Late Crash In Truck Debut Doesn’t Dampen Waters’ Spirits



Cam Waters (Jacob Seelman/Race Face Digital photo)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Despite a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut that didn’t go according to plan, Australian Cam Waters was still all smiles Friday night at Martinsville Speedway.

The 29-year-old Repco Supercars Championship young gun excelled at times during his first NASCAR appearance, ranking inside the top 15 in practice and spending a handful of laps challenging near the top 10 during the Long John Silver’s 200, but saw his night come to a premature end after some late chaos.

Driving for ThorSport Racing, Waters was swept up in a five-truck crash in turn two with 24 laps left, which smashed in the front end of his No. 66 Tradie Ford F-150 and punctured the radiator in the process.

The result was a spewing jet of fluid from Waters’ truck – akin to the Old Faithful geyser – that led to a few spectacular photos and a 30th-place finish that wasn’t representative of the grit showed by the Mildura, Australia, native throughout the night.

After being checked and released from the infield care center, Waters spoke to reporters and still cracked a grin in reflecting on his first time competing in American stock car – or stock truck – racing.


Cam Waters' truck in the garage area after a late crash ended his night at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. (Jacob Seelman/RFD photo)

“I had so much fun tonight and all day today,” tipped Waters. “It is totally different racing from what I usually do, and I just wanted to learn. Box checked, I learned so much. There at the end, I just had nowhere to go and knocked the radiator out of it.

“It’s a shame the crash happened, but I was having fun and learning and had some awesome battles along the way too.”

Waters found himself as high as 13th midway through the second 50-lap stage, before pitting under caution at lap 80 in an effort to “flip the field” and gain track position for the second half of the race.

But the chaotic nature of traffic at Martinsville led to a myriad of beating and banging that hampered Waters’ efforts to get back toward the top 10. He eventually pitted with 64 to go hoping that fresh tires would give him a bit of an edge down the stretch over other trucks in front of him.

Unfortunately, that only led to his involvement in two of the final three cautions, despite showing poise and control while racing among some of the best that the Truck Series had to offer.

“Just the racing was so robust out there. Everyone is into each other,” noted Waters. “There is still a bit of respect, but it’s totally different from what we do in Australia. I love it. You can bump a little and give some back a little without putting someone in. That was probably the biggest thing [I learned].”

Waters – an 11-time Supercars race winner and two-time championship runner-up – served as a younger rival of three-time titlist Shane van Gisbergen, who now races full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing in partnership with Justin Marks’ Trackhouse Racing team.

However, Waters admitted he leaned on van Gisbergen for a bit of advice prior to his Martinsville debut.

“I didn’t really have any expectations. I have watched a lot of races and knew it was going to be pretty crazy, though,” Waters explained. “Shane and Marcos Ambrose told me it was going to be wild out there … and even all the drivers when I got here said the same thing. It was definitely wild, but I loved it.

“It was genuinely a lot of fun. Everyone was into each other a bit, and the racing was pretty hard.”

Waters, who has dabbled in dirt sprint cars and dirt late models in his native Australia through the years, tipped during a media teleconference earlier in the week that it was “a dream” of his to one day race full-time in the United States.

His maiden NASCAR voyage Friday night further cemented that dream.

Waters Ankrum

Cam Waters (66) chases Tyler Ankrum Friday night at Martinsville Speedway. (Jacob Seelman/RFD photo)

“I love oval racing and do a lot of dirt stuff at home. I always watch NASCAR and this was my first proper taste of it to see if I liked it or not, and honestly I love it,” affirmed Waters. “I still have unfinished business back in Australia, though, and I have an amazing team there that I have been trying to win a championship with.

“Right now, we’ll go back home and win some races in Aussie, and then see if we can get back here again.”

Rumors swirled Friday night that Waters might return to the Truck Series grid at Kansas Speedway, as the Supercars Championship is off during the May 4 Heart of America 200 at the 1.5-mile oval.

But Waters was quick to insist that, at least for now, his Martinsville Speedway experience is the only NASCAR race officially on his calendar – even if his heart is set on eventually racing more in the U.S.

“Tonight is the first and only race that we have planned to be honest,” he said. “I just wanted to get through tonight and see how we did, because like I said, I have stuff to focus on in Supercars. We will look at the schedule and see if there are other things we can do … but that’s all wait and see for now.

“Like I said, though, I had a ton of fun out there.”

Waters’ next Repco Supercars Championship event with Tickford Racing – the longtime Ford-affiliated team in the series – is April 20-21 in Taupō, New Zealand, at Taupō Int’l Motorsport Park.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.