Thursday, July 15, 2021

PREVIEW: Emerling, Bell, and Boyd return after one, two, and three-year absences from XFINITY Series in Loudon

Dawson Cram will make his XFINITY debut this Saturday.
PHOTO: @dawsoncram41

Saturday, July 17, 2021 
XFINITY Race 19 of 33
Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200 at Loudon
2019 Last-Place Finisher: Carl Long

There are 41 drivers entered for 40 spots in Saturday’s first XFINITY race at “The Magic Mile” in two years. Once again, MBM’s #13 team is on the wrong side of the cut line and will not start (see below).

DRIVER SWAP: #1-JR Motorsports
DRIVER CHANGE: #31-Jordan Anderson Racing
An MRI revealed Michael Annett suffered a stress fracture in his right femur, which occurred while exercising in the lead-up to last week’s races. After handing the wheel to Chris Windom in the Truck Series race at Knoxville, then Austin Dillon in XFINITY at Atlanta, Annett will not race this weekend, and hopes to return following the two-week break in Watkins Glen. Annett has since received a Playoff waiver. This Saturday, the omnipresent Josh Berry will take the wheel of Annett’s ride, moving over from the #31 he steered to a 23rd-place finish in Atlanta following a spin. Berry’s move allows Jordan Anderson to run his own car for the first time since Texas, where he and Bayley Currey both missed the start due to different mechanical issues.

DRIVER CHANGE / DID NOT QUALIFY: #13-Motorsports Business Management
Chad Finchum was swapped in for Timmy Hill in MBM’s #13 entry, but due to metric qualifying, Finchum will not make his first XFINITY start since his season-best 15th-place run in Charlotte.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing / SS-Green Light Racing
The RWR entry switches from Chevrolet to Ford this week, and J.J. Yeley will pilot the Nurtec ODT car in place of Carson Ware, who was 36th following a late-race crash in Atlanta. This will be Yeley’s seventh series start in 2021 and first since Nashville, where he ran 22nd in SS-Green Light’s own #07.

DRIVER CHANGE: #23-Our Motorsports
Whelen Modified Tour point leader Patrick Emerling reunites with Our Motorsports this week. When we last saw Emerling in the series, it was last summer at Bristol, where contact from Matt Mills sent his #02 Chevrolet into the outside wall. Emerling’s series debut resulted in a 29th-place finish. Since then, Chris Our’s team has improved by leaps and bounds. He runs Our’s second car, the #23, with sponsorship from Spirit Snorkeling and Captain Pip's. He takes the place of Ty Dillon, who ran an impressive 5th at Atlanta – one spot ahead of Brett Moffitt in the team’s primary #02.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
Santino Ferrucci’s streak of consecutive top-15 finishes ended in Atlanta, where he only managed 33rd in the #26 Toyota. This week, Brandon Gdovic returns for his fifth start of the season and first since Texas, running a new-look version of his paint scheme. Gdovic’s season-best finish remains his 8th-place run in this year’s opener in Daytona.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
For the second time since Pocono, Jimmy Means Racing has brought on another driver to take the place of full-timer Gray Gaulding. This time, it’s Spencer Boyd, who hasn’t started an XFINITY race since the end of his own full-time season with SS-Green Light Racing in 2018. Boyd brings with him sponsorship from Freedom Warranty.

DRIVER CHANGE: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
Last week in Atlanta, Kyle Busch ran the last XFINITY race of the season – and maybe for his career – taking a controversial 102nd series victory after contact with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Hemric. The car will still be driven by a Cup Series regular in Busch’s Cup teammate Christopher Bell. Like Spencer Boyd, Bell hasn’t run a XFINITY race since the end of his last full season in 2019, where his eight-win campaign ended just short of a championship. DeWalt joins him as sponsor.

DRIVER SWAP: #61-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #66-Motorsports Business Management
After David Starr drove in relief of an exhausted C.J. McLaughlin in Atlanta, the two have now swapped rides. Starr will take the green in the #66 while McLaughlin will run the #61. While McLaughlin runs his familiar Sci Aps colors, Starr carries sponsorship from Caron Towing & Repair on his Toyota.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
While Bayley Currey was again the listed driver for his familiar #74 Chevrolet, Dawson Cram revealed on Wednesday that he would be making his XFINITY debut in that car this Saturday, carrying sponsorship from Crafty One Customs. Cram, who started his own Truck Series team last season, has 26 starts in the series with a best finish of 13th at Martinsville in 2019.

Dexter Bean returns to the Gosselin team for his fifth start of the season and first since the March race in Atlanta. As in his four previous starts, he’ll run DGM’s #90 Chevrolet. He takes the place of Ronnie Bassett, Jr., who finished 27th in last week’s return to Atlanta.

CUP INVADERS: #54-Christopher Bell

Sunday, July 18, 2021
CUP Race 22 of 36
Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at Loudon
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Kyle Busch

There are 37 drivers entered for 40 spots in Sunday’s race, marking the 17th short field in 22 races this season. The 37 starters ties the fewest ever for a Cup race here along with July 22, 2018 and July 21, 2019.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
On top of handing his XFINITY ride to Dawson Cram, Bayley Currey will not run Cup this Sunday as James Davison returns to the #15 for the first time since his 28th-place showing in Road America. This will be only the second Cup start at Loudon for Davison, following a 30th-place showing in Rick Ware’s #53 last summer.

MISSING: #66-Motorsports Business Management
For the second-straight week, Timmy Hill is not among the drivers running this weekend. His Cup ride, MBM’s #66, is not entered after it was withdrawn from Atlanta.

Saturday, August 7, 2021
TRUCKS Race 15 of 22
United Rentals 176 at The Glen (72 laps)
2000 Last-Place Finisher (62 laps): Ryan McGlynn

The Truck Series returns after the Olympics break for their first race at Watkins Glen in over two decades.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (July 15, 1989): Max Prestwood picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series in the Coors 200 at South Boston when his #41 Custom Veneers Oldsmobile overheated after 46 laps. Prestwood dropped out just two laps before Dale Earnhardt also fell out for the same issue.

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