Thursday, April 27, 2023

PREVIEW: Poole's return to Cup among Dover storylines

PHOTO: @CarsonHocevar

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, April 29, 2023 (1:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
XFINITY Race 10 of 33
A-Game 200 at Dover
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Rajah Caruth

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

MISSING: #5-Big Machine Racing
Among the superspeedway teams not entered this week is the second Big Machine entry with which Jade Buford was involved in the Blaine Perkins accident, finishing 36th.

MISSING: #13-Motorsports Business Management
Jason White is not entered along with the second MBM car which failed to qualify at Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #24-Sam Hunt Racing
Fresh off his first Truck Series win of the season at Martinsville for TRICON Garage, Corey Heim takes the place of Talladega last-place finisher Parker Chase. This will be Heim’s XFINITY Series debut after three wins in just 26 Truck Series starts.

MISSING: #34-Jesse Iwuji Motorsports
Jesse Iwuji and his team are not entered after they failed to qualify in Talladega.

DRIVER CHANGE: #35-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Patrick Emerling makes his first start since Martinsville, where he ran 21st, taking the place of team co-owner Joey Gase, who finished a strong 9th at Talladega. That race marked just the fourth top-ten finish of Gase’s XFINITY career, his first since 2017. Emerling took 33rd in his only previous Dover start.

DRIVER SWAP: #43-Alpha Prime Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Alpha Prime Racing
Last year in this race, Rajah Caruth showed impressive speed in the early laps before a mechanical issue left him in last place. This year, he’s back for another shot, taking the place of Ryan Ellis in the #45 with Circle Pay as sponsor. Ellis returns to his #43 with a new white variant of his Costa Oil paint scheme, looking to build on his 11th-place showing in Talladega. Ellis takes the place of Caesar Bacarella, who earned his first Top 10 with a 6th last Saturday.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Wild Willies begins a two-race stint as sponsor of MBM’s #66 entry this week, which will be piloted by Timmy Hill. This would be Hill’s 240th XFINITY start and only his second of 2023, following his 32nd-place run in Fontana. Hill takes the place of Dexter Stacey, who like Buford was also involved in the Perkins wreck at Talladega, striking an angled wall at great speed. Chad Finchum will drive this car next week in Darlington.

Dawson Cram is back to try and get the CHK entry into only its third race of the year, aiming to not finish last as in the previous two. Team co-owner Mike Harmon failed to make the show last week in Talladega. Cram most recently ran at Martinsville for SS-Green Light Racing, taking 36th after a mid-race crash.

NEW TEAM / WITHDREW: #77-Spire Motorsports
Spire had announced plans for its first XFINITY Series entry earlier this year, and signed Carson Hocevar to drive before his first Truck Series win in Texas. Hocevar aims to make what will be his second XFINITY start, following a last-place finish at COTA that resulted from his car stalling on track. Premier Security is the listed sponsor. UPDATE: Due to this weekend's forecast, the team withdrew on Thursday. The team's debut is now tentatively set for Darlington.

Chad Chastain seeks his second career XFINITY start and first since his 24th-place run in his debut in Atlanta. Then as now, he drives Mario Gosselin’s #91 entry, taking the place of 26th-place Talladega finisher Josh Bilicki. Delaware’s “Drive Sober Arrive Alive” safe driving program will sponsor the ride.

DRIVER CHANGE: #02-Our Motorsports
As Blaine Perkins returned home Monday after his hospitalization following his terrible flip down Talladega’s backstretch, Kyle Weatherman will again drive the #02, which carries sponsorship from Larry’s Lemonade. Weatherman seeks his 90th XFINITY start, his first since he gave FRS Racing their debut with a 34th-place run in Martinsville.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
After David Starr missed the field in Talladega, Stefan Parsons will make another start in Bobby Dotter’s #07, this time sponsored by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Blaine Perkins’ sponsor at Our Motorsports the previous two races. Parsons’ most recent start at Richmond was with this team, yielding a 32nd-place finish under power, three laps down.


Sunday, April 30, 2023 (1:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
CUP Race 11 of 36
Wurth 400 at Dover
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Austin Cindric

There are 36 drivers entered for 40 spots, marking the 10th short field in 11 races this season.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
Brennan Poole hasn’t made a Cup Series start since the 2020 finale at Phoenix, when he closed out his rookie season at a time his Jay Robinson entry was acquired by Rick Ware Racing. Now, more than two years later, Ware brings Poole back to the #15 entry with Millennium Jet Card as sponsor. After making several starts in both Trucks and XFINITY, Poole will turn his first laps in the NextGen car. Poole takes the place of Riley Herbst, who finished 20th in Talladega.

MISSING: #36-Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER SWAP: #38-Front Row Motorsports
The Front Row team will not enter the #36, their part-time “open” entry driven last week by Todd Gilliland to a 10th-place finish. Gilliland returns to the #38, taking over for 37th-place Zane Smith. Speedy Cash is the listed sponsor.

MISSING: #62-Beard Motorsports
The Beard Motorsports team is likewise not entered this week following Austin Hill’s 24th-place showing in Talladega.

Saturday, May 6, 2023
TRUCKS Race 8 of 23
Heart of America 200 at Kansas
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Jesse Iwuji

The Craftsman Truck Series returns next week in Kansas.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (April 27, 2002): Christian Elder picked up the 3rd last-place finish of his NASCAR Busch Series career when his #38 Great Clips Ford crashed in Turn 4 on the opening lap of the Auto Club 300 at the California Speedway. A spinal injury suffered in this race kept Elder out of the car for multiple races, to be followed by a more serious accident that summer in qualifying at Chicagoland.

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