18-year-old DeLand native will race in NASCAR Truck series

He's only 18 years old, but DeLand's Daniel Dye is already an accomplished race car driver.

After winning rookie of the year and finishing second in points in the ARCA series this past season, dye is now getting a huge opportunity. He signed on with GMS racing, and will run in NASCAR in the Craftsman Truck Series next season.

"I'm really looking forward to racing the NASCAR Truck Series," said Dye.  "Like you said, ARCA is a really cool step in my career. But to now be under the NASCAR umbrella and to have it say NASCAR Truck Series on there is super cool. So just looking forward to following the Cup series all year, and you know racing on Friday nights. Gonna be a lotta fun, really looking forward to it."

Moving up from ARCA to the Truck Series is something Dye has thought about for a while now.

"I've been watching the truck races since I was a little kid," said Dye. "And you know that was always one of those things like you know that could be me one day. And over the last couple of years, it's been one of those things that you start putting it on your list of goals. And now we're here and getting to go full-time is obviously a super cool step, so just looking forward to making the most out of it."

Dye's first-ever race in the truck series will be at Daytona - his hometown track - just 20 miles away from his house.

"I'm gonna be a little bit nervous, coming into Daytona, absolutely, having all my family and friends and supporters here in the stands," said Dye. "But at the same time, it's a good place to be. You have that pressure of wanting to impress them, but at the same time, you know they're gonna cheer you on through good and bad."

Obviously Dye has goals of driving in NASCAR's Cup Series one day, but when you talk to him about those goals now, he takes a very measured and mature approach.

"My goal is just to do as good in what I'm doing. Like next year I'm gonna try and learn as much as I can about these trucks, and do as good as I can, and win some races," said Dye. "You know, whether that's staying in trucks one year or five years, I just want to do as good as I can in what I'm doing and climb the ranks when it's ready."

That first trucks race for Dye will be in Daytona, in mid-February.