Thursday, September 30, 2021

PREVIEW: Anderson’s busy Saturday, Bilicki’s “Bandit,” and two Jason Whites on tap for Talladega

Jordan Anderson's rides for Talladega's Truck and XFINITY races.
PHOTO: @j66anderson

Saturday, October 2, 2021 (1:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 20 of 22
Round of 8 – Race 2 of 3
Chevy Silverado 250 at Talladega
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Spencer Boyd

There are 40 drivers entered for as many spots, meaning that all entrants will take the green flag.

DRIVER CHANGE: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
Jordan Anderson will pull double-duty with his own team this Saturday, attempting a combined 550 miles in his own equipment. His day will start with the Truck Series, where he takes the place of Howie DiSavino III, 26th last week in Las Vegas. U.S. Law Shield will sponsor both entries.

RETURNING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
Norm Benning returns to the track for the first time since the night race at Bristol, and for the first time since Darlington will take the green flag in his #6. This will be Benning’s 11th series start at Talladega and third in a row. He finished 18th and 22nd his last two times.

DRIVER CHANGE: #9-CR7 Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #98-ThorSport Racing
Last week’s first-time winner Christian Eckes will not be among the entrants this Saturday as Grant Enfinger returns to the ThorSport #98, leaving the #9 open for a returning Codie Rohrbaugh. For Rohrbaugh, it will be only his 8th start of the season as a driver and first since Knoxville, where he ran 34th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #11-Spencer Davis Motorsports
Clay Greenfield is back in the #11 as he was under the lights at Bristol, taking the place of Spencer Davis, who ran 15th in Vegas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #25-Rackley-W.A.R.
Welcome back Willie Allen, who has neither attempted nor started a NASCAR national series race since May 16, 2014, when he finished next-to-last in Jennifer Jo Cobb’s second truck at Charlotte. This time around, Allen will drive the Rackley-W.A.R. entry, taking the place of Brett Moffitt, who struggled in Las Vegas to a 25th-place finish. Josh Berry, who has run for this team since the summer, will focus on the XFINITY Series with JR Motorsports following his second win of the season in Vegas.

Jim Rosenblum’s team returns to the circuit for the first time since Pocono but will race with heavy hearts following the death of team member Brent Cole. Bryan Dauzat will drive the team’s red Chevrolet with Cole’s name on the hood.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Each of NASCAR’s two active drivers named Jason White will run on Saturday. The 48-year-old Canadian will be in the Truck Series race, taking the place of C.J. McLaughlin in Josh Reaume’s #33 Toyota. White takes the place of C.J. McLaughlin, who will still run on Saturday for Mike Harmon Racing’s XFINITY Series #74.

RETURNING / DRIVER SWAP: #41-Cram Racing Enterprises
MISSING: #49-CMI Motorsports
Ray Ciccarelli has not entered his truck this week, days after Keith McGee was flagged off the Las Vegas oval for not maintaining minimum speed. McGee’s literal gamble to earn the ride in the #49 has paid off as this week he drives for Dawson Cram in the #41 entry that was withdrawn from the same Vegas event.

DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Niece Motorsports
Chris Hacker, who finished last after early crash damage in Las Vegas, will return to the circuit in Martinsville. For Saturday, the truck will be driven by Lawless Alan, who like Hacker has also run for the Reaume Brothers this season. Alan’s sponsorship from returns as he looks to build from a season-best 18th in the Bristol night race.

RETURNING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Past Talladega winner Parker Kligerman is in the show this week as he looks for another strong run with Charlie Henderson’s effort – his own first start since Bristol.


Saturday, October 2, 2021 (4:30 P.M. ET, NBCSN)
XFINITY Race 28 of 33
Round of 12 – Race 2 of 3
Sparks 300 at Talladega
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Michael Annett

There are 41 drivers entered for 40 spots, meaning MBM’s #13 team will again be missing from the lineup.

DID NOT QUALIFY: #13-Motorsports Business Management
Under metric qualifying, it is again Timmy Hill who is missing from the lineup.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing / SS-Green Light Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Garrett Smithley will make only his third XFINITY Series start of the season and first since Texas in June. As with the previous two, this will be in the Ware / Dotter #17 entry, which J.J. Yeley drove well in the early laps at Vegas before the Lap 31 pileup left him 37th. Yeley will also run on Saturday as he takes the place of B.J. McLeod in the #99. McLeod will not run on Saturday, and instead focuses on his Sunday effort in his #78 Live Fast Motorsports entry.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
In his first six career XFINITY Series starts this season, Santino Ferrucci racked up four consecutive finishes of 15th or better. The streak ended in his most recent run at Atlanta in July, where he ran 33rd, and he now makes his first superspeedway attempt with the Sam Hunt effort. Ferrucci takes the place of Dylan Lupton, who was likewise involved in the Las Vegas pileup  and finished 35th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #31-Jordan Anderson Racing
Jordan Anderson’s second leg of his Saturday double-header will be in the #31 – his fifth series start as a driver in 2021 and first since a 22nd-place showing at Daytona in August. Anderson takes the place of a resurgent Ty Dillon, who led the Anderson team’s first lap in competition back in Vegas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
As of this writing, Joey Gase is still entered in the Jimmy Means Racing entry which he steered to the team’s best overall performance – a 5th in 2015. Sparks Energy, the race’s title sponsor, has backed Gase in the past and is again the listed sponsor of both this and his Cup ride for Rick Ware Racing. He would take the place of Carson Ware, who ran a RWR entry in Vegas to a 31st-place finish before electrical trouble. This time, the car will be a Ford belonging to Gase and prepared by Means.

DRIVER CHANGE: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
John Hunter Nemechek’s only two previous XFINITY Series starts this year came with Sam Hunt Racing, most recently in the fall race at Richmond, where he earned the team their first-ever Top Five with a hard-fought 3rd. This time, he runs the stout JGR #54 in place of Ty Gibbs with a returning Sport Clips Haircuts as sponsor. Just last June, JHN came close to winning the Cup Series race here before a last-corner tangle with Ryan Blaney dropped him back.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
The second Jason White – the Virginian with more than 200 combined Cup, XFINITY, and Truck Series starts – is back with MBM this Saturday in what appears to be another partnership with RSS Racing. As at Daytona in August, White carries RSS sponsors CMR Construction & Roofing plus A-Game. Recall that White and RSS’ Ryan Sieg drafted well in the final stages of the Daytona race with White taking 15th.

Caesar Bacarella, future co-owner and co-driver of the #44 team, takes what may be his last start with Mario Gosselin’s team, bringing his AP Regimen and AP Primebites sponsorship onto the #90. Bacarella takes the place of Spencer Boyd, who ran 25th in Vegas.


Sunday, October 3, 2021 (2:00 P.M. ET, NBC)
CUP Race 31 of 36
Round of 12 – Race 2 of 3
YellaWood 500 at Talladega
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Christopher Bell 

For the first time since Daytona, five races ago, and for only the 8th time in 31 races this season, there are 40 drivers entered for 40 starting spots on Sunday.

DRIVER SWAP: #15-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #53-Rick Ware Racing
The preliminary entry list showed Joey Gase and Garrett Smithley swapping rides at RWR this week, putting Gase in the #53 with his Sparks Energy sponsorship. Smithley, who ran 35th last Sunday, carries returning backing from Boom Mobile.

RETURNING / DRIVER SWAP: #16-Kaulig Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
Sunday will mark just the fourth Cup start Justin Allgaier has made since his last full-season run in 2015. As with his most recent run in Pocono, this will be with Spire Motorsports in the #77, and this time with his XFINITY sponsor Brandt Agriculture on his Chevrolet. Allgaier’s return moves Justin Haley to the returning Cup entry from Kaulig Racing, which was most recently run by Kaz Grala in Daytona.

PAINT SCHEME: #52-Rick Ware Racing
Josh Bilicki will run a “Smokey and the Bandit” themed paint scheme on his Junction Fuels Ford, made to resemble the iconic Pontiac from the film.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
J.J. Yeley will not run Sunday’s Cup race following a mechanical issue with the right-front wheel that left him last in Las Vegas. The car again goes to David Starr, who most recently ran under the lights at Bristol. This will be Starr’s first Cup start at Talladega. UPDATE: James Davison will run in Starr's place with Rich Mar Florist as sponsor.

RETURNING: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Landon Cassill turned heads with perhaps the fastest car the Gaunt Brothers had all season when he challenged for a good finish at Daytona in August. As promised following the wreck that left him 36th, Cassill will again run the Carnomaly Toyota at Talladega.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (September 30, 1995): In the inaugural Truck Series race at historic North Wilkesboro Speedway, Bob Strait picked up the 1st last-place finish of his career when his #37 Target Expediting Ford had ignition issues after 33 laps of the Lowe’s 150.


NASCAR said...

The link to last year's last-place finisher is invalid on my screen. Is there a way to fix it?

Brock Beard said...

Fixed it! Thanks for letting me know. Also updated James Davison in the Cup #66.