Wednesday, July 22, 2020

PREVIEW: Twice the Trucks and Thursday Night Cup headline stacked Kansas weekend

Spencer Boyd's Steelsafe Shelters ride for this weekend's Truck Series double-header.
PHOTO: @SpencerBoyd
Thursday, July 23, 2020
CUP Race 19 of 36
Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Cody Ware

There are 40 drivers entered for as many spots, the 12th “full” field in this season’s 19 races and the sixth in the last seven races. This also happens to be the first Cup Series race held on a Thursday since July 4, 1985, when Greg Sacks pulled off the upset in the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona.

TEAM UPDATE: #24-Hendrick Motorsports
Keith Rodden will fill in for Chad Knaus as William Byron's crew chief this weekend as Knaus' wife Brooke is expected to give birth to their daughter at any moment.

DRIVER SWAP: #27-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
Garrett Smithley returns to the Cup Series after he was swapped out for Josh Bilicki last week at Texas. Instead of running the #53 he’d been slated last Sunday, Smithley will run the Spire #77 for the first time since Martinsville. This bumps J.J. Yeley to the #27 in place of Gray Gaulding, who isn’t entered after he finished 25th. Yeley finished one spot and five laps ahead of Gaulding in 24th.

LASTCAR STORYLINE: #37-JTG-Daugherty Racing
Ryan Preece has faced some serious bad luck on the track this past month, and comes into Thursday’s race on the heels of three consecutive last-place finishes, just the fourth driver in Cup Series history to do so. If he finishes last on Thursday, he will become the only Cup driver to finish last in four consecutive points-paying races. Preece runs the Bush’s Beans paint scheme this week.

MISSING: #90-Vic Keller Racing
Not among the entrants is Vic Keller’s #90 entry which failed to make the cut last week in Texas.

Friday, July 24, 2020 
TRUCKS Race 9 of 23
Blu Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Joey Gase

There are 38 drivers entered for 40 spots, up two drivers from last week despite one withdrawal (see below). Four of the first six races since the season returned from the pandemic have seen full 40-truck fields, most recently in Kentucky.

RETURNING: #7-All Out Motorsports
Korbin Forrister returns to the series for the first time since Kentucky, where he tangled with Jennifer Jo Cobb in the final laps and finished 34th. Forrister’s season-best finish remains his 18th in the season-opening Daytona race.

Chase Purdy also returns after taking off the Texas weekend, looking to improve on his season-best 21st in his debut at Pocono. He takes the place of XFINITY Series regular Justin Haley, who ran 7th in Texas.

Bryan Dauzat returns for the first time since his season-best 26th-place run at Pocono, again driving for Jim Rosenblum with sponsorship from American Genomics.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
The preliminary entry list had no driver listed for Josh Reaume’s primary #33 Toyota, but that changed by Tuesday with Kevin Donahue’s name added. This will be Donahue’s first Truck Series start since June 23, 2018, when he finished a strong 12th for the late Mike Mittler at Gateway. Donahue takes the place of Akinori Ogata, who ran 25th at Texas.

DRIVER SWAP: #40-Niece Motorsports
MISSING: #42-Niece Motorsports
Al Niece’s #42 is again not entered this week, and this time Ross Chastain moves to the #40, taking the place of Ryan Truex, who isn’t entered. Chastain finished 10th last week in Texas with Truex close behind in 13th. Trophy Tractor is the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Kyle Busch is back out of this weekend’s field after his win in Texas, but XFINITY regular Brandon Jones will take his place in the #51 Toyota. Jones will carry sponsorship from Barracuda Pumps and Menards.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
The preliminary entry list had the two Hill brothers entered for the wrong rounds of the Truck Series double-header. The team clarified that Timmy Hill will run the Friday race with Tyler taking over on Saturday. Timmy finished 18th with the team last week in Texas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #49-CMI Motorsports
WITHDREW: #83-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli was originally entered in his team’s second truck, but by Tuesday the team had withdrawn. Tim Viens was originally listed to run the #49 again after his 26th-place run in Texas, but Ciccarelli will instead drive in his place for both this weekend’s races.

RETURNING: #97-Diversified Motorsports Enterprises
Robby Lyons will run both this weekend’s Truck Series races with the same Sunwest Construction sponsorship on the former Jesse Little entry. Lyons finished 20th in his season debut at Pocono.

DRIVER CHANGE: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
The preliminary entry list showed team owner Josh Reaume would drive the #00 this week in place of Angela Ruch, who isn’t entered after a 23rd-palce run in Texas. By Tuesday, Dawson Cram had been entered instead. This will be Cram’s third start of the year, following a pair of runs with Boyd Long’s #55 at Homestead and Kentucky. His best finish came in the latter, when he ran 28th.


Saturday, July 25, 2020 (1:30 P.M. Eastern)
TRUCKS Race 10 of 23
E.P.T. 200 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Inaugural Event

The same 39 teams from Friday’s race will run again on Saturday.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
Kevin Donahue will run both races this weekend, but in two different trucks. After the Friday race, he will move to Josh Reaume’s #00 in place of Dawson Cram, who isn’t entered in the Saturday race. The new driver for the #33 was still to be announced until it was revealed ARCA Racing Series driver Ryan Huff would make his NASCAR debut with the team. Huff is in his first ARCA season and has two Top Tens for series veteran Andy Hillenburg.

DRIVER CHANGE: #40-Niece Motorsports
Saturday will also see the return of Travis Pastrana, who will drive in place of Ross Chastain in the Saturday race. It will be Pastrana's 4th series start and first since 2017 - all three of his previous starts came at Las Vegas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Tyler Hill will drive in place of his brother on Saturday, returning to the driver’s seat for the first time since Kentucky, where he took 30th.

MISSING: #83-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli’s second truck will likewise not be entered on Saturday.


Saturday, July 25, 2020 (5:00 P.M. Eastern)
XFINITY Race 17 of 33
Kansas Lottery 250 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Inaugural Event

There are 37 drivers entered for 40 spots, the same amount as last week in Texas. The XFINITY Series has still yet to run a full 40-car field since NASCAR’s temporary field increase rule went into effect in May.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Daniel Hemric and his Poppy Bank sponsorship will again run the #8 Chevrolet this Saturday, their first since a 9th-place run in Kentucky. They take the place of Jeb Burton and State Water Heaters, who took a strong 6th-place run in Texas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-JD Motorsports
Ryan Vargas returns for his second XFINITY Series start of the year and first since his strong season debut at Pocono, where he earned an impressive 13th after battling inside the Top 10. He takes the place of Colby Howard, who isn’t entered after a 23rd-place finish in Texas. Cranio Care Bears and Faces are again the sponsors for Vargas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #21-Richard Childress Racing
Kansas marks the 2020 season debut for Kaz Grala, who makes his first XFINITY start since August 24, 2019 at Road America, where he ran 5th. The website is the listed sponsor for Grala’s run in the #21 as he takes the place of Anthony Alfredo, who ran 27th in Texas.

STORYLINE: #22-Penske Racing
Following Kyle Busch’s disqualification at Texas, Austin Cindric has now won three consecutive XFINITY Series races, and will eye his fourth in a row this Saturday.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
Welcome back Sam Hunt Racing for the first time since Brandon Gdovic’s strong run on the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit on Independence Day weekend. Back behind the wheel is Colin Garrett, SHR’s primary driver, who last took the green at Talladega. Garrett was collected in a multi-car pileup that day and finished a disappointing 35th. Rosie Network is again the sponsor.

MISSING: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
Kyle Busch and the JGR #54 will not run this week following their disqualification in Texas. Busch still has one start remaining at a track to be announced.

TEAM UPDATE: #89-Shepherd Racing Ventures
Morgan Shepherd’s team is not entered once again this week. Following news that the announced dates through August will still not have qualifying, it has been reported this team may not return until at least Darlington in September.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Jairo Avila, Jr. is set to make just his second start of the 2020 season and his first since an abbreviated run in the second round of the Homestead double-header, where he drove a B.J. McLeod car 15 laps as a backup for Our Motorsports. This time, Avila will drive for McLeod himself in place of Stefan Parsons, whose 18th-place run last week in Texas was the best for the #99 team all season. This was also the second-best finish of Parsons’ young XFINITY career, trailing only his 12th in his series debut at Daytona last summer.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Carson Ware and the Jacob Construction sponsorship return to the SS-Green Light Racing team this week. This will be Ware’s fourth series start following solid finishes of 22nd at Bristol, 28th at Homestead, and 20th at Pocono. He takes the place of David Starr, who impressed with a 13th-place run at his home track. UPDATE: And now David Starr will run the car again in place of Ware.


TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (July 22, 2000): Phil Bonifield picked up the 8th last-place finish of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career in the Michigan 200 at the Michigan International Speedway after his #23 Red Line Synthetic Oil Chevrolet had brake issues after 3 laps. Bonifield won the 1999 LASTCAR Truck Series Championship with six last-place runs, but would in 2000 lose the title on a tiebreaker with Ryan McGlynn.


MasonF12 said...

Just letting you know, the Joey Gase link for the truck race sends me to the same Cody Ware article as his link for the cup race.

Brock Beard said...

Ah thank you

awehr1991 said...

David Starr will be in the #07