Thursday, October 22, 2020

PREVIEW: Eye-catching paint schemes, James Buescher’s return to the Truck Series, and a LASTCAR Championship among the storylines brewing in Texas

PHOTO: @BLeavine

Saturday, October 24, 2020
XFINITY Race 31 of 33
Round of 8: Race 2 of 3
O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: J.J. Yeley

There are 36 drivers entered in Saturday’s XFINITY Series race, the same number as last week in Kansas.

DRIVER SWAP: #4-JD Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #15-JD Motorsports
Colby Howard returns to action for the first time since Talladega, taking the place of Jesse Little in the #15, and carrying sponsorship from the NASCAR Foundation. Little moves to the #4, taking the place of B.J. McLeod, who crosses teams this week and will instead run Mario Gosselin’s #90, replacing Dexter Bean, who’s not entered after his 16th-place run in Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
It’s Jeb Burton and State Water Heaters back on the #8 this week, returning to action for the tenth time in 2020 and first time since Bristol, where he ran 9th. He takes the place of Daniel Hemric, who once again came quite close to scoring his first win in NASCAR’s top three series, driving the John Andretti “throwback” scheme from Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #47-Mike Harmon Racing
Kyle Weatherman returns to his familiar #47 for the first time since his rough outing early at the Charlotte “Roval,” taking the place of Josh Reaume, who finished 33rd after brake issues at Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Chad Finchum takes the place of Stephen Leicht in MBM's #66 Toyota, but Leicht can still clinch the 2020 LASTCAR XFINITY Series title on Saturday if the following drivers do not finish last at Texas: Kyle Weatherman, Timmy Hill, Kody Vanderwal, Joe Graf, Jr., Brandon Jones, and Michael Annett. For any of these drivers to take the title, however, they'll also have to finish last at both Martinsville and Phoenix.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
C.J. McLaughlin also rejoins the XFINITY circuit for the first time since the “Roval,” and runs his third different car in as many starts this year. This time, he takes the place of Vinnie Miller, who isn’t entered after a 31st-place finish in Kansas, driving the #78 Toyota.


Sunday, October 25, 2020 (12:00 P.M. Eastern)
TRUCKS Race 21 of 23
Round of 8: Race 2 of 3 400 at Texas
2018 Last-Place Finisher: Bo LeMastus

There are 37 drivers entered in the first November Truck Series race since 2018, up one entry from last week in Kansas.

RETURNING: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
Trey Hutchens makes only his third start of the season and first since Michigan in August, when he ran a season-best 29th. Vytal Studios will sponsor his #14 Chevrolet.

After Hailie Deegan secured a full-time Truck Series ride for 2021 midway through her 16th-place finish in Kansas, Dylan Lupton will drive the #17 this week. This marks only the second Truck start of the year for Lupton, who was a late entry into the fall race at Las Vegas, finishing 14th.

After David Gravel was swapped into his ride at Kansas, only to be collected in an early crash, Chase Purdy will again take the wheel of the #24 Chevrolet. This will be Purdy’s seventh start of 2020 and first since Talladega, where he was the one collected in an early crash, yielding a 32nd-place finish.

DRIVER SWAP: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
Josh Bilicki and Josh Reaume will swap rides this week with Bilicki going to the #00 and Reaume to the #33.

RETURNING: #42-Niece Motorsports
Welcome back James Buescher, who makes his first Truck Series start since March 28, 2015 at Martinsville, where he ran 7th for Bob Newberry’s team. FHE Fraclock will sponsor the 2012 series champion as he also brings back Al Niece’s part-time #42 team for the first time since the fall race at Las Vegas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Also welcome back Natalie Decker, back in the race for the first time since she wasn’t medically cleared at Las Vegas. She takes the place of Colin Garrett, who ran 24th with the team in Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Halmar-Friesen Racing
Stewart Friesen is back in his ride after the scheduling conflict in Kansas put Timothy Peters in his truck at Kansas. Peters finished 7th in what was his first series start since October 12, 2019.

MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Parker Kligerman is not entered after a spirited rally at Kansas, where he was involved in the day’s early multi-truck pileup, only to take 15th at the finish.


Sunday, October 25, 2020 (3:30 P.M. Eastern)
CUP Race 34 of 36
Round of 8: Race 2 of 3
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

There are 40 drivers entered in Sunday’s main event for the Cup Series, the second-straight “full” field in 2020 and the 18th out of 34 races this season.

NEW SPONSOR: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
Josh Bilicki will pull double-duty with the Truck Series this weekend, and on the Cup side run a new camouflage paint scheme for sponsor Junction Fuels and the military initiative Camp Hope.

TEAM UPDATE: #14-Stewart-Haas Racing
Just days after Chase Briscoe locked himself into the Championship 4 at Phoenix, it was announced he will take over for a retiring Clint Bowyer in 2021. This was just one of the many 2021 “Silly Season” stories that played out during the week, including Kyle Larson’s reinstatement set for January 1 and Erik Jones moving to Richard Petty Motorsports.

PAINT SCHEME: #48-Hendrick Motorsports
Rising motorsports artist Noah “Lefty” Sweet has designed the look of Jimmie Johnson’s car this week as the seven-time champion nears the end of his final full-time season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Garrett Smithley returns to Cup after a brief hiatus since the night race at Bristol, replacing James Davison in the #53 with his frequent backer Victory Lane Quick Oil Change and Kendall Oil as sponsors. This is just one of four head-turning paint schemes for the Ware team this weekend, including new backing from FatBoy Ice Cream Sandwiches on J.J. Yeley’s #27.

PAINT SCHEME: #95-Leavine Family Racing
It was at this same Texas track on April 9, 2011 that the #95 team – then known as Leavine Fenton Racing – made its Cup Series debut with David Starr finishing 38th. After not running the team’s red-yellow-and-blue scheme from that year in this season’s “Throwback Weekend” at Darlington, the team will run the scheme this Sunday with Christopher Bell driving. It will be the LFR team’s final start at their home track, and two races before the team closes its doors.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (October 22, 1994): Tommy Houston picked up the 11th last-place finish of his NASCAR Busch Series career in the ’94 season finale, the AC-Delco 200 at Rockingham, when his #6 Red Devil Enamels Ford fell out with handling problems after just one lap. The finish tied Houston with Ed Berrier for the most last-place finishes in the series at that time.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love reading these random factoids about last place finishers. I know many people don't comment but just wanted to let you a Nascar fan since 1989 (I was 7) that I really enjoy your writing and dedication. Please keep it up.