The modest wood chipper company from mid-Michigan is returning to NASCAR with driver Jake Crum, opening the 2012 season in style with a new truck at the first Camping World Truck Series race of the year — the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24. The race will mark Bandit’s third consecutive year as a primary sponsor in a major NASCAR series, and it will mark Crum’s third year competing in the Camping World Truck Series.
“Jake really gave our fans some exciting racing last year”, said Travis Lint, large equipment sales manager for Bandit Industries. “He’s focused and aggressive, and it’s just a matter of time before he sees the checkered flag.”
When Crum enters Daytona this year, he’ll be driving an all-new truck with Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing. The number 0 BanditChippers.com Dodge Ram sports a refreshed black and white paint scheme, adorned with the Bandit Raccoon that race fans have come to recognize. Crum will also be racing against team owner Cobb, who’s planning to run a full season in the Truck Series.
"I remember what it was like, starting out in NASCAR searching for that team and sponsor to believe that I can get it done,” said Cobb, who will also carry the BanditChippers.com logo on her no. 10 Dodge for the race. “Once I heard that Jake was looking for a ride in Daytona, I jumped at the opportunity to get him in our 0 truck."
Crum’s racing history is filled with victories and early successes. At age 15 he was the youngest driver to win an event in the UARA-Stars Late Model Touring Series. One year later he won the UARA-Stars Championship, and at age 18 he was the youngest winner ever for the Bailey’s 300 Late Model Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
Simply qualifying at Daytona is an achievement, as the first race of the year brings serious competition where the difference between first and last position can be as little as one second. Crum isn’t a stranger to such pressure; he qualified 13th in his NASCAR Truck Series debut at Bristol back in 2010, and with a few truck races under his belt he’s ready to expand his resume at Daytona.
“We’ve had a lot of great feedback from our customers and fans on racing in the Truck Series with Jake,” said Lint. “He’s been a good ambassador for Bandit and our customers all around the world, but he’s also brought a lot of pride to the rural mid-Michigan community we call home. Win or lose, we can’t wait to see him back on the track at Daytona for one of the biggest racing weekends of the year.”
Qualifying for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 begins February 24 at 4pm Eastern time. Driver introductions and pre-race ceremonies begin at 7pm, with the race scheduled to begin at 7:30. All events will be broadcast live on SPEED TV.