Friday, March 4, 2022

PREVIEW: The return of "The Onion" just one of many stories on Las Vegas entry lists

PHOTO: Todd Bodine

Friday, March 4, 2022 (9:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 2 of 23
Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Conor Daly

There are 37 drivers entered for 36 spots, meaning one team will be sent home after qualifying.

MISSING: #7-Spire Motorsports
MISSING: #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
MISSING: #28-FDNY Racing 
MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports 
MISSING: #84-Cook Racing Technologies 
MISSING: #97-CR7 Motorsports 
Six teams from Daytona have not made the trip to Las Vegas, including three of the six that failed to qualify in Florida: Clay Greenfield isn’t entered in Cook Racing Technologies’ #84; Jason Kitzmiller, who withdrew after he wrecked CR7’s second entry in practice; and Jennifer Jo Cobb, whose participation in Busch Beer’s new promotion was not enough to keep her from scaling back to a part-time schedule. Also missing are 5th-place Parker Kligerman in Henderson Motorsports’ #75; Spire Motorsports’ #7, which Austin Hill steered to a 15th-place finish; and Bryan Dauzat in the 23rd-place FDNY Racing Chevrolet.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-David Gilliland Racing
The next phase of Ryan Preece’s reserve driver deal with Stewart-Haas Racing puts him behind the wheel of the #17 United Rentals Ford, the same team with which he won his Truck Series debut last summer in Nashville and finished 9th in Pocono. Preece takes the place of Riley Herbst, who finished 12th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Matt Mills will start just his 12th career Truck Series race, his first since August 11, 2018 at Michigan, and his first for Randy Young. He brings his XFINITY sponsor J.F. Electric to the #20 entry, taking the place of Danny Bohn, who finished a strong 8th in the Daytona opener.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Loris Hezemans has made five XFINITY starts and is set to share Team Hezeberg’s Cup Series entry later this season with Jacques Villeneuve. But, to date, Hezemans has yet to make a Truck Series start. That will change this weekend as he takes the place of 20th-place Daytona finisher Jason White in Josh Reaume’s #33 Toyota. Incidentally, this team did not have a driver listed on the preliminary entry list.

DRIVER SWAP: #47-G2G Racing
After a frustrating afternoon in Fontana where carburetor issues prevented him from qualifying Mike Harmon’s #47, Brennan Poole returns to the Truck Series to attempt his 29th series start and first since last June in Texas. Poole’s ride is G2G’s #46 with which Matt Jaskol failed to qualify in Daytona. Jaskol moves to the #47 driven to a 34th-place run in Daytona after electrical issues. The two teammates are the only “go-or-go-home” drivers in Friday’s field, meaning qualifying speed will determine who makes the cut if both rank 32nd or worse.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Kyle Busch takes the wheel for Corey Heim, whose crash damage after tangling with Dean Thompson on pit road left him 32nd in Daytona.

RETURNING: #62-Halmar Friesen Racing
Las Vegas marks the return for Todd Bodine and his bid to reach 800 combined starts across NASCAR’s top three series. His most recent start – the 794th – came in the XFINITY Series at Charlotte on May 27, 2017, when he finished 30th for last week’s winner SS-Green Light Racing. For the Truck Series, the 22-time race winner and two-time series champion last took the green on August 3, 2013 at Pocono, where he ran 11th for Turner Motorsports. Bodine brings HFR’s second entry back to the track for the first time since last summer in Knoxville, where Jessica Friesen finished 26th. Camping World will sponsor Bodine.

DRIVER CHANGE: #02-Young’s Motorsports
Kaz Grala becomes the first driver to make a start in each of NASCAR’s top three series this weekend, following his Daytona 500 for The Money Team and XFINITY run in Fontana for Alpha Prime Racing (which he again runs Saturday) with a run in Randy Young’s #02. Grala takes the place of Jesse Little, a strong 6th under the lights in Daytona. Grala finished 12th in his most recent series start last summer in Watkins Glen.

CUP INVADERS: #51-Kyle Busch

Saturday, March 5, 2022 (4:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
XFINITY Race 3 of 33
Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Riley Herbst

Following a single withdrawal for the Reaume Brothers’ #33, there are 41 drivers entered for 38 spots, meaning three teams will miss the show.

RETURNING: #13-Motorsports Business Management
Stan Mullis seeks his first XFINITY start since the 2020 season finale at Phoenix, and again drives for Carl Long’s MBM team. Mullis brings back the team’s #13, which has not run since last summer at Road America and missed 20 races due to the lack of practice and qualifying.

DRIVER CHANGE: #18-Joe Gibbs Racing
Ryan Truex climbs aboard his second different XFINITY Series entry in the season’s opening weeks, moving from Sam Hunt’s #26 which he steered to a 12th in Daytona to fellow Toyota effort Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex takes the place of Trevor Bayne, whose return to the series yielded a 3rd-place finish. Toyota Accessories is the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
After Jeffrey Earnhardt’s multiple charges from the back of the pack were undone by a faulty alternator that left him 29th, John Hunter Nemechek pulls double-duty with his Truck Series ride to run Sam Hunt’s #26. Berry’s Bullets, which has backed Nemechek since his NEMCO Motorsports days, returns as sponsor.

DRIVER SWAP: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #08-SS-Green Light Racing
Whatever the terms were of Timmy Hill’s deal that saw him hand the wheel of RSS Racing’s #38 to Joe Graf, Jr., Hill is not entered in this week’s race. Kyle Sieg moves from the RSS team’s #28 to the #38 driven by both Hill and Graf last week, opening the #28 for a returning C.J. McLaughlin with his Sci Aps sponsorship. Graf will this time run SS-Green Light’s #07 with which Cole Custer took a momentous checkered flag in Fontana, moving from the #08 that Graf failed to qualify in California. The #08 will be driven by a returning David Starr, for whom Graf’s seat had been adjusted leading into Fontana, and looks to bounce back from his own DNQ in Daytona. Ticket Smarter is Starr’s sponsor.

WITHDREW: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Back-to-back DNQs by Josh Reaume’s XFINITY team at Daytona and Fontana have led to the #33’s withdrawal by Thursday. Will Rodgers, who missed the cut in California, had originally been entered in the team’s Toyota.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Alpha Prime Racing
As Moonhead so enthusiastically revealed on social media, Ryan Ellis will run a patriotic scheme this weekend with sponsorship from Four Loko USA. Ellis will make his first XFINITY start of the season following a six-race deal with B.J. McLeod Motorsports last year, where he ran a season-bet 16th in the spring race at Darlington.

TEAM UPDATE: #47-Mike Harmon Racing
Mike Harmon’s team continues to seek their first start of the season as Brennan Poole is again entered in the #47 with returning sponsor Lerner & Rowe Injury Lawyers as sponsor.

MISSING: #52-Jimmy Means Racing
MISSING: #53-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
MISSING: #90-DGM Racing 
All three of the entries withdrawn in the days leading into the Fontana weekend are not entered this week.


Sunday, March 6, 2022 (3:30 P.M. ET, FOX)
CUP Race 3 of 36
Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Aric Almirola

There are 37 drivers entered for 40 spots, marking the second-straight short field of 2022, and the first since the Daytona 500 with at least one “open” entry.

RETURNING: #44-NY Racing Team
After a fuel pump issue nearly left them in last place during the Daytona 500, Greg Biffle and NY Racing’s John Cohen are back in action, this time as the lone standard-bearers for the series’ few remaining “open” teams. As at Daytona, the team boasts sponsorship from a college, this time Florida A&M University. Biffle has no wins in a Cup race at Las Vegas, but earned a best finish of 3rd in both 2008 and 2012. Cohen has never qualified a car into a Cup race at Las Vegas.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (March 4, 1956): Al Keller, winner of NASCAR’s first road course race two years earlier, picked up the first Cup Series last-place finish of his career after his #64 1956 Chevrolet was flagged the winner of a 200-lap race at the Palm Beach (Florida) Speedway, only to be disqualified for illegal pistons. This was the first last-place finish for the #64 in Cup Series history. To date, it hasn't finished last in Cup since October 3, 2010 (Landon Cassill at Kansas).

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