Thursday, March 30, 2023

PREVIEW: Series debuts and returns to action pepper entry lists for Richmond and Texas

PHOTO: @PatrickEmerling

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, April 1, 2023 (1:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
XFINITY Race 7 of 33
Toyota Care 250 at Richmond
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Brennan Poole

There are 40 drivers entered for 38 spots, but no Cup regulars as it’s the season’s first Dash 4 Cash race.

DRIVER CHANGE: #10-Kaulig Racing
After 74 career Truck Series starts, Derek Kraus will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut this weekend, taking the place of COTA winner A.J. Allmendinger in the #10 Chevrolet. Kraus carries sponsorship from The International Order of T. Roosevelt, a wildlife conservation foundation named for the 26th president of the United States.

MISSING: #17-Hendrick Motorsports
Not among the entrants is Hendrick’s XFINITY entry with Cup regular William Byron, who finished 2nd to Allmendinger in COTA.

DRIVER SWAP: #19-Joe Gibbs Racing
Joe Graf, Jr. makes his second run for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday, his first since Fontana, and takes the place of Cup rookie Ty Gibbs, who finished 3rd in COTA. Graf’s reunion opens the #38 ride with which he finished 30th in Austin, and brings on Truck Series part-timer Chris “Hackerman” Hacker. Hacker brings his sponsorship from injury law firm Morgan & Morgan to the RSS Racing effort.

DRIVER CHANGE: #35-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
For the first time since the first-lap tangle with Caesar Bacarella at Atlanta, Joey Gase is back in the #35 entry, taking the place of Parker Chase, who failed to qualify at COTA. Gase will run the familiar blue-and-green colors of another organ donation service, this time Donate Life VA.

DRIVER SWAP: #44-Alpha Prime Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Alpha Prime Racing
Jeffrey Earnhardt swaps rides again, moving from the #45 with which he finished 25th to rejoin the #44 entry, substituting Sage Karam whose engine failure left him 35th. Into the #45 comes Phoenix driver Leland Honeyman, who ran 27th in his XFINITY debut at Phoenix earlier this month. Big Green Egg is the listed sponsor of the Honeyman car.

MISSING: #50-Pardus Racing, Inc.
Preston Pardus and his family’s team are not entered this week after they successfully qualified in their first attempt and finished 36th with suspension issues.

DRIVER CHANGE: #53-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Brad Perez was the lone standard-bearer for Emerling-Gase at COTA, and this time secured a 29th-place finish. This week, he’s on the other side of pit wall for team co-owner Patrick Emerling, who runs the #53 Ford with associate sponsorship from Bonesteel Aerospace. The white, black, and yellow paint scheme resembles Emerling’s #07 he’s campaigned in NASCAR modified ranks.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
MBM looks to turn around their streak of bad luck, most recently a DNQ from COTA with Cameron Lawrence, and this week brings back Mason Maggio to run the #66 Rock Hill, SC / ACE Hardware Toyota. This is the Floridian’s second attempt to qualify this car, following a DNQ in Las Vegas. Timmy Hill had originally been listed as the driver of this car earlier in the week.

Dawson Cram reunites with the Harmon effort in place of Argentinian road racer Baltazar Leguizamon, who missed out on his NASCAR debut in COTA. Seeking just the fifth start of his XFINITY career, Cram looks to improve from a last-place showing due to fuel pump issues in Phoenix.

MISSING: #88-JR Motorsports
Miguel Paludo is not entered as he continues his exclusive road-course schedule. He finished 13th last week in COTA.

Back from a one-race suspension for his climbing from the car at Atlanta is Josh Williams, who appropriately has acquired a new sponsor from Parking Guidance, Systems, Inc. The sponsor will not only back Williams, but also teammate Alex Labbe, Williams’ substitute from COTA, who after a 15th-place finish will take the place of 28th-place Josh Bilicki in the #91.

NEW TEAM: #96-FRS Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #02-Our Motorsports
This week sees the debut of FRS Racing, owned by Matt Weber, and consisting of the assets of the shuttered Brandonbilt Motorsports. BrewHaha Brewing Company is the listed sponsor. Kyle Weatherman comes over from Our Motorsports to drive the #96 car, opening the door for Blaine Perkins’ reunion with the Our team, one week after he parted ways with SS-Green Light Racing. Weatherman will rejoin the Our #02 team in Martinsville.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
As of this writing, there is no driver listed in place of Truck Series regular Carson Hocevar, whose XFINITY debut at COTA was cut short by transmission issues after just seven laps. UPDATE: Stefan Parsons will drive with his sponsor SOKAL.

DRIVER CHANGE: #08-SS-Green Light Racing
Following a 24th-place finish by Cup regular Aric Almirola in the #08, Gray Gaulding is back behind the wheel for the first time since his 20th-place showing at Atlanta, which tied his season-best finish from Daytona.


Saturday, April 1, 2023 (4:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 5 of 23 250 at Texas
2022 Last-Place Finisher (May, 220 miles): Derek Kraus

There are 36 drivers entered for as many spots, meaning no teams will be sent home from this support race for the NTT IndyCar Series.

MISSING: #7-Spire Motorsports
MISSING: #8-NEMCO Motorsports
MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
No fewer than four teams from COTA aren’t making the trip to Texas this week. This will be the first race without TRICON’s #1 entry with which Kaz Grala earned a solid 9th-place finish on the road course. Spire Motorsports hasn’t entered the #7 which failed to qualify after Cup regular Alex Bowman cut down a tire. The NEMCO effort isn’t entered after Samuel LeComte suffered his fourth DNQ in three seasons. Also not attending is the Charlie Henderson effort with which Parker Kligerman ran 31st in COTA due to electrical issues.

RETURNING: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
One team that is returning to action is that of underdog Trey Hutchens, who loaded up his blue #14 Quality Roof Seamers Chevrolet on Tuesday. Hutchens seeks his 11th series start, his first since last summer at Kansas, where he finished 29th in his only start from 2022.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
The driver rotation at the third Randy Young entry continues as Matt Mills rejoins the program for the first time since his 26th-place showing in Las Vegas, again with familiar sponsorship from J.F. Electric. Mills takes the place of IndyCar’s Ed Jones, who failed to complete a lap at COTA after a suspension issue cut down the left-rear tire.

After not driving at COTA, Josh Reaume returns to drive for the fourth time this season, his third with AM Racing in the #22 with which he most recently took 23rd in Atlanta. Reaume takes the place of Logan Bearden, who finished 22nd on the road course.

DRIVER CHANGE: #30-On Point Motorsports
Texas marks the second career Truck Series start for Ryan Vargas, who takes the place of 20th-place COTA finisher Colin Garrett in the #30 Rangeline Toyota. It was this same Texas track that saw Vargas score the first top-ten finish of his XFINITY career, taking home 8th in the fall of 2020.

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Keith McGee will make his 10th career Truck Series start and second of this season, looking to improve on his last-place finish in Atlanta. He again drives the #34 for the Reaume effort, taking the place of 26th-place COTA finisher Mason Filippi. McGee last ran at Texas in 2021, when he finished 29th in Reaume’s #33 entry.

DRIVER CHANGE: #41-Niece Motorsports
Chad Chastain swaps in for older brother Ross, the polesitter from COTA, and carries sponsorship from GlobalTranz on his #41 Chevrolet. This will be Chad’s fifth career Truck Series start and first of the season. He most recently ran last fall’s race at Homestead, where he drove Niece’s #44 entry to a 30th-place finish.

Like the Young’s #20, the G2G effort continues to rotate drivers this season. For Texas, they bring on Armani Williams, who will make his first Truck Series start since last fall at Phoenix, where an early wreck with Keith McGee left him in last place. Williams, who is also expected to drive for the team at IRP, will take the place of Dale Quarterley, who finished 28th after a late-race penalty in his Truck Series debut at COTA. Williams failed to qualify for this race last year.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
With COTA runner-up Kyle Busch joining the other Cup regulars in Richmond, Jack Wood is back at the controls of the #51 Sevwins Chevrolet, marking his third start of the season and first since a 10th-place showing in Atlanta.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Tyler Hill is back to sharing the #56 entry with brother Timmy Hill, and this week makes his first Truck Series start of the season with sponsorship from MF1 Fantasy Racing. As with Armani Williams, this will be Tyler’s first start since last fall’s Phoenix finale, where he ran 23rd in what was the most recent start for the second Hill Motorsports entry, the #5. 


Sunday, April 2, 2023 (3:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
CUP Race 7 of 36
Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Greg Biffle

There are 37 drivers entered for 40 spots, marking the sixth short field in seven races this season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #9-Hendrick Motorsports
After Jordan Taylor qualified 4th and finished 24th in his rough-and-tumble debut in COTA, Josh Berry resumes his role as Chase Elliott’s oval-track substitute. Berry’s sixth Cup start will be his first at Richmond, where he’s scored a pair of 7th-place finishes in the XFINITY Series.

RETURNING: #13-Kaulig Racing
With a short field, Chandler Smith will not fail to qualify as he had in the Daytona 500, and will this time run double-duty as he makes his Cup Series debut in Kaulig’s #13 Quick Tie Products, Inc. Chevrolet. Driving the lone “open” entry in the field, Smith will compete at a track where he won last year’s Truck Series race with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
Taking the place of Formula One’s Jenson Button, who earned an 18th-place run in his NASCAR debut at COTA, J.J. Yeley is back in the Rick Ware #15. This will be Yeley’s 18th Cup start at Richmond, where he finished 10th in the fall of 2007.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-Live Fast Motorsports
Dude Wipes will double-up their sponsorship of Anthony Alfredo, who is off to a strong start in this year’s XFINITY Series with B.J. McLeod Motorsports. On Sunday, Alfredo will make his first Cup start since November 2021 and the conclusion of his rookie campaign with Front Row Motorsports. Alfredo continues with McLeod to the Live Fast effort, taking the place of Josh Bilicki, who finished 26th after a solid performance in COTA.

MISSING: #84-Legacy Motor Club
MISSING: #91-Trackhouse Racing (Project 91)
Not running this week are Jimmie Johnson, who finished next-to-last after his first-lap tangle with Ty Dillon, and the “Project 91” entry of Formula One ace Kimi Raikkonen, the 29th-place finisher.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (March 30, 1969): Dick Brooks picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Cup Series career in the Atlanta 500 at Atlanta when his #32 1969 Plymouth started 11th but made it just 38 laps before the engine let go. Brooks would ultimately finish last six times in his career, including a second time at Atlanta in 1972.

ARCA EAST: Moeller sidelined with brake issues in East Series opener

ALL PHOTOS: David PeQueen, @CarSDS2078 

by Ben Schneider Staff Writer

Nate Moeller finished last for the 2nd time in his ARCA Menards Series East career in Saturday’s Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway when his No. 06 River’s Edge Cottages & RV Park Toyota fell out with brake issues after completing 3 of 200 laps.

The finish came in Moeller’s 3rd career ARCA East start.

Moeller’s first last-place finish came almost exactly one year ago at the same track. In his East Series debut, Moeller had his Wayne Peterson Racing No. 06 car renumbered to a Fast Track Racing No. 10 entry as part of a gentlemen’s agreement between Peterson and Fast Track Racing owner Andy Hillenburg. Moeller then ran two laps in the race - one fewer than he completed Saturday - before start-and-parking the car. Across both the East Series and the national tour, Moeller has made a total of six career ARCA starts.

Dale Shearer's car pulls off the track before the start.
While 16 cars appeared on the initial entry list, only 13 started the race. Brad Smith’s No. 48 team was shown on the entry list, though an ARCA spokesman confirmed to Frontstretch’s Mark Kristl a few hours before the race that Smith had withdrawn. Dale Shearer’s No. 98 Toyota appeared on ARCA’s practice and qualifying sheets, though no time was listed on either page. Per MBM Motorsports website and social content contributor David PeQueen, Shearer was able to roll off the starting grid on the frontstretch, but immediately pulled behind the wall, entering the infield while the rest of the grid began the first pace lap. Finally, Rita Goulet, who married in the off-season after making four ARCA starts last year as Rita Thomason, set a qualifying time of 20.832 seconds. After surviving a minor incident in practice with Sean Hingorani, Goulet encountered more trouble at the pit road entrance following her qualifying lap, which, according to PeQueen, appears to be what prevented her from taking the green flag. Goulet’s car was pushed to the starting grid but would later be towed back behind the wall.

Shearer and Goulet were classified 14th and 15th respectively, though Moeller will be credited with the last-place finish as the first car to retire from the race after taking the green flag. Goulet’s qualifying speed would have placed her 13th on the grid just ahead of Moeller, whose fastest lap time was 21.463 seconds.
Rita Goulet's #31 towed to the garage from the grid.

After being promoted to 13th on the grid, Moeller became the first retirement from the race after completing 3 laps. Overheating issues ended the night for Fast Track Racing teammates Dallas Frueh and Tim Monroe, who exited after running 22 and 37 laps respectively. Ed Pompa followed up the order 13 laps down in 10th place in another Fast Track entry, while R.J. Smotherman’s No. 46 Lowden Jackson Motorsports car rounded out the Bottom Five by completing 193 of 200 laps.

At the front of the field, William Sawalich enjoyed a perfect evening as the 16-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing development driver took pole position, led every lap, and won the race. Following Sawalich in 2nd was Luke Fenhaus, the 2021 Slinger Nationals winner who finished 2nd in an SRX race at Slinger the same year. Jake Finch, the son of Phoenix Racing owner James Finch, completed the podium with a 3rd-place finish for Venturini Motorsports.

13) #06-Nate Moeller / 3 laps / brakes
12) #01-Dallas Frueh / 22 laps / overheating
11) #12-Tim Monroe / 37 laps / overheating
10) #10-Ed Pompa / 187 laps / running
9) #46-R.J. Smotherman / 193 laps / running

1st) Toyota (1)

1st) Wayne Peterson Racing (1)


Sunday, March 26, 2023

CUP: Opening lap stack-up knocks Ty Dillon out of Cup race at COTA

PHOTO: Jared Haas, @RealJaredHaas

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Ty Dillon scored the 3rd last-place finish of his NASCAR Cup Series career in Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas when his #77 Ferris Commercial Mowers Chevrolet was involved in a multi-car accident, preventing him from competing any of the 75 laps.

The finish, which came in Dillon’s 207th series start, was his second of the season and first since the Daytona 500, five races ago. In the Cup Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 41st for the #77, the 643rd from a crash, and he 835th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 55th for the #77, the 1,322nd from a crash, and the 1,879th for Chevrolet.

After a late-race engine failure in Fontana to follow his issue at Daytona, Dillon finished the next three races under power. But it wasn’t until last week in Atlanta that he finished inside the Top 30, taking a solid 23rd for his first lead-lap finish of 2023. He looked for a better run in COTA, where in the last two runnings he finished even better in 21st and 20th, coming home on the lead lap each time.

Dillon entered the third annual COTA weekend 29th in practice among the 39 drivers entered. He then ran 16th fastest of 19 drivers in Qualifying Round 1A, putting up a lap of 91.909mph (133.567 seconds), which secured him the 34th spot on the grid.

Taking 39th and last was Aric Almirola, whose #10 Smithfield Ford turned in the slowest lap of the session at 67.306mph (182.392 seconds), the result of flat-spotted tires. After more than ten drivers incurred unapproved adjustments penalties in Saturday’s Truck Series and XFINITY Series races, and after NASCAR approved of multiple brake changes due to a cracking issue, only one car was sent to the rear. This was 20th-place Michael McDowell for splitter repairs suffered to his #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford that ran off-course in Turn 19 during qualifying. McDowell dropped to the back in The Esses, remarking “I’m the Lone Ranger” as he dropped to 39th behind Almirola coming to Turn 20.

These were the intervals of the trailing cars as they crossed the stripe, including their original starting spots:

29-29) 4-Harvick 3.066
30-32) 17-Buescher 3.101
31-34) 77-Ty Dillon 3.318
32-31) 84-Johnson 3.384
33-36) 38-Gilliland 3.472
34-33) 78-Bilicki 3.597
35-38) 12-Blaney 3.763
36-35) 50-Daly 3.836
37-37) 51-Ware 4.007
38-20) 34-McDowell 4.174
39-39) 10-Almirola 4.282

When the green flag dropped, McDowell was running at driver’s right, which put him just ahead of Almirola at the stripe. It also put the #34 in position to gain several spots in the high lane through Turn 1, placing him alongside 32nd-place starter Chris Buescher in the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford. Almirola also gained spots, and by the exit of Turn 1 had dropped Conor Daly to last in The Money Team’s #50 Bitnile Chevrolet. Daly told his crew he backed off on purpose. “Sorry I lost those spots,” he told his crew. “I didn't want to hit the 84, 48, or 77. I had to get on the brakes.” Daly was still running last as the field worked its way off Turn 19, headed to the last corner and the completion of Lap 1.

The hood damage from Ty Dillon's on-board on Lap 1.

Coming off Turn 19, Brad Keselowski was running around his 30th starting spot when spun his #6 Wyndham Rewards Ford, leaving him stopped in the middle of the track. Closing fast, his RFK Racing teammate Chris Buescher cut to the right, which trapped Ty Dillon between Buescher and the #38 Reudebusch Ford of Todd Gilliland. The contact hooked Dillon to the left, where he speared a passing Jimmie Johnson in the left-rear of his #84 Club Wyndham Chevrolet. The impact pushed up the hood of Dillon’s Chevrolet and damaged the right-rear of Johnson’s car, ultimately drawing the caution. Dillon took last from Daly with Johnson now 38th.

Both Johnson and Dillon made it to pit road. Dillon’s crew soon said “It’s killed,” and prepared to go to the garage. Not wanting to push the car due to an oil leak, the crew called for a tow truck, which pulled his car behind the wall. Meanwhile, Johnson’s crew raced against the “Crash Clock,” applying strips of tape to the right-rear fender and working on an apparent suspension issue. On Lap 3, when Johnson was down to his last 30 seconds on the clock,’s leaderboard briefly showed the #84 in last place, but this switched back to Dillon on the same lap. While Johnson had qualified ahead of Dillon, Dillon was ahead of Johnson during the wreck. 

It was during this same third lap that Johnson’s crew radioed “We’re done. Take it to the truck.” Johnson’s crew was also concerned about leaking oil on pit road, and also made further repairs to get their car rolling again. They ultimately had Johnson re-fire the engine and pull behind the wall on Lap 4, where he joined Dillon as out under the “Damaged Vehicle Policy.” Moments after the Lap 6 restart, both Dillon and Johnson were declared out by NASCAR officials, citing crash damage as the cause. Johnson was credited with 38th, listed as “DVP” since his clock ran out during repairs.

Jimmie Johnson's #84 in the garage after the wreck.
PHOTO: Jared Haas, @RealJaredHaas
Finishing 37th was a frustrated Bubba Wallace, whose #23 Money Lion Toyota broke an oil line after he collided with Kyle Larson at the end of the long backstretch. As with Johnson’s car, Wallace’s 23XI Racing team debated about how best to go to the garage to not leak oil on the adjoining pit stalls. He was ultimately pushed backwards across Alex Bowman’s stall and into the rear garage entrance near the media center and Truck Series garage. This same entrance was then used by Conor Daly, whose transmission had been vibrating for much of the weekend. Daly pulled into his garage stall for repairs and was ultimately ruled out on Lap 33. Rounding out the Bottom Five was Brad Keselowski, who after multiple spins ultimately stalled his #6 on the track in the closing laps, triggering a sequence of restarts that pushed the race seven laps past its scheduled distance.

*This marked the second time the #77 finished last in a Cup race at COTA. The other time was the May 23, 2021 inaugural, when Justin Haley’s #77 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet had steering issue after 12 laps.
*Dillon is the first driver to finish last in a Cup points race without completing a lap since May 27, 2020, when Garrett Smithley’s #53 Chevrolet crashed after his valve cover came loose on the first lap around Charlotte. It hasn’t happened on a road course since June 23, 2013, when Bobby Labonte’s #47 Kingsford Toyota lost the engine at Sears Point.

39) #77-Ty Dillon / 0 laps / crash
38) #84-Jimmie Johnson / 0 laps / DVP
37) #23-Bubba Wallace / 10 laps / crash
36) #50-Conor Daly / 16 laps / transmission
35) #6-Brad Keselowski / 56 laps / driveshaft

1st) Live Fast Motorsports, Spire Motorsports (2)
2nd) Kaulig Racing, Penske Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (5)
2nd) Ford (1)


Saturday, March 25, 2023

XFINITY: Carson Hocevar’s first last-place finish concludes his rough day at COTA

PHOTO: Jared Haas, @RealJaredHaas

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Carson Hocevar scored the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 presented by USA Today at the Circuit of the Americas when his #07 Engine Parts Plus Chevrolet lost the transmission after 7 of 46 laps.

The finish came in Hocevar’s series debut. In the XFINITY Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 13th for the #07, the 51st for the transmission, and the 613th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 24th for the #07, the 171st from the transmission, and the 1,878th for Chevrolet.

Among this week’s “Silly Season” news was that of Bobby Dotter’s team SS-Green Light Racing, which had endured a particularly difficult start to the 2023 season. The team had hired Blaine Perkins to drive their #07 Chevrolet, but their 22nd-place run in Atlanta was their only finish better than 31t through the season’s first five races. Driver and team parted ways, opening the door for a replacement. They selected Carson Hocevar, who was originally slated to make his XFINITY debut later this season in a new #77 Chevrolet fielded by Spire Motorsports.

Hocevar would pull double-duty on Saturday with his full-time ride for Niece Motorsports in the #42 Chevrolet for the Craftsman Truck Series. The Truck race at COTA would mark just his 58th series start, but in just five years the Michigan native and protégé of Johnny Benson, Jr. has become a fixture of the garage area. His many close calls for an elusive first victory have earned him fans in the stands, but his aggression has at times infuriated some of his fellow competitors. Both rallied around Hocevar last June, where he injured his leg in a last-lap crash at Gateway, then with crutches still chose to run the next round at Sonoma. There, he won the pole – only to crash just after his timed lap. A Playoff challenger the last three years, Hocevar continues to seek his first victory.

That win wouldn’t come Saturday at COTA. Brake issues sent his #42 into the gravel trap off Turn 1, and a subsequent axle issue put him out of the race for good, leaving him 34th in a field of 36. In a week that saw him participate in the tire test at North Wilkesboro for the upcoming race in May, Hocevar looked ahead to his XFINITY debut.

Hocevar was one of 42 drivers entered for the 38-car starting grid. He ranked 30th in practice, then in qualifying jumped to 8th-fastest in Qualifying Group 1A with a lap of 90.669mph (135.393 seconds). Just short of a spot in Round 2, Hocevar secured the 17th spot on the starting grid alongside JR Motorsports’ road course ringer Miguel Paludo. 

The four drivers sent home included Argentinian driver Baltzar Leguizamon, who drove CHK Racing’s #74 TEDIT / Altstadt Brewery Chevrolet after sponsorship fell through to drive Motorsports Business Management’s #66. Cameron Lawrence, Leguizamon’s replacement, also missed the cut in the #66 Impact Health Labs / RAFA Racing Club Toyota, and was joined by Garrett Smithley in the #4 2-C Equipment Chevrolet and Parker Chase in the #35 ONTIVITY Toyota. Chase had damaged his car in a practice incident where he slid into a gravel trap.

Securing the 38th and final starting spot was Kyle Sieg, who ran an unsponsored black #28 Ford for RSS Racing. Sieg would retain the last spot at the green flag, 4.636 seconds back of the lead at the stripe, as his was one of the 13 starters to incur pre-race penalties for unapproved adjustments. 

Sent to the back with Kyle Sieg were 8th-place Justin Allgaier in the #7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 10th-place Cole Custer in the #00 Haas Automation Ford, 16th-place Sage Karam in the #44 Quality Roof Seamers Chevrolet, 20th-place Kaz Grala in the #26 Fire Department Coffee Toyota, 23rd-place Alex Labbe, a suspended Josh Williams’ substitute in the #92 Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet, 27th-place Chandler Smith in the #16 Quick Tie Products Inc. Chevrolet, 28th-place Brett Moffitt in the #25 AM Technical Solutions Ford, 29th-place Anthony Alfredo in the #78 Pit Boss Chevrolet, 33rd-place Kyle Weatherman in the bright yellow unsponsored #02 Our Motorsports Chevrolet, 35th-place Joe Graf, Jr. in the #38 G-Coin Ford, and 37th-place Brennan Poole in the #6 BeONE Sports Chevrolet.

Here were the final 11 drivers to cross the starting line, and where each was originally scheduled to start:

28-29) 78-Alfredo 3.061
29-8) 7-Allgaier 3.065
30-10) 00-Custer 3.310
31-33) 02-Weatherman 3.335
32-16) 44-Karam 3.586
33-36) 45-Earnhardt 3.624
34-20) 26-Grala 3.731
35-37) 6-Poole 3.834
36-28) 25-Moffitt 3.892
37-35) 38-Graf 4.226
38-38) 28-Kyle Sieg 4.636

As indicated by the intervals, Kyle Sieg trailed teammate Joe Graf, Jr. by four-tenths of a second across the stripe, which allowed both an orderly trip through the first corner. Further ahead, 15th-place starter Josh Berry stoved in the nose of his #8 Tire Pros Love The Drive Chevrole when he rear-ended William Byron’s #17 Chevrolet. Both continue on, and Kyle Sieg remained last until the entrance to the Carouel at Turn 12, where 13th-place Aric Almirola spun his #08 Rush Truck Centers Ford. This dropped Almirola to last across the stripe, 18.330 seconds back of the lead and two seconds back of Kyle Sieg. Almirola then set after the #28, and by Lap 3 leapfrogged both he and Graf to take over the 36th spot. This put Kyle Sieg back to last once more, and he was now 31.031 seconds back of the lead on Lap 4.

On Lap 6, the spot fell to Brad Perez, who qualified at the scene of his Truck Series debut last year in the Emerling-Gase Motorsports #53 Apex Coffee Roasters / Weiss Sand & Clay LP Chevrolet. At that moment, Perez had dropped five seconds back of now 37th-place Kyle Sieg, a full 47 seconds back of the lead. The next time by, Sage Karam incurred a pass-through penalty for cutting the course, and dropped a full 15 seconds back of now 37th-place Perez, 67.390 seconds back of the lead. He only held the spot for a moment. 

During the side-by-side commercial break, Carson Hocevar’s #07 stopped on the outside of Turn 1, drawing the caution flag. Hocevar had held onto the 15th spot in the early laps and had just slipped to 16th before the transmission failed. He climbed out, done for the afternoon, and his car was towed to the garage.

Two laps later, Brennan Poole made his own extended stay in the garage area, and he ultimately lost 13 laps to the leaders. He returned to the track and climbed out of the Bottom Five, passing a group of other cars that had fallen out. Taking 37th was last week’s winner Austin Hill, whose #21 Bennett Transportation Chevrolet suffered a mechanical issue that put him behind the wall on Lap 16. Pardus Racing, Inc. qualified for its first race in their very first attempt, but Preston Pardus incurred at least one pit road penalty before suspension issues left his #50 Garage Oil Spirits Chevrolet in 36th. Blown engines eliminated both Sage Karam in 35th and Brett Moffitt, who stalled on the track after completing 27 laps.

*This marked the first last-place finish for the #07 in a XFINITY Series race since March 5, 2022, when Joe Graf, Jr. was disqualified for a lug nut issue at Las Vegas.

38) #07-Carson Hocevar / 7 laps / transmission
37) #21-Austin Hill / 13 laps / engine
36) #50-Preston Pardus / 16 laps / suspension
35) #44-Sage Karam / 23 laps / engine
34) #25-Brett Moffitt / 27 laps / engine

1st) SS-Green Light Racing (2)
2nd) CHK Racing, Emerling-Gase Motorsports, JD Motorsports, Motorsports Business Management (1)

1st) Chevrolet (4)
2nd) Ford, Toyota (1)


TRUCKS: Suspension issue prevents IndyCar’s Ed Jones from completing a lap of NASCAR debut

ALL PHOTOS: Jared Haas, @RealJaredHaas

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Ed Jones picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career in Saturday’s XPEL 225 at the Circuit of the Americas when his #20 Little Caesars Chevrolet suffered suspension issues without completing any of the 42 laps.

The finish came in Jones’ series debut. In the Truck Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 11th for the #20, the 15th from suspension problems, and the 431st for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 51st from the suspension, the 56th for the #20, and he 1,877th for Chevrolet.

Among the international cadre of “road course ringers” set to compete in all three of NASCAR’s national series at COTA was Ed Jones of Dubai, who on Saturday would make his first-ever NASCAR start. Prior to Saturday, Jones was most known for his open-wheel exploits, most notably his championship in Indy Lights in 2016, where he bested runner-up Santiago Urrutia by just two points. He then graduated to the NTT IndyCar Series, making 63 starts over four seasons. This included a trio of 3rd-place finishes, including top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500, where his Dale Coyne Racing entry followed Takuma Sato and Helio Castroneves across the yard of bricks. More recently, he’s competed in sports cars, including the last three runnings of the 24 Hours of Daytona and last week’s 12 Hours of Sebring.

Jones would team up with Young’s Motorsports to drive the #20, becoming the entry’s fourth different driver in as many races. Following Derek Kraus’ 18th-place showing in Daytona, the team had experienced declining results, starting with a 26th by Matt Mills in Las Vegas and a next-to-last-place finish in Atlanta by Mason Maggio, who suffered right-front fender damage after a rough start to the event. Driver and team looked for a turnaround in a bright orange-and-white Chevrolet sponsored by pizza chain Little Caesar’s.

Jones was one of 39 drivers entered to attempt the 36-truck field. He ran 31st in opening practice, then ranked 14th of 20 drivers in Qualifying Group 1B, putting up a time of 89.057mph (137.844 seconds). This secured Jones the 23rd spot, more than enough to best the three teams sent home. The DNQ list included Samuel LeComte, still seeking his Truck Series debut in what would have been the return of NEMCO Motorsports in the #8 Concierge Motorsports Chevrolet. LeComte spun at the end of practice and backed into the Turn 7 wall. Mason Massey was sent home after he couldn’t complete a lap in the #33 Ford for Reaume Brothers Racing. Cup regular Alex Bowman cut a right-front tire on his #7 Chevrolet during his timed lap, putting his Spire Motorsports entry out of the show.

Securing the 36th and final starting spot was rookie Daniel Dye, whose #43 Dell Children’s Medical Center / Nyle Maxwe Chevrolet blew an engine in practice and wasn’t able to take a qualifying lap. The resulting engine change made Dye’s one of eleven trucks sent to the rear for various issues:

Unapproved adjustments docked 17th-place Parker Kligerman in the #75 Food Country USA / Utz Chevrolet, 19th-place Taylor Gray in the #17 Dead On Tools Toyota, 21st-place Chase Purdy in the #4 Bama Buggies Chevrolet, 24th-place Kaden Honeycutt in the #04 CarQuest Ford, 25th-place Colin Garrett in the #30 11/11 Veteran Project / UnBroken Toyota, 28th-place Matt DiBenedetto in the #25 Rackley Roofing Chevrolet, 31st-place Bret Holmes in the #32 Pate Holdings Chevrolet, 34th-place Matt Crafton in the #88 Ideal Door / Menards Ford, and 35th-place Kris Wright, one of Jones’ teammates, in the #02 F.N.B. Corporation Chevrolet. Like Daniel Dye, Wright didn’t complete a lap in qualifying, but unlike Mason Massey’s #33 still qualified for the race. Spencer Boyd, the third of Jones’ teammates, dropped to the back in the #12 Record Rack Chevrolet as travel delays kept him from practicing on Friday. Stefan Parsons climbed into Boyd’s truck and placed it 26th on the grid.

While the net result of all these pre-race penalties still put Wright and Dye in the final two spots – exactly where they originally qualified - NASCAR had some difficulty getting other drivers to line up properly, including Crafton and Purdy. Coming to the green flag, Dye was ahead of four other trucks, including Purdy, Kligerman, Boyd, and Taylor Gray. Based on intervals, Gray and Kligerman took the green ahead of Dye, who was now 34th ahead of Purdy and new last-place starter Boyd, 4.05 seconds back of the lead. 

The following were the intervals across the stripe for these trailing trucks, including their originally scheduled starting spots:

29-34) 88-Crafton 3.037
30-35) 02-Wright 3.041
31-17) 75-Kligerman 3.262
32-28) 25-DiBenedetto 3.364
33-19) 17-Taylor Gray 3.527
34-36) 43-Dye 3.746
35-21) 4-Purdy 3.773
36-26) 12-Boyd 4.05

The action started early as Bret Holmes’ #32 spun entering the Esses and dropped to last place behind Boyd. But, a moment later, Ed Jones’ #20 started to trail smoke from what appeared to be an oil leak. Jones dropped off the pace, pulling out of traffic as the rest of the field rushed past. He was next shown with his truck driving crooked, indicative of a suspension issue. He tried to make it back to pit road, but the left-rear tire then cut down, stranding him in Turn 15 and drawing the first caution of the day. Jones was brought to the garage for what was declared to be a mechanical issue, allowing the Young’s Motorsports crew to jack up the left side of his truck and attempt repairs.

The damage to Dean Thompson's truck that put him
out of the race.
As the Young’s team worked, the Bottom Five filled rapidly due to a series of equally perplexing mechanical issues. Dean Thompson’s #5 Thompson Pipe Group Toyota rear-ended another truck, puncturing the radiator. The crew attempted a replacement, but the moment he was pushed backwards behind the wall on Lap 7, was declared out under the “Damaged Vehicle Policy.” Carson Hocevar’s #42 Worldwide Express Chevrolet was running 5th when he lost the brakes and skated into a gravel pit. He, too, made it to pit road, only to be pushed to the garage with a busted axle on Lap 13. Matt Crafton’s own off-track excursion in Turn 4 forced an unscheduled pit stop, during which time NASCAR said he hadn’t reached minimum speed. Crafton, too, was then pushed backwards behind the wall, where on Lap 17 he joined Thompson as out of the race under the “Damaged Vehicle Policy.” Hocevar was declared out on Lap 19.

Around Lap 22, the Young’s team’s work doubled when Spencer Boyd pulled behind the wall, the crew looking under the hood of his #12. Just three laps later, Jones’ #20 was finally declared out of the race. Boyd, too, ultimately didn’t return to the track, and completed he Bottom Five. None of those five drivers completed more than 12 of the day’s 42 laps.

*This marked the second-consecutive last-place finish for Young’s Motorsports’ #20 team in the Truck Series race at COTA. Last year, when Sheldon Creed drove the truck, his drive train failed after just one lap.
*Jones is the first driver from the United Arab Emirates to finish last in a NASCAR national series race.

36) #20-Ed Jones / 0 laps / suspension
35) #5-Dean Thompson / 4 laps / crash
34) #42-Carson Hocevar / 8 laps / axle
33) #88-Matt Crafton / 11 laps / crash
32) #12-Spencer Boyd / 12 laps / electrical

1st) Reaume Brothers Racing (2)
2nd) TRICON Garage, Young’s Motorsports (1)

1st) Ford (2)
2nd) Chevrolet, Toyota (1)


Thursday, March 23, 2023

PREVIEW: COTA fields stacked with ringers, champions, and entirely too many Cup regulars

IMAGE: Pardus Racing, Inc. Press Release

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, March 25, 2023 (1:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 4 of 23
XPEL 225 at the Circuit of the Americas
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Sheldon Creed

There are 39 drivers entered for 36 spots as the Truck Series kicks off the first road course weekend of 2023, meaning three will fail to qualify.

Kaz Grala will make his 50th career Truck Series start and first since his 17th-place run in Las Vegas as he rejoins TRICON Garage as driver of the #1 entry, taking the place of 28th-place Atlanta finisher Layne Riggs. Grala, who finished 14th in this race last year and was runner-up to Todd Gilliland in the 2021 inaugural, carries sponsorship from Island Coastal Lager.

RETURNING: #7-Spire Motorsports
Alex Bowman, who came within a couple turns of winning last year’s Cup race at COTA, makes his 5th career Truck Series start ad first since his 29th-place showing at Sonoma last June. Bowman’s other Truck start last year came at COTA, where he ran 25th after qualifying 3rd.

RETURNING: #8-NEMCO Motorsports
The 62-year-old Texas native Samuel LeComte makes his fourth attempt at an elusive Truck Series debut. This time, he joins Joe Nemechek’s team NEMCO Motorsports, which has not started a Truck Series race since February 19, 2021 on the Daytona Infield Road Course, where Camden Murphy took a strong 13th.

Speaking of the Nemecheks, John Hunter Nemechek is not entered in the Truck Series race following a close 3rd-place run last week in Atlanta. Taking his place is a returning Taylor Gray, who joins his brother and teammate Tanner Gray for his first Truck Series start of the season. Tanner ran 26th in this race last year and most recently took 17th in the 2022 finale at Phoenix.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
One of the many interesting road course “ringers” on this week’s entry list is 2016 Indy Lights Series Champion Ed Jones of the United Arab Emirates – the very driver who scored three podium finishes in 63 career IndyCar Series starts including a 3rd behind Takuma Sato and Helio Castroneves in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. While this will be Jones’ first NASCAR start, it will not be his first in closed-fendered competition. In sports car ranks, Jones has competed in the last three runnings of the 24 Hours of Daytona and just recently ranked 6th in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Little Caesars sponsors Jones, who takes the place of 35th-place Atlanta finisher Mason Maggio.

Logan Bearden made his Truck Series debut in this race last year, taking the 28th spot in a second AM Racing entry. This year, he runs the flagship #22 for the AM team, taking the place of 23rd-place Atlanta finisher Josh Reaume.

DRIVER CHANGE: #30-On Point Motorsports
Among the many bizarre driver changes caused by delayed drug test results last June in Sonoma was that of Colin Garrett, who handed the wheel of his 11/11 Veteran Project / UnBroken Toyota to Josh Bilicki. This week, Garrett makes up for lost time, bringing the same sponsors to the same entry he was slated to run that day – On Point Motorsports’ #30 Toyota. Garrett, who seeks his first Truck Series start since 2020 at Kansas, when he ran 24th for Niece Motorsports, takes the place of Ryan Vargas, who earned a sterling 14th-place finish in his Truck Series debut at Atlanta.

DRIVER CHANGE: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Speaking of Sonoma, Mason Filippi is back in the Truck Series for the first time since a disastrous afternoon in Mid-Ohio last year, where engine issues caused him to pull off the track in the early laps, and an equally difficult Sonoma where he handed the wheel over to Stefan Parsons before the race. Both races were with G2G Racing, for whom he is not racing this time around. For Saturday, he joins with Reaume Brothers Racing, taking the place of last week’s last-place finisher Keith McGee.

DRIVER CHANGE: #41-Niece Motorsports
After Bayley Currey’s career-best 4th-place finish in Atlanta’s frantic final laps, defending Cup Series COTA winner Ross Chastain will pull double-duty, taking to the controls of the #41 Worldwide Express Chevrolet.

Akinori Ogata also earned a respectable finish at Atlanta, running in the Top 20 and overcoming an incident where he spun into the inside wall to finish 17th, a new career-best for him in the Truck Series. This week, the ride goes to longtime short tracker Dale Quarterley, whose Toyota will carry sponsorship from Van Dyk Recycling and Motul. This will be Quarterley's first Truck Series start.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Looking to spoil the party on Saturday is a returning Kyle Busch, who last time out won from the pole and led 84 laps at Las Vegas. Busch takes the place of Jack Wood, who finished 10th in this truck at Atlanta.

RETURNING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
Road course racing means last year’s Mid-Ohio winner Parker Kligerman, who will run double-duty on Saturday between his full-time XFINITY effort for Big Machine Racing and his longtime part-time entry with Charlie Henderson. This will be Kligerman’s first Truck Series start since he ran 32nd in this year’s Daytona opener and follows a 19th in this race last year.

CUP INVADERS: #7-Alex Bowman, #41-Ross Chastain, #51-Kyle Busch

Saturday, March 25, 2023 (5:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
XFINITY Race 6 of 33
NASCAR XFINITY Series 250 at the Circuit of the Americas
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Bayley Currey

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

DRIVER CHANGE: #10-Kaulig Racing
After, like Alex Bowman, last year’s Cup win at COTA just slipped from his grasp, defending COTA XFINITY race winner A.J. Allmendinger will likewise pull double-duty on the track, his in both XFINITY and Cup. Saturday marks Allmendinger’s first XFINITY start since last November’s championship race marked the handing over of his full-time entry to current rookie Chandler Smith. He takes the place of his Cup teammate Justin Haley, who ended up 10th in Atlanta.

RETURNING: #17-Hendrick Motorsports
While his Cup teammate Bowman runs a Hendrick-sponsored entry in the Truck Series race, William Byron – the only two-time race winner in 2023’s young Cup season – will do the same in XFINITY. This #17 entry last ran at Darlington last September, where Kyle Larson finished 5th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #19-Joe Gibbs Racing
Like Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs will make his first XFINITY start since last November’s championship race – his the scene of his title-clinching effort over three JR Motorsports teammates. Gibbs takes the place of Ryan Truex, who ran a strong 3rd in Atlanta.

DRIVER CHANGE: #35-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Parker Chase brings sponsorship from nativity to the lead Emerling-Gase entry this week, taking the place of Patrick Emerling himself, who ran 18th in Atlanta. Chase rejoins the circuit for the first time since this year’s Daytona opener, where he ran 16th for Sam Hunt Racing.

DRIVER SWAP: #44-Alpha Prime Racing
DRIVER SWAP: #45-Alpha Prime Racing
Two of the three Alpha Prime entries swap drivers as Jeffrey Earnhardt, 34th in Atlanta, takes the wheel of the #45 and Sage Karam, 31st after radiator issues last Saturday, pilots the #44.

NEW TEAM: #50-Pardus Racing, Inc.
Three-time SCCA national champion Preston Pardus, long a road course entry for DGM Racing, will this year drive for his family’s own brand-new team. Pardus Racing, Inc. will run the #50 – a number crew chief and NASCAR veteran Dan Pardus ran in 1999 – and carries a vibrant paint scheme with Texas-based sponsor Garage Oil Spirits. If they qualify, this will be Preston’s 20th XFINITY start following a pair of 14th-place runs in the last two COTA races.

DRIVER CHAGE: #53-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Welcome back the popular Brad Perez, who last year made his first NASCAR national series start in COTA’s Truck Series race driving for Reaume Brothers Racing. This time around, Perez seeks his third XFINITY start and first of the year. As with his previous two starts, where he ran 20th at Watkins Glen and 23rd on the Charlotte “Roval,” Perez drives for Emerling-Gase, though this time in the second entry which in Atlanta was driven by Joey Gase before he was collected in a Lap 2 crash. APEX Coffee Roasers and Weiss Sand & Clay LP join as sponsors.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
It’s been a particularly rough first few races for Motorsports Business Management. Last week, in partnership with Alpha Prime Racing, Caesar Bacarella fell victim to a freak axle issue that triggered his Lap 2 crash with Joey Gase, leaving Bacarella in last place. MBM had planned to enter Argentinian driver Baltazar Leguizamon for Saturday, but the deal fell through due to lack of sponsorship. Cameron Lawrence has since stepped into the #66, seeking his own XFINITY debut at the track where he finished last in the inaugural Truck Series race in 2021. While Leguizamon is expected to run for MBM later this season, he has also landed another ride for Saturday as he takes the place of Atlanta DNQ Dawson Cram in CHK Racing’s #74.

RETURNING: #88-JR Motorsports
Miguel Paludo continues his road course part-time schedule for JR Motorsports, returning to the site of a 34th-place run in 2021 and a 9th just last year. Last seen in last year’s race on the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit, where he took 24th, Paludo will again share BRANDT Agriculture sponsorship with Justin Allgaier.

Josh Bilicki returns for only his second XFINITY start of the year following a 31st-place run in Las Vegas, again as driver of DGM Racing’s #91 Chevrolet. The road race ace takes the place of Chad Chastain, who finished 24th last week in Atlanta.

Following the well-publicized incident in Atlanta where NASCAR’s controversial decision to park his #92 led to him stopping on the starting line and walking away from his car, Josh Williams has been suspended for one week and will not run the Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet this Saturday. As sales from his charity benefitting t-shirts continue to rise, longtime DGM driver Alex Labbe will run in Williams’ place.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
After a disastrous start to the 2023 season where he’s ranked 37th in Owner Points and been on the verge of LASTCAR title contention, Blaine Perkins has parted ways with the Bobby Dotter team, effective immediately. Stepping aboard is Truck Series regular Carson Hocevar, whose planned XFINITY debut with Spire Motorsports has effectively been moved up to this weekend. Hocevar’s first XFINITY race will be a double-duty effort on Saturday.

DRIVER CHANGE: #08-SS-Green Light Racing
The second Dotter entry has been made available to one of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cup drivers in Aric Almirola. Almirola, who enjoyed a strong run at Atlanta before a blown right-rear tire nulled his chances, will take the place of 20th-place Atlanta finisher Gray Gaulding. Rush Truck Centers is the sponsor for this fourth entry fielded by a Cup Series regular. This will be Almirola’s first XFINITY start since August 4, 2018 at Watkins Glen, when he ran 5th for Biagi-DenBeste.

CUP INVADERS: #10-A.J. Allmendinger, #17-William Byron, #19-Ty Gibbs, #08-Aric Almirola

Sunday, March 26, 2023 (3:30 P.M. ET, FOX)
CUP Race 6 of 36
EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Andy Lally

There are 39 drivers entered for 40 spots, the biggest Cup field since Daytona, but also its fifth consecutive short field.

DRIVER CHANGE: #9-Hendrick Motorsports
As planned following the race in Las Vegas, endurance racing star Jordan Taylor will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this Sunday as driver of Chase Elliott’s fleet #9 UniFirst Chevrolet, replacing 18th-place Atlanta finisher Josh Berry. Wearing a Jeff Gordon-themed helmet adorned with his alter ego “Rodney Sandstorm,” Taylor will certainly be one to watch.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
Another major storyline for Sunday are the entries of not one but two Formula One World Champions in this week’s race. Running the RWR #15 affiliated with RFK Racing is 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, winner of 15 Grands Prix including his storybook 2009 title with upstart Brawn GP. Mobil 1 extends its sponsorship for what will be Button’s first start in any of NASCAR’s top three series. He takes the place of J.J. Yeley, who ran 26th in Atlanta.

RETURNING: #50-The Money Team Racing
Welcome back Conor Daly and The Money Team, back at the track for the first time since their tumultuous SpeedWeeks at Daytona. will again sponsor the #50 this week as Daly makes his first Cup laps on the Austin track.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-Live Fast Motorsports
Josh Bilicki pulls double-duty with his XFINITY effort for DGM as he looks to turn around a rough stretch for the Live Fast team, which has finished last the previous two races with B.J. McLeod. Bringing back his familiar sponsorship from Zeigler Auto Group, which backed him last year at Spire Motorsports, Bilicki finished 22nd in this race last year and seeks his first Cup start since last August at Michigan, where he was 21st.

RETURNING: #84-Legacy Motor Club
Also back for the first time since Daytona is Jimmie Johnson, who this time around will make his first Cup laps at COTA. Carrying sponsorship from Club Wyndham, Johnson continues his pursuit of an 84th victory, his first on a road course since Sonoma in 2010.

RETURNING: #91-Trackhouse Racing (Project 91)
Last but certainly not least, Trackhouse’s Project 91 is back for the first time since last summer at Watkins Glen, and as they had that day brings with them 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen. At The Glen, Raikkonen made it just short of halfway before teammate Ross Chastain triggered a wreck in the Inner Loop, leaving Kimi in 37th. He looks to improve in his second Cup start, which will mark the first time he’s raced Jenson Button in professional competition since the Grand Prix of Monaco on May 28, 2017. That day, Button crashed out of his final Grand Prix while Raikkonen ran 2nd to Sebastien Vettel.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (March 23, 1996): Jeremy Mayfield picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Busch Grand National Series career in the Dura Lube 200 at Darlington when his #98 Northstar Motorsports Ford crashed after 50 laps. 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

CUP: B.J. McLeod’s lead-lap run spoiled when leaders wreck at Atlanta

PHOTO: @teamlivefast

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

B.J. McLeod scored the 11th last-place finish of his NASCAR Cup Series career in Sunday’s Ambetter 400 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway when his #78 B’laster Chevrolet was involved in a multi-car accident after 189 of 260 laps.

The finish, which came in McLeod’s 119th series start, was his second of the season and second in a row. In the Cup Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 32nd for the #78, the 642nd from a crash, and the 834th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 47th for the #78, the 1,321st from a crash, and the 1,876th for Chevrolet.

Following a frustrating afternoon in Phoenix where a faltering fuel pump sent his ill-handling car behind the wall in the opening stages, McLeod looked to regain his superspeedway speed in Atlanta. He’d again be sponsored by B’laster Products, the chemical company which backed his Live Fast Motorsports entry five times last year. This included Atlanta last July race, where the car got away from him in the early laps, resulting in a crash that left him last. 

With no practice, McLeod’s first laps would be in qualifying – and he’d have to be first on track. But the surface proved so dirty that McLeod spun, ultimately preventing him from logging a time. This secured him the 36th and final starting spot. Joining McLeod in the back was Christopher Bell, who like McLeod spun in qualifying, but did so in Round 2 and suffered damage to his #20 DeWalt Toyota. The team received an unapproved adjustments penalty for repairs to the diffuser strakes and replacement of the splitter. During the pace laps, Bell dropped to the back, but McLeod let the #20 slot in front of him, second-to-last on the outside line.

When the race started, McLeod crossed the stripe in 35th, just ahead of 35th-place starter Ty Gibbs, whose #54 Monster Energy Toyota turned in the slowest completed lap in qualifying. Gibbs cleared McLeod on the first lap, but McLeod stayed in his draft and kept the #54 in his view. On Lap 4, Gibbs passed Bell, who McLeod drew alongside on Lap 7, the two just 0.071 second apart. The next time by, with the field still locked in a two-wide pack, Bell pulled away from McLeod and also passed J.J. Yeley’s #15 Barnett Southern Corporation Ford. McLeod pulled to Yeley’s inside, and for the next two circuits the two were just a few hundredths of a second apart.

On Lap 11, the first caution fell when 19th-place Bubba Wallace lost control of his #23 Door Dash Toyota down the backstretch. He slid into the inside wall and made contact with the left-front fender, then needed a push to make it back to pit road. Wallace immediately took last from the McLeod and Yeley battle, and lost a lap in the process. On Lap 13, the crew sent Wallace back on track to try and make minimum speed (35.16 seconds), telling him “crazy shit’s gonna happen” to allow them to gain some spots. Wallace cleared minimum speed on Lap 16, at which point he was two laps down. But something was still dragging on his #23, causing him to lose touch with McLeod and Yeley as they resumed their side-by-side battle on the restart, now for 34th and 35th.

By Lap 38, the tail end of the field began to lose touch with the main pack. The gap began with 33rd-place Cody Ware, whose #51 Biohaven Ford was now a second behind the 32nd-place car. Behind Ware, both McLeod and Yeley formed up into a draft with Wallace some distance behind, waiting for a caution to make further adjustments. Stranded, Wallace lost a third lap by the 44th circuit, and by Lap 52, the draft of Ware, McLeod, and Yeley had dropped 12.965 seconds back of 32nd-place Ty Dillon in the #77 Ferris Commercial Mowers Chevrolet. The caution didn’t fall until the end of Stage 1, when the crew asked what Wallace needed to improve the car’s handling. The team elected to put rounds in both the right-front and right-rear, and also work more on the splitter.

When the race restarted on Lap 68, Wallace passed a couple of cars, but by Lap 74 had dropped to the tail end of the line again. This time, he remained in touch with the trailing cars of McLeod, Yeley, and Ware, and the group began to draft. On Lap 81, Wallace pulled to McLeod’s inside off Turn 2, but McLeod charged back. McLeod defended another pass off Turn 4. Two circuits later, another driver found trouble. This was Ryan Preece, whose #41 Autodesk / Ford fell off the pace on Lap 83. “41’s gone,” said Wallace’s spotter. “He’s got some kind of issue.”

Wallace (right) passes Preece, putting the #41 in last.

By Lap 85, Preece had fallen to 35th, 7.61 seconds back of the lead and 2.216 seconds back of 34th-place McLeod, who still racing the lapped Wallace. Like Wallace, Preece waited for another caution to fall, but also didn’t get it. By Lap 89 – just four laps later – he had fallen a full 11.972 seconds back of McLeod and was completely by himself on track. Reading off the data from his digital dash, Preece was soon told the leaders were catching him. On Lap 93, Preece held the low lane as the leaders rushed past up high in single-file formation. Preece said his issue felt like what Briscoe experienced in Fontana last month – the engine running low on power. He estimated this was an injector issue, perhaps an injector not clogged or stuck open. 

Behind Preece, Ware now led the trailing pack of Wallace, McLeod, and Yeley as the leaders bore down to put them a lap down. As they did, the group attempted to merge into the lead draft. This caused the quartet to rush past the stranded Preece down the backstretch. And with Preece now on the same lap as Wallace, the #23 moved Preece to last off Turn 2. Green-flag pit stops ensued, and Wallace briefly retook last place on Lap 132, but Preece ran out of fuel and then incurred a pass-though penalty when he had to steer around Harrison Burton at the new pit entrance on the apron of Turn 3. This put Preece back to last on Lap 136, and the crew elected to look under the hood. The stop meant he still had to serve the pass-through, after which he was told the number two cylinder on the right side was dead, and he was now nine laps down to the leader, three behind 35th-place Wallace.

Stage 2 ended on Lap 162 with Preece still in last and all 36 cars under power. Preece’s crew brought him back in to change the spark plug for the dead cylinder, then changed the tires after. With Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. now leading the race on the restart, Preece anticipated the aggressive driver would draw a caution, but again, yellows were far from guaranteed. On Lap 181, Preece was now a full 13 laps down. He was still stranded, running by himself well off the pace, and on Lap 188 saw teammate Chase Briscoe pit his #14 High Point Ford for a bent toe link after contact with the wall. No sooner had Briscoe made it to pit road when the spotter broke in, saying, “Big wreck, big wreck. Whole field’s wrecked behind you.”

Trouble had broken out up front, but Stenhouse wasn’t to blame. The leaders were Kevin Harvick, who had a hard charging Ross Chastain filling his rear-view mirror. Coming off Turn 2, with Chastain a few inches behind Harvick’s rear bumper, Harvick’s #4 Busch Light Ford broke loose and was collected by Chris Buescher’s #17 Violet Defense Ford, triggering a multi-car pileup. Further back, coming off Turn 2, McLeod’s #78 spun sideways in a second wreck that also included Kyle Busch’s #8 Lenovo Chevrolet. Of those involved, both Buescher and McLeod’s cars failed to complete another lap, and were both towed to the garage, done for the day. McLeod was classified lower, and was first to close the gap on the lapped machines of Wallace and Preece. At the time of the wreck, McLeod was still running on the lead lap.

On Lap 204, Preece finally passed McLeod, putting the #78 in last place. That same time by, NASCAR confirmed McLeod was out due to the accident along with Buescher, Harvick, Burton, and the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet of William Byron. Burton had attempted to clear the “Crash Clock,” but was told on track that his time had expired, meaning NASCAR would no longer score his laps. This filled the Bottom Five, and ultimately lifted Wallace and Preece to 27th and 28th in the final running order.

LaJoie and the rookies survive Atlanta with great finishes

Finishing 4th was the #7 Celsius Chevrolet of Corey LaJoie, who for a third-straight Atlanta superspeedway race was a factor in the battle for the win. This time, it netted LaJoie his career-best Cup finish, improving on his first career Top Five in the 2022 running of this race. 

Both top Rookie of the Year contenders also enjoyed strong runs. After his poor performance in qualifying, Ty Gibbs rallied to a career-best 9th in his #54, besting his previous mark of 10th last summer in Michigan. Three spots behind came Noah Gragson, who turned around a frustrating start to 2023 with a 12th-place finish – his best run with Legacy Motor Club and third-best in a Cup race behind his 5th for Beard Motorsports in a crash-marred Daytona race and 11th last fall in Las Vegas substituting for Alex Bowman.

*This marked the second-straight last-place run for McLeod and the #78 in a Cup race at Atlanta.

36) #78-B.J. McLeod / 189 laps / crash
35) #17-Chris Buescher / 189 laps / crash
34) #21-Harrison Burton / 190 laps / crash
33) #4-Kevin Harvick / 190 laps / crash
32) #24-William Byron / 192 laps / crash

1st) Live Fast Motorsports (2)
2nd) Kaulig Racing, Penske Racing, Spire Motorsports (1)

1st) Chevrolet (4)
2nd) Ford (1)


Saturday, March 18, 2023

TRUCKS: Keith McGee out early in Atlanta after Reaume team faces recurring transmission issue

PHOTO: Dominick Howe, @iDomHowe

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Keith McGee picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career in Saturday’s Fr8 208 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #34 Reaume Brothers Racing Ford fell out with transmission issues after 7 of 137 laps.

The finish came in McGee’s ninth series start. In the Truck Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 8th for the #34, the 39th for transmissions issues, and the 117th for Ford. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 54th for the #34, the 170th for the transmission, and the 1,006th for Ford.

The Alaska-born McGee is relatively new to NASCAR, but has already distinguished himself in his efforts to both activate sponsorship and make it to the track. At Texas in June 2021, McGee was sponsored by “The Mullet That Changed My Life,” and brought with him a group of four supporters wearing t-shirts and checkered-flag shorts decorated with images of his Reaume Brothers Racing entry. That fall in Las Vegas, he teamed up with professional gambler Mikki Mase and took home $81,000 in casino winnings, enough to run for CMI Motorsports. Another quirky collection of sponsors joined him, including Dirty Goth Boi, Banger Buddy, and Hey Big Mike. McGee was even on hand at Sonoma last summer, where he nearly became G2G Racing’s substitute driver during a disastrous and controversial weekend for the team.

McGee’s most recent appearance came last fall at Phoenix, where his reunion with the Reaume team ended early after a tangle with Armani Williams. He’d drive for Reaume again in Atlanta, but this time in a comparatively bland-looking Ford. He would run the #34, which remained unsponsored as it had when Josh Reaume drove it earlier this month in Las Vegas. That night, Reaume only completed four laps, eliminated by a transmission that kept jumping out of gear.

With practice and qualifying rained out on Friday, McGee secured the 36th and final starting spot. Mason Massey, taking the controls of Reaume’s #33 Wespro JCB Ford, lined up 26th. No teams were sent home in qualifying, and none were sent to the rear for pre-race penalties. 

However, while McGee crossed the stripe in last, 5.124 seconds back of the lead, first-lap intervals indicated a few trucks did take the green in different spots. Ryan Vargas, making his Truck Series debut in On Point Motorsports’ #30 Leargas Security Toyota, crossed the line 30th after lining up 35th. Kris Wright was to start 25th in the #02 F.N.B. Corporation Chevrolet, but crossed the stripe in 35th, 4.695 seconds back of the lead and about a half-second ahead of McGee. The following were the interval from 30th on back, compiled from the leaderboard, with their original starting spots listed:

30-35) 30-Vargas 4.022
31-28) 22-Reaume 4.186
32-32) 13-Deegan 4.388
33-34) 46-Ogata 4.477
34-33) 32-Holmes 4.538
35-25) 02-Wright 4.695
36-36) 34-McGee 5.124

On the first lap of the race, McGee was first warned of a group of trucks going three-wide, then another truck bouncing off the outside wall. This was Mason Maggio, who rolled off 31st in the #20 HMY Yachts Chevrolet. During a close battle into Turn 3, Maggio bounced off the wall, then kept going, only to reportedly hit the wall a second time on Lap 3. This second hit, which caused McGee’s spotter to worry about a cut tire on the #20, forced Maggio to make a green-flag stop on Lap 4, when he took last from McGee. “I’m sorry, guys,” said the driver.

Maggio returned to the track on Lap 6, only to incur a pit road speeding penalty both on entry and exit, specifically Sections 1 and 13-18. Already four laps down, Maggio served his pass-through penalty on Lap 8. But by that lap, McGee had also come down pit road and lost two laps of his own. The reason was the transmission was popping out of gear – Reaume’s issue from Vegas back once more. On Lap 10, McGee’s team asked to look over the truck for another minute before going to the garage. “It feels like something in fourth gear is broken or slipping,” said McGee. On Lap 14, the #34 was pushed to the garage at an entrance just past one of the ThorSport Racing team’s boxes.

Behind the wall, McGee was told to stay in the truck as the crew jacked up the left side. “It almost feels like a broken gear, or a part of the gear is sheared off,” said McGee on Lap 19. “All right, we’ll call it,” said the team in response. On Lap 22, the driver asked his team if they wanted him to get out. “If you can nurse it, I would leave that window net up for at least the next 30 seconds,” the crew answered. But McGee had already dropped the net and was climbing out. A moment later, the first caution came out for a wreck in the quad-oval between Layne Riggs and Tanner Gray. Both would ultimately continue. 

It wasn’t until much later that McGee was declared out of the race. The official in the garage was about to report it on Lap 48, but didn’t relay the message to the tower. The word came on Lap 103, along with official word of the retirements of both Maggio’s #20 and Corey Heim in the #11 Safelite Toyota. After his Lap 1 damage and subsequent penalty, Maggio came down pit road at the end of Stage 1 on Lap 60 with heavy right-front damage. The crew examined the a-frame, and when they saw the lower control arm was bent and rubbing against another part, the team pushed him to the garage on Lap 63. As they did, the crew bucked up their driver, who continued to apologize for the run. “It's all right, kiddo,” they said. “We'll fight another day.”

Heim’s day ended on a Lap 84 restart where, following a pit road incident with Stewart Friesen and Colby Howard, Heim was pushed into the rear of Nick Sanchez, who was slow though the gears. The impact stoved in the nose of Heim’s Toyota and ruptured something in the engine, causing oil to spray on the windshield. He parked on the apron of Turn 1 and climbed out, done for the day.

Finishing 33rd was Kayden Honeycutt, whose #04 Carquest Ford briefly battled for the lead when he restarted on the front row, only to suddenly stall on the backstretch. The reason was a stray piece of aluminum which fell between the alternator and engine block, causing a short in the system. Honeycutt went to the garage on Lap 59 – just moments before Maggio came in with his right-front damage – and returned to the track on Lap 61, just before Maggio’s retirement. Honeycutt crossed the line 14 laps down, three behind Lawless Alan, whose #45 AUTOChargit Chevrolet tangled with teammate Carson Hocevar in Turns 3 and 4.

Currey’s 4th-place finish among many standout runs

Just days after parting ways with JD Motorsports’ XFINITY Series team, Bayley Currey earned a career-best 4th in Al Niece’s #41 Unishippers Chevrolet, bouncing off the wall just before the stripe after a tight battle with 3rd-place finisher Ben Rhodes. This was the first of many strong runs for several teams.

Timmy Hill took home 8th in his #56 UNITS Storage Toyota, his first top-ten finish since October 30, 2021 at Martinsville. 

Ryan Vargas’ Truck Series debut in On Point Motorsports’ #30 Leargas Security Toyota yielded a strong 14th-place finish.

Kris Wright, who nearly took the green flag in last, climbed back to finish 15th, which is tied for his third-best Truck Series finish.

Taking home 17th for G2G Racing was a surprising Akinori Ogata, who was running inside the Top 20 on the lead lap when he spun down the backstretch, suffering damage to both the left-front and left-rear. Ogata cleared the “Crash Clock” and not only finished on the lead lap, but earned his career-best Truck Series finish in his 14th start. His previous best mark of 18th came at Loudon back on September 26, 2015.

*This marked the first last-place finish for the #34 in a Truck Series race at Atlanta.

36) #34-Keith McGee / 7 laps / transmission
35) #20-Mason Maggio / 40 laps / crash
34) #11-Corey Heim / 83 laps / crash
33) #04-Kaden Honeycutt / 123 laps / running
32) #45-Lawless Alan / 126 laps / crash

1st) Reaume Brothers Racing (2)
2nd) TRICON Garage (1)

1st) Ford (2)
2nd) Toyota (1)


XFINITY: Freak axle issue leads to first-lap tangle between Caesar Bacarella and Joey Gase

PHOTO: @MBMMotorsports

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Caesar Bacarella picked up the 3rd last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Raptor King of Tough 250 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway when his #66 Prime Bites Protein Brownie Chevrolet was involved in a multi-car accident after just 1 of 163 laps.

The finish, which came in Bacarella’s 27th series start, was his first of the season and first in a XFINITY Series race since February 19, 2022 at Daytona, 37 races ago. In the XFINTY Series rankings, it was the 15th for the #66, the 376th from a crash, and the 612th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 85th for the #66, the 1,320th from a crash, and the 1,875th for Chevrolet.

With his investment in the former Martins Motorsports team, now reorganized as Alpha Prime Racing, Bacarella has remained an infrequent competitor in the XFINITY Series’ superspeedway races. His last-place run at Daytona was followed by a season-best 25th at Talladega despite a late-race crash. His schedule also included the summer race at the Atlanta track, whose reconfiguration had transformed it to an unofficial “mini-superspeedway” of its own. That race, which saw Bacarella finish 28th, was one of two he finished under power. 

Following successful completion of NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program after he reportedly unknowingly took a workout supplement on the banned substances list, Bacarella was reinstated in time to attempt this year’s Daytona opener. But an illness sidelined him, and Stefan Parsons finished 13th in his Chevrolet.

The news came this past week that Bacarela would run a fourth entry for Alpha Prime Racing – though unofficially. Perhaps due to the bad weather predicted for qualifying day, Bacarella’s new #42 entry was withdrawn, replaced by the #66 to be crewed by Carl Long’s team Motorsports Business Management (MBM). MBM’s #66 team had made just one start in the first four races, taking 32nd in Fontana, and wasn’t entered last week in Phoenix. Bacarella’s Atlanta car carried a neon-hued paint scheme for sponsor Prime Bite Protein Brownies, a new protein snack sold by his company Alpha Prime Supplements.

Just like with the Truck Series race run earlier on Saturday, XFINITY practice and qualifying were rained out on Friday. This secured Bacarella the 38th and final starting spot. The lone DNQ was Phoenix last-place finisher Dawson Cram, whose #74 Chevrolet didn’t have a driver listed all week, and had just picked up sponsorship from ServiceMaster Restore. 

Incurring pre-race penalties for unapproved adjustments were RSS Racing teammates Joe Graf, Jr., who was set to start 27th in the #38 Jacob Companies Ford and 26th-place Kyle Sieg in the #28 Cedar Ridge Landscaping Ford. Graf was last across the stripe, 3.866 seconds back of the lead with Sieg just ahead of him in 37th, moving Bacarella to 35th ahead of Chad Chastain in the #91 Protect Your Melon Chevrolet. Coming off Turn 4 to complete the first lap, Graf was still running in last, 4.1 seconds back of the lead, when the spotter told him to “check up.”

Just past the starting line in the middle of the quad-oval, Bacarella’s #66 suddenly broke loose, cut left and his left-front struck the right-rear corner of Joey Gase’s passing #53 Donate Life GA Chevrolet, which started 33rd. The contact hooked Gase to the right, sending him nose-first into the wall before the left-rear hit the barrier. The damage caused Bacarella to slow in front of Kyle Sieg, whose #28 bumped the #66 in the left-rear with his right-front, sending Bacarella into a second spin that put him into the outside wall.

While Gase climbed from his car on the apron near pit exit, Bacarella made it back to pit road and soon after pulled behind the wall on Lap 3. Through it all, Bacarella was ranked one spot behind Gase, and the two dropped to the final two spots on that same third lap. On Lap 4, MBM’s spotter talked with Carl Long, explaining that Bacarella was on the “Crash Clock” once he entered pit road, so he was out of the race under the “Damaged Vehicle Policy.” Long responded, saying “It’s fucked up more than a soup sandwich. We’re not coming back out.”

While Gase’s crew tried to make sense of the wreck and asked who was driving the #66, Bacarella explained that something broke in his car coming to the stripe. This was reportedly a broken axle, which explained he car’s sudden turn. 

The rest of the Bottom Five was filled by another wreck on Lap 12 in Turns 3 and 4. The wreck began with Jeffrey Earnhardt, whose #44 Advanced Material Handling Chevrolet blew a tire and spun, collecting Kaz Grala in the #26 Crush Lime Margarita Toyota. Closing in was Gray Gaulding in the #08 FollowMe Global Business Solutions Chevrolet and Garrett Smithley, reunited with JD Motorsports in the #4 Trophy Tractor Chevrolet. While Gaulding skirted the wreck by cutting left, Smithley’s spotter told him to go high. Smithley ended up striking Grala’s car in the door. Both Grala’s and Smithley’s days were done, their cars both trailing fluid. Earnhardt made it to pit road, but his “Crash Clock” expired on Lap 16. “Push it behind the wall, guys,” said the team.

PHOTO: @Josh6williams

All of this was settled before perhaps the most memorable moment of the race involving Josh Williams, driver of the #92 Coolray / Alloy Employer Chevrolet. Both Williams and Jeb Burton had suffered damage in the Lap 11 accident, perhaps colliding with each other. Williams was left with right-front fender damage, requiring some taping on pit road. He returned to the track, but dropped a piece of debris on the track as the tape came apart. After the Lap 32 restart, the caution quickly flew for another piece off the Williams car. On Lap 33, NASCAR reported that Williams would be heading to the garage. The next time by, NASCAR said they were no longer scoring the #92, again telling him to go to the garage. “Spotter for the 92, let’s not mess this up for everybody else,” the official said. The lap after, NASCAR told Williams, spotter Reed Sorenson, and team owner Mario Gosselin to report to the XFINITY Series hauler after the race. Williams stopped his car at the starting line, climbed out, and walked back to pit road. As reporters sought an interview, Williams was being directed to the infield care center. Instead, he was brought to the XFINITY hauler, where he remained until after the race to speak with Wayne Auton. Well after the finish, Williams was released for interviews, but his car remained parked by the XFINITY hauler. Williams, whose entry was parked after the incident, was listed out with “crash” damage as the reason, ranking him 33rd.

*This marked the first last-place finish for the #66 in a XFINITY Series race since October 22, 2022, when J.J. Yeley crashed after 3 laps at Homestead. The number had never before finished last in a XFINITY race at Atlanta.
*This was only the fifth time the last-place finisher of a XFINITY Series race at Atlanta completed just the opening lap. The last time was on February 27, 2016, when Jeff Green had electrical issues

38) #66-Caesar Bacarella / 1 lap / crash
37) #53-Joey Gase / 1 lap / crash
36) #4-Garrett Smithley / 11 laps / crash
35) #26-Kaz Grala / 11 laps / crash
34) #44-Jeffrey Earnhardt / 11 laps / crash

1st) CHK Racing, Emerling-Gase Motorsports, JD Motorsports, Motorsports Business Management, SS-Green Light Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (3)
2nd) Ford, Toyota (1)