CHARLOTTE, NC—Justin Lofton isn’t any stranger to success in racing. The 2009 ARCA Racing Series champion has been on the Truck Series tour for the better part of the past three years.
So far in the 2012 season, Lofton is in the points lead, one point ahead of Timothy Peters after Lofton grabbed his first career victory Friday night in Charlotte.
“We worked really hard at the end of last year to be in this position,” said Lofton. “The guys barely took Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s off to get in this position.”
Towards the end of the 2011, Eddie Sharp Racing made a deal with the folding Kevin Harvick Incorporated to receive their equipment for the 2012 season, a move that Lofton believes really helped the team move along.
“Once we made the deal with Kevin Harvick to acquire his trucks and made the deal with RCR to get tech support with the motors, we knew we were going to be tough,” said Lofton. “That was a quick way of getting us there. That was the fix for the rest of 2011.
“It would have taken a whole lot of money to get to where we are now, but we would have been here anyway on our own. That was just the quick fix.”
Midway through last season, Lofton and Sharp were reunited after Lofton left he left the Germain Racing team after the spring race at the Texas Motor Speedway. Since the move back to Sharp’s team, the performances by both driver and team have moved them up towards the top of the standings and result sheets.
Something Lofton credits directly to the chemistry between himself and Sharp.
“Anytime you have any kind of symmetry, everyone thinking in the same direction,going for the same goals it definitely makes things a lot easier,” said Lofton. “It was unfortunate that we were unable to continue in 2010 and 2011, but we’re fortunate enough to be able to go racing with him again.
“We all sat down and said the same thing. It was kind of kind of like the beginning of 2009, we were going out to win the championship. When we sat down halfway through the season last year, it was we want to build a championship team. We want to win a championship in 2012.”
In order to be a champion in any sport, a person must have certain characteristics in order to just compete. It’s the same thing everywhere you go.
You must be confident, determined, passionate, realistic, and a whole host of other things that you just can’t put a finger on what makes a champion sometimes.
But, it’s just as important—if not more—to have people on the team believing and supporting in you to make the ultimate goal a reality come the end of the season.
“I know I’m a top-five driver and I know I have a top-five team,” said Lofton. “It’s just really nice to be going out there and backing it up.”