their end-of-year exams by sharing his story of overcoming adversity while climbing the motorsports ranks.

• Meet Jimmy Weller... With the month of May officially designated as "Motorsports Month" in the state of North Carolina, Jimmy Weller will join several NASCAR stars at public appearances during the Charlotte race weeks. On Friday, May 23, Weller will make three separate appearances around Charlotte, N.C. The Sunoco Rookie contender will join several drivers at an autograph session at Walmart (5825 Thunder Road NW, Concord, NC 28027) from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET. From there, Weller will make his way to Speed Street in Uptown Charlotte. At6:30 p.m., Weller will make an appearance at the Chevrolet display where he will participate in a Q&A session and sign autographs for fans. He will then join several other drivers at the Creative Loafing display for an autograph session from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Additional information about the 20th annual Speed Street, including an event layout, can be found at 600festival.com.

• Follow Jimmy Weller... Fans are invited to follow Jimmy Weller, driver of the No. 08 Geneva-Liberty Steel / Hopek Hardware Plus Chevrolet Silverado on Facebook (facebook.com/JWellerRacing), Twitter (@JWellerRacing), and Instagram (@JWellerRacing). Fans can also visit JimmyWeller.com for news and updates throughout the weekend.

• NCWTS On the Air... The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take on Charlotte Motor Speedway under the lights this Friday, May 16. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast final practice (11 a.m. EDT) and qualifying (5:30 p.m. EDT). Live coverage of the N.C. Education Lottery 200 will begin with NCWTS Setup on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. EDT. MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live radio coverage of the event beginning at 8:30 p.m. EDT
From the Driver's Seat

Jimmy Weller Quotes... On returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway: "It's an exciting weekend for our Geneva-Liberty Steel / Hopek Hardware Plus team, and it's a big weekend for me personally. Coming back to race at Charlotte [Motor Speedway], makes me feel like I've come full circle. To go from having something really bad happen here-the low point in my career-to coming back now racing at the level I'm at, it's a big moment for my whole family."

On racing some back-to-back events: "Our season starts out a little slow in the Camping World Truck Series, so I'm excited to be at the point where we're getting to race on a more regular basis. Seat time is always a good thing and it's helpful when we have back-to-back races, since it helps keep everything fresh. It's good for our Geneva-Liberty Steel / Hopek Hardware Plus team when we can race together on a more consistent basis."

No. 08 Geneva-Liberty Steel / Hopek Hardware Plus Chevrolet Silverado

The No. 08 Geneva-Liberty Steel / Hopek Hardware Plus Chevrolet Silverado team will compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway with chassis No. 1098 as their primary truck. The chassis was used in 2011 with veteran David Starr behind the wheel at Michigan International Speedway. Starr finished fifth in that event.

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