Friday, June 18, 2021

PREVIEW: Triple-duty for Yeley and double-duty for Finchum among the stories in NASCAR's return to Nashville

PHOTO: @TeamNurtecODT

Friday, June 18, 2021 
TRUCKS Race 12 of 22
Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway
2011 Last-Place Finisher (July): Mike Garvey

There are 43 drivers entered – up seven entries from last week in Texas – and each will contest for a place in Friday’s 36-truck field. Both the Trucks and XFINITY will compete on the 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval for the first time since 2011.

DRIVER SWAP: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Josh Reaume is back behind the wheel of one of his trucks for only the second time this year and first since Richmond, when he ran 33rd in the #34. This time around, he drives the flagship #33 in place of Keith McGee, who moves back to Jordan Anderson’s entry in place of Howie DiSavino III, who isn’t entered. DiSavino finished 23rd with McGee in 29th. Military Finance is the listed sponsor for McGee’s #3.

MISSING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
As Norm Benning reported prior to Texas, where he finished 30th, he has not entered the Nashville event due to the prevalence of Cup drivers and teams. He is very much looking forward to returning in the following two rounds at Pocono and Knoxville. Incidentally, Benning has made six Truck Series starts on the Nashville Superspeedway with a best finish of 22nd in 2009 and 2010.

RETURNING: #11-Spencer Davis Racing
Spencer Davis is back in action at Nashville, driving the #11 he last campaigned at Darlington, where he was collected in the night’s biggest crash, finishing 29th.

RETURNING: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
Trey Hutchens returns for first time since his only remaining race-ready truck was destroyed in Charlotte. The incident appears to have attracted the attention of sponsors as Rich Mar and Quality Roof Seamer are the listed backers of his Chevrolet.

RETURNING: #17-David Gilliland Racing
After a week off as his #37 wasn’t entered in the All-Star Open, Ryan Preece will make the first Truck Series start of his career following 93 Cup starts and 59 in XFINITY. He will drive David Gilliland’s #17 Ford with Hunt Brothers Pizza on board, then turn his attention to Sunday’s Cup race.

After Chase Elliott fell just short of winning last week in Texas, Jack Wood will make his third career Truck Series stat in the #24 with Chevy Accessories as the listed sponsor. Wood was just 10 years old the last time the series ran at Nashville.

NEW TEAM: #27-Rackley-W.A.R.
One week after Josh Berry finished a strong 10th in the team’s flagship #25, the Rackley-W.A.R. effort will debut a new second truck and put Cup regular William Byron behind the wheel of the #27. Cruisin’ Sports will back Byron in addition to the Rackley Roofing brand.

DRIVER CHANGE: #30-On Point Motorsports
Brennan Poole is again out of the #30 this week after he ran 14th in his reunion with the On Point effort last week in Texas. That finish happened to be the team’s best all year, improving on the 17th-place showings Danny Bohn earned at both Daytona and Las Vegas. Bohn is again the driver this week with North American Motor Car as the sponsor.

RETURNING: #32-Bret Holmes Racing
Bret Holmes will attempt his fifth Truck start of 2021 and first since Charlotte, where a crash left him 36th out of a starting lineup of 38. Southern States Bank is again the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Should he qualify, Lawless Alan will make the first oval track start of his Truck Series career, following a 36th on the Daytona Road Course and a 23rd in COTA. Alan takes the place of Jesse Iwuji, who ran 28th in Texas, one spot ahead of his teammate.

DRIVER CHANGE: #49-CMI Motorsports
After a difficult weekend in Texas where Ray Ciccarelli fell out late with brake trouble, J.J. Yeley will take the controls of the #49 to kick off a triple-header weekend for the veteran from Arizona. If he qualifies, Yeley will start his 37th series race and first of the season. He last took the green in a Truck on August 21, 2020 at Dover, when he ran 26th for Josh Reaume. Most significantly, while Yeley has yet to make a Truck start at the Nashville Superspeedway, he has eight starts in XFINITY races there with a best finish of 4th in 2006.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorspors
Timmy Hill steps in for brother Tyler in the #56 with Mountain Fork Brewery as sponsor once again. Tyler finished 19th last week, and Timmy most recently ran 18th in Charlotte.

RETURNING: #66-ThorSport Racing
Also rejoining the series is ThorSport’s newest #66 team, which skipped Texas after solid runs with both Paul Menard and Ty Majeski. Majeski will again run the truck this week with his Charlotte sponsor SimCraft as sponsor.

RETURNING: #68-Clay Greenfield Racing
Along with Rackley Roofing’s title sponsor of the race and two-truck effort with Josh Berry and William Byron, the company will also adorn their first team, Clay Greenfield’s #68. Greenfield and his Toyota have not entered a race this season since the Daytona opener, and are looking for their first start since last fall at Martinsville, where they ran 21st.

RETURNING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
A simple jet-black paint scheme for sponsor Fast Checkout is the look for a returning Parker Kligerman and Charlie Henderson’s team, both on the entry list for the first time since COTA, where they ran 13th. Kligerman is another of the few entered this week with starts at the Nashville Speedway, and with Benning not entered is the only one to wheel a truck around here. He drove Brad Keselowski’s entries to a 10th and 5th in the track’s two Truck Series races in 2011.

CUP INVADERS: #17-Ryan Preece, #27-William Byron, #45-Ross Chastain

Saturday, June 19, 2021 
XFINITY Race 15 of 33
Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway
2011 Last-Place Finisher (July, 300 miles): Marc Davis

There are 42 drivers entered for 36 spots – the same number of entries last week in Texas – but this time, all will be able to attempt to qualify.

DRIVER SWAP: #4-JD Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #6-JD Motorsports
Ryan Vargas and Landon Cassill swap rides again, putting Cassill in the #4 and Vargas in the #6. Cassill finished 15th last week with Vargas back in 24th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing / SS-Green Light Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
J.J. Yeley’s XFINITY ride will be with SS-Green Light Racing in the #07, carrying Rick Ware Racing sponsor Smart Sanitizer. Yeley bumps Joe Graf, Jr. to the Ware-partnered #17 Chevrolet along with Graf’s G Coin sponsorship, taking the place of Garrett Smithley. Smithley will not run Saturday’s race and focus on Sunday’s main event with RWR.

DRIVER CHANGE: #23-Our Motorsports
The Reaume Brothers / Natalie Decker portion of the #23 team’s schedule returns this week as Decker takes the place of Tanner Berryhill with returning Red Street Records as sponsor. Berryhill finished next-to-last in Texas following a mid-race tangle with Gray Gaulding.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
West coast standout Will Rodgers is set to make his fifth career XFINITY Series start and first since the 2019 finale at Homestead, taking the place of Brandon Gdovic in Sam Hunt’s #26 Toyota. Good RX is the listed sponsor for the effort.

DRIVER CHANGE: #31-Jordan Anderson Racing
After a frustrating clutch issue prevented him from starting the Texas race until after the 50-lap mark, Jordan Anderson is back out of his #31 Chevrolet, putting in Cup regular Tyler Reddick. Reddick, who raced his way into an All-Star spot on Sunday, finished 8th with the team in COTA and 5th in Charlotte.

RETURNING: #42-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER CHANGE: #61-Motorsports Business Management / Hattori Racing Enterprises
As Carl Long indicated last Saturday in Texas, the Nashville race will see him bring back the #42 XFINITY team, which Long campaigned in 2019 following the shutdown of Chip Ganassi Racing’s XFINITY program. Chad Finchum will run the car with Toyota of Knoxville as sponsor. The entry returns as Shigeaki Hattori will put Austin Hill in MBM’s #61 for the first time in 2021, kicking off a six-race schedule for HRE in the series.

SPONSOR UPDATE: #68-Brandonbilt Motorsports
Brandon Brown’s “For Sale” sign at Texas – and the viral video that accompanied it – has paid off. Saturday will mark the first time motorsports media site Kickin’ The Tires will have their logo on a car.

MISSING: #77-Bassett Racing
Dillon Bassett takes the place of Ronnie Bassett, Jr. in the Mario Gosselin-owned #90, continuing the brothers’ relationship with the DGM team. For the first time in 2021, the Bassett’s own #77 isn’t entered at all – and for an event where they would have had an opportunity to qualify on time.

CUP INVADERS: #31-Tyler Reddick, #54-Kyle Busch

Sunday, June 20, 2021
CUP Race 17 of 36
Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Inaugural Event

There are 39 drivers entered for Sunday’s 40-car field – up two entries from the last points race in Sonoma – but the 13th short field in 17 races this season.

TEAM UPDATE: #13-Motorsports Business Management
As also indicated by Carl Long last week, the MBM team has again entered their second car, which returned to action in last week’s All-Star Open with David Starr. Starr is again the driver this week with Bob Menery as the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
Joey Gase is set to make his sixth Cup start of 2021 and first since Kansas, once again running the #15 for Rick Ware Racing. He takes the place of James Davison, who put a donut on the driver’s side door during the physical early laps of the All-Star Open.

RETURNING: #37-JTG-Daugherty Racing
On top of his Truck Series debut, Ryan Preece is back in the Cup Series field after they skipped the All-Star Race. Entenmann’s donuts is the listed sponsor for Preece’s “open” #37.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
J.J. Yeley will round out his triple-header weekend in the Nurtec ODT Chevrolet, taking the place of Cody Ware, who is entered in this weekend’s IndyCar Series event in Road America. This will be Yeley’s fifth Cup start of the season and first since Darlington, where he ran 29th in RWR’s #53. He has finished no worse than that all year and completed 98.5% of his attempted laps in 2021.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
While Timmy Hill will run his Truck Series effort this weekend, he will not reprise his role in MBM’s Cup Series #66 Toyota. That ride will go to Chad Finchum, who will pull double-duty with his run in MBM’s #42 on Saturday. Smithbilt Homes, a longtime backer of Finchum’s, will be back to sponsor Finchum’s fifth Cup start and first since October 28, 2020 at Texas.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (June 18, 1978): Making his 55th Cup start, Neil Bonnett picked up the first last-place finish of his career in the Gabriel 400 at Michigan when his #5 Armor All Dodge lost an engine after 24 laps. The #5 wouldn’t finish last in another Cup race until April 13, 1986 with Geoffrey Bodine at Darlington. Another Cup driver wouldn’t score his first last-place finish in the #5 until August 2, 2015 with Kasey Kahne.

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