Jett Noland will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series début in Friday’s BrakeBest Select 159 on the Daytona International Speedway road course, driving the #44 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports in the first of six races. When he takes the green flag, he will join a company of drivers who have run points races in both NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks, formed by ex-NASCAR racer Robby Gordon. Noland in particular will be the twenty-fourth to do so and seventeenth if the NASCAR side is narrowed to the three national series (Cup, Xfinity, Truck).
“I’m very excited to finally get behind the wheel of one of these Niece Motorsports Chevrolets,” Noland said in a team release. “I feel like I’ve been training my whole life for this moment and to make my début at the World Center of Racing is unreal. I’m both honoured and humbled by the chance to go out there and compete against some of the best-up-and-coming racers in the world.”
A late model racer from Florida, Noland was supposed to begin Truck racing in 2020 on a six-event schedule for Niece. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threw the plans out the window and he ultimately did not run any races. With NASCAR no longer in the picture, he juggled his focus for the year between late models and sports cars. In the latter, he joined Mike Cope Racing to race in the Trans-Am Series TA2 class, where he finished fifth in points with a podium in the final race at Road Atlanta and was named Rookie of the Year.
In early August, while Trans-Am was racing at Road America, Noland met Gordon and signed up for the weekend’s two SST races. Driving the #66x, he finished sixth and fourth. Incidentally, Barry Boes—who finished three spots behind Noland in the TA2 standings—was also an SST newcomer that weekend.
The 17-year-old will also race at Richmond, Circuit of the Americas, Bristol, Martinsville, and Phoenix for Niece. Four of the five events were on his initial 2020 slate, while Circuit of the Americas is a new addition to the NASCAR schedule. Former CWTS champion James Buescher drove the #44 in the season opener on Daytona’s oval.
“We are looking forward to having Jett join us this season,” Niece general manager Cody Efaw commented. “Jett has a lot of road course experience and really cut his teeth short track racing, so the races he’s running will really suit his experience. He will be a great addition to the team.”
Noland will not be the only driver in Friday’s Truck race to have raced in SST, let alone the only one from the Road America weekend. Reigning Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed is the winningest driver in SST history and a two-time champion who won the series’ first Daytona RC race and scored podiums in both Road America events. Creed’s GMS Racing team-mate and 2020 title runner-up Zane Smith made his SST début alongside Noland with fifth- and sixth-place finishes. While they have not raced in the series, Noland’s Niece colleague Brett Moffitt, who was at GMS before 2021, and last week’s Daytona oval winner Ben Rhodes have tested stadium trucks in the past.
The NASCAR/SST Crossover Club
Over twenty drivers have taken part in both an SST and a NASCAR-sanctioned points race, whether it be the three national series or lower, regional divisions like the ARCA Menards Series and its East/West counterparts. Prior to starting SST in 2012, Gordon was a three-time Cup race winner; he is one of seven drivers to have raced in SST and NASCAR’s top series along with Kenny and Rusty Wallace, Boris Said, Max Papis, Greg Biffle, P.J. Jones, and Casey Mears.
The Wallace brothers each have one SST start to their name: Rusty participated in X Games Austin 2015 a decade after ending his NASCAR Hall of Fame career while nine-time Xfinity race winner Kenny finished eighth in the 2016 race at the Charlotte Dirt Track. Prior to his retirement from NASCAR in 2018, Said was regarded as one of the sport’s best road course specialists; like Rusty, his lone foray into SST came at the 2015 X Games. Papis is more recognised as an IndyCar driver but was also a road course ringer across the three national series until 2013 and the first full-time Cup driver for Germain Racing in 2010; his only SST race weekend came at Toronto in 2016.
In contrast to the aforementioned, Biffle, Jones, and Mears have far more seat time in SST. Biffle was one of the Cup Series’ top drivers during the 2000s as the 2005 championship runner-up and nineteen-time race winner; after losing his Cup ride, he became a part-timer in both the Truck Series and SST, with a win in the former and two second-place finishes in the latter. Jones, a four-time SST race winner who last raced in the series in 2017, spent much of his Cup career as a road ringer with starts for his friend Gordon’s team. Mears began his career in off-road before spending over fifteen years as a Cup racer, winning once, and competing in SST from 2017 to 2019 with a podium at Mid-Ohio in 2019.
Paul Tracy is more known for his IndyCar background, but he also ran six Xfinity Series races in 2006 and a Truck event the following year. He competed in SST’s Toronto rounds in 2013, 2014, and 2016. Besides Rusty and Said, X Games Austin 2015 featured a third NASCAR driver and SST débutant in 2013 Xfinity full-timer Travis Pastrana, who raced sporadically in the Truck Series for Niece in 2020. French driver Anthony Gandon, who appeared in the 2015 SST finale at Las Vegas, was a Whelen Euro Series veteran and Xfinity road ringer in 2013.
The NASCAR careers of Justin Lofton, Ricky Johnson, and Brian Ickler are most identified with their stints in the Truck Series. Lofton, a former CWTS race winner, finished third in the inaugural SST season standings in 2013 while Johnson was a part of the début seasons for both series. Ickler, who has twelve top tens in twenty-seven career Truck starts, raced the Charlotte Dirt Track in 2016.
While they have no national starts, the following have competed in NASCAR’s lower series: 2017–2018 SST drivers Adam Andretti (ARCA West and Pinty’s) and Davey Hamilton Jr. (West), 2018 runner-up Gavin Harlien (ARCA), 2013 runner-up Rob MacCachren (West), 2016 driver Tyler McQuarrie (ARCA), 2017 champion Paul Morris (West), and inaugural SST grid member Jeff Ward (West). MacCachren also won a Truck Series exhibition race in 1994 ahead of its first season, while Ward failed to qualify for a Cup race in 1998.