Saturday, May 30, 2020

PREVIEW: Allmendinger's return, debuts of Ware and Emerling among Bristol storylines

PHOTO: @TaylorMorganRS
Sunday, May 31, 2020
CUP Race 9 of 36
Food City Presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Aric Almirola

There are exactly 40 drivers entered for as many spots in this Sunday’s short track race at Bristol, the fifth full field in nine races this season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #77-Spire Motorsports
J.J. Yeley comes from the #77 to the #7, taking the place of Josh Bilicki, who isn’t entered after he drove the car on Thursday. Driving the #77 this week is a returning Reed Sorenson, who was scheduled to run last Thursday before Yeley was put into the car, and will campaign a 2019 Chevrolet. Sorenson finished 29th his last time out in the Sunday race at Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Prior to Garrett Smithley's unfortunate first-lap crash at Charlotte, Rick Ware announced that Bayley Currey would make his first Cup start of the season at Bristol with returning sponsorship from Belmont Classic Cars and associate backing from Fort Worth Screen Printing. Currey made 10 Cup starts for Ware last year with a best of 25th at Pocono.

Monday, June 1, 2020
XFINITY Race 7 of 33
Cheddars 300 Presented by Alsco at Bristol
2019 Last-Place Finisher: John Jackson

The postponement of last Wednesday’s Cup race in Charlotte moved the XFINITY Series to the day after the Cup race, where 37 drivers will line up on a grid allowing for 40 spots. The series has yet to hit the 40-car mark since NASCAR temporarily allowed field increases for races without qualifying.

RETURNING: #16-Kaulig Racing
The part-time third team from the Kaulig stables returns with A.J. Allmendinger behind the wheel. Allmendinger will certainly benefit from being locked-in after bizarre mechanical issues for the team at Daytona kept him out of the season opener.

NEW SPONSOR: #44-Martins Motorsports
Gilreath Farms Red Angus joins as sponsor for Tommy Joe Martins, who was running 11th last week in Charlotte when he was collected in a late-race wreck triggered by the leaders.

MISSING: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
After competing in all seven races at both Darlington and Charlotte, Kyle Busch will not run Monday’s XFINITY race. The postponement, however, means he will have run eight straight races through Sunday’s 500-lapper.

DRIVER SWAP: #61-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
With Austin Hill and the Hattori support out of the #61, Timmy Hill will take the wheel of a 2018 Toyota. Recall that Timmy ran well with limited Hattori support at Bristol just last summer, finishing 7th in an MBM car. Stephen Leicht returns to the #66 for the first time since his last-place run in Darlington.

Ronnie Bassett, Jr. takes over for brother Dillon Bassett. This will be just the second start of the season for Ronnie, who last took the wheel of DGM’s #36 Chevrolet at Darlington. Nearly flagged off the track for not maintaining minimum speed in the early laps, he managed to finish four laps down in 31st.

After a short night for Jeff Green in Charlotte, he will have returning sponsorship from C2 Freight this weekend in Bristol. However, Green tweeted on Thursday he will still not be running the full race. This will be Green’s 39th series start at Bristol, a track where he won the 2002 spring race with Richard Childress Racing.

DRIVER CHANGE: #02-Our Motorsports
Fresh off the team’s first top-ten finish at Charlotte, Brett Moffitt is out of the #02 this week, making way for Patrick Emerling. The team will be sponsored by Robert B. Our Co., Inc. This will be Emerling’s first XFINITY Series start, and his first in any of NASCAR’s national touring series since 2017, when he ran two Truck Series races for D.J. Copp. His best finish was his series debut at Loudon, where he ran 23rd.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Carson Ware, the younger brother of Cody Ware, will make his XFINITY Series debut, taking over for Garrett Smithley. Carson made his Truck Series debut last November for the Reaume Brothers, finishing 30th after early electrical issues. Longtime Ware sponsor Jacob Companies will back the run after Smithley's sponsor Dream Giveaway was on the preliminary list. Reports indicate Ray Black, Jr. has stepped out of the ride to help his family's business recover from the pandemic.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (May 30, 1998): Loy Allen, Jr., the polesitter for the 1994 Daytona 500, picked up the first last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career when his #78 Mark III Financial Chevrolet fell out with rear end trouble after 18 laps of the MBNA Platinum 200 at Dover. Allen had rebounded from a DNQ in the previous round, but this early exit at Dover would become his fourth and final series start. He made his final two Cup starts the following year, driving for Scott Barbour in the #58 Turbine Solutions Ford at Michigan and Daytona.


Darrin said...

Thanks for all your articles! Always the best info and updates before and after every race!!

Brock Beard said...

Thank you! I always enjoy putting these together.