Thursday, September 9, 2021

PREVIEW: Richmond double-header sees return of some fan favorites

IMAGE: @SpencerBoyd

Saturday, September 11, 2021 (2:30 P.M. ET, NBCSN)
XFINITY Race 25 of 33
Go Bowling 250 at Richmond
2020 Last-Place Finishers: Chad Finchum (Race 1), Timmy Hill (Race 2)

Leading off a Saturday double-header at Richmond is the XFINITY Series with 41 drivers entered for 40 spots. With metric qualifying, this again leaves out the Carl Long’s #13 entry (see below).

DRIVER CHANGE: #8-JR Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
For his lone XFINITY Series start of the year, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has selected this Saturday at Richmond to run the #8 Unilever “United For America” Chevrolet, his first series start since Homestead last year. Junior takes the place of Sam Mayer, who moves to the #99 entry with his QPS Employment Group sponsorship. Mayer takes the place of Ryan Ellis, who was 35th in Darlington.

DRIVER SWAP: #13-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER CHANGE: #61-Motorsports Business Management
DRIVER SWAP: #66-Motorsports Business Management
It’s another game of musical chairs at MBM, where Stephen Leicht returns to run the #61 at a track where he finished a solid 22nd his last time out last fall. Leicht and his Jani-King sponsorship move David Starr to the #66, which in turn moves Timmy Hill to the #13 in place of Chad Finchum, who isn’t entered. Hill’s #13 is the lone team that will not qualify, one week after his 36th-place run in Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-JD Motorsports
On Friday came news that Colby Howard had parted ways with JD Motorsports' team, putting previous Mike Harmon Racing driver Bayley Currey into the #15 this week. Howard had himself revealed the day before a full-time Truck Series deal with Bill McAnally Racing in 2022.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-Rick Ware Racing / SS-Green Light Racing 
DRIVER SWAP: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
J.J. Yeley returns to the #17 for his tenth start of the season and first since his strong 13th-place showing under the lights in Daytona. Yeley’s return moves Mason Massey to B.J. McLeod’s #78 in place of Jesse Little, who isn’t entered after a 32nd-place finish in Darlington. Massey ran 18th in that race in the #17.

DRIVER CHANGE: #23-Our Motorsports
Patrick Emerling will make his third career XFINITY start and first since Loudon this July, bringing back his Spirit Snorkeling sponsorship to the Our #23 entry. Emerling, who ran 31st on “The Magic Mile,” takes the place of Cup regular Tyler Reddick, who quietly took 7th in Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
One to watch may well be John Hunter Nemechek, who with the Truck Series off will make just his second XFINITY start of the year following a 32nd-place finish in Dover. Nemechek will carry sponsorship from Safeway as he takes the place of Colin Garrett, who recovered nicely 

DRIVER CHANGE: #31-Jordan Anderson Racing
Josh Berry continues his journeyman role in 2021 as he rejoins the Jordan Anderson team for the fourth time this year and first time since Atlanta in July, when he ran 23rd. He takes the place of Cup regular Austin Dillon, who finished 29th in Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
Akinori Ogata will run in place of Gray Gaulding as the Means team looks for sponsors to secure the final five races of the season. Kyowa Precision is the listed sponsor this week as Ogata has also this week unveiled models of his first produced diecast of his Reaume Brothers entry from the Truck Series.

DRIVER CHANGE: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
Richmond marks the next round for Ty Gibbs’ impressive 2021, his 13th start in 26 races this season. Gibbs, who takes the place of 12th-place Cup regular Denny Hamlin, will make his first series start at Richmond.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
C.J. McLaughlin rejoins the circuit this week, replacing Carson Ware in MHR’s flagship #74 entry. McLaughlin brings much-needed sponsorship from his backer Sci Aps for what marks his third XFINITY start f 2021 and first since Loudon, where he ran 37th. Carson Ware ran 31st in this car last week.

Spencer Boyd, who most recently drove for Jimmy Means, will this week run for Mario Gosselin with previous Brandonbilt Motorsports sponsor Mini Doge as sponsor. Boyd takes the place of B.J. McLeod, who ran 22nd with this team in Darlington during a double-duty weekend.

TEAM UPDATE: #02-Our Motorsports
Ty Dillon will drive in relief of Brett Moffitt for a second straight week. Moffitt was swapped out of his car just before last Saturday's race due to medical reasons.


Saturday, September 11, 2021 (7:30 P.M. ET, NBCSN)
CUP Race 28 of 36
Round of 16 – Race 2 of 3
Federated Auto Parts Salute to First Responders 400 at Richmond
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Timmy Hill 

There are 37 drivers entered for Saturday’s 40-car field, the fewest Cup cars for a race at Richmond since April 13, 2019. This marks the 21st short field in 28 races this season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
On Friday came news that Cody Ware will be out of the #51 for both this week in Richmond and next week in Bristol as he continues to recover from carbon monoxide poisoning suffered last Sunday in Darlington. Garrett Smithley will pilot the #51 this Saturday.

DRIVER CHANGE: #53-Rick Ware Racing
J.J. Yeley will pull double-duty on Saturday, attempting all 650 combined laps in cars fielded by Rick Ware Racing. His ride for the Cup race will be the #53 previously run by James Davison, who crashed in the early stages of the Southern 500 and finished next-to-last in 36th. Yeley’s most recent Cup start came at Nashville, where he ran 27th in the RWR #51. In his combined five previous starts, he has completed all but 21 of his 1,537 attempted laps and crossed the line no worse than 29th.

Thursday, September 16, 2021
TRUCKS Race 18 of 22
Round of 10 – Race 3 of 3
UNOH 200 Presented by Ohio Logistics at Bristol
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Trevor Bayne

The Truck Series takes this weekend off and returns to kick off the action in Bristol next week.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (September 9, 1973): Baxter Price scored the first last-place finish of his NASCAR Cup Series career in the Capital City 500 at the Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway when his #33 Price Racing 1972 Chevrolet triggered a massive crash. A recent Facebook post by Christian Wilson reports that Price, the last-place qualifier in the 34-car field, suffered first-degree burns in an explosion after Dick Brooks struck the rear of his spinning car. The ensuing pileup eliminated eight other starters, including outside-polesitter Darrell Waltrip. Price, who was making his Cup debut on the day of the accident, would recover from his injuries and return to the circuit two years later. He’d make 90 series starts with a best finish of 11th at Martinsville in 1978.

No comments: