|Lawson Aschenbach's eye-catching scheme for Mid-Ohio.|
PHOTO: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, @JDMotorsports01
TRUCKS Race 16 of 23
Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Timmy Hill
As the dust settles from Eldora and the Truck Series returns to the pavement of Michigan, there are 32 drivers entered for 32 spots, meaning all will qualify. This will also mark the series’ final round of the regular season before the Round of Eight kicks off in Bristol. UPDATE: Make that 33 for 32 with one team sent home after qualifying.
RETURNING: #0-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
The Cobb team brings back the #0 truck for the sixth time in 2019 and first since a 29th-place finish at Pocono. Daniel Sasnett, who ran that Pocono race, is again the listed driver.
DRIVER CHANGE: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
Jordan Anderson’s owner-driver operation wasn’t on the preliminary entry list, one week after Carson Hocevar drove in his place for a 25th-place finish, and helping Al Niece field the #38 Chevrolet for 15th-place finisher Mark Smith. Anderson did indicate by Tuesday that he will be in Saturday’s race.
DRIVER CHANGE: #8-NEMCO Motorsports
Defending LASTCAR Truck Series Champion Joe Nemechek returns to his #8 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Business Machines Company. He takes the place of Colt Gilliam, who rebounded from significant front end damage to finish 27th in Eldora.
RETURNING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
Codie Rohrbaugh rejoins the Truck Series circuit for his fifth start of 2019 and first since Kentucky, where he ran a season-best 14th. It will be Rohrbaugh’s first series start at Michigan.
RETURNING: #14-Trey Hutchins Racing
When we last saw Trey Hutchins III run his own truck, it was at Texas in June, where he collided with Spencer Boyd in a wreck down the backstretch. After running for NEMCO at Iowa, Hutchins is back in his own equipment this week.
Anthony Alfredo returns along with David Gilliland’s #15 team. Alfredo last ran at Pocono, where he collided with last-place finisher Stewart Friesen on the first lap of the race and ended up 31st. It will be Alfredo’s first Michigan start.
DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Last week in Eldora, Landon Huffman drove in place of an injured Spencer Boyd, and finished 23rd in the #20 Chevrolet. Reports indicate Boyd will be returning to the driver’s seat of the #20 this week, though the preliminary entry list had no driver listed. That news was confirmed by Wednesday as Boyd will not only return to the #20 on the Truck Series side, but will make his Cup debut with Rick Ware Racing (see below).
MISSING: #32-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
The Reaume Brothers again scale back from three trucks to two, leaving home the #32 run to a 30th-place finish by Devin Dodson in Eldora. As the team continues to rebuild the rear clip and clean off the dirt from the Dodson machine, they also look to build on their first top-five finish, earned by Mike Marlar with a strong 4th. Josh Reaume returns in Marlar’s place in the #33, and Jesse Iwuji runs the #34 in place of Mason Massey, 23rd in Eldora.
MISSING: #38-Niece Motorsports
The aforementioned Al Niece #38 team is not entered, one week after the partnership with Jordan Anderson yielded a 15th-place finish for newcomer Mark Smith. UPDATE: As at Pocono, the team has now been added to the entry list with T.J. Bell returning as driver.
DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Bayley Currey rejoins the Al Niece #44 team with whom he qualified a strong 11th at Pocono, his most recent start. He takes the place of Jeffrey Abbey, who ran 20th at Eldora.
RETURNING: #49-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli is still another driver returning after an off-week. The owner-driver ran 19th his last time out in Pocono, just three spots shy of his season-best 16th at Texas.
DRIVER CHANGE: #54-DGR-Crosley
Kyle Strickler put the #54 through its paces at Eldora, qualifying a strong 5th before leaving with an 18th-place finish. Natalie Decker resumes her rookie campaign this week, still looking to turn around a year where she’s crashed out of six of the first fifteen races.
TEAM UPDATE: #56-Hill Motorsports
While not entered this week, the Hill brothers tweeted on Wednesday that their #56 Chevrolet will return to action next week in Bristol with Timmy Hill driving.
MISSING: #74-Lou Goss Racing
The Lou Goss team is not making the trip to Michigan following a stout 17th-place performance – on the lead lap – by Darwin Peters, Jr.
MISSING: #80-Jacob Wallace Racing
Justin Shipley isn’t entered after his 11th-place finish at Eldora.
RETURNING: #87-NEMCO Motorsports
Joe Nemechek has brought his second truck back to the track, and Camden Murphy is listed to drive. Murphy’s four previous starts in the series this year came in the NEMCO #8 with a best of 23rd at Chicagoland where he led two laps.
RETURNING: #04-Roper Racing
Welcome back Cory Roper, who hasn’t raced in the series since a season-best 9th-place finish at Texas in June. Roper will certainly be one to watch in his first-ever series start at Michigan.
MISSING: #08-Kart Idaho Racing
Not among the Michigan entrants is the new Kart Idaho team, which Tim Ward drove to a 16th-place finish at Eldora.
CUP INVADERS: None.
Saturday, August 10, 2019 (12:20 P.M.)
XFINITY Race 21 of 33
B&L Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Dylan Murcott
There are 38 drivers entered for as many spots in Mid-Ohio, meaning no drivers will miss the race.
DRIVER CHANGE: #4-JD Motorsports
Sports car racer Lawson Aschenbach rejoins the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the first time since last fall on the Roval, where he finished 21st. It will be the third different road course Aschenbach has run in the series, along with a career-best 18th-place showing at Road America in 2015. Taking over for Ross Chastain, who was eliminated in a Turn 5 Watkins Glen crash following a battle with Justin Allgaier, Aschenbach has a dizzying black-and-white paint scheme for his sponsor, the GoPro Motorplex.
TEAM UPDATE: #10-Kaulig Racing
A.J. Allmendinger comes to Mid-Ohio or his third XFINITY Series start. He looks to avoid his third consecutive disqualification after finishes of 3rd at Daytona and a runner-up at Watkins Glen.
DRIVER SWAP: #5-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Scott Heckert and Vinnie Miller trade rides this week with Miller going to the #5 and Heckert to the #78. Matt Mills, who ran the #5 up until last week at The Glen, is again not entered. Miller nearly finished last at Watkins Glen before A.J. Allmendinger’s disqualification while Heckert came home 13th.
DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Regan Smith will make his first XFINITY Series start since this same race in 2017, when he finished 28th for Joe Gibbs Racing. His ride this time is the Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet from the JR Motorsports camp, taking the place of last week’s 10th-place finisher Ryan Preece. Smith is the 2015 winner of this race, following a last-lap pass on Alex Tagliani.
MISSING: #12-Penske Racing
Ryan Blaney and the second Penske Racing Ford are not entered this week, following a 4th-place finish by Blaney at The Glen.
DRIVER CHANGE: #18-Joe Gibbs Racing
After a perplexing five weeks following XCI Racing's withdrawal from the Fourth of July race at Daytona, sponsor iK9 and driver Jeffrey Earnhardt have parted ways. The announcement on Wednesday torpedoed what would have been Earnhardt's first XFINITY start at Mid-Ohio, when he finished 28th for JD Motorsports. Instead, taking Kyle Busch's place from Watkins Glen will be IndyCar Series driver Jack Hawksworth, who will make his NASCAR debut.
NEW SPONSOR: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
David Starr will drive a black car with yellow numbers this week, carrying new sponsorship from RadAir Complete Car Care. Starr's best of four Mid-Ohio starts came two years ago, when he steered B.J. McLeod's #99 to a 17th-place finish on the lead lap.
RETURNING: #53-Jimmy Means Racing
In the past, Jimmy Means has entered a second car under a variety of numbers, most recently the #79 which we last saw at Kentucky in 2018 driven by Josh Reaume. This time, David Starr’s primary #52 will be joined by the #53, a number Means once ran as a Cup owner, but never in XFINITY. The last recorded time Means attempted to qualify that number was for the 1994 Hooters 500 at Atlanta, where Brad Teague DNQ’d. It last raced in the 1993 Southern 500 at Darlington, where Means himself pulled off the track after 11 laps. Means was edged for last place that day by Bob Schacht, the last Cup driver to be classified last due to a “did not start.” The car number hasn’t made an XFINITY Series race since August 17, 2013, when Andrew Ranger made his 17th and most recent series start, finishing 16th. No driver was yet listed for the car on the preliminary entry list. UPDATE: By Thursday, Max Tullman was announced to drive.
RETURNING: #68-Brandonbilt Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #86-Brandonbilt Motorsports
News came on Tuesday that, following his debut in Iowa, Will Rodgers will run another two races for Brandonbilt Motorsports, starting this Saturday in Mid-Ohio. Rodgers will drive the primary #86 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Kelly Benefit Strategies. Brandon Brown, who ran 18th at The Glen, moves over to the returning second car, #68.
DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Dan Corcoran did a respectable job as the last-minute driver named to run Mike Harmon’s #74 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen. Following mechanical issues that caused them to miss the start, Corcoran climbed his way to a 25th-place finish. As of this writing, no driver is again listed to run the #74 this week. UPDATE: Aaron Quine will be the second straight driver eyeing his NASCAR debut in Harmon's equipment this Saturday.
DRIVER CHANGE: #90-DGM Racing
Another road course specialist was revealed by Thursday with former American LeMans Series and Pirelli World Challenge driver Chris Dyson running the Gosselin car with sponsorship from the family's Thetford Corporation. It will be Dyson's NASCAR debut. Alex Labbe had originally been entered in the car.
DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Ohio native Patrick Gallagher will make his NASCAR debut this week, taking the place of Cody Ware, who ran 21st at Watkins Glen. Gallagher has been racing sports cars in both SCCA and IMSA competition since his teens, and competed in an Acura Sports Car Challenge race at the Mid-Ohio course back in May.
CUP INVADERS: None.
Sunday, August 11, 2019
CUP Race 23 of 36
Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Corey LaJoie
There are 38 drivers entered for Sunday’s return of the Cup Series to Michigan, one more entry than last week but still the fifth short field in a row and 18th in 23 races.
SPONSOR UPDATE: #13-Germain Racing
Ty Dillon will sport a new look this week as K&L Ready Mix sponsors his #13 Chevrolet.
RETURNING: #27-Premium Motorsports
Quin Houff looks to make his 14th Cup start of the season, and his first ever in Premium’s #27 Chevrolet, a car we last saw at Pocono where Reed Sorenson ran 32nd. At Michigan in June, Houff ran 32nd in the Spire Motorsports #77 Chevrolet.
DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
B.J. McLeod takes over for Cody Ware, who endured through transmission issues to finish 33rd at Watkins Glen. McLeod finished 33rd with the team his last time out in Pocono.
DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Rick Ware Racing
Austin Theriault’s debut in Loudon has become a part-time campaign in 2019 as he is again listed to drive the #52 Ford for a third time in the last four races. Theriault takes over for Josh Bilicki, 32nd at Watkins Glen. Bilicki will instead continue to run RSS Racing’s #93 Chevrolet in the XFINITY race at Mid-Ohio.
RETURNING: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Rick Ware has also entered his “open” third team, last seen at Pocono two weeks ago where Bilicki finished 35th after the driveshaft failed late in the race. No driver was listed, however, and Bilicki was set to run XFINITY in Mid-Ohio. The announcement then came Wednesday as Spencer Boyd will return from injury to make his Cup Series debut, running double-duty with the Truck Series.
DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
Garrett Smithley returns to the Cup Series for the first time since June’s race at Michigan, where he ran a season-best 30th in Premium Motorsports’ #15 Chevrolet. This time around, he takes the place of Watkins Glen last-placer Reed Sorenson in the #77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports. Victory Lane Quick Oil Change, Smithley’s sponsor for many recent Michigan races, will sponsor the effort.
MISSING: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Parker Kligerman is not entered along with the Gaunt Brothers team following their 26th-place finish at Watkins Glen.
LASTCAR STAT OF THE WEEK
Today in LASTCAR history (August 8, 1998): Wayne Anderson picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career in the Stevens Beil Genuine Car Parts 200 at Flemington when his #84 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford was collected in a wreck with Barry Bodine and Jack Sprague after 8 laps. Years later on September 18, 2005, Anderson would make his lone Cup Series start at Loudon, where he would finish last in the #75 Rinaldi Air Conditioning Dodge following engine trouble after 16 laps.