Thursday, February 27, 2020

PREVIEW: Multiple tributes - but only a handful of team changes - highlight Fontana entry lists

PHOTO: @blaney
Fontana marks the first race of the season for our trackside last-place coverage, and my first time being credentialed at the track. Stay tuned to this website and my Twitter @LASTCARonBROCK for updates throughout the weekend. And if you’d like to ride along with us, click here to join any level of my Patreon and get your name on our car magnet. You’ll also be entered in a drawing to win it after the race!

Saturday, February 29, 2020
XFINITY Race 3 of 33
Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Caesar Bacarella

There are 36 drivers entered for as many starting spots, meaning no teams will fail to qualify.

DRIVER CHANGE: #21-Richard Childress Racing
Myatt Snider moves from the #21 to the #93, taking the place of Joey Gase, who isn’t entered in Saturday’s ace. Snider finished 16th last Sunday following his late-race incident with Noah Gragson, three spots ahead of Gase in 19th. Taking Snider’s place in the #21 is Anthony Alfredo, who will be sponsored by Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup and Ralph’s Supermarkets. This will be Alfredo’s first XFINITY Series start, and his first in NASCAR’s top three series since his first-lap engine failure at Homestead last fall.

DRIVER CHANGE: #47-Mike Harmon Racing
It was announced Thursday that Bayley Currey will take the place of Joe Nemechek in Harmon's #47.

DRIVER CHANGE: #61-Motorsports Business Management
Back in the #61 for the first time since Daytona is Austin Hill, who takes the place of Timmy Hill, 26th last Sunday in Vegas. Timmy Hill will instead focus on Sunday’s Cup Series race, where he again runs MBM’s #66.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Team owner Mike Harmon takes the place of Kyle Weatherman, who isn’t entered this week after a 30th-place showing in Vegas. It will be Harmon’s first series start since the Daytona opener, where he ran 16th behind teammate Joe Nemechek in 15th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
After Mason Massey finished 29th in his series debut last week in Las Vegas, Josh Bilicki – the last-place finisher of the Truck Series race the night before – will take his place in the #99 Toyota.

Sunday, March 1, 2020
CUP Race 3 of 36
Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Clint Bowyer

There are 38 drivers entered for as many spots, meaning no teams will fail to qualify. On this second leg of the “West Coast Swing,” it is also the exact same roster of 38 drivers and teams that ran last Sunday in Las Vegas.

TRIBUTE: #12-Penske Racing
TRIBUTE: #24-Hendrick Motorsports
TRIBUTE: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Rumors swirled on Monday that William Byron would run a paint scheme honoring the life of Kobe Bryant, whose public memorial service was held at the Staples Center that same day. By Tuesday, it was revealed both Byron and Ryan Blaney will run purple-and-gold schemes in Sunday’s race. Blaney’s has its origins with sponsor BodyArmor, which had both Blaney and Bryant represent the brand. In addition, Daniel Suarez will wear special Kobe-themed gloves and shoes in the race, designed by local artist Kickstradomis.

TRIBUTE: #48-Hendrick Motorsports
There will also be several tributes to Jimmie Johnson as he runs his last race at the scene of his first Cup victory in 2002. Among these are a mural painted on the property and his wife and two children serving as the honorary starters

Saturday, March 14, 2020
TRUCKS Race 3 of 23
Georgia 200 at Atlanta
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Joe Nemechek

The Truck Series returns in three weeks to join the upcoming action at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Today in LASTCAR History (February 27, 1994): The late Billy Standridge scored his first career Cup Series last-place finish on this day when his #47 Johnson Racing Ford was involved in a multi-car accident with Rich Bickle and Bill Elliott after 55 laps of the Goodwrench 500 at Rockingham. This also happened to be Standridge’s Cup Series debut, one week after the Daytona 500 marked his fourth DNQ. Standridge made 23 Cup Series starts in all, capped by the 1998 season, when he qualified his car into all four Winston Cup superspeedway races.

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