Thursday, April 15, 2021

PREVIEW: This weekend sees the return of Ryan Reed, Josh Reaume, and the spring Richmond race

Noah "Lefty" Sweet's paint scheme for Ryan Reed's return to the Truck Series
PHOTO: @CMIMotorsports

Saturday, April 17, 2021
TRUCKS Race 6 of 22
Toyota Care 250 at Richmond
2020 Last-Place Finisher (September): Jennifer Jo Cobb

There are 41 drivers entered for 40 spots, down three entries from the last Truck event on the Bristol Dirt Track. With metric qualifying still in place, this has already bounced from the field Trey Hutchens (see below).

DRIVER CHANGE: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
Jordan Anderson continues to give up-and-coming drivers a shot at the Truck Series, this time by bringing 20-year-old Virginia native Howie DiSavino III. In just three ARCA Menards Series tarts, DiSavino has already scored two top-ten finishes on the short tracks of Elko and IRP and will now compete on his home track. Kees Vacations and Bud’s are the listed sponsors. He takes the place of J.R. Heffner, who was forced to withdraw from the Bristol Dirt Race after a practice crash.

DRIVER CHANGE: 11-Spencer Davis Racing
The number of Cup Series invaders drops from seven to just one this week, accounting for several driver changes at Richmond. Spencer Davis returns to his own #11 Inox Supreme Lubricants Toyota in place of 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace, who ran a strong 11th with the team on the dirt. This will be Davis’ second start of the season, his first since a 20th at Atlanta.

RETURNING / DID NOT QUALIFY: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
For the second time this season, Trey Hutchens is on the wrong side of the cut line along with his #14 Chevrolet. As at Atlanta, when he was set to run a Camping World paint scheme, he will not be racing on Saturday.

MISSING: #17-David Gilliland Racing
Following Kevin Harvick’s 15th-place finish in the Bristol Dirt Race, the Richmond event was to see 16-year-old ARCA competitor Taylor Gray make his series debut in the #17 Ford, competing against brother Tanner Gray in the DGR #15. That changed on April 8, when it was reported Taylor had suffered multiple fractures in a single-car traffic accident. The team withdrew over the off-week and was not shown on the preliminary entry list. Reports indicate Taylor is expected to make a full recovery.

RETURNING: #32-Bret Holmes Racing
Sam Mayer returns to the Truck Series for the first time since the Daytona Road Course, where he ran 37th for Henderson Motorsports. This time, he takes the place of defending ARCA Menards Series Champion Bret Holmes, who last fielded this #32 entry back at Atlanta, finishing 32nd. QPS Employment Group is the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Alaska’s Keith McGee has five West Series starts on his resume with a best finish of 10th at both Idaho’s Meridian Speedway and the All-American Speedway in Roseville, California. This Saturday, he will tackle the Truck Series for the first time, taking the place of Myatt Snider in Josh Reaume’s primary #33 Chevrolet.

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Speaking of Josh Reaume, the owner-driver will be back behind the wheel for the first time since his reinstatement by NASCAR, ending a suspension which came about over a social media post. Reaume will run his second entry, the #34, taking the place of Jake Griffin, who ran 29th on the dirt at Bristol.

MISSING: #39-DCC Racing
Not making the trip to Richmond is the Brad Means-owned entry that was to be driven by Ryan Newman at Bristol before rain cancelled the heat races.

DRIVER CHANGE: #41-Cram Racing Enterprises
Dawson Cram climbs aboard his #41 for the first time since his 31st-place run at Atlanta, taking the place of Cody Erickson, who ran 26th on the dirt. Good Sam joins the team as sponsor for a red-and-gold paint scheme, another backing from Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis along with CMI's #49 (see below).

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
Jett Noland rejoins the Truck Series for the first time since a late-race spin spoiled a solid run on the Daytona Road Course earlier this season. He takes the place of Kyle Larson, who was eliminated in a crash with Danny Bohn during the Bristol race. Hype Motorsports is the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #49-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli was originally listed to run his #49 this week, taking the place of Andrew Gordon, 31st in the CMI team's first start of 2021 back at the Bristol Dirt Track. But by midweek, Ryan Reed was the surprise addition, making his first Truck Series start since March 1, 2019, when he came home 9th for DGR-Crosley at Las Vegas. Noah "Lefty" Sweet is behind the team's Camping World paint scheme, following up his Jimmie Johnson car from last fall at Texas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Two weeks after Martin Truex, Jr. dominated the Bristol Dirt Race, Kyle Busch will also be running his own high-powered #51 Toyota.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Still another team owner returning to action at Richmond is co-owner Timmy Hill, replacing dirt ringer Mike Marlar in the #56 Chevrolet. Hair Club has returned as sponsor, this time debuting an even more distinctive paint scheme reminiscent of Corey LaJoie’s famous “Face Car.”

MISSING: #62-Halmar-Friesen Racing
Jessica Friesen didn’t have an opportunity to compete against her husband on the Bristol Dirt Track, but it has since been confirmed she will return to the #62 for the series’  upcoming Knoxville race.

MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Parker Kligerman is not entered along with Charlie Henderson’s effort after a 28th-place run on Bristol’s dirt track.

MISSING: #83-CMI Motorsports
Trevor Collins is not entered after he was unable to qualify Ray Ciccarelli’s second truck at Bristol when the heats were cancelled.

DRIVER CHANGE: #02-Young’s Motorsports
Kris Wright rejoins Randy Young’s team in the #02, previously run at Bristol by Team Trackhouse’s Cup regular Daniel Suarez. This will be Wright’s third start of the season and first since Las Vegas, where he ran 25th with the team.

DRIVER CHANGE: #04-Roper Racing
Cory Roper completes the owner-driver reunion trend at Richmond as he takes the place of Cup rookie Chase Briscoe in his own #04 Ford. The Texan looks to turn around a difficult season after his near-miss at a win at Daytona. Since that  night, he’s failed to finish twice and come home no better than 27th.

CUP INVADERS: #51-Kyle Busch

Sunday, April 18, 2021
CUP Race 9 of 36
Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Kyle Larson

There are 38 drivers entered for 40 spots in Sunday’s main event, one more entry than at Martinsville, but the seventh short field in nine races in 2021.

RETURNING: #33-Penske Racing
With the XFINITY Series off for the week, Austin Cindric is back in the Cup field for the first time since Atlanta, and for the first time since his breakout run the Daytona 500 will run the Verizon 5G paint scheme on his Ford.

DRIVER CHANGE: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Garrett Smithley returns for his fifth Cup start of 2021 and first since Phoenix, once again driving Rick Ware’s #53. He takes the place of J.J. Yeley, who survived the chaos at Martinsville to earn a 25th-place finish with the team. This will be Smithley’s first-ever Cup start at Richmond.

Saturday, April 24, 2021
XFINITY Race 8 of 33
Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega
2020 Last-Place Finisher (June): John Jackson

The XFINITY Series takes the week off this time and returns on the superspeedway in Talladega.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (April 15, 2012): Grant Enfinger, then making only his fifth Truck Series start, picked up his first last-place finish in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 at Rockingham when his unsponsored #60 Turn One Racing Chevrolet fielded by series veteran Stacy Compton lost the transmission after 12 laps. This was the very same Rockingham race that saw NASCAR return to the track for the first time since 2004, thanks to then-owner Andy Hillenburg.

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