Calgary’s Cameron Hayley has been steadily progressing up the ladder in the world of NASCAR, securing a ride for three races on the Camping World Truck Series this season.
Photograph by: Jason O. Watson, Getty Images for NASCAR
Calgary racer lands coveted ride on NASCAR truck series
Cameron Hayley wasted little time kicking off his bid to one day become a famous NASCAR driver.
The smoke had hardly dissipated from the candles atop his 15th birthday cake when he joined the K & N Pro Series West — in 2011 becoming the youngest driver ever to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned event.
And he wasn’t just along for the ride, finishing second in his first race.
Now, just a month after turning 18, the Calgarian is joining NASCAR’s elite. On Thursday, it was announced he has a ride for three races this season on the Camping World Truck Series, starting with the Aug. 31 stop in Bowmanville, Ont.
“It’s going to be incredible,” he said. “Coming from Canada, you’ve got the only NASCAR race in Canada being at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and I get to make my debut in it. I think that’s awesome to be able to have the support of your home country in your very first race.
“I just hope I can make everyone proud and hopefully get a win out of it.”
Hayley got his start racing go-karts in Calgary when he was seven and parlayed that into jumping into a baby grand stock car when he was 11 at the Edmonton International Raceway near Wetaskiwin. At age 14, he started racing Superlight models before graduating to the minor leagues of NASCAR a year later.
From there, the dreams started to become a little more realistic for Hayley, especially after he was added to the NASCAR Next program, a select group chosen by the sanctioning body that spotlights the sport’s rising stars.
CameronHayley knows the Bowmanville track well and thinks his best chance will come in his debut race in front of tons of family and friends.
“I guess we’re all professional drivers, but you get the cream of the crop of drivers coming out to these races. This very first race, I have a strong truck and I’m looking forward to the race itself. I think this first race is one that I can actually be a contender for a win.”
Hayley admits it will be tougher in his next two races on the series, though, because he doesn’t know the tracks as well and considers them more challenging.
“In those, I’m looking to get used to how the drivers race, how the level of competition has changed and just really get more seat time in the truck,” he said.
All with a goal of possibly securing a full-time ride on the Camping World Truck Series in 2015.
“It’s basically a progression,” he explained of his ultimate dream to end up in NASCAR’s top circuit, the Sprint Cup Series. “Next year I’m really hoping to get a Camping World Truck Series ride. It’s definitely a step up in competition, but it’s also a step up in price point, so we’re definitely looking for some sponsorship and some help on the financial side to be able to do that. The natural step, if we had the funding for it, would be the Camping World Truck Series.”
Pretty impressive for a Calgary kid, far from the bread basket of NASCAR’s heartland. Hayley hopes his rise inspires the next generation of Alberta drivers.
“There’s always that hope,” he said. “I know I have a ton of support from my friends. They all think it’s awesome, obviously.
“Canada doesn’t have a whole lot of exposure compared to the U.S. in NASCAR. If I make it to the top, there’s just that much more opportunity to inspire more kids to pursue their dreams and hopefully become a race car driver some day.”
Cameron Hayley Added to Turner Scott Motorsports NCWTS Roster for Three Events
The NKNPSE Driver to Make Truck Series Debut in Canada in No. 32 Cabinets by Hayley Chevy
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 21, 2014) – Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) is pleased to announce that Cameron Hayley will compete in three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races this season in the No. 32 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet Silverado, beginning at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on August 31. A Calgary, Alberta native, Hayley is currently competing full time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) for TSM and has claimed one pole award, six top-five finishes and currently sits second in the Driver Point Standings.
18-year-old Hayley made his karting debut at the age of seven and ran a partial NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule in 2011, where he was the youngest driver to compete in the series, scoring an impressive second-place finish in his series debut. After a solid full-time rookie season in the K&N Pro Series West in 2012, Hayley finished his 2013 season with one win, six poles and a second-place finish in the Driver Point Standings. Hayley continued to impress on and off the track and was named a NASCAR Next member in 2012, a select group chosen by the sanctioning body that spotlights NASCAR's rising stars.
“I’m really excited to make my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut. It’s always been a dream of mine to run in one of NASCAR’s top-three series, and I can’t believe I’m finally getting the chance to live that dream. I feel privileged to work with such an accomplished team that has had so much success in the series. Turner Scott Motorsports has great equipment and great resources, both of which I plan to take full advantage of in this learning process. I can’t wait to get on track in the No. 32 Cabinets by Hayley truck. Having my first Truck Series start in a place I consider ‘home’ is everything I could’ve ever hoped for.”
Hayley will be under the direction of two-time NCWTS championship-winning crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. for his three events. In 2013, Hillman directed the No. 4 truck and claimed one victory, seven pole awards and finished the season in fifth place in the NCWTS standings. Hillman and Hayley will team up for the following races:
8/31, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
9/20, New Hampshire Motor Speedway
10/31, Texas Motor Speedway
“We’re really looking forward to seeing Cameron Hayley in the No. 32 truck for these three races,” said TSM co-owner Harry Scott Jr. “It’s been a pleasure to watch Cameron this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Cameron has proven to be a great representation of our organization and we expect to see great things out of him in the future.”
Be sure to tune in on Sunday, August 31 as Hayley makes his NCWTS debut at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Live coverage of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.
About Cabinets by Hayley:
Turner Scott Announces '14 K&N East Lineup
Five Talented Youngsters To Take On Challenging Schedule
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Turner Scott Motorsports is excited to announce its 2014 driver lineup for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Drivers Brandon Jones and Ben Rhodes, who each drove part time for TSM last season, will return fulltime with the organization, joined by newcomers Kaz Grala, Cameron Hayley and Scott Heckert. In its debut season in the K&N Pro Series East, TSM captured six wins and three poles overall en route to taking the championship with Dylan Kwasniewski behind the wheel.
Kaz Grala, a 15-year-old from Westborough, Mass., is a high school freshman who has climbed the ranks in auto racing’s minor leagues while having a breakout year last season. Grala turned heads early in 2013 when he became the youngest race winner in UARA series history, taking the checkered flag at the prestigious Hickory Motor Speedway. Grala continued to place his name in the record books last season when he became the youngest driver to lead laps in the NASCAR Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Grala will continue his march towards NASCAR’s biggest stage in 2014, running a fulltime K&N East schedule for TSM.
A talented young racer from Calgary, Alberta, Cameron Hayley made his karting debut at the age of seven. Competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West since 2011, Hayley was the youngest driver to compete in the series and finished second in his debut. Hayley was the NASCAR K&N Pro Series winner at the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and finished the 2013 season with one win, six poles and a second-place finish in the K&N West driver standings. The 17-year-old is a member of the NASCAR Next program, a select group chosen by the sanctioning body that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars.
Scott Heckert, a 20-year-old Connecticut native and student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, began his career with success in the Skip Barber National and Regional road racing series. In 2012, Heckert partnered with championship-winning driver and team owner BJ McLeod in the Bright House Challenge Series, where he was named 2012 Rookie of the Year. In 2013, after finishing third in the Watermelon Capital Speedway SpeedFest, Heckert made his NKNPSE debut for McLeod, earning a best finish of seventh.
The 2013 campaign was a busy one for Brandon Jones, who made seven starts in the K&N Pro Series East, three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and nine in the UARA-Stars Series. The 16-year-old from Atlanta, Ga., will challenge for the Rookie of the Year award in the K&N East in 2014, while continuing to fine-tune his skills by running a Late Model and NCWTS entry when the schedule permits.
Ben Rhodes began his racing career at the age of seven, starting in karts and winning several championship titles before moving up the ranks running Bandoleros, Legend Cars and Late Model Stock Cars. In 2013, the Louisville, Ky., native ran a partial K&N East schedule for TSM, where he made seven starts with two top fives and five top 10s to his credit. The 16-year-old is also a member of the NASCAR Next program.
“I am very pleased to announce our 2014 NASCAR K&N (Pro) Series East lineup,” said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. “We take great pride in our K&N program, and I believe we’ve shown what an effective platform it is for up-and-coming drivers in the success we had last year and the fact that we’ve already seen some of our drivers’ potential to advance to the next level. The drivers in our stable have shown a lot of promise and I’m hoping that we can follow up last year’s championship with another great season.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season kicks off with the New Smyrna 150 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 16.
Two in a row from the Calgary based driver! Saturday night in Roseville, California marked Hayley’s very first point’s series win in the K&N Pro Series. The Toyota NAPA 150 at All American Speedway had previously been a very successful race for the young driver presenting him with a top 5 in both starts thus far at the track. This past weekend was no exception with Hayley’s first win of the regular season.
After a delayed flight and missed plane Friday night getting to Roseville, Hayley arrived at the track early Saturday morning determined to win the race and gain those valuable points for the championship. The team started on a high note as they posted the fastest time out of both practice sessions and clearly labeled themselves as the car to beat. The team had been in this situation before and struggled in the race, however this time they felt like they had the set up to win and were ready as ever to go out and get that first win.
Qualifying was a struggle for the Cabinets by Hayley team as they missed the set up slightly putting them second for the start of the race. “Today was not the day for my seventh pole of the year but we still have 2 races left to get it done,” said Hayley after his run. Although the set up was not perfect, the team was still confident in their race trim from earlier on in practice and were ready to roll for the race.
Last time out in Yakima, where Hayley picked up his third win of the 2013 season, both Hayley and his crew chief Jeff Jefferson had developed a strategy to save tires early on and make sure that the car had something left at the end, and Saturdays race was no exception to that. Hayley had to be patient at the beginning and aggressive towards the end. The second the green flag dropped, the team put the plan into action and dropped back to 4th place where Hayley could just ride and conserve tires until it was time to go. With the exception of a few aggressive lapped cars, the first 100 laps of the race were fairly uneventful and looked as if Hayley had nothing at all for the leaders until Jeff came over the radio with about 50 to go and told Hayley that it was time to go. Hayley quickly and methodically started to make his way to the front. By lap 138 a caution came out with Hayley running second and gave the young Canadian the break that he needed to take the lead. By the time the race resumed there were just 9 short laps remaining where Hayley had the tough job of passing series point leader Derek Thorn on the outside. After 5 long laps of side-by-side battle, Hayley was able to put his black and red Ford Fusion in the lead with 4 laps remaining. With Thorn hot on his heals, Hayley had to race with all he had to stay ahead and win the race. Hayley explains his emotion on the last lap, “Most drivers will tell you that leading the last lap of the race is the most stressful yet rewarding feeling in the world; and they aren’t wrong. You try to focus on what is in front, however once in a while you catch a glimpse of the car right behind you doing everything he can to get beside you and to tell you the truth, that is very nerve racking. But as soon as you see that checkered flag, all of that goes away and it is just pure joy, excitement and everything happy! So grateful to be part of such an awesome team, with great guys who make my dreams come true every weekend.” Perfect weekend and two wins in a row for the Cabinets by Hayley team.
Next time out they will tackle the brand new high banked half mile in Bakersfield California where they will continue this momentum in the hunt for the championship.
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