CONCORD, N.C. -- The 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season was a learning experience for Colin Braun. It was his first time running a 25-race schedule on oval tracks instead of the road courses he competed on for years. The 20-year old Texas native rose to the challenge, finishing the season with three top-five and eight top-10 finishes, and the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.
Braun’s season got off to a rocky start at Daytona when he was caught in an accident just 25 laps into the race which put his No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 in the garage for the night with a 31st-place finish. He rebounded nicely the following week at California Speedway with his first career NASCAR top-10 finish.
Braun’s best finish of the year came in only his fifth race of the season at Kansas Speedway, when the rookie earned a career-best third place at the 1.5-mile speedway.
It was a season of highs and lows for Braun as he learned patience and gained experience. Although he only had four DNF’s throughout the year, he was involved in several accidents. With the help of veteran crew chief Mike Beam and the Con-way Freight team, Braun was able to finish many of the races to gain the extra track time the young rookie needed.
Braun led three times for a total of eight laps in 2008. He led at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (three laps), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1 lap) and Talladega Superspeedway (four laps). He nearly won the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega in October after leading the white-flag lap, but lost his drafting help on the final lap which gave him a fourth-place finish.
At the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Braun was officially named the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year. He became the sixth Roush Fenway Racing driver to win the title in the Craftsman Truck Series. He finished 13th in the driver point standings.
“It was definitely a learning season,” Braun said. “It was an honor to win the rookie title, which was one of our goals for the year. Having Mike Beam as my crew chief taught me a lot every week. He taught me not only about how the trucks handle, but how to race smarter and be a better driver. Between him and my spotter Bobby Hudson, they both coached me through every race, and I’m really looking forward to the 2009 season to put that to good use.
“So much of what I learned this year can be applied to 2009. With the experience I’ve gained, and having Mike, Bobby and a great pit crew with me, there is no reason we can’t contend for the championship next year. I’d like to be the first one to get the Camping World Truck Series championship.”
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.