Thursday, June 24, 2021

PREVIEW: Several Truck Series teams aren't in Pocono while XFINITY sees many returning drivers

PHOTO: @Team_SHR26

Saturday, June 26, 2021 (12:00 P.M. Eastern)
TRUCKS Race 13 of 22
CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Matt Crafton

Following a single withdrawal of Henderson Motorsports’ #75 (see below), there are 39 drivers entered for 40 spots. The return of metric qualifying means all of them will start Saturday’s race.

DRIVER CHANGE: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
Howie DiSavino III is back in Jordan Anderson’s truck for the first time since Texas, replacing Keith McGee, who failed to qualify at Nashville. Kees Vacations and Bud’s are the listed sponsors.

RETURNING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
Norm Benning returns to action at his home track, and is looking forward to it. In eleven previous Pocono starts, he’s finished under power in every one of them with a best run of 20th in 2012 and 2014, completing all but 24 of the combined 645 laps.

RETURNING: #9-CR7 Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #98-ThorSport Racing
Christian Eckes is back in ThorSport’s #98, moving Grant Enfinger back to the returning Codie Rohrbaugh entry. Rohrbaugh’s Grant County Mulch is the listed backer for the #9 Chevrolet.

RETURNING: #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
Jennifer Jo Cobb will also attempt the Pocono race after a one-week hiatus, hers coming after a liftgate failure on her hauler prevented her from practicing at Nashville. Cobb’s team withdrew the #10, and now is locked-in to Saturday’s field.

MISSING: #11-Spencer Davis Racing
Among the teams not making the trip north is Spencer Davis’ effort, which ran 25th last week in Nashville. Davis finished 18th at Pocono last year, his first series start at the track.

MISSING: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
Trey Hutchens is likewise not entered after his return to action in Nashville, where he ran 33rd, the second-to-last truck to finish under power.

MISSING: #27-Rackley-W.A.R.
The Rackley-W.A.R. effort will only field Josh Berry’s #25 this week, parking the new second entry that William Byron finished last with after engine trouble in Nashville.

Team owner Jim Rosenblum has been a fixture at Pocono, and will continue to be so this weekend as he brings Bryan Dauzat back to the “Tricky Triangle.” This will be only the second attempt of the season for Dauzat and Rosenblum, who previously qualified for the Daytona opener and finished 19th. This will be Dauzat’s fourth series start at Pocono, where his best finish of 22nd came in 2017.

MISSING: #32-Bret Holmes Racing
Bret Holmes is not entered this week after his Chevrolet failed to qualify in Nashville.

DRIVER CHANGE: #41-Cram Racing Enterprises
Todd Peck will finally get Holla Vodka some screen time this year after he failed to make the cut at both Daytona and Darlington. This time, instead of running his family’s #96 Chevrolet, Peck will run in place of Dawson Cram in the #41.

DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Niece Motorsports
Bayley Currey rejoins Al Niece’s team in place of Cup regular Ross Chastain, who ran 22nd at Nashville. This will be Currey’s fifth series start, his first since a 19th-place showing on the Charlotte oval. 

DRIVER CHANGE: #49-CMI Motorsports
J.J. Yeley came up just short of qualifying for Nashville, the fastest driver to miss the show. Team owner Ray Ciccarelli will take Yeley’s place this week, driving his #49 for the first time since his bottom-five finish at Texas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
One week after Ryan Preece’s victory in Nashville, he will again run David Gilliland’s #17, but this time will have to contend with Kyle Busch. Busch again takes the place of Drew Dollar, who ran 24th the night Preece took the checkers.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Tyler Hill once again trades places with brother Timmy in the #56, which will carry the Camping World colors once more. Tyler finished 19th his most recent time out in Texas.

MISSING: #68-Clay Greenfield Racing
Clay Greenfield’s Rackley Roofing entry is not entered after his DNQ in Nashville.

WITHDREW: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Parker Kligerman withdrew as one of the 40 initial entries, which means he would have started had the #75 team not pulled out by Tuesday.

MISSING: #04-Roper Racing
Cory Roper is not entered after his 31st-place run in Nashville, marking the first time the #04 will not start a Truck Series race in 2021.

CUP INVADERS: #17-Ryan Preece, #51-Kyle Busch

Saturday, June 26, 2021 (3:00 P.M. Eastern)
CUP Race 18 of 36
Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Quin Houff

There are 38 drivers entered for 40 spots, marking the fourth consecutive short field and the 14th in 18 races this season.

MISSING: #13-Motorsports Business Management
David Starr and the second MBM entry will not be in Pocono this week after they finished 34th with brake issues in Nashville.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
James Davison returns to the site of his Cup debut in place of Joey Gase, who rounded out a solid weekend for Rick Ware’s team with a 29th-place finish in Nashville. Go FMX is the listed sponsor for Davison, who returns to the series for the first time since Sonoma.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
Cody Ware returns from his IndyCar debut in Road America in place of J.J. Yeley, who took 27th in Nashville. This will mark Ware’s first Cup start at Pocono since 2017, when he finished last after an early vibration.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill finished 35th and 29th in the Pocono doubleheader last year, and this week takes the place of Chad Finchum, who ran 33rd with rear end trouble in Nashville. M&M Mechanical is the listed sponsor for Hill’s Toyota.

Sunday, June 27, 2021 (12:00 P.M. Eastern)
XFINITY Race 16 of 33
Pocono Green 225 at Pocono
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Brandon Jones

There are 41 drivers entered for 40 spots, meaning one team – MBM’s #13 – will fail to qualify under the metric.

DID NOT QUALIFY: #13-Motorsports Business Management
For the fourth-straight XFINITY Series race since Chad Finchum’s 15th-place finish in Charlotte, MBM’s #13 team is sent home, this time with Timmy Hill behind the wheel. Hill will still run on both days in MBM’s Cup car.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing / SS-Green Light Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Carson Ware made his first three XFINITY starts last year, most recently at this same Pocono track, where he finished a career-best 20th. He will make his first series start of the year on Sunday, taking the place of brother Cody Ware after a midweek driver change. Cody had been entered in place of Joe Graf, Jr., who was eliminated in a crash with Jade Buford at Nashville, leaving him 34th. Graf this week will return to the #07 in place of J.J. Yeley, who was running inside the Top 20 at Nashville before he spun on the final lap, putting him 22nd.

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #31-Jordan Anderson Racing
Josh Berry ran his final scheduled race for JR Motorsports in 2021 last week, taking 4th, but will still be in the show as he replaces Tyler Reddick in Jordan Anderson’s fleet #31 as he had in Mid-Ohio. Sam Mayer will make his XFINITY Series debut in Berry’s #8 with Tire Pros as sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #23-Our Motorsports
Blaine Perkins will make his fourth XFINITY start of the year and first since Martinsville, looking to improve on his 24th-place run in his series debut at Phoenix. He takes the place of Natalie Decker, who ran 26th in Nashville, and will again be sponsored by Raceline.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
Still another driver returning to the series after an extended absence is Santino Ferrucci, who in the most recent three of his first four starts finished 13th at Las Vegas, 15th in Phoenix, and 15th again in Atlanta. As before, Ferrucci will drive Sam Hunt’s #26 Toyota Supra, this time with Moery and Mantawny Still Works as sponsors. He takes the place of Will Rodgers, whose own series return yielded a 14th-place finish in Nashville.

MISSING: #42-Motorsports Business Management
Chad Finchum will not run this week’s XFINITY race as Carl Long has not entered the #42 that failed to qualify last week. The team has since reported they will enter the #42 at Road America.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
Joey Gase will drive in Gray Gaulding’s place at Pocono as Gaulding offered to step out if another driver brought money. “Gray is still our driver,” says the Means team. Gase’s only other XFINITY start this year came at Talladega, when he drove the first of two Davey Allison tribute cars to a 36th-place finish after early issues.

DRIVER CHANGE: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
Kyle Busch will run the Truck Series, but not XFINITY, where he scored his 100th win last week in Nashvile. Ty Gibbs will make his eighth series start and seek his third win, back in the #54 for the first time since his 3rd-place showing in Mid-Ohio.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Announced after this article was posted, Jesse Iwuji will take the place of Bayley Currey in the #74 Chevrolet for Mike Harmon Racing. Iwuji made his first four XFINITY starts last year with a best finish of 23rd in Texas. This will be Iwuji's first start of the year.

The 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion Loris Hezemans will make his third XFINITY Series start and first since Phoenix earlier this year. After running for both MBM and B.J. McLeod Motorsports, Hezemans will this time run for Mario Gosselin in the #90. He takes the place of Dillon Bassett, who failed to qualify in Nashville.

DRIVER CHANGE: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Pocono will be Mason Massey’s third series start of the season and first since Talladega, where he ran a season-best 29th. He takes the place of Stefan Parsons, who finished last at Nashville after a hard crash in the tri-oval.


Sunday, June 27, 2021 (3:30 P.M. Eastern)
CUP Race 19 of 36
Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 at Pocono
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Michael McDowell

As of this writing, the same 38 drivers and teams from Saturday’s first Cup race will be entered on Sunday. This means there will have been 15 short fields in the season’s first 19 races. Just like last year, the difference is the race’s length, which increases from 325 miles (130 laps) on Saturday to 350 miles (140 laps) on Sunday.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (June 24, 2005): Alex Yontz of Walnut Cove, North Carolina picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 at the Milwaukee Mile when his #61 Bradco Supply Chevrolet lost the engine after 123 laps. This was the second of Yontz’ four series starts, all of them that season. His last start came at the Nashville Superspeedway, site of last week’s events, where he ran a career-best 28th.

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