Auto racing: Devon Rouse lands a major sponsor for Knoxville truck race

Devon Rouse had reached a standstill in his quest to jump-start a career in NASCAR. After getting the opening he needed to get his foot in the door in 2019, the Burlington driver was desperately seeking a major sponsor to take the next step. Rouse did just that last week when Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis called him and offered him a deal that was too good to refuse.

And with that, Rouse’s racing career is back on track. Rouse will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race July 9 at Knoxville Raceway and the ARCA Menards Series on July 24 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. It is just the break Rouse needed at just the right time.

“I’m proud to say that my sponsor for the NASCAR truck race is Camping World,” Rouse said. “Marcus, the CEO of Camping World, reached out to me and asked what I needed and said that he’d love to give me a shot. Hearing it personally from the CEO and having him personally cover my expenses and being a full sponsor for the Knoxville truck race is huge. We’re running the Camping World NASCAR Truck Series up there and I’m proud to say my sponsor is Camping World.”

Rouse, who is racing 305 sprint cars at 34 Raceway on Saturday nights, has come a long way in a short time, getting his foot in the door in NASCAR in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down. Now, with a major sponsor on board, Rouse is ready to take the next step. Ironically, his first race at the famed Knoxville Raceway will come in a NASCAR truck and not a sprint car.

“I have been to Knoxville, but never ran on Knoxville,” Rouse said. “I’ve seen plenty of races there. You would think that my first race there would be in a sprint car. It just happens that it’s going to be in a NASCAR truck.

I’m looking very forward to it.” Rouse drove in the ARCA Menards SeriesTest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, in January. Since then, Rouse has been reaching out to find possible sponsors to move his career to the next level.

“This last week some big news happened. I made a tweet on Tuesday afternoon to let my fans and followers know, Hey, for all the races I’ve been approved for, I’ve been digging and digging these last few months for sponsorship,” said Rouse, 22. “It’s expensive stepping into the NASCAR stuff. It really is.

Tuesday I made a tweet letting everyone know unfortunately I’ve had some come in, just not enough to do what I wanted to do. Nevertheless I’m still digging, just no big promises.” Rouse will fly to Charlotte, North Carolina, in early May, then again in July to get fitted for his NASCAR truck, then will get his big chance July 9 on the 1/2-mile oval dirt track in Knoxville most famous for sprint cars.

“My next pavement thing is I’m actually heading down to Charlotte to run the ARCA stuff there May 10-11,” Rouse said. “Then I’ll fly back home and I’ll race dirt the rest of that time. I’ll fly down right before July 4 to meet with the NASCAR team and get fitted for my truck for Knoxville. Then I’ll run the Knoxville truck race July 9 and then the ARCA race at Iowa Speedway on July 24.

From then on it’s unknown at this time.” In the meantime and in between, Rouse will continue to drive sprint cars, something he has loved to do for the last decade. “I’ve done all my ARCA stuff through Andy Hillenburg so far,” Rouse said. “It’s kind of funny me coming from sprint cars and him coming from sprint cars.

Running for him at Daytona was huge. We could correlate on a lot. He told me, ‘not because I don’t want you to come race for me and entertain all of the fans, but you’re having the most fun you’re going to have in a sprint car.’ I am.

I’m having a blast in the sprint car.”