After starting out the 2012 season with plans of running two full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams, Joe Denette Motorsports ended up finishing their second NASCAR campaign with just one truck finishing outside of the top-10 in the points standings all the way in the 13th position. The team struggled mightily throughout the season after signing a driver that has the caliber and experience of building Joe Denette Motorsports into a winning organization.
However, Ron Hornaday Jr., along with rookie Max Gresham, couldn’t seem to find much success in Denette’s Chevrolet’s with Earnhardt/Childress Racing power under the hood. It was Hornaday’s first season without a win in 13 full-time seasons in the Camping World Truck Series. Gresham started out the season with high expectations. But, due to sponsorship woes and poor performances, Gresham was released from the team, bringing them back down to just a one car organization such as they were when the doors first opened in 2011.
For those who don’t know, Joe Denette started his team after he won the jackpot on a Virginia Lottery ticket. He had been a long-time NASCAR fan and became friends with fellow Virginian and NASCAR veteran/SPEED TV personality, Hermie Sadler. Sadler and his younger brother, Elliott Sadler, helped Denette start out his team as they wanted to help Denette start out the right way.
In 2011, Denette made his debut as an owner with Jason White, who brought along funding from his long-time sponsor, Gunbroker.com. White began to run inside of the top-15 on a regular basis as he ended the season with two top-five finishes and five top-10′s. Denette also allowed Elliott Sadler to run three races and likely would have won the night race at Bristol if it wasn’t for Kyle Busch wrecking him.
Even with all of the heartbreak, Denette still has a dream of becoming a championship winning car owner. It was announced that Hornaday Jr. would be back with the two for at least the next two seasons in the No. 9 truck. But, besides Hornaday’s contract being extended, the team has merged with NTS Motorsports which fielded a part-time team for Brennan Newberry in the 2012 season.
The two teams will combine to run Newberry in his first full-schedule which should help advance his career. Bruce Cook, who was once Hornaday’s Crew Chief, has been announced as NTS Motorsports’ Director of Competition. Dan Deeringhoff, who led Clint Bowyer to a Nationwide Series championship, will sit atop the pit box for Newberry who has a best finish of 19th in the Camping World Truck Series.
Besides running those two trucks on a full-time basis, the two owners will co-own the No. 24 truck which will run on a full-time basis as well, but will have a different variety of drivers including Kevin Harvick who will climb aboard the truck during the two Martinsville races.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.