By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Bill Lester Set To Make 100th Career NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series Start
DAYTONA BEACH, Fl. –Bill Lester is expected to reach yet another career milestone when he takes the green flag at Saturday’s EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The start will be the 100th in Lester’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Earlier this season Lester became the first African-American driver in NASCAR history to pass $1 million in career earnings.
Lester has also put together a career year in 2005. He has three top-10 finishes including a career best fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in July. He has led laps in four races this year.
“Things have definitely been going in the right direction,” Lester said. “Working with crew chief Doug Wolcott and the guys on this 22 team has really been a pleasure.
The chemistry has been really strong.”
In addition to the strong finishes, Lester has grabbed consecutive poles this year at Kansas and Kentucky speedways.
“Starting up front is a byproduct of what the guys at Bill Davis Racing have provided me,” Lester said. “We still have some really strong races remaining this year and I think we can finish the year on a strong note.”
Unlike many drivers, racing has not always been Lester’s full-time job. Lester attended the University of California, Berkeley and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
After graduating, he landed a job with Hewlett-Packard as a Project Manager and spent his weekends racing. After several years, Lester finally decided that to make it in the motorsports business, he had to concentrate on it full-time.
“It was not hard to leave high technology to go racing. Racing is what I wanted to do. High technology was a means to an end. It was a way for me to get a paycheck to go racing. The only difficulty was knowing that I was going from having a paycheck every week to not knowing if I was going to have one in racing. That was a difficult decision, but with my wife’s support and blessing, we were able to do it.”
After four full-time seasons in the Craftsman Truck Series, Lester seems to have made the right decision. All that’s missing is a coveted victory.
“I’m excited to be part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series,” Lester concluded. “It is a series where there is a lot of exposure and good competition, but I have not gotten the win yet so I am unfilled.”