On the Road with NASCAR® Hauler Andy Taylor
Hauler Name: Knight Rider
Truck: 2011 Coronado with a DD16™ engine
Car Number: #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series
Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Years Driving in NASCAR: 9
Have you always been a truck driver?
I started driving a Pepsi truck about 25 years ago. Later, I bought my own truck and started driving for myself. I pulled mostly flatbed, but also pulled box vans. I got introduced to NASCAR back in California when I was doing some mobile marketing. I was one of the four original guys involved with 1-800-PIT-STOP, and that connection helped me get to know people involved in racing. Being around the sport, I eventually worked my way into driving a hauler.
How’s the Coronado working out for you?
This truck is really user-friendly, which is a real advantage when you spend as much time in it as we do. The interior is very spacious, and it’s comfortable and quiet. The Coronado is so smooth going down the road. And not only that, it’s a really good-looking truck.
What’s the best part of being involved in NASCAR?
Racing as a sport is really popular throughout the U.S. I enjoy being associated with the prestige of NASCAR. It means you’re automatically a member of a close-knit NASCAR group. In general, the people involved in NASCAR consider each other family, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that.
You took part in the 2010 Freightliner Driver Challenge. What was that like?
It was incredible. I finished 7th overall, which was a big deal for me. As a driver, you’re out there with the people that you work with — your peers and other truck drivers. The camaraderie among drivers is great, too. It’s not often we get the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of competing against each other like that.
Little known fact: Knight Rider used to compete in a form of tae kwon do. Today his 15-year-old son is following in dad’s footsteps, as a third-degree black belt who participates on the Junior Olympic tae kwon do team.
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