The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has headed out west to Phoenix International Raceway for the penultimate event of the season – and UNC Charlotte is going to be well represented. There are 32 trucks on the entry list for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 – three of which are current UNCC students, and one alum who graduated in the Spring semester.
Dominique Van Wieringen will be making her first career Truck Series start on Friday night. The 21-year-old mechanical engineering student has been working hard while climbing the ranks of the racing world. Van Wieringen competed full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this season, finishing ninth in the standings while becoming the first female in the series history to string together three consecutive top-5 finishes. The Amherstburg, Canada native is one of only two females on the entry list for the Phoenix event.
“I’m very humbled by this opportunity to make my Truck Series debut at Phoenix,” said Van Wieringen. “We’ve been working hard on this project since the checkered flag flew at Dover in October (K&N East) and I’m excited to go to Phoenix and see what we can do.”
One of the other current UNC Charlotte students will also be making his first career start in the Truck Series this weekend. Myatt Snider, who recently transferred to UNCC with a focus in physics, will be behind the wheel of the No.22 Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Toyota Friday night. The 21-year-old ran nine ARCA Series events this year, capturing one victory (Toledo) and three top-five finishes. For Snider, this is probably the biggest event of his racing career.
“Getting the opportunity to move up into the ‘big three’ top divisions of NASCAR racing has always been my long-term goal, and I don’t have to tell you how excited I am,” said Snider in a press release leading up to the event.
Both Snider and Van Wieringen enter Friday night’s race as Truck Series rookies – while the other two entered in the event have a bit more experience on their side.
Matt Tifft will be competing in his ninth Truck Series event of the season on Friday night in Phoenix. The 20-year-old UNCC business management major is back racing full-time after being sidelined for a majority of the summer months after undergoing surgery to remove a slow-growing brain tumor. Tifft has momentum on his side, as it was just recently announced that he will compete full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017. One thing has continued to elude the Fairfax, VA native this season – victory lane. Tifft will no doubt have his eyes set on the prize Friday night, as he looks to break into the win column as the 2016 season is coming to a close.
The fourth and final driver that will represent UNC Charlotte on Friday night is Dylan Lupton. Lupton just recently finished out his finance studies earlier this year in the Spring – as he graduated and officially became a UNCC alum. The 22-year-old has had quite the season in the racing world – making starts in each of the top-three NASCAR national series. Friday night will be the Wilton, CA native’s second Truck Series start of the season. Much like Tifft, Lupton hopes to capture a solid finish as the 2016 season begins to wrap up.
UNC Charlotte will have a strong presence in Friday night’s event, and students should tune in to watch four of their fellow 49ers compete for the checkered flag. The Lucas Oil 150 is set to get the green flag around 10 p.m. Eastern – coverage will be shown on Fox Sports 1.