Thursday, October 20, 2022

PREVIEW: Homestead sees the return of several series newcomers

PHOTO: @MBMMotorsports

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, October 22, 2022 (1:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 22 of 23
Round of 8: Race 3 of 3
Baptist Health Cancer Care 200 at Homestead
2020 Last-Place Finisher: Bryant Barnhill

There are 37 drivers entered for 36 spots, meaning one will fail to qualify.

MISSING: #3-Jordan Anderson Racing
As Jordan Anderson continues to recover from his burns suffered in his crash during the early laps at Talladega, his Truck Series team is not entered this week. Myatt Snider continues to drive for Anderson’s XFINITY effort, and now returns to the site of his win in 2021.

RETURNING: #5-Hill Motorsports
The Hill brothers’ second entry returns for the first time since Kansas, and again it is Tyler Hill behind the wheel of the #5 Toyota. Tyler ran 29th his last time out and finished 23rd and 25th in the last two Truck races at Homestead.

MISSING: #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing
Jennifer Jo Cobb is not entered after she finished 32nd in her season debut at Talladega.

MISSING: #13-ThorSport Racing
The Homestead race is not on the schedule for Johnny Sauter and the now part-time #13 entry which came home 25th at Talladega, the last truck on the lead lap.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
While the preliminary entry list had no driver listed in place of Parker Retzlaff, who ran 16th in Talladega. That has since changed as Stefan Parsons will make just his third Truck start of the season and first since he ran this same #20 entry to a 22nd-place finish in Nashville.

Speaking of Nashville, welcome back that night’s 8th-place finisher Max Gutierrez, who rejoins the AM Racing team for the first time since his 21st-place showing in Pocono. He takes the place of Austin Wayne Self, who finished 30th in Talladega.

MISSING: #28-FDNY Racing
Bryan Dauzat is not entered after early crash damage in a tangle with Dean Thompson left him 35th in Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
Nick Leitz seeks his third Truck Series start and first since his last-place finish at Richmond, again driving Josh Reaume’s #33 entry. He does so in place of Canadian racer Jason White, who was among the four DNQs in Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #43-Reaume Brothers Racing
Natalie Decker likewise didn’t qualify at Talladega along with her sponsor Diesel Beverages. Returning to the #43 this week is Mason Maggio, whose third and most recent start came at Kansas, where he finished 32nd in the RBR #33. Maggio has finished under power in all three of his previous starts, each time within eight laps of the leader.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Niece Motorsports
For the first time in his young Truck Series career, Chad Chastain will make a Truck Series start in his home state of Florida, seeking to improve on his career-best 30th in both his 2022 starts at IRP and Richmond. The younger brother of Cup Playoff contender Ross Chastain steps in for Bayley Currey, who showed speed early at Talladega before a 21st-place finish. Custom Cooling & Heating Inc. joins as sponsor of his Chevrolet.

Brennan Poole climbs aboard G2G Racing’s #46 entry for the first time since Kanss, where he finished under power in the 34th spot. He takes the place of team co-owner Tim Viens, who failed to qualify last time out at Talladega. Fanttik is the listed sponsor.


Saturday, October 22, 2022 (4:30 P.M. ET, USA)
XFINITY Race 31 of 33
Round of 8: Race 2 of 3
Contender Boats 300 at Homestead
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Tyler Reddick

There are 40 drivers entered for 38 spots, meaning two will fail to qualify.

DRIVER CHANGE: #6-JD Motorsports
In addition to his Truck Series effort with G2G Racing, Brennan Poole will attempt double-duty with the XFINITY Series at Homestead, taking the wheel of the #6 in place of Ryan Vargas. Vargas, who struggled with transmission issues in Las Vegas en route to a 28th-place finish, indicated he will return next week in Martinsville. Macc Door Systems will return as Poole’s sponsor, as it had during Poole’s most recent start in Texas, where a crash left him 31st.

DRIVER CHANGE: #13-Motorsports Business Management
Timmy Hill has perhaps the most eye-catching paint scheme in the field (along with Jeb Burton's #27 Larry’s Lemonade Beach Bash Chevrolet at Our Motorsports) as he makes his ninth XFINITY start of the year and first since his 28th-place showing on the Charlotte “Roval.” Hill carries sponsorship from GENERX Generators on his Ford as he takes the place of Matt Jaskol, who finished 32nd in Las Vegas. The car also carries a "Florida Strong" decal on the rear decklid in solidarity with the state's victims of Hurricane Ian.

DRIVER CHANGE: #26-Sam Hunt Racing
As dust remains to settle over Kyle Busch’s move from Toyota to Chevrolet, Kyle Busch Motorsports frontrunner Chandler Smith will return to the XFINITY Series this weekend in Sam Hunt Racing’s Toyota, replacing 16th-place Las Vegas finisher John Hunter Nemechek. WearMe and ChargeMe are the sponsors of Smith’s third career XFINTY start and first since his career-best 21st in Dover. Smith has already been announced as A.J. Allmendinger’s replacement at Kaulig Racing’s Chevrolet team next year.

DRIVER CHANGE: #35-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Patrick Emerling is set to make his 10th start of the season and first since a 27th-place showing under the lights at Bristol, taking the place of 27th-place Las Vegas finisher Jeffrey Earnhardt. This would be Emerling’s first XFINITY start at Homestead.

DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Alpha Prime Racing
Back in the XFINITY Series for the first time since her 36th-place debut in Loudon is Julia Landauer, who brings with her sponsorship from Atem Car Club on the primary Alpha Prime Chevrolet. Landauer takes the place of Rajah Caruth, who finished a solid 20th in Las Vegas after a difficult first few XFINITY Series starts.

WITHDREW: #47-Mike Harmon Racing
By Thursday, Mike Harmon Racing withdrew their entry, having not yet announced a driver after they were not entered at all in Las Vegas.

TEAM UPDATE: #48-Big Machine Racing
ARCA Menards Series Champion Nick Sanchez revealed he will run the #48 for these remaining three races of 2022, coming off a solid 12th-place finish in Las Vegas.

RETURNING: #77-Bassett Racing
Homestead will see the return of part-timers Ronnie and Dillon Bassett with their #77 Chevrolet, which last took the green with Ronnie at Bristol, taking a season-best 28th. Dillon will drive this time as Jerry Hunt Supercenter remains the sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-B.J. McLeod Motorsports
Team owner B.J. McLeod will take the wheel of his #78 to begin a double-duty weekend with the Cup Series, taking the place of 25th-place Las Vegas finisher Garrett Smithley. It will be just the fourth XFINITY race of the year for McLeod as driver, his first since a season-best 26th at Talladega.

Alex Labbe will return to action this weekend, but this time in Mario Gosselin’s part-time #92, which last time out finished 37th with Josh Williams on the Charlotte “Roval.” While Williams remains in the #36 after his 34th-place finish in Las Vegas, Labbe carries sponsorship from Prolon Controls and shares the Alloy sponsorship with Williams.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing with Jeff Lefcourt
After Hailie Deegan’s impressive 13th-place debut in Las Vegas, Joe Graf, Jr. returns along with his Bucked Up Energy sponsorship. This would be Graf’s fourth XFINITY start at Homestead, a track where he finished a strong 16th and 13th in 2020’s double-header.


Sunday, October 16, 2022 (2:30 P.M. ET, NBC)
CUP Race 34 of 36
Round of 8: Race 2 of 3
Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead
2021 Last-Place Finisher: Timmy Hill

There are 36 cars entered for as many spots once again, meaning the smallest field ever for a Cup race in Las Vegas will be followed by the smallest ever for Cup in Homestead. The previous mark of 38 was set, then matched the last two years. The Daytona 500 remains the only race in these first 34 with a field of 40 starters.

DRIVER CHANGE: #45-23XI Racing
Following Bubba Wallace’s one-race suspension NASCAR handed down after his tangle with Kyle Larson last week in Las Vegas, John Hunter Nemechek will make a return to the Cup Series in the #45 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota. Nemechek, who had been considered as Kurt Busch’s relief driver in July before Ty Gibbs was selected, will be making his 40th Cup start and his first since the end of a challenging 2020 rookie campaign with Front Row Motorsports. This will be his third Cup start at the Homestead track, a venue significant both as his home state and the site of his uncle and namesake John Nemehek’s untimely passing in a crash during a 1997 Truck Series race. John Hunter finished 23rd here in 2019, then 19th in 2020.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (October 20, 1996): Robby Gordon picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in the AC-Delco 400 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway when his #40 First Union Chevrolet qualified 7th but backed into the Turn 3 wall on Lap 5 and collected a passing Bill Elliott. All three of Gordon’s Cup starts in ’96 – the fifth, sixth, and seventh of his career – ended early due to crashes.

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