Friday, October 16, 2020

PREVIEW: Kansas sees several drivers return to action after absences

PHOTO: @Utechcorpsoft

Saturday, October 17, 2020 (4:00 P.M. Eastern)
TRUCKS Race 20 of 23
Round of 8: Race 1 of 3 
Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Inaugural Race

After taking the Roval weekend off, the Truck Series returns to action as part of a Saturday double-header. There are 36 drivers entered for 40 spots, down two entries from Talladega.

MISSING: #8-NEMCO Motorsports
Joe Nemechek is not entered after he was collected in the early wreck at Talladega, finishing 37th.

MISSING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
Codie Rohrbaugh is not entered after second-straight strong superspeedway finish, this time taking 5th at Talladega.

Hailie Deegan will make her first start in NASCAR’s top three series, taking the place of Korbin Forrister in the same David Gilliland-owned team that fields her ARCA Menards Series entry. Deegan arrives currently 3rd in the ARCA standings heading into today’s season finale.

While Chase Purdy had been slated to run this truck again, news broke on October 9 that David Gravel will instead run the Chevrolet, bearing the same Hendrick-styled number font made famous by Jeff Gordon. Gravel finished 10th in his series debut earlier this year at Michigan.

MISSING: #28-FDNY Racing
Bryan Dauzat is not entered after team ran both Kansas double-headers in the summer, then finished a season-best 21st last week in Talladega.

DRIVER SWAP: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #00-Reaume Brothers Racing
Josh Bilicki returns to the Truck Series for only the fourth time this year and first time since Bristol, where he finished 26th. He’ll drive the #33, moving team owner Josh Reaume to the #00 in place of Jason White, who isn’t entered after a 25th-place performance in Talladega. Reaume will himself also kick off a double-header Saturday with the XFINITY Series (see below).

DRIVER CHANGE: #40-Niece Motorsports
Ryan Truex returns to the Truck Series for the sixth time in 2020 and first time since the fall race in Las Vegas. He takes the place of Bayley Currey, who finished 15th at Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Colin Garrett, who we’ve seen compete five times this year for Sam Hunt Racing’s XFINITY Series team, makes just his second Truck Series start and first since a 21st-place finish last year at Las Vegas’ fall race. He takes the place of Kaz Grala, who ran a strong 9th in Talladega.

SPONSOR UPDATE: #45-Niece Motorsports
After nearly winning Talladega, Trevor Bayne will run the rest of the 2020 season in the Niece #45. To mark this occasion, Bayne will be sponsored by Mahalo Coffee Roasters, his own coffee shop founded during his brief hiatus from NASCAR.

DRIVER SWAP: #49-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli will field both of his trucks after the #83 was withdrawn last week in Talladega. Ciccarelli will himself run the #83, moving Tim Viens to the flagship #49.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Halmar-Friesen Racing
Welcome back 11-time Truck Series race winner Timothy Peters, who on Saturday will make his first series start since the 2019 race at Talladega. The opportunity arose when a scheduling conflict meant Stewart Friesen couldn’t compete in Saturday’s race, which was rescheduled from Friday. Christopher Bell had originally been Friesen’s replacement, but that changed because NASCAR deemed him ineligible as a backup driver.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Tyler Hill will run a pink version of the Hill Motorsports entry in what will be his 10th start of the year and first since Las Vegas. He takes the place of Gus Dean, who crashed out at Talladega with a 30th-place finish.

RETURNING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Parker Kligerman returns to action for the first time since his season-best 4th-place run under the lights at Bristol.

MISSING: #97-Diversified Motorsports Enterprises
Robby Lyons is not entered after he finished 26th in DME’s return to the series at Talladega.


Saturday, October 17, 2020 (7:00 P.M. Eastern)
XFINITY Race 30 of 33
Round of 8: Race 1 of 3
Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Ryan Truex

There are 36 drivers entered for 40 spots in this week’s XFINITY race, down two entries from the “Roval.”

DRIVER SWAP: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #66-Motorsports Business Management
After Timmy Hill finished 19th on the “Roval” with teammate Stephen Leicht in 24th, the two drivers have swapped rides with Hill in the #13 and Leicht in the #66.

MISSING: #16-Kaulig Racing
A.J. Allmendinger and the third Kaulig entry are not entered after his thrilling win in the rainy “Roval” race.

MISSING: #17-Rick Ware Racing
After back-to-back weeks of career-best finishes in NASCAR’s top two divisions, including an impressive 7th in the rain last Saturday, Cody Ware will not run this weekend’s XFINITY race, and neither will RWR’s XFINITY team.

DRIVER CHANGE: #21-Richard Childress Racing
Anthony Alfredo is back behind the wheel of RCR’s #21 with Andy’s Frozen Custard as sponsor. He takes over for Kaz Grala, who ran strong early at the “Roval” before a wreck and suspension issues left him 31st.

DRIVER CHANGE: #47-Mike Harmon Racing
In addition to running his own entry in the Truck Series race, Josh Reaume will make his first XFINITY start since July 13, 2018 at Kentucky, making his first-ever start for Mike Harmon. Taking the place of Kyle Weatherman, who wrecked out early at the “Roval,” he’ll carry sponsorship from GPS Tab.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
After a strong performance during the opening stages of last week’s “Roval” race, Gray Gaulding is back out of the #74, bringing back Bayley Currey for the first time since his 25th-place showing in the fall race at Las Vegas. Currey ran 23rd in the most recent Kasnas race earlier this year.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Vinnie Miller returns after missing the “Roval” race, taking the place of 13th-place Josh Bilicki in the #78 Koolbox Toyota.

Last week, Preston Pardus made his way into the Top 10 at the “Roval” before a tangle with Justin Haley left him just 32nd at the finish. Dexter Bean takes Pardus’ place this week with Sleep Well and Alpha Prime as sponsors. It’s Bean’s first start since the fall race at Las Vegas, where he ran 29th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Jesse Iwuji goes from pit reporter to driver again, in for C.J. McLaughlin, who ran 29th on the “Roval.” The eRacing Association will be Iwuji’s sponsor for his first XFINITY start since his 26th-place finish in his series debut at Road America earlier this summer.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Coming off back-to-back top-ten finishes at two radically different tracks, the second Bobby Dotter entry will see David Starr take the place of Jade Buford with American Rebel Safes as sponsor. This will be Starr’s first XFINITY start since his 34th-place run at Darlington.


Sunday, October 18, 2020
CUP Race 33 of 36
Round of 8: Race 1 of 3
Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Ryan Newman

There are 40 drivers entered for as many spots in Sunday’s race, up two entries from the “Roval.” This marks only the 17th “full” field in 2020, and the first since Bristol, four races ago.

RETURNING: #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
One day after running the Truck Series race, Josh Bilicki and his Insurance King sponsorship move from XFINITY back to the Cup Series, and the TBR team returns to Cup action for the first time since the Bristol night race. In so doing, Bilicki moves from the #51, which wrecked on the final lap last week, and Joey Gase returns to drive that car.

DRIVER SWAP: #27-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
J.J. Yeley moves from the #77 to the #27, replacing Gray Gaulding, who isn’t entered this week. Stepping into the Spire entry is a returning Reed Sorenson, who also makes it back to Cup for the first time since Bristol. Marwin Sports sponsors Sorenson this week.

RETURNING: #49-Motorsports Business Management
A late addition to the Cup field this week is MBM’s second entry, which returns for the first time since their last-place finish at Las Vegas three weeks ago. Once again, Chad Finchum will drive with as sponsor.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (October 16, 1955): Jimmy Pardue picked up the first last-place finish of his NASCAR Cup Series career when his #24 1955 Chevrolet fell out with hub failure after 10 of 200 laps at Martinsville. This was also the first last-place finish for the #24 in Cup Series history.

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