Thursday, October 7, 2021

PREVIEW: Joey Hand among the many "road ringers" descending on Charlotte's "Roval"

IMAGE: @JoeyHandRacing

Saturday, October 9, 2021 (3:00 P.M. NBC)
XFINITY Race 29 of 33
Round of 12 – Race 3 of 3
Drive for the Cure 250 at the Charlotte Roval
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Brett Moffitt

The Round of 8 for both the Cup and XFINITY Series will be determined this weekend on the Charlotte “Roval,” starting with Saturday’s field of 41 drivers for 40 spots. Once again, this leaves MBM’s #13 team out of the field (see below).

DRIVER CHANGE: #1-JR Motorsports
With the news that he will be retiring from full-time NASCAR competition next season, Michael Annett returned to his #1 entry in place of Las Vegas winner Josh Berry.

DID NOT QUALIFY: #13-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill will not qualify for Saturday's race, but is entered in Sunday's race for MBM.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-JD Motorsports / Sam Hunt Racing
As revealed on October 1, Kris Wright will run the #15 this weekend, which will be a partnership of sorts between team owners Johnny Davis and Sam Hunt. Wright will run a Toyota prepared by Hunt with First National Bank as sponsor, but the car will be serviced by the Davis’ JD Motorsports crew. By using JD’s #15, the team does not find itself the lone DNQ, and adopts a strategy similar to Jimmy Means Racing in the last couple weeks. Davis’ #15 team has diversified since Colby Howard parted ways with the team heading into Richmond last month.

DRIVER SWAP: #17-Rick Ware Racing / SS-Green Light Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
Josh Bilicki will pull double-duty on the “Roval” this weekend, starting with a run in the #07 with Cover Seal as sponsor. Bilicki’s return to the XFINITY Series for the first time since Indianapolis moves Talladega 10th-place finisher Joe Graf, Jr. to the team’s second car, the #17, replacing Garrett Smithley. Arrowhead Brass will sponsor Graf’s car.

DRIVER CHANGE: #23-Our Motorsports
Ty Dillon is back in the XFINIY Series for the first time since his 8th-place run for Jordan Anderson in Las Vegas, and back in the #23 for the first time since Bristol’s night race, where he ran 15th. He takes the place of Blaine Perkins, who led an Our Motorsports 1-2 in Stage 2, winning the stage and finishing 13th on the day. Koucar Management sponsors Dillon.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
While Kris Wright running the SHR #15 continues his exclusive road course schedule in the XFINITY Series for 2021, the team’s original #26 will go to Will Rodgers, who takes the place of Santino Ferrucci, 17th in Talladega. This will be Rodgers’ third series start of 2021 and first since Indianapolis, where he ran 28th in Sam Hunt’s #24.

DRIVER CHANGE: #31-Jordan Anderson Racing
Sage Karam survived the night race at Bristol, finishing a career-best 16th in only his second XFINITY Series start. He returns for the first time since then, again in Anderson’s car, and this time in place of Anderson himself, who earned a strong 5th in Talladega. Karam will run a grey variant of the #31’s paint scheme with Black Ops by Ric Prado as sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
Spencer Boyd will make his sixth XFINITY start of the season and first since Las Vegas, where he drove for Mario Gosselin. This time, he runs for Jimmy Means, who he last drove for in Daytona and finished 38th. RimTyme Custom Wheels & Tires, a Charlotte-area business, will back Boyd one week after Joey Gase ran 15th for the team in a Ford.

DRIVER CHANGE: #54-Joe Gibbs Racing
Ty Gibbs is back in the JGR #54 for the first time since his 11th-place showing in Las Vegas, and carries Monster Energy as sponsor for the first time since Bristol. He takes the place of John Hunter Nemechek, who ran 22nd in Talladega. The first of Gibbs’ three wins on the season came on another infield road course in Daytona.

DRIVER CHANGE: #61-Motorsports Business Management / Hattori Racing Enterprises
The “Roval” will be a Hattori effort for the #61 team as Austin Hill, ironically just after news that Hill will not return to HRE’s Truck Series team in 2022. Hill and the AISIN sponsorship take the place of David Starr, who finished last at Talladega due to engine trouble. This will be Hill’s fourth XFINITY start of the year and first since Indianapolis, where he ran 29th after steering box issues.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Reaume Brothers Racing will make an announcement on October 9th as to the NASCAR future for Loris Hezemans, who failed to qualify a Reaume entry in his most recent XFINITY attempt at Indianapolis. For now, he’ll run MBM’s #66 this week in place of Jason White, who ran a second RSS car under the MBM number at Talladega and finished 28th. Hezemans has made two prior starts this year, finishing 31st at Phoenix for MBM and 27th for DGM Racing in Pocono.

DRIVER CHANGE: #74-Mike Harmon Racing
Gray Gaulding is back in the XFINITY Series for the first tie since his strong 18th-place showing under the lights at Bristol, but this time runs for Mike Harmon instead of Jimmy Means. Gaulding takes the place of C.J. McLaughlin, who was eliminated in a crash at Talladega and finished 34th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Stefan Parsons’ tenth XFINITY start of the season will be his first since the night race at Bristol, where he steered B.J. McLeod’s #5 to a 22nd-place finish. The “Roval” will see him run McLeod’s #78, meaning he will have driven all four of the team’s cars, including the #76 he debuted in Charlotte. Sokal is again the listed sponsor.

Preston Pardus, the newly crowned three-time SCCA Spec Miata Champion, continues his road course season with Mario Gosselin’s #90 team. His most recent XFINITY start came on the same Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit where he just ran the SCCA Runoffs on October 1st. In the NASCAR race, he took 35th after his car was damaged by the “turtles.” Pardus takes the place of Caesar Bacarella, 32nd in Talladega, and is again sponsored by Chinchor Electric and Danus. 


Sunday, October 9, 2021 (2:00 P.M. ET, NBC)
CUP Race 32 of 36
Round of 12 – Race 3 of 3
Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Roval
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Timmy Hill

There are 39 drivers entered for the 40-car field in Sunday’s main event, marking the 24th short field in 32 races this season. Each car will carry a pink window net in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

DRIVER SWAP: #15-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #52-Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #53-Rick Ware Racing
Sunday will mark the NASCAR debut of veteran sports car racer Joey Hand. A champion in both the ALMS GT and Star Mazda Series with multiple endurance race wins to his credit, Hand will this time pilot Rick Ware’s #52 with Boom Mobile as sponsor. According to a report by Toby Christie, Hand will also be running Stewart-Haas Racing equipment. Hand’s arrival moves Josh Bilicki, 31st in Talladega, to the RWR #15. Bilicki’s paint scheme will celebrate the 20th anniversary for sponsor Insurance King, and the driver looks to follow up his 18th at Indianapolis. Bilicki in the #15 also moves Garrett Smithley to the #53 in place of Joey Gase, who isn’t entered. Smithley finished 29th at Talladega, four spots behind Gase.

DRIVER CHANGE: #16-Kaulig Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #77-Spire Motorsports
A.J. Allmendinger will pull double-duty for Kaulig Racing, and seeks to follow-up his return to victory lane in Indianapolis. Allmendinger takes the place of Justin Haley, 20th in Talladega, who returns to Spire’s #77, which finished last with Justin Allgaier. Allgaier will not run Sunday as he continues to focus on his Playoff contending JR Motorsports entry.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill was surprising in this race last year, finishing 5th in Stage 1 before engine trouble left him in last place. He looks to improve as he returns to MBM’s #66 for the first time since Indianapolis, where he ran 27th at Indianapolis. Hill takes the place of James Davison, who finished 34th in Talladega, but isn’t entered this week. is the sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-Live Fast Motorsports
Scott Heckert is back in the Cup Series for the first time since Sears Point, where he drove the Live Fast entry to a season-best 26th. He again takes the place of team co-owner B.J. McLeod, 30th in Talladega, with Bremont Chronometers returning as sponsor. Kyle Tilley was originally slated to run this race until Heckert was swapped in.

MISSING: #96-Gaunt Brothers Racing
Landon Cassill and the Gaunt Brothers are not entered following their 24th-place finish in Talladega.

Saturday, October 30, 2021
TRUCKS Race 21 of 22
Round of 8 – Race 3 of 3
United Rentals 200 at Martinsville
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Josh Reaume

The Truck Series will not return until their penultimate round three weeks from Saturday on the short track in Martinsville, where they will determine their four-driver lineup for the Phoenix finale.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (October 7, 1990): Jimmy Spencer picked up the first last-place finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in the Mello Yello 500 at Charlotte when his #57 Heinz Pontiac, fielded by Rod Osterlund, was involved in a crash with Chad Little after 97 laps. Spencer wouldn’t finish last in Cup again until August 6, 1994 in the inaugural Brickyard 400 – the very next race after his final Cup win in Junior Johnson’s #27 McDonald’s Ford.

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