Rackley W.A.R. announced today that Dawson Sutton will make his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series debut at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Saturday, May 18. The 18-year-old from Lebanon, Tenn. will pilot the same number he runs in late models, the No. 26 Chevrolet in a second truck for the organization.

“I have been super excited waiting to share this announcement that I‘ll be making my NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut,” Sutton said. “I really want to thank all of my supporters, including Rackley Roofing Company, W.A.R. Shocks and Team Chevrolet. I‘m also grateful for my parents. My dad has invested so much into me since I started racing two years ago, and my mom as well as she‘s been with me every step of the way at racetracks all over the country.

In just its third season, Rackley W.A.R. made its first playoff appearance in 2023, scoring 13 top 10s and ending the year ninth in owner points. This season, the organization tabbed Ty Dillon, under the guidance of veteran crew chief Shane Wilson, to continue its efforts.

“My team owner Willie Allen has also been a huge help to me personally from the start of me running Pro Late Models all the way to this point,” Sutton continued. “Having his racing background and knowledge is something I don‘t take for granted to have at my disposal. Willie and I have been putting in countless hours of sim training, pit stop practice and discussions about what to expect in the new Truck ride.”

“I’m really proud of Dawson on and off the race track,” Rackley W.A.R. Chief Executive Officer and Dawson‘s father Curtis Sutton said. “When I became an owner in Rackley W.A.R., I defaulted to my business partner, Willie Allen, for all the driver advice and coaching for Dawson. He was 16 years old then, and I told him he had two years to show me he could be competitive in a race car. He took that to heart, and he’s done an incredible job in proving himself.

“His experience with Joe Ryan and Ron Hornday, Jr., during his first year as a Legends driver was probably the best training he could have had. He went to boot camp so to speak with the Joe Ryan Team of drivers and learned the value of leadership, teamwork, physical and mental preparedness, and how to be the best you could possibly be by functioning as a unit.”

Stepping into a race car for the first time in 2022 during the U.S. Legends Cars Series to compete nationally on asphalt and dirt, Sutton was a quick study, scoring wins and consistent podium finishes in the series under the direction of Joe Ryan (Joe Ryan Racecars) and Ron Hornaday, Jr‘s driver development program.

“I‘m so proud to see how far Dawson – aka Soup – has come in such a short time,” Hornaday said. “I was at his first legend car race and to see how he has progressed from Legends to Late Models is amazing.

“He is very focused and wants to learn, and that means a lot if you want to have success in this sport. I will definitely be there to support him as he makes his Truck debut too. Go Soup!”

The following year, under the direction of Rackley W.A.R. Racing Development‘s mentor, Willie Allen, Sutton ramped up his driving career, competing in some 34 Pro Late Model races across the country, including a handful at his home track of Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

His schedule also included many other high-level events throughout the southeast including races at New Smyrna Speedway, Montgomery Motor Speedway, Crisp Motorsports Park, Tri-County Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway, ACE Speedway, Caraway Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, and 5 Flags Speedway where Sutton won twice and finished 4th in the Snowball Derby weekend‘s Snowflake 100.

In his first full-time late model season driving for Rackley Roofing Company and W.A.R. Shocks, Sutton stacked up four pole awards, two wins, and 16 top 5s, including five runner-up results. He capped it off with a Pro Late Model Rookie of the Year honor at Nashville‘s historic Fairgrounds Speedway in his No. 26 Chevrolet.

Despite his lack of experience behind the wheel of a truck, Sutton has done his homework in preparation for his debut.

“I made sure to make the trip to Kansas Speedway two weeks prior to my start to learn a lot from my Rackley W.A.R. teammate Ty Dillon and the rest of the crew, and to soak in as much information as I can.

“It‘s also really exciting to be making this start at a track like North Wilkesboro Speedway, a place with so much history that got brought back to life last year.”

Sutton has already proven his ability to adapt quickly to new challenges. This season, Sutton committed to the full ASA Stars Super Late Model tour schedule in addition to entering other marquee events throughout the country, and he continues to turn heads. For 2024 Dawson has recorded six pole awards and seven top 5s, including three Pro Late Model wins at New Smyrna Speedway‘s World Series of Asphalt, and two runner-up results. This included his very first pole award in Super Late Models with a third-place finish at 5 Flags Speedway.

Rackley W.A.R. co-owner Willie Allen acknowledges this day has come with great anticipation by the race team.

“This is no doubt a huge step for Dawson in his driving career and speaks volumes of his development,” Allen said. “He‘s wrapped his mind around learning and growing his skillset in the race car, and the entire race team is really pumped to add him to our North Wilkesboro roster with Ty Dillon. We are super excited about the growth of our program. Team Chevrolet has been a huge help in Dawson‘s development with us and we are extremely thankful for our relationship with those folks all around.”

“The team is ready to go,” Sutton added. “I‘m looking forward to making the most of this opportunity too.”

The Wright Brand 250 will run live on FOX Sports 1 Saturday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The race can also be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 or your local MRN affiliate.

— Rackley WAR —

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