Bill Lester to return to Truck Series for first NASCAR start since 2007

Nick Bromberg
·1 min read

Bill Lester is going to make his first NASCAR start in nearly 14 years.

Lester announced Friday that he would race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20 for David Gilliland Racing. Lester, 60, hasn't made a NASCAR start since he last raced in the Truck Series in 2007.

Lester is the first Black driver to race in what's now NASCAR's Xfinity Series and the third Black driver to make a start in NASCAR's top-tier Cup Series behind Wendell Scott and Willy T. Ribbs. He'll drive the No. 17 truck.

“I’m excited to get back behind the wheel in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and I want to thank David Gilliland Racing for their help in making this happen,” Lester said. “... I look forward to competing at my home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and hope to make all those who are supporting me proud.”

Lester has made 145 career starts at NASCAR’s top three levels and all but three of them have come in the Truck Series. He raced full-time in the Truck Series from 2002-06 and had a best finish of 14th in the points standings in 2003. His best finishes both came in 2005 when he was fifth at Kansas and fifth at Homestead.

He became the first Black driver to make a Cup Series start in 20 years when he raced at Atlanta and Michigan. His best finish came at Michigan when he finished 32nd.

Bill Lester smiles prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., Friday, June 16, 2006. Lester, the first black driver to race in NASCAR's top stock car series in 20 years, backed up his solid qualifying run in March at Atlanta with another strong performance qualifying 34th. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Bill Lester hasn't raced in NASCAR since 2007. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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