Thursday, October 3, 2019

PREVIEW: Some small teams absent while others return at Dover

Chad Finchum's ride for Saturday's race.
PHOTO: @ChadFinchum
Saturday, October 5, 2019
XFINITY Race 29 of 33
Drive Sober 200 at Dover
Round of 12 – Race 3 of 3
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Stephen Leicht

There are 37 drivers entered for 38 spots, marking the seventh short field in 29 races this season and first since Watkins Glen in August. UPDATE: Make that a full 38 as Means Racing fields the #53.

DRIVER SWAP: #0-JD Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #4-JD Motorsports
Garrett Smithley moves from the #4 to the #0 in place of Lawson Aschenbach who isn’t entered after strong 14th-place run on the Roval. Smithley exited last Saturday just short of the finish with transmission issues, leaving him 33rd. Ross Chastain returns to run the #4 as part of his ongoing partnership at the Dover races with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, who sponsors the race. It will be Chastain’s first XFINITY start since Watkins Glen, when he was wrecked in a scuffle with Justin Allgaier.

DRIVER SWAP: #5-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Following his last-place finish on the Roval, J.J. Yeley returns to RSS Racing, this time driving the #93 Chevrolet in place of Josh Bilicki, who isn’t entered. This brings Vinnie Miller back from the #5 to the #78, and allows Matt Mills to return to the #5 for his first XFINITY start since a 28th in Richmond.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Zane Smith is back for his ninth XFINITY start of the year and first since Richmond. PatientPop returns as a sponsor for a fifth time in 2019. His season best remains a 5th at Iowa this past June. Smith takes the place of Ryan Truex, who ran 10th on the Roval.

MISSING: #10-Kaulig Racing
A.J. Allmendinger is not entered after his win on the Roval.

DRIVER CHANGE: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #61-Motorsports Business Management
MBM team owner Carl Long returns to the driver’s seat for the first time since Loudon in July, where he ran 38th. Then as now he drives the #13, and this time bumps Chad Finchum to the #61. Finchum, who welcomes new sponsorship from Garrison Homes and First State Title & Marble, takes the place of Tommy Joe Martins, who was running just outside the Top 10 on the Roval before the suspension failed, leaving him 35th. Martins is not entered.

RETURNING: #17-Rick Ware Racing
Kyle Weatherman eyes his sixth XFINITY start of the year and first since Las Vegas. He’s entered in the #17 team from Rick Ware, a car that hasn’t run since Richmond, where Joe Nemechek finished 32nd. UPDATE: Nemechek will again drive as Kyle Weatherman moves to the #53 (see below).

MISSING: #43-Pardus Racing, Inc.
Preston Pardus will not make the journey to Dover after he recovered from a practice crash to finish 27th in a rebuilt Chevrolet.

RETURNING: #53-Jimmy Means Racing
Added by Thursday was the second Jimmy Means Racing car that finished last in Mid-Ohio. Kyle Weatherman made the move from the #17 to drive the car.

MISSING: #68-Brandonbilt Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #86-Brandonbilt Motorsports
BMS Racing scales back from two cars to one this week, allowing Brandon Brown to return to his familiar #86 following a 17th-place run on the Roval. Not entered are both Will Rodgers, who spun on the final lap of the Roval race and finished 28th, and the team’s part-time #68 Chevrolet.

TEAM UPDATE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
The preliminary entry list had no driver named to take the place of Joe Nemechek, who ran a solid 22nd for Harmon in his first attempt at the Roval.

RETURNING: #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures
Landon Cassill will again be one to watch in qualifying as he seeks to put Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Chevrolet through its paces. Driver and team last ran at Richmond, where Cassill qualified 17th and finished 36th with handling issues.

Alex Labbe enjoyed a career run on the Roval, defending his 6th-place starting spot. This week, Ronnie Bassett, Jr. returns to the controls, but in place of his family’s drainage business will carry logos for Down Syndrome Awareness.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Stefan Parsons is entered in place of Cody Ware, who Parsons relieved last week on the Roval. Koolbox will sponsor the team’s efforts this Saturday.


Sunday, October 6, 2019
CUP Race 30 of 36
Drydene 400 at Dover
Round of 12 – Race 1 of 3
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Timmy Hill

There are just 38 drivers entered for Sunday’s 40-car field, marking the 23rd short field of 30 races this season, and the third in the last four races.

TEAM UPDATE: #8-Richard Childress Racing
On Wednesday came confirmation that Tyler Reddick will, in fact, take the place of Daniel Hemric in the #8 Chevrolet next season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #52-Rick Ware Racing
RETURNING: #54-Rick Ware Racing
B.J. McLeod steps in for J.J. Yeley, who was a late replacement for Cody Ware on the Roval. Yeley himself will drive the #52 in place of Garrett Smithley, who by Wednesday was confirmed to drive Ware’s returning #54 Chevrolet, a team returning for the first time since Indianapolis. Smithley was named to drive after the preliminary entry list had no driver named for the #54.

MISSING: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Both Josh Bilicki and the Ware team’s #53 car are not entered this week after a late track bar mount failure left the pair 38th on the Roval.

MISSING: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Defending Dover last-place finisher Timmy Hill is not entered in Sunday’s race, but will run MBM’s #66 in Saturday’s XFINITY round.

MISSING: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Parker Kligerman and the Gaunt Brothers are also not running this Sunday following a 26th-place run on the Roval.

Saturday, October 12, 2019
TRUCKS Race 20 of 23
Sugarlands Shine 250 at Talladega
Round of 6 – Race 1 of 3
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Clay Greenfield

One week from Saturday, the Truck Series returns to take on Talladega.

Today in LASTCAR history (October 3, 1998): Mark Martin picked up the 5th last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 at Charlotte when his #60 Winn-Dixie Ford was involved in a seven-car crash after five laps. No fewer than 59 drivers entered the race, attempting to qualify for the 43-car field. Among those who failed to qualify were past Cup Series winner Bobby Hillin, Jr., 2000 series champion Jeff Green, and Kerry Earnhardt. Martin rebounded nicely the next day, taking the checkered flag in the Cup Series race at the same track.

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