Thursday, July 11, 2019

PREVIEW: As Jeff Green prepares for his final XFINITY start of 2019, Kentucky sees several drivers and teams return to action

Jeff Green at Darlington, 2017
PHOTO: Brock Beard

Thursday, July 11, 2019
TRUCKS Race 13 of 23
Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Tyler Matthews

There are 34 entries for 32 spots in Thursday’s return of the Truck Series, meaning two will miss the show.

MISSING: #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
Jennifer Jo Cobb has not entered her second truck this week following Joey Gase’s 31st-place finish two weeks ago in Chicagoland. Gase will only run this Friday’s XFINITY race for Motorsports Business Management, looking to shake off a DNQ in Daytona.

MISSING: #1-Beaver Motorsports
B.J. McLeod is also not entered in Thursday’s race following his 30th-place finish in Chicagoland as team owner Mark Beaver has not filed an entry. McLeod will instead run double-duty in the XFINITY and Cup Series for JD Motorsports and Rick Ware Racing, respectively.

MISSING: #5-DGR-Crosley
Following his strong 10th-place finish at Chicagoland, Dylan Lupton has been moved from David Gilliland’s #5, which isn’t entered this week, to the #15, taking the place of 9th-place finisher Anthony Alfredo. Lupton’s only previous start at Kentucky in NASCAR’s top three series was an XFINITY race in 2015, where he finished 31st for the Townley family effort.

RETURNING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
Codie Rohrbaugh and the Grant County Mulch entry look to turn things around in 2019, a year that has seen them crash out of all three of their starts and fail to qualify at Daytona and Martinsville. The team last ran at Texas in June, where one of those wrecks left him 30th.

RETURNING: #11-Rette Jones Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Two weeks after finishing 27th with Al Niece, Spencer Davis will reunite with Mark Rette’s #11 team for the first time since Martinsville, where he finished a season-best 20th. Taking Davis’ place in the Niece #44 is a returning Jeb Burton, who carries sponsorship from State Water Heaters and XFINITY race sponsor Alsco. Burton seeks his first Truck Series start of the year – his most recent came last fall at Homestead, where he ran 18th for All Out Motorsports.

MISSING: #25-Ted Minor Racing
Ted Minor is not entered following his team’s withdrawal in Chicagoland.

RETURNING: #30-On Point Motorsports
Brennan Poole is back in the Truck Series for the first time since an 11th-place finish at Iowa, his third consecutive finish of 11th or better. The team had been entered in Gateway, but withdrew, and did not enter Chicagoland.

MISSING: #32-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Team owner Josh Reaume scales back from three trucks to two this week, but retains drivers Mason Massey and Josh Bilicki, who move to the #33 and #34, respectively. Whitetail Smokeless Tobacco joins Bilicki as sponsor of the #34. Bumped out is Jesse Iwuji, 22nd in Chicagoland, who made his broadcasting debut with NBC Sports last week in Daytona.

RETURNING: #42-Chad Finley, Inc.
Chad Finley is back in the Truck Series for the first time since Iowa, where he finished 28th after rear end trouble on his #42 Chevrolet. He returns on Thursday with sponsorship from Auto Value Certified Service Centers and Strutm.

RETURNING: #49-CMI Motorsports
Welcome back Ray Ciccarelli, whose #49 team hasn’t run since Stefan Parsons ran a UNC Charlotte tribute during All-Star Weekend two months ago. Ciccarelli hasn’t driven since Dover in early May, where he ran 24th, and has never started a Truck Series race in Kentucky.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Tyler Hill swaps in for brother Timmy this week in the #56 Southern Freight Services Chevrolet. It will be Tyler’s first series start since Iowa, where he ran 26th.

RETURNING: #68-Clay Greenfield Motorsports
Clay Greenfield is another owner-driver returning to action this week, having not run in the series since a 12th-place finish in the season opener in Daytona. Rackley Roofing, his sponsor in Florida, returns to back his #68 Chevrolet.


Friday, July 12, 2019
XFINITY Race 17 of 33
Alsco 300 at Kentucky
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Jeff Green

There are exactly 38 entries for as many spots in the XFINITY Series race, so all drivers will qualify.

DRIVER SWAP: #4-JD Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #15-JD Motorsports
B.J. McLeod and Landon Cassill swap rides this week with McLeod moving to the #4 Ken Houston Electric Chevrolet and Cassill in the yet-unsponsored #15.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Ryan Truex eyes his second XFINITY Series start of the season and first since his runner-up finish in Phoenix to Kyle Busch. He takes the controls of JR Motorsports’ #8 Chevrolet, which Creed steered to a 34th-place finish in Daytona following multiple crashes.

MISSING: #10-Kaulig Racing
MISSING: #16-Kaulig Racing
Kaulig Racing does not bring either of its part-time teams to Kentucky, leaving both A.J. Allmendinger and Ross Chastain out of Friday’s race. Chastain will instead focus on the Truck Series, where he continues his bid for a top-twenty points position in Al Niece’s #45 Chevrolet.

DRIVER CHANGE: #13-Motorsports Business Management
No driver was listed for Carl Long’s #13 on the preliminary list following Joe Nemechek’s 36th-place finish in Daytona. Taking Nemechek’s place this week is a returning John Jackson, whose most recent of six starts this year was a 31st-place showing at Pocono.

RETURNING: #17-Rick Ware Racing
Rick Ware brings his XFINITY car back to the track for the first time since Chicagoland, where Josh Bilicki was swapped in for Bayley Currey. As with the #13, no driver was originally listed, but Camden Murphy was added by Wednesday, setting the stage for a double-duty weekend with the Truck Series. Murphy’s only start with this team came in Pocono, where he ran 32nd.

MISSING: #21-Richard Childress Racing
RCR has not entered the #21 this week following Joe Graf, Jr.’s 23rd-place finish in Daytona.

MISSING: #25-ACG Motorsports
Chris Cockrum and the Jeff Spraker-owned ACG Motorsports team are also not among the entrants after they finished 19th in Daytona.

Jeff Green makes his final start of the season prior to surgery, and does so at his home track. Green moves from the #38 back to the #93, allowing for a returning Josh Bilicki in the #38. With seventeen races to go, Green remains the 2019 LASTCAR XFINITY Series leader on a bottom-five tiebreaker of 13-9 over Bilicki.

MISSING: #61-Hattori Racing Eneterprises
HRE continues to focus on the Truck Series this weekend following a disappointing DNQ for Austin Hill in Daytona.

MISSING: #81-XCI Racing
Jeffrey Earnhardt is also not entered following the XCI Racing team’s unexpected withdrawal in Daytona.

RETURNING: #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures
Rejoining the circuit is Morgan Shepherd, who took the Daytona weekend off after finishing 35th in Iowa and failing to qualify in Chicagoland. In 17 series starts at Kentucky, Shepherd’s best finish was 25th in 2009.

Mario Gosselin has brought back one of the Bassett boys this week as Ronnie Bassett, Jr. seeks his eighth XFINITY start of the season and first since a 30th-place showing in Chicagoland. Bassett and his sponsorship from Bassett Gutters and more take the place of Caesar Bacarella, who spun early at Daytona and ultimately finished 29th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Jairo Avila, Jr. steps in for Stefan Parsons following a sterling 12th-place finish in his series debut. Avila carries sponsorship from Art General Contractors, as he had in his only series start this year at Las Vegas, finishing 25th. Avila failed to qualify for his last attempt in Charlotte.

CUP INVADERS: #15-Landon Cassill

Saturday, July 13, 2019
CUP Race 19 of 36
Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Kentucky
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Alex Bowman

Only the 36 Chartered entries are competing in Saturday’s main event, down four cars from last Sunday in Daytona. This ties Phoenix, Martinsville, and Michigan for the shortest fields in 2019, and is the fourteenth short field in nineteen races this season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Premium Motorsports
MISSING: #27-Premium Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
Justin Haley will not be running Saturday’s Cup race following his upset victory in the Coke Zero Sugar 400, and will instead focus on Friday’s XFINITY race with Kaulig Racing. Taking Haley’s place in the #77 is Quin Houff, who last week drove Premium Motorsports’ #15 to a 37th-place finish. Ross Chastain returns to the Premium #15, moving over from the team’s #27, which isn’t entered this week. Chastain finished 30th at Daytona.

DRIVER SWAP: #51-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Rick Ware Racing
B.J. McLeod moves from Rick Ware’s #51 to the #52, making way for Bayley Currey in the #51. Currey’s eighth and most recent Cup start came in Chicagoland, where he ran 32nd. Not entered for the Ware team this week is J.J. Yeley, who ran a strong 12th last week in the #52.

MISSING: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Rick Ware also scales back from three cars to two, not entering the part-time #53 that Joey Gase drove to a 27th-place finish in Daytona.

MISSING: #62-Beard Motorsports
Mark Beard’s team remains focused on superspeedway racing, and has thus not entered Brendan Gaughan in Saturday’s race following a 19th-place finish in Daytona.

MISSING: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Parker Kligerman will also not be running Saturday after a 31st-place finish following the late crash in Daytona.

Today in LASTCAR history (July 11, 1998): Tony Stewart picked up the first last-place finish of his XFINITY Series career in the Myrtle Beach 250 at Myrtle Beach after his #44 Shell Oil / Small Soldiers Pontiac, fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing, crashed in the fourth corner after 67 laps. The day would prove equally unlucky for Stewart the following year at New Hampshire when, as a rookie in the Cup Series, he ran out of fuel while leading with just two laps to go, handing the victory to Jeff Burton.


Michael said...

Dear Brock Lastcar It's Supposed to be the number 9 Truck Not The 7 Seven Truck

Brock Beard said...

Right you are - thank you. Corrected.