Bill Lester returns to Truck Series at Atlanta after 14 years


Lester, 60, will compete in the March 20 Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway driving David Gilliland Racing’s No. 17 Ford.

Lester’s last NASCAR race was in the Truck Series in 2007 when he started sixth and finished 20th at Nashville Superspeedway driving for Billy Ballew Motorsports.

Lester was the first African American driver in the series to win a pole, which he did three times in his career.

“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,” said Lester, who now resides in the Atlanta area.

“It’s been more than a few years since my last race in the series, but to have strong partners like the Greater Atlanta Ford Dealers, Camping World, and Tommy’s Express Car Wash joining me for my return means a lot and I am honored to have them on board.

“I look forward to competing at my home track and hope to make all those who are supporting me proud.”

Lester has 142 starts in the Truck Series, with a career-best finish of fifth at both Kansas and Homestead (both in 2005). He also has one start in the Xfinity Series and two in the Cup Series.

Lester made 52 starts over 10 years in the NASCAR Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, picking up a victory at Virginia International Raceway in 2011, when he also finished a career-best third in the series standings at 50 years old.

Lester released a book, “Winning in Reverse: Defying the Odds and Achieving Dreams,” in February which tells the story of his journey from working on muscle cars as a child to an engineering job at Hewlett-Packard to the winner’s circle, as he challenged social norms and battled racism along the way.

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