K&N East champion Justin Haley joining GMS Racing in Truck series

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Justin Haley, fresh of his championship in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour, will be joining GMS Racing in the Camping World Truck Series next year.

Haley, 17, makes the jump to the Truck Series after two seasons competing in the K&N Series with HScott Motorsports. The Indiana native scored two wins in 2016 on the way to his title. He also made three Truck Series start in 2015 and 2016. In his championship campaign, Haley finished outside the top five just once in 14 races.

“I’m so excited and thankful for this opportunity with GMS Racing,” Haley said in a press release. “The past few years in K&N has been an effort to get to the next step in my career and I don’t think we could have done any better than joining GMS, especially at this point in time. Everyone knows what they’ve been able to accomplish over the last year and it’s that type of consistency and drive that every driver wants to see when making a decision like this.”

MORE: Haley’s K&N title a family affair

Driving the No. 24 Chevrolet, Haley will be paired with crew chief Kevin Bellicourt, who worked with Ben Rhodes at ThorSport Racing last season. Bellicourt was also the crew chief for William Byron when his 2015 K&N East title.

“Kevin Bellicourt coming on for 2017 is one of the most exciting parts of this deal,” Haley said. “He’s had a lot of success with young drivers and I can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish.”

Haley fills out GMS Racing’s driver stable that includes defending Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter and fellow rookie Kaz Grala. Spencer Gallagher will be competing in the Xfinity Series full-time for GMS Racing.

“There are a lot of great things happening at GMS Racing,” said Bellicourt in a press release. “It’s one thing to watch the progress and success from a distance, but to now be a part of what is coming together is a completely different experience and I’m thankful for chance to be here. Justin is a great driver, who has had a lot of success fast, but he has handled it like a driver who has been doing this for years. I’m excited to see what he’s able to do once we get him in the No. 24.”

Haley does not turn 18 until next April, meaning he won’t be able to compete in the first two races of the season at Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Drivers under 18 are barred by NASCAR from competing on oval tracks larger than 1.25-miles.