Thursday, October 18, 2018

PREVIEW: New associate sponsors for StarCom and MBM among entry list stories at Kansas

PHOTO: @ChaseBriscoe5
Saturday, October 20, 2018
XFINITY Race 30 of 33
Round of 8, Race 1 of 3
Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas
2017 Last-Place Finisher: Jeff Green

There are 42 drivers entered for 40 spots in Saturday’s XFINITY Series race, meaning two drivers will miss the show. UPDATE: Make that 43 cars with the addition of a fourth RSS Racing car.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-JD Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #01-JD Motorsports
B.J. McLeod runs double-duty once again this weekend, but this time moves from Johnny Davis’ #15 Chevrolet to the #01, taking the place of Landon Cassill, who will only run Cup this weekend (see below). Taking McLeod’s place in the #15 is a returning Quin Houff, who we last saw run 31st last month at Richmond driving Davis’ #4.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Jairo Avila, Jr. rejoins the McLeod team for his first XFINITY start since his series debut at Bristol, where he ran 20th in the #78. Avila takes the place of Matt Mills, who ran 28th at Dover.

DRIVER CHANGE: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill drives in place of Carl Long in the #13 as part of his double-duty sweep at Kansas (see below). Hill’s spot in the #66 goes to Bobby Dale Earnhardt in a Chevrolet. According to Long’s Facebook page, Earnhardt has been working for MBM since 2014, though he’s scaled back to part-time this year. No less than four sponsors will be backing the #66 – HABCO Material, CIA Insurance, WT Contracting, and Lucky D’s Barbecue.

RETURNING: #26-Tullman-Walker Racing
Kansas marks the third attempt of the season for Max Tullman and the #26 Ford Mustang following a 30th-place run in Iowa and a 23rd at Las Vegas. The car will be sponsored by Eskata and Zoomi.

NEW TEAM: #37-RSS Racing
Added as a late entry Thursday is a fourth car from Ryan Sieg's team for J.J. Yeley, moved from the #38 (see below). Whether or not this car will run the full race is to be announced. Car #37 hasn't made an XFINITY start since September 14, 2013, when Tanner Berryhill drove his family's Dodge at Chicagoland.

Angela Ruch, one of Derrike Cope’s nieces, looks to make her second XFINITY start of the season and first since a 30th-place showing at Loudon. Unlike at “The Magic Mile,” where she ran for B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Ruch will drive for RSS Racing, taking J.J. Yeley’s place in the #38. It marks the first XFINITY race without Yeley in the field since Road America, where Brian Henderson ran in his place. UPDATE: Yeley has since been entered in the #37 (see above).

TEAM UPDATE: #55-JP Motorsports
Although the preliminary entry list did not show a driver for the #55 Prevagen Toyota, Bayley Currey tweeted that he will once again be driving the car on Saturday, his ninth XFINITY start of the season and seventh in a row. The same tweet indicated the team’s new associate sponsors from Dover - Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue and Touched By Pros – will once again run on the car.

DRIVER CHANGE: #60-Roush-Fenway Racing
RETURNING: #98-Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi DenBeste
Chase Briscoe returns to the #98 team for the first time since his victory on the Roval, this time with Nutri Chomps as sponsor. Briscoe makes the move from the #60, which this week goes to Ty Majeski, his tenth XFINITY start of the season and first since his 34th-place run on the Roval. Majeski looks for a turnaround with his 7th at Iowa standing as his only finish better than 22nd and four DNFs all due to crashes.

Josh Williams regains the #90 Chevrolet for the first time since his 20th-place run in Las Vegas, taking the place of Brandon Brown, 22nd at Dover. It will be Williams’ first start at Kansas.

Sunday, October 21, 2018
CUP Race 32 of 36
Round of 12, Race 3 of 3
Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas
2017 Last-Place Finisher: Derrike Cope

There are 40 drivers for 40 spots, the second-straight full field in 2018 and the ninth in the last ten races. It is the 14th full field in 2018, meaning that 40-car lists in the remaining four rounds will match the current total of 18 short fields this season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #7-Premium Motorsports
Reed Sorenson returns to the second Jay Robinson entry, taking the place of D.J. Kennington, who struggled to a 34th-place showing at Talladega. As in many Kansas races, Harrah’s North Kansas City is the listed sponsor for the Chevrolet.

MANUFACTURER CHANGE: #23-Front Row Motorsports
One week after driving a Ford for the first time since Bob Jenkins acquired BK Racing, J.J. Yeley is once again listed in a Toyota, and this time without a listed sponsor.

One week after Cody Ware finished under power for the first time in eight career Cup starts, B.J. McLeod returns to the #51, which also swaps from a Chevrolet back to a Ford.

MISSING: #62-Beard Motorsports
Brendan Gaughan closed out his 2018 “restrictor-plate only” campaign with a 12th-place finish at Talladega. The team closes out 2018 with a 28th and 12th at Daytona and a 22nd and 12th at Talladega. If past history is any indication, expect their next attempt to be the 2019 Daytona 500.

RETURNING: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill and the blue Ternio Toyota rejoin the circuit for the first time since their last-place run at Dover. Most significantly, according to the team’s Facebook, it will be the first time MBM has run with their own engine program after employing PME Engines these last two years. The team is also looking ahead to 2019, when they plan to enter a second car at Daytona in addition to “at least” two of their current three XFINITY cars.

MISSING: #97-Obaika Racing
Victor Obaika’s team isn’t entered this week, one week after David Starr was the only driver sent home in qualifying. While Starr remains with Jimmy Means Racing in Saturday’s XFINITY race, the next start for Obaika’s Cup effort is to be announced.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-StarCom Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #00-StarCom Racing
Landon Cassill moves from the #99 to the #00 to take place of Joey Gase, who isn’t entered this week. Gase finished 18th at Talladega, matching Cassill’s season-best run for the #00 last month in Las Vegas. Kyle Weatherman takes the seat of the #99, his own first start since Vegas, and brings with him at least two new associate sponsors – Superior Essex on the TV Panel and Smokin’ Guns Barbecue on the lower quarter-panels. Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of StarCom's first Cup start, which yielded a last-place run for Derrike Cope.

Saturday, October 27, 2018
TRUCKS Race 20 of 23
Round of 6, Race 1 of 3
Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville
2017 Last-Place Finisher: Chris Windom

The Truck Series takes the week off and returns the following Saturday on the short track at Martinsville.

Aric Almirola’s win last Sunday in Talladega marked the first series victory for car #10 since November 3, 2002, when Johnny Benson, Jr. earned his first and only Cup win at Rockingham. Over those nearly 16 years, car #10 finished last in Cup just four times, including the first career last-place runs for Scott Riggs (March 18, 2007 at Atlanta), Patrick Carpentier (May 3, 2008 at Richmond), and Danica Patrick (October 6, 2013 at Kansas). Patrick authored the number’s most recent last-place run in the series last June at Michigan.

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