Friday, September 25, 2020

PREVIEW: Cup and Truck Series races see part-time teams return to action in Las Vegas

IMAGE: @SMD_Racing

Friday, September 25, 2020
TRUCKS Race 18 of 23
Round of 10: Race 2 of 3 
World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: John Hunter Nemechek

There are 36 drivers entered for 38 spots, the same number that took the green last week in Bristol.

MISSING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
Not among the starters this week is Norm Benning, whose non-entry into Las Vegas’ spring race marked the only other time his #6 wasn’t on the list. Benning finished 34th in Bristol.

MISSING: #8-NEMCO Motorsports
Also not entered is NEMCO Motorsports, which ran 19th in their series return at Bristol with Camden Murphy behind the wheel. It’s unfortunate he’s not entered in Friday’s race as the only time he finished better than last week was in this same Las Vegas race three years ago, when he ran 17th for D.J. Copp.

MISSING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
Codie Rohrbaugh will not make the trip west after late-race brake issues left him 31st. This marks the first time the CR7 team hasn’t entered a race since they skipped both Dover and Gateway last month.

RETURNING: #11-Spencer Davis Motorsports
Spencer Davis will make his first series start since Dover, where he ran 16th, and looks to improve on his season-best 12th in the spring race at Vegas earlier this year.

Last Thursday’s first-time winner Sam Mayer will not have a chance to go back-to-back this week as Chase Purdy will again drive the GMS #24 Chevrolet with Bama Buggies as sponsor. Purdy makes his first series start since the double-header at Kansas, where he ran 15th and 10th, the latter his season-best finish of four starts.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
Jesse Iwuji honors the life of Chadwick Boseman with a “Wakanda Forever” logo on the rear panel of Josh Reaume’s #33 Colonial Countertops Toyota. This will be Iwuji’s fourth start of the year and first since Michigan, where he ran a season-best 22nd. Iwuji takes the place of Reaume himself, who moves to the #00 in place of Josh Bilicki, who isn’t entered in Friday’s race.

DRIVER CHANGE: #40-Niece Motorsports
Ryan Truex will also make his first Truck Series start since Michigan, where he ran 19th, and again will campaign Al Niece’s #40 Chevrolet. He takes the place of Carson Hocevar, who ran 17th at Bristol, and will again carry sponsorship from Marquis.

DRIVER CHANGE: #41-Cram Racing Enterprises
Dawson Cram returns to his own #41 entry for the first time since Darlington, taking the place of Cody Erickson, who ran 30th last week in Bristol. This will mark Cram’s first-ever Truck Series start in Las Vegas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #42-Niece Motorsports
In addition to Ryan Truex, Al Niece’s two other trucks will be piloted by drivers from other racing disciplines. IndyCar competitor Conor Daly will make his first-ever Truck Series start when the green flag drops on Friday, taking the place of Ross Chastain in the #42 iRacing Chevrolet. This will be Daly’s second-ever NASCAR start, and first since his XFINITY debut at Road America, where he ran 31st.

DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Niece Motorsports
Driving the #45 will be a returning Travis Pastrana, whose three of his previous four Truck Series starts have all come at the Las Vegas track, starting with a career-best 15th in 2012. This will be Pastrana’s first start since the second round of the Kansas double-header this past summer, where he ran 22nd in Niece’s #40. Like Conor Daly, Pastrana will be sponsored by iRacing.

RETURNING: #49-CMI Motorsports
RETURNING: #83-CMI Motorsports
One week after both teams withdrew from the Bristol night race, Ray Ciccarelli will again pilot his #49 Chevrolet alongside Tim Viens in the #83.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
It’s once again Tyler Hill’s turn in the #56 Chevrolet, which has enjoyed a strong month so far at both Darlington and Richmond. Tyler makes his first start since Gateway, where he ran 21st, and will make his first series start at Las Vegas.

MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Parker Kligerman is not entered this week after he gave Charlie Henderson’s new-look #75 a strong 4th-place finish in Bristol.


Saturday, September 26, 2020
XFINITY Race 27 of 33
Round of 12: Race 1 of 3
Alsco 300 at Las Vegas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Ryan Sieg

There are 36 drivers entered for 40 spots, the same number as last week.

SPONSOR UPDATE: #0-JD Motorsports
Jeffrey Earnhardt welcomes new backing from Forever Lawn on his #0 Chevrolet this week, swapping out the red-and-white Johnny Davis scheme for a new black-and-green look.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
Daniel Hemric is back behind the wheel of the #8 this week, taking the place of Jeb Burton, who took the checkered flag in 9th at Bristol. South Point Hotel & Casino is the listed sponsor. Hemric looks to turn around a difficult summer stretch where he’s finished no better than 24th in four of his last five starts, including a last-place finish his most recent time out at Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #61-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Austin Hill makes his fifth start of 2020 and first since Darlington, where he ran a season-best 9th. Carrying sponsorship from Weins Canada, Hill will also make his first XFINITY start at Las Vegas. This moves Chad Finchum from the #61 to the #66, taking the place of Stephen Leicht, who isn’t entered this week following a last-place run in Bristol.

SPONSOR UPDATE: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
For the second time in as many weeks, Stefan Parsons has announced a new sponsorship deal for McLeod’s #78 Toyota. This time, Sokal Digital will sponsor Saturday’s effort.

SPONSOR UPDATE: #02-Our Motorsports
After running unsponsored last week in Bristol, the Chris Our team has sponsorship from Cape Cod Ready Mix for driver Brett Moffitt.


Sunday, September 27, 2020
CUP Race 30 of 36
Round of 12: Race 1 of 3
South Point 400 at Las Vegas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Kurt Busch

There are 39 drivers entered for 40 spots, down one entry from last week.

MISSING: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Tommy Baldwin has elected to not enter the #7 Chevrolet following a 39th-place finish last Saturday with a faulty fuel pump. Josh Bilicki, who drove the car that night, will run on Sunday in the Rick Ware #53, taking the place of James Davison, who’s not entered.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #77-Spire Motorsports
After a bizarre week where Brennan Poole was swapped out of the #15 at the last minute, putting J.J. Yeley in his car for the first time this year, Poole is again in the #15 with Goettl as sponsor. Yeley is also in the race this week, replacing Reed Sorenson in the #77. Sorenson isn’t entered.

RETURNING: #49-Motorsports Business Management
For the first time since the Daytona 500, Carl Long will field two Cup cars. He brings back the #49, which Chad Finchum attempted to qualify in February, only this time with as sponsor on the same Phil Parsons “throwback” scheme Timmy Hill ran at Darlington. This will be only the second Cup start of Finchum’s career and first since April 16, 2018, when he finished 33rd for MBM at Bristol.

MISSING: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Not making the trip along with the TBR #7 is B.J. McLeod’s Cup effort, whose cars are also leased from Rick Ware Racing. Garrett Smithley is likewise not in Sunday’s field following a 32nd-place showing last Saturday.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (September 25, 1995): World of Outlaws star Sammy Swindell picked up the second last-place finish of his Truck Series career in the Goody’s 150 at Martinsville when the rear end failed on his #38 Channellock Tools Ford after 13 laps, dropping out just one lap before Darrell Waltrip wrecked on the frontstretch, leaving him next-to-last. This occurred during Swindell’s only season in the Truck Series, where he scored a season-best 4th at Bristol and finished 12th in the standings.

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