Thursday, August 6, 2020

PREVIEW: Several series debuts, road ringers, and a movie car fill Michigan and Road America entry lists

Friday, August 7, 2020
TRUCKS Race 11 of 23
Henry Ford Health System 200 at Michigan
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Norm Benning

There were 41 drivers entered for 40 spots in Friday’s return of the Truck Series, which has unfortunately again left a single team out of the field without a single practice or qualifying lap. Once again, it is the DGR-Crosley #17 Select Blinds Ford which was entered for Cup regular David Ragan (see below).

MISSING: #7-All Out Motorsports
Korbin Forrister is not entered after he wrecked in the first Kansas double-header and withdrew from the second.

RETURNING: #8-NEMCO Motorsports
John Hunter Nemechek is running double duty with the Cup Series and runs his first Truck Series race since Atlanta, again driving his father’s #8 Ford with Fire Alarm Services, Inc. as sponsor. Nemechek’s most recent Truck Series start at Michigan came in 2018, when he won the pole and finished third.

RETURNING: #14-Hutchens Motorsports
Trey Hutchens returns in his 2019 Chevrolet, looking to make his second start of the season and first since Kentucky, where a crash left him 36th in the field of 40. It was in this race last year that Hutchens matched his career-best 16th-place finish earned in his series debut at Iowa in 2017.

RETURNING (DNQ): #17-DGR-Crosley
David Ragan did not make the cut after his DGR-Crosley truck was entered with the expectation of a short field, as was the case in Kansas. Unfortunately, Ragan proved to be the 41st entry, and his Select Blinds-sponsored machine will not run this week.

It was in January that news broke David Gravel would make his Truck Series debut at Eldora, starting a five-race schedule. With the Eldora race scrubbed for 2020, Gravel will instead make his debut at Michigan, taking Chase Purdy’s place in the #24 Chevrolet. is the listed sponsor.

MISSING: #28-FDNY Racing
Bryan Dauzat and the Jim Rosenblum team are not among the entrants this week following their tangle with Jordan Anderson in the previous round at Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
The only driver to attempt both the Truck Series race at Michigan and the XFINITY Series race at Road America is military veteran Jesse Iwuji. Iwuji’s double-header begins on the oval, where he returns to the Reaume Brothers team for the first time since Pocono. Then as now, he drives the #33 Toyota, and this time takes the place of Kevin Donahue.

DRIVER CHANGE: #40-Niece Motorsports
Ryan Truex and his Marquis Hot Tubs sponsorship return to the Truck Series for just the fourth time in 2020 and the first time since Texas. He takes the place of Travis Pastrana, who ran 22nd in his series return at Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Jeb Burton will also go Truck Series racing this Friday, making just his second start of the year and first since Atlanta. He takes the place of Natalie Decker, 35th at Kansas, and brings sponsorship from 12 Hours Auctions.

DRIVER SWAP: #49-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli brings back his second truck, the #83, and will run that truck this weekend. He moves over from the #49, which goes back to Tim Viens this week. Springrates Automotive Suspension Parts is the listed sponsor for Viens, whose 2017 Chevrolet is the oldest truck entered. Ciccarelli’s Chevrolet is listed as from 2018.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Chandler Smith makes his second Truck Series start of the season and first since Kentucky, where he ran 22nd after starting 10th. He takes the place of Brandon Jones, who ran 8th in Kansas. JBL is again the sponsor for the lead KBM truck.

RETURNING: #55-Long Motorsports
After a one-off start for the Reaume Brothers at Kansas, where he ran a season-best 25th, Dawson Cram returns to Boyd Long’s team, which last took the green flag in Kentucky. Cram will be sponsored by American Mask Company.

RETURNING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
For the third time this year and first time since Kentucky, Parker Kligerman will run in the Truck Series, again driving Charlie Henderson’s #75 Food Country USA Chevrolet. This will be Kligerman’s third series start at Michigan and first since 2012, when he ran a strong 4th for the now-shuttered Red Horse Racing.

MISSING: #97-Diversified Motorsports Enterprises
Robby Lyons is not entered along with the Logan Puckett team after the pair finished 21st in Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
Josh Reaume resumes driving duties in the #00, taking the place of Ryan Huff, who took over the truck in the second Kansas double-header following Dawson Cram’s run in the first round. Colonial Countertops is the listed sponsor.


Saturday, August 8, 2020 (12:00 P.M. Eastern)
XFINITY Race 18 of 33
Henry 180 at Road America
2019 Last-Place Finisher: J.J. Yeley

There are 37 drivers entered for 40 spots at Road America, the third-straight race with that many starters. The series has still yet to host a 40-car field since NASCAR’s temporary field increase in May.

DRIVER CHANGE: #0-JD Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #15-JD Motorsports
Johnny Davis brings back a part of his lineup from the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit as Mike Wallace will once again drive the #0 Chevrolet, this time sponsored by Unkers Therapeutic in addition to Indy sponsor Market Scan. This will once more move Jeffrey Earnhardt back to the #15 with which he finished last at Indy, taking the place of Ryan Vargas, who isn’t entered after a 25th in Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #6-JD Motorsports
Also joining the JD Motorsports contingent is Jade Buford, who excelled with a 14th-place finish on the Indy road course in his series debut with SS-Green Light Racing. This time, he takes the place of B.J. McLeod, who isn’t entered after a 31st in Kansas, and brings the same sponsorship from Big Machine Hand Sanitizer.

DRIVER CHANGE: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #61-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Jesse Iwuji’s double-header continues in Road America, where he takes the place of Chad Finchum in the #13 Toyota. This moves Finchum to the #66 in place of Stephen Liecht, and moves Liecht to the #61 in place of Timmy Hill, who isn’t entered as he focuses on both driving and team ownership at Michigan. This will be Iwuji’s first XFINITY Series start.

RETURNING: #16-Kaulig Racing
A.J. Allmendinger once again has a fast Matthew Kaulig entry on the road course with returning sponsorship from Ellsworth Advisors. Allmendinger has not finished worse than 10th in all five of his XFINITY starts this year, capped by his victory in Atlanta.

MISSING: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
Noticeably absent from the entry list is the Sam Hunt effort, which earned a strong 12th-place finish at the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit with Brandon Gdovic behind the wheel. Colin Garrett ran the car in the most recent round at Kansas, taking an equally respectable 16th.

Fresh off posting some uncovered tapes of his father Dan Pardus’ Goody’s Dash Series season in 1995, Preston Pardus rejoins the Mario Gosselin effort for the first time since his first career top-ten finish, a 10th on the Indy road course. Chinchor Electric and Danus Controls are again his sponsors.  

NEW SPONSOR: #44-Martins Motorsports
Tommy Joe Martins’ #44 has a fresh new look this week as the pastel-hued Chevrolet welcomes new backing from Skyview Partners. After a difficult season, Martins enters Road America off back-to-back top-twenty finishes: a 15th in Texas and 18th in Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Road course racing means Scott Heckert is back as well, taking the place of Vinnie Miller in B.J. McLeod’s #78 JW Transport Toyota. All but two of Heckert’s nine XFINITY starts have come on road courses, most recently at Mid-Ohio just last summer. His best series finish was a 13th at Watkins Glen.

As of Tuesday, the DGM team is in the process of appealing NASCAR's 75 driver and owner point penalty and $50,000 fine for an alleged violation of testing policy on the Daytona infield road course. The driver point penalty was for Alex Labbe, who will again run the #90 this week.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Taking the controls of the third McLeod entry is Josh Bilicki, who brings with him sponsorship from Ariens on the #99 Toyota. This will be only the fourth XFINITY start of the season for Bilicki, his first since running 23rd at the Indy road course. He takes the place of Jairo Avila, Jr., who ran 32nd in Kansas. 

DRIVER CHANGE: #02-Our Motorsports
Andy Lally will certainly be one to watch as he runs Chris Our’s #02 Chevrolet, and brings with him new sponsorship from Cape Cod Aggregates Corporation. Our did not make an XFINITY Series start last year, and most recently took the green in the first Charlotte “Roval” race in 2018, where he ran 37th for Mario Gosselin. He has finished no worse than 15th at Road America with a best of 7th for SS-Green Light Racing back in 2014. He takes the place of Brett Moffitt, who suffered an oil leak in Kansas and finished 34th. Lally also revealed on Wednesday that he will run a "throwback" paint scheme to Mark Martin's Apache Stove car from his early Cup days, a car which also ran the #02.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Making his first-ever NASCAR start is open-wheel newcomer R.C. Enerson, who most recently finished 17th in a one-off IndyCar Series start at Mid-Ohio driving for Carlin Racing. The Lucas Oil School of Racing, which backed his Mid-Ohio effort, will again sponsor his ride on Saturday, joined by Peninsula Pipeline. He drives for Bobby Dotter, the same team which Jade Buford ran so strong in his own NASCAR debut last month.


Saturday, August 8, 2020 (4:00 P.M. Eastern)
CUP Race 21 of 36
FireKeepers Casino 312 at Michigan
2019 Last-Place Finisher (June, 400 miles): Kyle Weatherman

There are 39 drivers entered for the first of two 312-mile Cup races at Michigan this weekend (156 laps instead of 200), up one entry from the previous round in New Hampshire.

RETURNING: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #51-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #53-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP / NUMBER CHANGE: #74-Spire Motorsports
Tommy Baldwin’s team returns after skipping the race in Loudon, and most of the Rick Ware Racing lineup has changed as a result. Joey Gase moves from his typical #51 to drive the #7 with Ziegler Auto as sponsor. James Davison takes Gase’s place in the #51, moving from the #53. Garrett Smithley moves from Spire’s #77 to Davison’s place in the #53. Driving the #77 this week is a returning Reed Sorenson. On Tuesday, the Spire team posted a curious update where the car was renumbered #74 with an all-new paint scheme by Harris Lue. The car will carry branding from “Fake Steak,” apparently in conjunction with an upcoming Netflix series starring comedian Kevin James. J.J. Yeley will remain in the Ware #27.

TEAM UPDATE: #95-Leavine Family Racing
On Tuesday, just days after Christopher Bell ran strong for the first half of the Loudon race, Leavine Family Racing announced they would be shutting down at the end of the year, having sold their shop and charter to a yet-undisclosed buyer. The cars will return to Joe Gibbs Racing at season’s end. The team, formerly known as Leavine Fenton Racing, has been active in the Cup Series since 2011. Matt DiBenedetto’s runner-up at Bristol last August remains the team’s best finish.

Sunday, August 9, 2020
CUP Race 22 of 36
Consumers Energy 312 at Michigan
2019 Last-Place Finisher (August, 400 miles): Spencer Boyd

The same 39 teams will contest Sunday’s second round of the Michigan double-header. While there is just one driver change, the following teams will change primary sponsors on Sunday: #3-Austin Dillon (Dow Mobility Science – Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Off Road), #6-Ryan Newman (Castrol – Coca-Cola), #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing (Ziegler Auto – Wisconsin Lighting Lab), #9-Chase Elliott (NAPA Auto Parts – Mountain Dew), and #32-Corey LaJoie (Schluter Systems – Trump 2020).

DRIVER CHANGE: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
On Wednesday came news that Josh Bilicki will run both Saturday's XFINITY race, then take the place of Joey Gase in Sunday's Cup event. There will also be a sponsor change as the Wisconsin Lighting Lab will sponsor Bilicki's run Sunday.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (August 6, 1978): James Hylton picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in the Talladega 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his #12 Al Rudd Auto Parts Buick fell out with transmission woes after just 1 lap. Hylton, who was most often driving his own #48, was making his lone start for team owner Al Rudd, father of eventual series veteran Ricky Rudd. Ricky was Hylton’s teammate that day in the #22 sponsored by 1st National City Travelers Checks. Unfortunately, Ricky didn’t run much further, losing the engine on his Chevrolet after 22 laps and finishing just two spots ahead of Hylton. This race marked Hylton’s first last-place finish in nearly seven years, dating back to May 21, 1971. He would not finish last in another Cup race until September 3, 1989.

1 comment:

Kuku h said...

11 for Trucks forced to WD due to Covid.