Thursday, July 25, 2019

PREVIEW: While several Truck teams are missing in Pocono, XFINITY race sees Rodgers and Vargas attempt their series debuts

PHOTO: Stewart-Haas Racing
Saturday, July 27, 2019 (1:16 P.M. Eastern)
TRUCKS Race 14 of 23
Gander RV 150 at Pocono
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Bayley Currey

There are just 31 trucks entered in Saturday’s race, threatening the second short field of 2019 and first since Kansas, where two late withdrawals brought the field down to 30. UPDATE: The list is now at a full 32 after Al Niece entered the #38 truck with T.J. Bell.

RETURNING: #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
Daniel Sasnett returns to the circuit for the first time since Gateway, but this time in the second Jennifer Jo Cobb truck, which was last entered at Chicagoland with Joey Gase. Sasnett had previously driven for Reaume Brothers Racing.

Tony Mrakovich seeks his second Truck Series start and first since the June race at Texas, again driving for NEMCO Motorsports. Sponsorship continues from Street Stores Wholesale Hardware, the backer of Mrakovich’s own #43 team which has been missing since their withdrawal from Dover.

MISSING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
Codie Rohrbaugh will not be making the trip to Pocono after finishing his first race under power in 2019, coming home 14th in Kentucky.

MISSING: #11-Rette Jones Racing
Spencer Davis is also not among Saturday’s entrants after a strong 8th-place finish in Kentucky.

Dylan Lupton also does not have a ride for Saturday after finishes of 10th and 5th his last two starts. Anthony Alfredo returns to the controls of the #15 for his first start since a 9th at Chicagoland.

After once reporting their team would close, Jim Rosenblum’s effort continues on, and will make their annual trip to Pocono. Bryan Dauzat, who we last saw this year in Daytona finishing 31st, remains the driver with sponsorship from both the FDNY and American Genomics.

MISSING: #30-On Point Motorsports
Brennan Poole and the On Point team are not headed to Pocono following their 15th-place finish in Kentucky, the fourth race they’ve missed in the last eight rounds.

RETURNING: #32-Reaume Brothers Racing
Josh Reaume brings his third truck back for the first time since Chicagoland, and Bryant Barnhill will drive. Barnhill’s lone Truck start in 2019 came at Gateway, where he drove Reaume’s #34 to a 22nd-place finish.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Reaume’s other two trucks will see different drivers as Mason Massey moves from the #33 to the #34, replacing Josh Bilicki, 20th at Kentucky, who will drive for Rick Ware Racing on Sunday (see below). Reaume himself will drive in Massey’s place in the #33 with returning sponsorship from the local Phantoms Hockey team, which will also back the #27 Chevrolet on the Cup side for Reed Sorenson.

RETURNING: #38-Niece Motorsports
T.J. Bell was a late entry by Friday which brought the entry list to a full 32. The team last ran at Texas in June, where Ross Chastain put it 10th at the finish. Bell's lone start of the season was the #38's other race at Kansas, where he ran 26th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Defending last-placer Bayley Currey takes the place of Jeb Burton in Al Niece’s #44 Chevrolet. Currey’s lone Truck start in 2019 came at Kansas, where a collaborative effort between Mark Beaver and Vizion Motorsports yielded a 29th-place finish after only four laps.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Christian Eckes, now 3rd in the ARCA Menards Series standings, will make his third Truck Series start of the season and first since Gateway. Eckes started from the pole in each of his last two starts. He takes over for Brandon Jones, 23rd in Kentucky, who is in the XFINITY race in Iowa for Joe Gibbs Racing.

MISSING: #56-Hill Motorsports
Timmy and Tyler Hill will not be among the entrants at Pocono following Tyler’s 11th-place run in Kentucky.

MISSING: #68-Clay Greenfield Racing
Clay Greenfield is still another driver not entered after he ran 16th in Kentucky.


Saturday, July 27, 2019 (5:14 P.M. Eastern)
XFINITY Race 19 of 33
U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Josh Bilicki

There are 39 drivers entered for 38 spots, meaning one team will miss the show.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Zane Smith eyes his seventh start of the season and first since a 17th-place showing in Chicagoland, taking the place of Loudon 7th-place finisher Ryan Truex. PatientPop is the listed sponsor.

TEAM UPDATE: #11-Kaulig Racing
Following last week’s tragic passing of Nick Harrison, the preliminary entry list did not name a crew chief for Justin Haley’s team. On Tuesday came news that team president Chris Rice will serve as crew chief for Iowa.

MISSING: #12-Penske Racing
The part-time Penske car is not entered this week, one week after Paul Menard’s eventful 5th-place finish in Loudon.

DRIVER SWAP: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill slides over from MBM’s #66 to the #13, replacing team owner Carl Long who isn’t entered. Stan Mullis returns to the #66 as in previous Iowa races. Mullis’ third and most recent start of the year came at Iowa, where he ran a season-best 28th before power steering issues.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-JD Motorsports
With a sixth-place finish in last year’s K&N Pro Series East championship, La Mirada, California driver Ryan Vargas seeks his NASCAR national touring series debut on Saturday. He takes the place of Tyler Matthews, who ran 32nd in Loudon. Cranio Care Bears is the listed sponsor of the Johnny Davis entry.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing
The preliminary entry list had no driver listed in place of Bayley Currey, who will be in Pocono driving Al Niece’s #44. Currey finished 35th in Loudon. UPDATE: By Thursday, 55-year-old ARCA driver Mark Meunier was named the driver and seeks his NASCAR national touring series debut.

DRIVER CHANGE: #18-Joe Gibbs Racing
Riley Herbst rejoins the Joe Gibbs Racing effort for the first time since Kentucky, where he ran 11th. Harrison Burton finished 29th in last Saturday’s race at Loudon following his tangle with Paul Menard. Monster Energy is again Herbst’s sponsor.

MISSING: #21-Richard Childress Racing
Kaz Grala and the part-time RCR car are not entered in Saturday’s race after driver and team finished 14th in Loudon.

Welcome back J.J. Yeley, who rejoins RSS Racing in the #38, a team he last drove for in the 2018 season finale at Homestead. Josh Bilicki moves from the #38 to the #93 as lead driver Ryan Sieg returns to his #39 in place of C.J. McLaughlin, who isn’t entered after he ran 28th in Loudon. Bilicki will run double-duty with the Cup race on Sunday in Pocono for Rick Ware Racing (see below). UPDATE: Bilicki will not run double duty now as Camden Murphy has been swapped into his #93.

DRIVER CHANGE: #68-Brandonbilt Motorsports
Will Rodgers, the same K&N Pro Series West driver who so impressed Kevin Harvick during the series’ 2017 visit to Sonoma, will attempt his NASCAR national touring series debut in the second Brandonbilt Motorsports entry. The American Liver Foundation will sponsor the #68 Chevrolet. Rodgers’ entry bumps Dillon Bassett, who DNQ’d with the team at Loudon, back to Mario Gosselin’s #90, where he replaces Alex Labbe, who isn’t entered.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Mike Harmon returns to his #74 Chevrolet in place of Camden Murphy, who failed to qualify at Loudon.

DRIVER CHANGE: #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures
Morgan Shepherd also returns to XFINITY competition on Saturday, replacing Landon Cassill, who qualified his car 24th in Loudon before a throttle linkage issue left him 37th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Stefan Parsons returns for the first time since his breakout 12th-place finish at Daytona earlier this month. He arrives in place of Loudon’s 25th-place finisher Tommy Joe Martins, who announced he will begin to drive for Motorsports Business Management at Watkins Glen. Martins’ plans are to run six or seven races for this year for MBM and about half the races in 2020.

DRIVER CHANGE: #01-JD Motorsports
Ryan Repko returns to the site of his 22nd-place finish in his series debut this past June, and will again be sponsored by The McLain Group in Johnny Davis’ #01 Chevrolet. He takes the place of B.J. McLeod, who ran 21st in Loudon, and will this week drive for Rick Ware in Pocono (see below).


Sunday, July 28, 2019
CUP Race 21 of 36
Gander RV 400 at Pocono
2018 Last-Place Finisher: B.J. McLeod

There are 38 drivers entered for Sunday’s main event, one more car than last week, but still the 16th short field of the 2019 Cup Series season.

PAINT SCHEME: #4-Stewart-Haas Racing
Fresh off his first victory of 2019, Kevin Harvick will debut another radical new paint scheme on Sunday. In response to his “Millennial” car from the All-Star Race, a black-and-neon “Gen-X” car will hit the track this weekend.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
RETURNING: #53-Rick Ware Racing
The preliminary entry list showed all three Rick Ware Racing cars entered, but with no driver, sponsor, or crew chief listed. By Wednesday, it was B.J. McLeod returning to the #51 car, taking the place of Andy Seuss, who finished 28th in his series debut last week in Loudon. Pocono Organics will join Jacob Companies as sponsor. Austin Theriault, who ran 35th after rear gear issues in his own Cup debut that same Sunday, will again drive the #52 Bangor Savings Bank Chevrolet, while Seuss is not entered. Back on the circuit is the “open” #53 team, last seen at Daytona earlier this month. That car, sponsored by Token 4 Token, will be driven by Josh Bilicki, who ran that same car at Chicagoland to a 33rd-place finish.

SPONSOR UPDATE: #00-StarCom Racing
Longtime Derrike Cope sponsor Mane ‘n Tail rejoins the StarCom Racing team with Landon Cassill. The sponsor previously backed StarCom last August in Michigan, yielding a 29th-place finish.

Today in LASTCAR history (July 25, 1998): Former Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville picked up the first last-place finish of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career in the Tempus Resorts 300K at Pikes Peak International Raceway after his #81 Unifirst Uniforms / HBO Sports Ford crashed after 18 laps. Glanville would make just four more series starts in the 1999 season, but would never improve his series-best finish of 14th on three previous occasions.

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