Thursday, May 26, 2022

PREVIEW: Ryan Preece's triple-header among challengers at Charlotte

IMAGE: RSS Racing, @RSS283839

Friday, May 27, 2022 (8:30 P.M., FS1)
TRUCKS Race 10 of 23
NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Timothy Peters

ENTRY LIST
Following one mid-week withdrawal, there are now exactly 36 drivers entered for as many spots, meaning all will qualify.

MISSING: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
After a strong 14th-place finish in last week’s Texas event, Jordan Anderson is again not entered this week.

MISSING: #5-Hill Motorsports
Also missing is the second Hill Motorsports entry with which Tyler Hill took 25th place in Texas. Following the team’s DNQ in their attempted debut at COTA, the #5 had started each of the last two races with Tyler finishing 21st and 25th.

WITHDREW: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
Trey Hutchens was set to follow-up his return to competition in Kansas this week, but was withdrawn by Wednesday. It was in this race last year that Hutchens was involved in a serious late-race crash with Johnny Sauter.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Matt Mills will attempt double-duty this weekend as he brings sponsor J.F. Electric to the Randy Young #20 for a fourth time this year. After a 15th-place season debut in Las Vegas, Mills has failed to finish his following two starts at Atlanta and Kansas, each due to mechanical woes. He takes the place of Garrett Smithley, who failed to qualify last week in Texas.

MISSING: #32-Bret Holmes Racing
Bret Holmes is still another driver not entered this week, his coming after a 15th-place performance in Texas.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Team owner Josh Reaume will again pilot the #33 Toyota this week, taking the place of 31st-place Texas finisher Chris Hacker. The military-themed sponsor Rrhoid Rage will back Reaume’s effort.

RETURNING: #37-AM Racing
With the withdrawal of Trey Hutchens, the Charlotte race will see the NASCAR national series debut of 19-year-old Max Gutierrez of Mexico. A seven-time winner in the NASCAR FedEx Challenge Series, Perez has this year finished 3rd in ARCA East opener at New Smyrna and 10th in the ARCA Menards race at Talladega. Both races saw him carry Toughbuilt as sponsor, which follows him to the returning second AM Racing entry along with Distributed Ledger. We last saw this #37 entry in COTA, where Logan Bearden finished 28th after fuel pump issues.

DRIVER CHANGE: #43-Reaume Brothers Racing
Alaska native Keith McGee is back in action this week, the latest upstart to attempt to turn around a miserable May for the second Reaume entry. McGee takes the place of Armani Williams, who failed to qualify in Texas, and eyes his first tart since he ran 34th with this team in the Bristol Dirt Race. UPDATE: McGee lost an associate sponsor four days before the race, but Reaume is honoring his commitment to run the race.

RETURNING: #47-G2G Racing
For the first time since COTA, the G2G team will enter both trucks in the Charlotte race. Alongside a returning Brennan Poole in the flagship #46 is Ryan Huff, who made his season debut in the #46 at Kansas and this time runs the #47. G2G had entered both trucks last week, but withdrew the #47 before the action began in Texas. UPDATE: By Thursday, Tim Viens has taken Huff's place in the #47.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Kyle Busch will make his fourth series start of the season and first since Martinsville, ironically still seeking his first Truck win of 2022. He finished 2nd in Las Vegas, then 3rd and both COTA and Martinsville. Busch takes the place of Corey Heim, who ran 7th in Texas.

MISSING: #62-Halmar Racing
Following his 13th-place showing in Texas, Todd Bodine will not run in Charlotte, but is slated to run next week’s series return at Sears Point.

CUP INVADERS: #41-Ross Chastain, #51-Kyle Busch

Saturday, May 28, 2022 (1:00 P.M., FS1)
XFINITY Race 13 of 33
Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Grant Enfinger

ENTRY LIST
There are 42 drivers entered for 38 spots, meaning four will fail to qualify.

DRIVER CHANGE: #5-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
RETURNING / DRIVER SWAP: #55-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Ryan Preece will attempt all three races at Charlotte in an intense triple-header. For Saturday, he is back in the #5 Ford for what should be his second XFINITY start of the year and first since Richmond, where he came home 16th. Preece has only two previous XFINITY starts at Charlotte which came in 2016, when he ran 22nd and 23rd for JD Motorsports. Hunt Brothers Pizza will back Preece, who bumps double-duty driver Matt Mills to B.J. McLeod’s returning part-time entry, the #55. Mills did not qualify when this team was last entered at Richmond.

DRIVER CHANGE: #18-Joe Gibbs Racing
Charlotte sees Trevor Bayne return to the XFINITY Series for the first time since his 28th-place showing at Atlanta, and looks to regain the form of his 3rd-place Fontana and 4th-place Phoenix runs that preceded it. Bayne takes the place of Ryan Truex, whose unsponsored Toyota finished 6th in Texas. Devotion Nutrition will again be Bayne’s sponsor.

RETURNING: #28-RSS Racing
Kyle Sieg is back for the first time since Darlington, and the scaled-back third RSS Racing entry will also attempt its first race since Talladega, where C.J. McLaughlin failed to qualify. The result is perhaps the most eye-catching scheme from Saturday’s field, a “throwback” to the late Davey Allison’s 1990 Havoline Ford that went to victory lane on October 7th of that year. 

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Jesse Iwuji Motorsports
When military duty pulled Jesse Iwuji out of his car for practice and qualifying in Texas, Kyle Weatherman got the car solidly in the show. Iwuji then struggled when he took over in the race. This week, Weatherman is listed as driver of the #34 for the first time since Darlington, where he gave the team its season-best 12th-place showing.

DRIVER CHANGE: #35-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Shane Lee seeks his fifth XFINITY start of the year and first since Talladega, where he turned in a season-best 14th. He takes the place of Patrick Emerling, who in 28th was the last car under power at the checkered flag, three laps down.

DRIVER CHANGE: #36-DGM Racing
Sponsorship issues have once again reared their ugly head in the XFINITY Series as Alex Labbe, unsponsored last week in Texas, will not drive this week. Labbe is slated to return next week for the road course race in Portland. This will be the first race Labbe has missed since this year’s Daytona opener, where he failed to qualify in DGM’s #90. Taking his place will be Garrett Smithley, who has yet to make a XFINITY start this season. Smithley, who ran the All-Star Open last week for Rick Ware Racing, finished 18th the last time he ran a XFINITY race last fall in Kansas, also for Ware.

DRIVER CHANGE: #48-Big Machine Racing
One week after Tyler Reddick scored Scott Borchetta’s team its first-ever victory in barely a season-and-a-half of existence, Reddick’s Cup teammate at RCR Austin Dillon will take his turn in the #48 Critical Components / SCW Chevrolet. This will be Dillon’s first XFINITY start since last September in Darlington, where he finished 29th for Jordan Anderson.

RETURNING: #77-Bassett Racing
Bassett Racing’s ongoing search for their second series start, their first with either of the Bassett brothers driving, continues into this weekend’s qualifying session. This time around, it’s Ronnie, Jr. taking the wheel of the #77 Chevrolet, following a pair of DNQs in Daytona and Martinsville.

MISSING: #88-JR Motorsports
William Byron is not entered following his runner-up finish in Texas.

RETURNING: #99-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Nick Sanchez is back for his second career XFINITY start, once again teaming with B.J. McLeod’s multi-car team. This time, he drives the now part-time #99 effort, having run the #5 in his series debut at Phoenix, where he finished 26th. The #99 last ran at Darlington, where Stefan Parsons finished 20th in a paint scheme honoring his father’s lone Cup win in 1988.

CUP INVADERS: #48-Austin Dillon

Sunday, May 29, 2022 (6:00 P.M., FOX)
CUP Race 14 of 36
Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Kurt Busch

ENTRY LIST
There are 37 drivers entered for 40 spots, marking the 13th short field of 2022, and the first since Richmond in April with a single “open” team on the list.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
Ryan Preece completes his triple-header in Charlotte as he rejoins Rick Ware’s #15 team in a points race for the first time since Dover, where he ran 25th. Carrying the same Hunt Brothers Pizza sponsor from Friday’s race, Preece takes the place of Garrett Smithley, who raced with the team in the All-Star Open.

DRIVER CHANGE: #16-Kaulig Racing
Following A.J. Allmendinger’s turn in the All-Star Race, Noah Gragson is back in the #16 for the first time since his solid 18th-place showing in Kansas, this time carrying sponsorship from the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball team. Gragson will likewise run double-duty with his full-time XFINITY effort.

RETURNING: #50-The Money Team Racing
The lone “open” team this time around is The Money Team, which we last saw Kaz Grala drive for in COTA. Grala is again the driver with this time SEGI TV as sponsor of the #50 Chevrolet. It will be Grala’s first Cup start at Charlotte.

DRIVER CHANGE: #77-Spire Motorsports
After a rough evening in the All-Star Open for Landon Cassill, who crashed out early, Josh Bilicki is back in the #77 with a patriotic variant of his #77 Zeigler Auto Group Chevrolet. This will be Bilicki’s third Cup start at Charlotte and second in the 600, following a 35th-place showing for Rick Ware Racing last May.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (May 26, 2007): Ken Butler III picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 at Mansfield when he lost the engine on his #00 Aaron’s Lucky Dog Toyota after 167 laps. Butler started 25th in what was to be the first of his three series starts. His best finish came in his final start on August 27, 2010, when he finished 27th for Rick Ware at Chicagoland.

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