|PHOTO: Preston Pardus, @PrestonPardus|
XFINITY Race 23 of 33
CTECH Manufacturing 180 at Road America
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Jeff Green
LASTCAR TRACKSIDE COVERAGE
William Soquet, our guest contributor for the ARCA Menards Series, will be covering the action at his home track in Wisconsin. This will be his second-straight year covering the event for LASTCAR.info. For his updates, be sure to follow him on Twitter at @WilliamSoquet.
There are 39 drivers entered for 38 spots in Saturday’s return to Elkhart Lake, meaning one team will fail to qualify. UPDATE: Make that 38 as the #17 has withdrawn, locking the rest of the field jnto the show.
DRIVER CHANGE: #4-JD Motorsports
Ryan Vargas returns to the XFINITY Series for the first time since a 17th-place finish in his series debut at Iowa last month. Then as now, he drives for Johnny Davis, but this time in the #4 Chevrolet, taking over for Landon Cassill, who ran a strong 10th in Bristol.
DRIVER CHANGE: #5-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Ryan Ellis also seeks his first XFINITY race since Iowa, and also drives a different car from the team he ran that day, moving from B.J. McLeod’s #99, which he took to a 23rd-place finish after early issues, to the #5. He takes the place of Matt Mills, who ran 18th in his return last week in Bristol. Ellis has made four starts at Road America since 2012 with a best finish of 17th just last year, again for McLeod. The Wes Cook Band is his listed sponsor.
DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Regan Smith rejoins JR Motorsports for the first time since Mid-Ohio, and brings with him the same backing from Fire Alarm Services, Inc. He takes over for Jeb Burton, who suffered brake issues midway through the race and ended up 32nd. Smith has three XFINITY starts at Road America, but none since 2015, when he finished a track-best 8th.
DRIVER CHANGE: #10-Kaulig Racing
Another road race means A.J. Allmendinger is back again, driving Matthew Kaulig’s #10 Chevrolet. Sponsorship this week comes from J.W. Speaker and race sponsor CTECH Manufacturing. Allmendinger has just one XFINITY start here, but made it count, winning from the pole for Penske Racing in 2013. Allmendinger takes the place of Joe Graf, Jr., who failed to qualify this car at Bristol.
DRIVER SWAP: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #66-Motorsports Business Management
One week after Chad Finchum failed to qualify MBM’s #66 while Tommy Joe Martins saw a solid finish fade with transmission issues, leaving him 31st in the #13, the two drivers have swapped rides. Finchum will run the #13 and Martins the #66, just as both had at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. Both times, Martins finished ahead of Finchum.
DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing
The preliminary entry list had no driver listed for Rick Ware’s #17 Chevrolet, one week after Joe Nemechek was brought on for Bayley Currey and Mike Harmon to secure a 28th-place start and 35th-place finish in Bristol. Driving this week is Kyle Weatherman, who seeks his first XFINITY start since Michigan in June. UPDATE: Aaron Quine, who drove for Harmon at Mid-Ohio, will drive in Weatherman's place. UPDATE 2: Quine has been withdrawn as of Friday.
DRIVER CHANGE: #18-Joe Gibbs Racing
MISSING: #81-XCI Racing
Matt DiBenedetto gained a large number of fans last Saturday with his runner-up finish at Bristol after dominating the late stages. While the Cup Series is off this week, DiBenedetto will race this weekend, taking over for Kyle Busch in the #18 Toyota. Following Busch’s engine failure after winning Stage 2 in Bristol, DiBenedetto will race with sponsorship from iK9, which moves from the #81 XCI Racing team. The #81 is not entered after Erik Jones’ early crash left him 37th in Bristol.
RETURNING: #21-Richard Childress Racing
Kaz Grala is no slouch at the road courses, including his 11th-place run for Fury Race Cars LLC in this race last season. This time around, he will have a strong car to match, returning to Richard Childress’ #21 Chevrolet for the first time since his 14th-place showing at Loudon. HotScream is again his listed sponsor.
MISSING: #28-H2 Motorsports
Shane Lee and the Circuit City Supra will not be competing this week following a quiet 13th-place finish in Bristol.
DRIVER SWAP: #38-RSS Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #93-RSS Racing
Rod Sieg’s team swaps J.J. Yeley from the #93, which he drove to a 16th-place finish at Bristol, back to the #38, which failed to qualify that night with Camden Murphy. Murphy himself is not entered, while Josh Bilicki will return to take over Yeley’s seat in the #93. It will be the fourth different XFINITY team Bilicki has raced for at Elkhart Lake, where his best finish was a 12th with B.J. McLeod in 2017.
NEW TEAM: #43-Pardus Racing, Inc.
Longtime race fans may remember Dan Pardus, the part-time Cup Series competitor from Florida who drove the Midwest Transit Chevrolet, attempting ten races and finishing 36th in his lone start at Daytona in the fall of 1998. Pardus is now a team owner who has fielded an XFINITY car for his son Preston Pardus. So long as they make it in on speed as they do not have Owner Points, the younger Pardus will make his NASCAR debut. The white #43 Chevrolet carries sponsorship from Chinchor Electric Inc. and Danus Utilities Inc.
DRIVER CHANGE: #61-Motorsports Business Management / Hattori Racing Enterprises
Bristol saw the unexpected debut of a new partnership between Carl Long’s Motorsports Business Management and the Hattori Racing Enterprises XFINITY team that failed to qualify at Daytona in July. MBM driver Timmy Hill not only qualified the #61 Supra a strong 7th, but finished 7th as well, equaling his career-best finish. This week, the car will be driven by Dick Karth, who has run on this, his home track, twice in the ARCA Menards Series with a best finish of 21st in his own equipment. The 66-year-old Karth has never made a NASCAR start, and his lone ARCA race this year saw him run 16th of 18 cars at Madison, driving for Andy Hillenburg.
DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Nicolas Hammann becomes the third different road racer to run for Harmon in the last three road course races, following Dan Corcoran at Watkins Glen and Aaron Quine in Mid-Ohio. Corcoran will instead run Sunday’s Truck Series race at Mosport (see below). Hammann, an Elkhart Lake native, has made three XFINITY starts including two in this race in 2016 and 2017 with a best of 29th in the latter. His series-best finish is a 28th-place run for Harmon at Watkins Glen three years ago. Hammann also takes the place of Tyler Matthews, who finished 27th in the #74 at Bristol.
MISSING: #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures
Morgan Shepherd and his #89 Chevrolet will not be making the trip to Road America, but is expected to run next week at Darlington. His “throwback scheme” debuted briefly at Bristol before a DNQ, the white-and-blue scheme commemorating the Pontiac that Shepherd raced to his first Cup Series win at Martinsville in 1981.
DRIVER CHANGE: #90-DGM Racing
Welcome back Dexter Bean, who is looking to make his first XFINITY start of the year and first in the series since last summer at Iowa, where he ran 36th in Mario Gosselin’s #92 Chevrolet. This time around, Bean drives Gosselin’s primary #90, taking the place of Ronnie Bassett, Jr., who ran 33rd at Bristol. The team’s sponsor is still to be announced.
DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Saturday will also see the XFINITY Series debut of Dutch road racer Loris Hezemans, a three-time winner in the Elite 1 division of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Hezemans has three wins in the series, including the most recent two rounds at the Autodrom Most in Czechoslovakia and a 100-lapper at his home track, the Raceway Venray in the Netherlands. Fourth in the standings with six consecutive outside-pole starts in the series, Hezemans will be one to watch this weekend as he takes the place of C.J. McLaughlin, 23rd at Bristol. Koolbox, a past Mike Harmon sponsor, is listed as the primary backer this week.
CUP INVADERS: #18-Matt DiBenedetto
Sunday, August 25, 2019
TRUCKS Race 18 of 23
Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport)
Round of 8 – Race 2 of 3
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Joe Nemechek
LASTCAR TRACKSIDE COVERAGE
In addition to William’s coverage, I will be working the same weekend at Mosport, marking the first time LASTCAR.info has worked a track outside the United States. As always, stay tuned to this website and my Twitter at @LASTCARonBROCK for updates throughout.
There are just 28 trucks entered to attempt the 32-truck field in NASCAR’s annual trip north of the border. It is only the second short field of the 2019 season and first since Kansas, where just 30 drivers took the green flag. UPDATE: Make that 29 trucks with a late addition of #32.
RETURNING: #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
Ray Ciccarelli makes his return to the Truck Series for the first time since he finished 9th at Michigan, his first career top-ten finish. Unlike that day, he will not be driving for his own team, the #49 of CMI Motorsports, but will instead race the second truck for Jennifer Jo Cobb. It was somewhat surprising to see Cobb entering two trucks this week following Daniel Sasnett’s qualifying wreck at Michigan, which heavily damaged one of Cobb’s trucks. It will also be interesting to see what the race strategy will be since Cobb’s team has finished last in this race in four of the previous six runnings, including three by the #0 alone.
RETURNING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
Making his return to the series this week is Norm Benning, who withdrew at Bristol to better prepare for the trip north of the border. According to a member of the team, Benning is expected to run the same truck he ran at Eldora and finished last with at Michigan. Those eager to write Benning off, however, do so at their own risk. Not only has he qualified for all six previous races, but he’s finished no worse than 22nd in each, finished under power each time, and completed all but 18 of the 387 combined laps. His best finish at the track came just two years ago, when he finished 18th.
MISSING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
MISSING: #21-GMS Racing
MISSING: #46-Kyle Busch Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #54-DGR-Crosley
MISSING: #68-Clay Greenfield Racing
MISSING: #74-Lou Goss Racing
MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
MISSING: #92-RBR Enterprises
MISSING: #97-JJL Motorsports
The possibility for someone unexpected to earn a good finish is helped by nine teams entered at Bristol not making the trip up north this week. This includes the third entries from DGR-Crosley (#15), GMS Racing (#21), and Kyle Busch Motorsports (#46). Raphael Lessard, who drove the #46 last week, is the only driver from these teams entered in Sunday’s race. This week, he takes the place of Natalie Decker, who struggled under the lights at Bristol to a 25th-place finish, in DGR-Crosley’s #54 Toyota. Lessard is also the first of four NASCAR Pinty’s Series drivers in Sunday’s Truck Series field – in fact, he 12th-place finisher at Bristol won his Pinty’s debut at the Autodrome Chaudiere bullring in June.
DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Spencer Boyd is again expected back in Randy Young’s #20 Chevrolet this week after Landon Huffman raced in his relief for the second time in a month at Bristol, finishing 16th. This will be Boyd’s first-ever start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. UPDATE: Dylan Lupton swapped in for Boyd by Thursday.
RETURNING: #32-Reaume Brothers Racing
Added Friday as a 29th entry is the third Reaume truck, to be driven by crew chief Greg Rayl, who crashed out early in his series debut at Gateway and finished last.
DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
The 61-year-old Dan Corcoran, the aforementioned road course ringer for Mike Harmon’s XFINITY Series team, will make the trip north to race at his home track. The Ontario native takes the place of Ryan Sieg, who finished 14th in the Reaume #33 at Bristol. Carrying sponsorship from his family’s construction firm, Len Corcoran Excavating, this will be Corcoran’s Truck Series debut. He joins series regular Stewart Friesen as the only two Canadian natives in this race not currently active in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Jason White makes his return to the Truck Series for the first time since his DNQ in the Daytona season opener and looks to make his third career start in the series. White is also the second Pinty’s Series regular in the field, though he is only 14th in the standings as he has been off the circuit since his 100th series start at Saskatoon. Powder Ventures, which backed White’s previous Pinty’s and Truck Series efforts, rejoins White as his sponsor in the second Reaume truck. He takes the place of J.J. Yeley, who finished next-to-last at Bristol.
DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Gary Klutt is a Pinty’s Series part-timer who won the pole at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the Pinty’s season opener on Victoria Day weekend this past May. This weekend, he both returns to the Pinty’s Series in his #59 Dodge, but also will take over for Angela Ruch in the Al Niece-prepared #44 Chevrolet. Klutt has a pair of starts in the Truck Series race here, finishing 11th for KBM three years ago, then 24th for Premium Motorsports in 2017. He also made his Cup debut that year, again for Premium, finishing 31st in the #15 Chevrolet.
DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Alex Tagliani is sure to be a favorite in Sunday’s race as he makes his fifth consecutive start in the event. His best finish came in 2015 for Brad Keselowski Racing, when he parlayed his second straight pole into a 5th-place finish. The last two years, he’s driven for Young’s Motorsports, finishing 19th and 10th in those attempts. This time, he takes the place of Bristol runner-up Chandler Smith (who instead will run Sunday's Pinty's Series race) in KBM’s fast #51 Toyota. Sponsorship comes from CanTORQUE, Spectra Premium and RONA. In the Pinty’s Series, he’s carried the RONA branding on his #18 to victory lane in Toronto, and stands 4th in the series standings, 33 markers behind series leader Andrew Ranger.
DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #04-Roper Racing
For the first time, two owner-driver operations will not have a family member behind the wheel. Both will be driven this week by brothers Roger Reuse and Bobby Reuse from Alabama. Roger takes over the #04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford in place of Cory Roper while Bobby takes over Timmy and Tyler Hill’s #56 Chevrolet, bringing with him sponsorship from WCIparts.com. This marks the first time the Reuses will race against each other in this event, a race each had run once before - Roger ran it last year for JJL Motorsports, finishing 27th in their #97, while Bobby ran it in 2017, finishing 17th in Mark Beaver’s #50. The two have raced against each other in the XFINITY Series before, at Mid-Ohio in 2014, where they ran two cars for Mike Harmon. Bobby finished ahead that time, running 24th, while Roger finished last. Both teams are locked-in to the race due to the short field, locking in the #04 after a DNQ in Bristol, where Timmy Hill ran 17th in the #56.
DRIVER CHANGE #02-Young's Motorsports
Tyler Dippel was suspended indefinitely on Friday after an incident whose details are still coming to light. UPDATE: D.J. Kennnington will drive in his place, joining the other Pinty's drivers in the field.
CUP INVADERS: None
Sunday, September 1, 2019
CUP Race 25 of 36
Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Joey Gase
LASTCAR TRACKSIDE COVERAGE
The Cup Series takes the weekend off and will return for the Labor Day classic, where I will also be covering the action for the 70th Annual Bojangles’ Southern 500 weekend.
LASTCAR STAT OF THE WEEK
Today in LASTCAR history (August 22, 1993): Dick McCabe picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in the NE Chevy 250 at Loudon when his #0 Fisher Snow Plows Pontiac lost the engine after 18 laps, leaving him last in a 44-car field. It was just the second last-place run for car #0 in the series and the first since Allen Applegate’s engine failure at the Nashville Fairgrounds on May 21, 1988.