Thursday, May 2, 2019

PREVIEW: Sponsorship news - both good and bad - a theme of Dover entry lists

Friday, May 3, 2019
TRUCKS Race 6 of 23
JEGS 200 at Dover
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Todd Peck

In the return of the Truck Series from more than a month’s absence, 35 trucks were originally entered until three withdrew by Wednesday. Thus, the remaining 32 entrants will fill the field.

MISSING: #1-Vizion Motorsports
Bayley Currey and the Vizion Motorsports entry withdrawn in Texas are not entered in this week’s race. Currey will instead continue his work with the Rick Ware Racing team as he returns to Ware's XFINITY Series car (see below).

WITHDREW: #1-Beaver Motorsports
Separate and apart from Vizion’s #1, Mark Beaver’s effort was set to rejoin the circuit this week with 2003 series champion Travis Kvapil driving, but withdrew. Kvapil has nine Truck Series starts at dover, including a best of 3rd for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2007. His most recent start there came for Beaver in 2016, when he finished 23rd.

MISSING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
Codie Rohrbaugh is not entered after he successfully made his 2019 debut at Texas and finished 23rd due to a crash.

RETURNING: #19-Bill McAnally Racing
The McAnally team will make the long trek from California to Delaware this week as Derek Kraus seeks his 3rd Truck Series start and first in Dover. We last saw Kraus and his ENEOS / NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in Martinsville, where he finished 18th.

TEAM UPDATE: #22-AM Racing
Tuesday saw the announcement that Austin Wayne Self has cleared NASCAR’s “Road To Recovery” program and will return to driving the #22 Go Texan / AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet this Friday. We last saw Self race in Las Vegas, where he finished 15th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Ryan Sieg returns to the Truck Series for the first time since 2015, and for the first time since his series debut for Dwayne Gaulding in 2009 will drive for a team other than his family’s RSS Racing effort. This time around, he takes the place of Josh Reaume in the #33 Chevrolet, and brings with him RSS sponsors from Night Owl Contractors, Lombard Bros. Gaming, and Alabama Soda & Abrasive Blasting. Sieg has five prior Truck starts at Dover with a best of 9th in his first attempt in 2010.

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Driving the second Reaume truck is a returning Daniel Sasnett, who finished 30th in his series debut at Martinsville earlier this year. This time around, he replaces Jesse Iwuji in the #34 Chevrolet, and will again be sponsored by Surface Prep Supply. UPDATE: As of Friday, Josh Reaume will drive in Sasnett's place.

WITHDREW: #43-Tony Mrakovich Racing
Tony Mrakovich was set to make his second attempt to get his home-grown independent effort into its first Truck Series race, just over a month from their DNQ in Martinsville. That changed by Wednesday, when the team withdrew.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Reid Wilson rejoins the Truck Series for the first time since his 24th-place showing in Martinsville, and will again drive the #44. This time, he takes the place of Angela Ruch, who ran 30th after an early crash in Texas.

TEAM UPDATE: #45-Niece Motorsports
While Ross Chastain remains the driver of the #45, continuing his full-season efforts in all three series, it was announced on Monday that Kyle Benjamin will drive this truck in seven starts, beginning with Texas in June. Chastain’s plans are to be determined.

RETURNING: #46-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Still another returning face from Martinsville is Raphael Lessard, who rejoins the circuit for the first time since his 14th-place finish in his series debut on the short track. Lessard brings back KBM’s #46, which we have also not seen since that day. Spectra Premium follows Lessard as sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
XFINITY Series regular Brandon Jones goes Truck Series racing this Friday, taking Kyle Busch’s place in the flagship #51 Toyota, and carrying sponsorship from Chigo and Menards. Jones already has four Truck starts at Dover on his resume, all but one of them yielding finishes of 8th or better with a best of 4th in 2014 for Turner Motorsports.

Natalie Decker eyes her fourth Truck Series start of the year and first since Las Vegas as she takes the place of Anthony Alfredo in David Gilliland’s #54 Toyota. Decker’s ARCA sponsor N29 Technologies LLC is again the team’s backer.

RETURNING: #56-Hill Racing
Tyler Hill takes his turn in the second attempt by he and brother Timmy’s new Truck Series team, which we last saw make the show in Martinsville. Southern Maryland Crane Rentals will sponsor what will be Tyler’s first attempt at a Truck Series race.

MISSING: #87-NEMCO Motorsports
Timmy Hill was entered in NEMCO’s #87 in Texas, but Joe Nemechek has elected not to bring this second truck to the track in Dover. Hill will not join his brother in attempting Friday’s race and will instead focus on his XFINITY run for Carl Long on Saturday.

WITHDREW: #04-Roper Racing
News broke on Tuesday that Cory Roper will scale back to a part-time effort due to a lack of funding. Roper and his Preferred Industrial Contractors Ford have made all five of this season’s races to date, earning a 15th spot in points and a best finish of 12th their last time out in Texas. The team then withdrew from Dover on Wednesday.


Saturday, May 4, 2019
XFINITY Race 10 of 33
Allied Steel Buildings 200 at Dover
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Jeff Green

For just the fifth time this season and the first since Bristol, there are exactly 38 drivers entered for as many spots.

DRIVER CHANGE: #4-JD Motorsports
MISSING: #10-Kaulig Racing
Kaulig Racing will not bring their second car to Dover, and Ross Chastain returns to his familiar #4 from Johnny Davis’ stables, one week after Landon Cassill steered his car to a 9th-place finish in Talladega. As in previous Dover races, Chastain will be sponsored by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety through their “Protect Your Melon” program. Cassill will once again focus on Cup with StarCom Racing’s #00 Chevrolet (see below).

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
One week after Brett Moffitt finished 13th in Talladega, Zane Smith reunites with JR Motorsports and brings new sponsorship from healthcare advisory company PatientPop. It will mark Smith’s fourth XFINITY Series start and his first ever at Dover.

DRIVER SWAP: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #42-Motorsports Business Management
Carl Long’s team returns to its familiar driver lineup as Max Tullman, 20th in Talladega, is not entered. Chad Finchum returns to the #42 in place of Tullman one week after gear issues left him 36th in Alabama. Driving the #13 this week is a returning John Jackson, who has earned two last-place finishes in his four starts this year. The remainder of the MBM lineup remains the same with Timmy Hill in the #66 and Joey Gase in the #35.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing
Bayley Currey will drive in place of Chris Cockrum, who earned his first XFINITY Series top-ten finish at Talladega with a 10th. Currey's last start in the car came in Fontana, where he finished 35th. He failed to qualify in his most recent attempt at Texas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #18-Joe Gibbs Racing
Riley Herbst rejoins the Gibbs XFINITY team for the first time since his 9th-place showing in Richmond, taking the place of Jeffrey Earnhardt, 26th in Talladega after a crash. Herbst has a pair of Dover starts in K&N Pro Series East competition, finishing 7th in 2017 and 4th just last year.

RETURNING: #21-Richard Childress Racing
After a week off, Kaz Grala and RCR’s HotScream Chevrolet are back in action at Dover. What a difference a year makes – it was in this race last year that Grala made his final start for the closing JGL Racing, finishing 37th, and two weeks later began his impressive resurgence in the #61 from Fury Race Cars LLC.

TEAM UPDATE: #86-Brandonbilt Motorsports
Brandon Brown’s strong start to 2019 has been rewarded with the team’s only second sponsored run of the season. Vector Security signed as sponsor for this Saturday’s race, their logos on the quarter-panels. The hood of the car was blank until pictures Wednesday showed ABS Vans had signed to sponsor the space.

RETURNING: #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures
After his withdrawal in Richmond and skipping Talladega, Morgan Shepherd is back in action, returning to the track where he took the checkered flag over Tommy Houston on September 13, 1986. If he qualifies, it will mark Shepherd’s 35th XFINITY Series start at Dover, his second-most in the series at any track, trailing only his 36 starts at Charlotte.

Ronnie Bassett, Jr. looks to continue his steady learning curve in 2019, following a 32nd in Phoenix and a 15th in his most recent start in Texas. He takes the place of Alex Labbe, 25th after late crash damage in Talladega, and brings with him family sponsor Bassett Gutters and More.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Tommy Joe Martins eyes his sixth XFINITY start of the season and first since Bristol, where he ran 26th. Then as now, he drives the #99 Toyota, a car Cody Ware steered to a solid 21st-place finish last week in Talladega. It will be Martins’ first XFINITY start at Dover since 2014, when he steered his own Dodge to a 35th-place finish.

TEAM UPDATE: #08-SS-Green Light Racing
Just two days after Gray Gaulding’s electrifying runner-up finish at Talladega, the driver tweeted a video Monday saying that a sponsorship deal for Dover fell through, and the team was scrambling for new backers. The preliminary list showed sponsorship from, the team’s brand from the first part of this season. By Wednesday, news broke that World Wide Safety stepped up as primary with Pannini America as associate, and new backing from Mane 'n Tail Shampoo.


Sunday, May 5, 2019
CUP Race 11 of 36
Gander RV 400 at Dover
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Corey LaJoie

Following a withdrawal by Tuesday, there are 37 drivers entered for Sunday’s 40-car field, the ninth short Cup grid in 2019. This will mark the shortest Cup grid at Dover since September 19, 1993, when Phil Parsons trailed the SplitFire Spark Plug 500 – a race with 43 entrants.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Rick Ware Racing
B.J. McLeod returns for his sixth Cup start of the season and his first since Texas, where he ran 31st. For the fourth of those six times, he will drive Rick Ware’s second car, the #52, with a sponsor to be announced. He takes the place of Stanton Barrett, who struggled to a 35th-place finish in his first Talladega start.

NEW TEAM / WITHDREW: #53-Rick Ware Racing
The Rick Ware team was slated to field a third car from their stables this week, but by Tuesday the Chevrolet was withdrawn without a driver or sponsor named. Despite the withdrawal, this marked the first time car #53 has been entered in a Cup race since April 30, 1995, when Ritchie Petty narrowly missed the field for the Winston Select 500 at Talladega. Petty drove for his father Maurice, longtime crewman for his brother Richard. Ritchie made four Cup starts, including the most recent green flag for car #53 in on July 2, 1994 in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Ritchie finished 41st, third from last, due to overheating issues.

MISSING: #62-Beard Motorsports
Brendan Gaughan became the underdog of the race last Sunday, escaping the carnage to finish a strong 8th after leading five laps of the GEICO 500. The Mark Beard team continues its single commitment to plate-racing only, however, and neither driver nor team are entered this week.

DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
Also missing from this week’s list is Justin Haley, who had a strong car under him in last week’s race before an accident not of his doing left him a disappointing 32nd. While Haley returns to his XFINITY Series ride with Kaulig Racing, Quin Houff will drive for Spire, his fourth Cup start and first since a 34th in Richmond.

MISSING: #81-XCI Racing
The second team not entered from Talladega is Gibbs-supported XCI Racing along with Jeffrey Earnhardt, collected in Kyle Larson’s last-lap wreck in a 22nd-place finish.

MISSING: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Third among the missing are the Gaunt Brothers with driver Parker Kligerman, 27th in Talladega.

TEAM UPDATE: #00-StarCom Racing
Derrike Cope’s team continues to pick up single-race sponsorships for Landon Cassill in 2019. One week after Home Town Lenders backed their Talladega run, their Dover car will be sponsored by KODRA.

Today in LASTCAR history (May 2, 1987): Joe Thurman picks up the 6th last-place finish of his NASCAR Busch Grand National Series (now XFINITY) career when his #4 Thurman Enterprises Pontiac crashes after 1 lap of the Hampton 200 at the Langley (Virginia) Speedway, a race won by Mike Alexander. Thurman, the 1985 LASTCAR XFINITY Series Champion, would ultimately finish last in eight races out of 184 starts over 10 seasons.

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