Sunday, November 6, 2016

CUP: Open Team Roundup - Texas (November)

PHOTO: Fox Sports

#21 Wood Brothers Racing
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Started 8th, Finished 12th

Blaney’s blue-and-white Borg Warner Ford blistered the Texas track with the fastest lap in Saturday’s opening practice session and earned the 8th starting spot in qualifying.  In the race, after an extra pit stop on Lap 114 to check on a wheel the driver thought was loose, he jumped to 7th on Lap 249.  Though he came just short of his first Top 10 since Chicagoland, he rolls into Phoenix next week, where he ran 10th in the spring.

#55 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Reed Sorenson
Started 38th, Finished 35th

Two days before election day, the Trump / Pence 2016 machine lost a lap to Joey Logano on the 26th circuit, picked up the Lucky Dog for the competition caution on Lap 30, then remained near the back of the field with the remaining Open teams.  In the end, he came home eight laps down, but with the car intact.  Next week, Sorenson eyes his first Cup start at Phoenix since 2014.  In 11 previous starts, his best finish at the track was a 12th in the spring of 2009. Sorenson will drive Premium's #98 while D.J. Kennington will make his Cup debut in the #55.

#93 BK Racing
Driver: Ryan Ellis
Started 35th, Finished 38th

After a gutsy performance at Indianapolis, mechanical woes saddled young Ryan Ellis with a poor finish.  By Lap 34, Ellis was losing laps on pit road, the crew hard at work under his Toyota to repair a transmission stuck in second gear.  He returned to the track only to suffer a speeding penalty, costing him the first five of 32 laps he lost to the leaders.  The remainder came from a late trip to the garage area which ended during the caution on Lap 264.

#30 The Motorsports Group
Driver: Josh Wise
Started 40th, Finished 40th

Wise finished last in Sunday’s race, setting up a two-race battle with Sorenson and Matt DiBenedetto for the 2016 LASTCAR Cup title.  For more, read the full article here.




#98 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Cole Whitt
2016 Team Stats: 28 starts, 3 DNQs, 3 withdrawals

Premium withdrew the #98 team for the third consecutive race, and on November 2, Cole Whitt indicated he had no current plans to make further Cup starts in 2016.


#26 BK Racing
#35 Front Row Motorsports
#40 Hillman Racing
#59 Leavine Family / Circle Sport Racing
#99 Roush-Fenway Racing

None of the other part-time Open teams attempted the race in Texas.

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