CR7 Motorsports confirmed today that Simpsonville, S.C. native Colby Howard will return to the team and pilot the No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet in Thursday night‘s UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Howard will make his second consecutive start on the heels of an impressive top-15 finish in the series most recent race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sept. 5.
Starting 29th at Darlington, Howard made impressive progress during the In It To Win It 200 at Darlington under the leadership of crew chief Doug George.
Despite a mid-race spin, Howard was able to recover and deliver a 13th place finish, a career-best in Truck Series competition.
“I am looking forward to being back with CR7 Motorsports at Bristol,” said Howard. “We had a great run at Darlington so hopefully we can repeat that and maybe even get a top-10. Bristol is another favorite of mine so it should be a great time.”
Last week, Howard was announced as a new driver of a second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing next season. The addition of Thursday night‘s Truck Series will continue to allow the 19-year-old to add priceless laps under his belt as he prepares for a hopeful championship effort in 2022.
“These laps in a truck are critical for me,” added Howard. “Everyone at CR7 Motorsports really made me feel welcomed at Darlington and while this race wasn‘t initially on my schedule, we talked and made it happened. No doubt the laps on Thursday night will help me find a rhythm in a truck and should provide a huge benefit for next season for a variety of reasons.”
CR7 Motorsports mainstay driver Codie Rohrbaugh was supposed to pilot the No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet Silverado at Bristol, but in an effort to continue to strengthen the team‘s overall program, he willing passed the torch to Howard.
“I‘m happy to have Colby back this weekend at Bristol,” offered Rohrbaugh. “I love racing at Bristol, it is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule but for the long-term plan of CR7 Motorsports, this makes perfect sense for us.
“I have no doubt that Colby will have the opportunity to repeat or better his Darlington performance and put our team in a good spot heading to Las Vegas. I‘ll be back in the truck at Talladega and look forward to that opportunity.”
While keeping his expectations realistic for his second Truck Series start of the season on Thursday night, Howard does have goals.
“My main goal is just to be smooth and be there at the end,” he said.
“I would love to see another top-15 for these CR7 Motorsports guys or even a top-10 would feel like a win. But, if we can have a productive day and make some gains during the race and see the checkered flag, I think everyone will be satisfied.”
Based on metrics set by NASCAR without practice or qualifying, Howard will line up 20th for the 200-lap race.
CR7 Motorsports holds 24th in the championship owner standings participating in 15 of the 17 races this season.
CR7 Motorsports has 41 NCWTS starts to their credit with a career-best finish of third at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2020). Additionally, the team owns six other top-10 finishes including two this season at Circuit of the Americas (fourth | Grant Enfinger) in May 2021 and Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (seventh | Grant Enfinger) in March 2021. An 11th place qualifying effort at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 2019) is the team‘s best time trials effort to date.
— CR7 Motorsports —