Sixth Is ‘Something To Build On’ For Honeycutt

Honeycutt

Kaden Honeycutt finished a career-best sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday. (Jacob Seelman photo)

HAMPTON, Ga. – Kaden Honeycutt said before the start of his 12-race schedule with Niece Motorsports that he “wanted to show he belonged” in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

In his first race working with veteran crew chief Phil Gould, Honeycutt proved his point soundly.

Staying out of trouble all afternoon, Honeycutt grabbed a solid sixth-place finish after using a mid-race strategy call to gain track position in Saturday’s Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Using the added grip from a four-tire pit call during the second stage break, Honeycutt was able to drive his way forward from outside the top 10 in the first two stages up to the fringes of the top five in the closing laps.

Honeycutt attempted to push Daytona winner Nick Sanchez into a battle with the leaders during the final moments of the race, but the pair just didn’t have enough steam to make their move in time.

“I was just really tight at the end,” the 20-year-old native of Willow Park, Texas, noted. “Every time I’d hook up with Nick, the front end of my truck would kind of come off the ground, and I hit the really hard in the racetrack on entry, so I hate that we couldn’t really get going and make a run at it.

“We were planted [in the racetrack] the last 20 laps, just struggled to get it there sooner. But it was the first time here with this truck, so when we come back next year, we can have it the right way,” Honeycutt continued. “We were plotting a move; we just couldn’t make it work. It sucked so much to have to sit back there at the end. I wanted to make it run at it. Even if I couldn’t win, I was going to try and push Nick to the win and try to get the best finish I could in the top five. But all in all, this was still a good day.”

Honeycutt tipped that clean execution on pit road was key to his team’s success all afternoon.

“We were trying to decide on what to take for tires there [after stage two],” he explained. “At the end of the day, I think we did the right thing, taking [both] lefts and rights. We still had the same track position that we were going to have, so, it was a good day.

“Phil made the right calls all day; our pit crew was great … we had no penalties, and that was a goal also, was no penalties for me or on pit road. Luckily, it paid off, and we ended up with a great result.”

Honeycutt

Kaden Honeycutt (45) battles Mason Maggio Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Jacob Seelman photo)

With a career-best Truck Series mark under his belt and the momentum of solid speed in his back pocket, Honeycutt’s optimism for the future is at an all-time high looking toward his next race with Niece Motorsports at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on March 16.

“This is absolutely something that we can build on, especially with this truck and this team,” he said. “This thing has had so much success on mile-and-a-half [intermediates], especially tracks where you have to lift and play with the throttle at.

“With that said, I’m really looking forward to Bristol,” noted Honeycutt. “I’ve already done some simulator work to prepare for that one, and we feel really good about our chances, so I’m excited.”

Honeycutt’s next on-track action with Niece Motorsports will be the WEATHERGUARD Truck Race at Bristol, with live coverage March 16 on FS1, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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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.