Thursday, May 4, 2023

PREVIEW: Kansas truck race sees new drivers and teams set to mix it up with Cup regulars and a returning Johnny Sauter

PHOTO: Coach Brungot, @warhillGbball

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, May 6, 2023 (8:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
TRUCKS Race 8 of 23
Heart of America 200 at Kansas
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Jesse Iwuji

There are 36 drivers entered for as many spots, meaning all will qualify for the race.

The Kansas race will see the NASCAR debut of Toni Breidinger, who has 35 ARCA starts to her credit with a best finish of 8th at Salem last fall. Carrying sponsorship from Victoria’s Secret, she will take the place of fellow ARCA competitor William Sawalich, who earned a 9th-place finish in his own series debut at Martinsville.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Nick Lietz will make his fourth series start and first since a three-race stint for the Reaume Brothers last year, including a season-best 26th in his debut at the Nashville Superspeedway. Leitz will make his first Kansas start in place of Brad Perez, who finished 35th at Martinsville after late-race damage. Precision Measurements is the listed sponsor.

Speaking of Reaume, team owner Josh Reaume returns to the #22 with his JAG Metals LLC sponsorship. He takes the place of Outback Steakhouse server turned racer Stephen Mallozzi, whose need for a jumped battery handed him last place in the rain-shortened Martinsville event. This will be Reaume’s 69th series start as a driver and his first since Texas, where he ran 21st.

MISSING: #30-On Point Motorsports
After fielding Jonathan Shafer’s first entry at Martinsville, where he came home 29th, the On Point effort is not entered this week.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
It’s a “Mason Change” at the primary Reaume entry as Mason Maggio makes his sixth series start and first since a 35th-place showing for Randy Young in Atlanta, taking the place of Mason Massey, who ran 33rd in Martinsville.

MISSING: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
The Reaume team has not entered its second truck which was withdrawn from Martinsville.

RETURNING: #47-G2G Racing
For only the third time in 2023, G2G Racing will field two Toyotas from their shop. Brennan Poole will run the truck for the first time since Las Vegas, where rear gear issues left him in 33rd place. He takes the place of crew member Memphis Villareal, who ran a respectable 24th in his Martinsville debut. Villareal will serve as crew chief for the returning #47, last seen at Bristol. That truck will this week be driven by team co-owner Tim Viens, who is assured his first start since October 25, 2020 at Texas, where a crash left him in last place. 

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Tyler Hill rejoins the Truck Series for the first time since last November’s Phoenix finale, where he ran 23rd in the last run for Hill Motorsports’ second team, the #5. He will run the flagship #56 this week with Hair Club returning as sponsor. Tyler finished 21st and 29th in both races at Kansas last year – the former was his best run of the entire 2022 campaign.

MISSING: #66-ThorSport Racing
After back-to-back entries for ThorSport’s part-time #66 entry yielded Joey Logano’s win in the Bristol Dirt Race, then Conner Jones’ solid 18th-place series debut at Martinsville, the team has elected not to run this truck this week.

TEAM UPDATE: #90-Terry Carroll Motorsports
The small entry list will end a two-year drought for the Carroll team, which through both weather cancellations and coming short on speed has failed to qualify in all six of their previous attempts. This weekend, we will see what Justin S. Carroll can do in the #90 Carroll’s Automotive / Duratrain Toyota.

DRIVER CHANGE: #04-Roper Racing
Welcome back Johnny Sauter, who after Kaden Honeycutt parted ways with Roper Racing announced he would take over as driver of the #04 Carquest Ford. Despite the presence of two full-time Cup Series drivers, Sauter will be one to watch in his first Truck Series start since last fall at Phoenix, where he ran 28th for Randy Young. Sauter won at Kansas in 2010 and finished 9th in his last start here in 2021, leading 13 laps.

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

Sunday, May 7, 2023 (3:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
CUP Race 12 of 36
Advent Health 400 at Kansas
2022 Last-Place Finisher: B.J. McLeod

There are only the 36 Chartered entries on the list for 40 available spots, marking the 11th straight short field after the 40-car grid at the Daytona 500.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-Live Fast Motorsports
Josh Bilicki will make just his second Cup start of the season and first since his 26th-place showing in COTA, reuniting with the Live Fast team and sponsor Zeigler Auto Group. Bilicki takes the place of team co-owner B.J. McLeod, who recovered from an early spin to finish 29th in Dover.

Saturday, May 13, 2023
XFINITY Race 11 of 33
Shriners Children’s 200 at Darlington
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Sheldon Creed

This time, the XFINITY Series takes the week off and will return as part of “Throwback Weekend” in Darlington.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (May 4, 1980): Darrell Waltrip picked up the 5th last-place finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in the Winston 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his #88 Gatorade Oldsmobile busted a cam after 4 laps. This was his third and final last-place finish driving for DiGard Racing. He wouldn’t finish last again until 1986.

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