Thursday, May 19, 2022

PREVIEW: Return of Hacker, Holmes, and a Smithley double-header part of Texas All-Star weekend

SCREENSHOT: @TeamAlphaPrime

Friday, May 20, 2022 (8:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 9 of 23 220 at Texas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Ross Chastain

After the series’ first short field of 2022 with 35 trucks, there are 38 trucks entered for 36 spots, meaning two teams will be sent home.

RETURNING: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
For the first time since Jordan Anderson withdrew his truck from COTA, five races ago, the #3 team is back in the lineup with Dometic Outdoor as sponsor. The team eyes its first series start since Atlanta, where after a DNQ in Daytona and a 26th-place crash in Las Vegas finished a solid 18th. Myatt Snider will continue to compete in Anderson’s #31 XFINITY entry on Saturday, currently sitting 19th in the series standings.

DRIVER CHANGE: #17-David Gilliland Racing
Ryan Preece rejoins the Gilliland effort for the fourth time in 2022 and for the first time since Darlington. He enters this event with finishes of 4th, 7th, and 7th in his prior three races, and designs on keeping that streak going with Morton Buildings as sponsor of his Ford. Preece takes the place of XFINITY regular Riley Herbst, who finished 12th last week in Kansas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Garrett Smithley is set to make his 10th career Truck Series start, his first since a one-off for Nice Motorsports at Charlotte on May 26, 2020, where rear end issues left him in 36th. As in that race, Smithley will carry sponsorship from Trophy Tractor, which also backs his Rick Ware Racing #15 in the All-Star Open on Sunday. Smithley takes the place of Matt Mills, who fractured an axle in Kansas and finished in 34th place.

RETURNING: #32-Bret Holmes Racing
Bret Holmes rejoins the Truck Series field for the first time since Martinsville, where he finished 24th, and looks to replicate the 8th-place run in his most recent 1.5-mile track run at Las Vegas this past spring. Holmes brings back his #32 Chevrolet with Holmes II Excavation as sponsor. He has yet to make a Truck Series start at the Texas track.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
“Hackerman,” Chris Hacker, rejoins the Reaume effort for only the second time in 2022 and the first since Atlanta, where he ran 17th in only his second lead-lap finish in five starts. Dal Dirt, his Atlanta backer, rejoins the #33 as Hacker takes the place of team owner Josh Reaume, who finished 30th last time out in Kansas.

RETURNING: #41-Niece Motorsports
Texas sees Ross Chastain back in the part-time fifth Al Niece entry for the first time since Darlington, and returning to the site of his disqualification in the 2021 running. Still tied with William Byron for the most Cup wins this season, Chastain again shares Dean Thompson’s sponsor Worldwide Express on the #41 Chevrolet.

DRIVER CHANGE: #43-Reaume Brothers Racing
It’s been two frustrating weeks for the second Reaume entry, following Akinori Ogata’s tangle with Reaume in the early laps at Darlington and Jesse Iwuji flagged off the track for running too slow in Kansas. Taking the wheel this time is another relative newcomer in Armani Williams, who made his series debut last summer at Gateway, finishing 21st. Williams carries new sponsorship from Ice Cold Technologies.

Returning to his home track is Brennan Poole, who again pilots the #46 G2G entry in place of Ryan Huff, 28th in his series return last week in Kansas. Poole looks to pull double-duty again as his XFINITY ride with Mike Harmon Racing welcomes new sponsorship from apparel company American Scroll. Poole looks to make both starts after he was washed out of Darlington’s XFINITY race.

RETURNING: #62-Halmar Racing
The next step in Todd Bodine’s march to 800 NASCAR starts comes at the track where he’s won more Truck Series races than any other – six in total. Bodine brings back the second Halmar entry with Camping World sponsoring the effort. His last series start here was in 2013, when he finished 18th for ThorSport.

CUP INVADERS: #41-Ross Chastain

Saturday, May 21, 2022 (1:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
XFINITY Race 12 of 33
SRS Distribution 250 at Texas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Bayley Currey

There are 39 drivers entered for 38 spots, meaning one team will fail to qualify.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
Once again, Jeffrey Earnhardt debuts a new look to his ForeverLawn sponsored entry as he rejoins Sam Hunt Racing in the #26 Toyota. Earnhardt, who we last saw finish runner-up at Talladega for Richard Childress and crew chief Larry McReynolds, takes the place of John Hunter Nemechek, who ran a strong 4th last time out in Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Jesse Iwuji Motorsports
After he was flagged off the track for running too slow in Kansas’ Truck race, Jesse Iwuji returns to the #34 in place of Kyle Weatherman, who finished a team-best 12th in his last outing at Darlington. Iwuji has one previous XFINITY start at Texas on October 24, 2020, when he ran 23rd for B.J. McLeod.

C.J. McLaughlin attempts his first XFINITY race since Las Vegas, where he finished a season-best 24th. He takes the place of Kyle Sieg, who ran 32nd in Darlington. is the listed sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Alpha Prime Racing
Ryan Ellis rejoins Alpha Prime Racing for the first time since Dover, and drives the #44 for the first time since Talladega, this time with Limetree Marketing as sponsor. This will be Ellis’ first XFINITY start at Texas since 2016, when he finished 33rd for Obaika Racing. Ellis takes the place of Josh Bilicki, who finished 28th in Darlington.

DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Alpha Prime Racing
MISSING: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
With the McLeod #99 not entered following his season-best 20th-place finish in a paint scheme resembling his father’s 1988 Talladega winner, Stefan Parsons brings sponsor Sokal to the second Alpha Prime team, replacing team co-owner Tommy Joe Martins in the #45 Chevrolet, also backed by Market Rebellion. The younger Parsons eyes his fourth XFINITY start at Texas, where he finished 18th for McLeod in 2020.

DRIVER CHANGE: #88-JR Motorsports
William Byron, the aforementioned two-time race winner in the Cup Series this season, takes his turn in JR Motorsports’ #88 Chevrolet, washed out of the Darlington field when Chase Elliott was entered.

CUP INVADERS: #48-Tyler Reddick, #88-William Byron

Sunday, May 22, 2022 (5:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
CUP Exhibition Race
NASCAR All-Star Open at Texas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Daniel Suarez

Four drivers from this list of 16 will transfer into the All-Star Race: winners of the 20, 20, and 10-lap segments, plus a fan vote winner. This entry list – consisting of only the Chartered entries not already qualified – is the second-smallest in the event’s history, trailing only the 14-car grid for the inaugural Atlanta Invitational in 1986. The record for the largest Open field is 36 – the exact number of total Chartered entries today – which was matched in 1994, 1995, and 1996. There were 22 starters last year. Garrett Smithley (#15) and Landon Cassill (#77) return to replace Kansas starters J.J. Yeley and Josh Bilicki, respectively.

#3-Austin Dillon
#7-Corey LaJoie
#8-Tyler Reddick
#15-Garrett Smithley 
#17-Chris Buescher
#21-Harrison Burton
#31-Justin Haley
#38-Todd Gilliland
#41-Cole Custer
#42-Ty Dillon
#43-Erik Jones
#47-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
#51-Cody Ware
#77-Landon Cassill 
#78-B.J. McLeod
#99-Daniel Suarez

Sunday, May 22, 2022 (8:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
CUP Exhibition Race
NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Denny Hamlin 

The four transferred drivers from the Open will compete against these 20 locked-in drivers for a total starting field of 24, tied with 2003, 2004, and 2008 for the second-most cars in the history of the event. The record for the most is 27 cars which took the green in 2002. The total length of Sunday’s race is 125 laps split among four stages.

#1-Ross Chastain
#2-Austin Cindric
#4-Kevin Harvick
#5-Kyle Larson
#6-Brad Keselowski
#9-Chase Elliott
#10-Aric Almirola
#11-Denny Hamlin
#12-Ryan Blaney
#14-Chase Briscoe
#16-A.J. Allmendinger
#18-Kyle Busch
#19-Martin Truex, Jr.
#20-Christopher Bell
#22-Joey Logano
#23-Bubba Wallace
#24-William Byron
#34-Michael McDowell
#45-Kurt Busch
#48-Alex Bowman

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (May 19, 1991): Mike Skinner is credited with last place in the Winston Open at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his #13 Glidden Chevrolet, fielded by Thee Dixon, did not start the event. Skinner would ultimately make nine more starts in the Open with a best finish of 3rd in 2003.

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