Thursday, May 18, 2023

PREVIEW: Stacked Truck Series entry list and more throwbacks await at North Wilkesboro revival

SCREENSHOT: @StewartHaasRcng

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, May 20, 2023 (1:30 P.M. ET, FOX)
TRUCKS Race 10 of 23
Tyson 250 at North Wilkesboro
1996 Last-Place Finisher: Kenny Allen

When North Wilkesboro Speedway closed in September 1996, the Truck Series was in its infancy. The series only raced there twice – a 150-lap race in 1995 won by Mike Bliss, and a 250-lapper in 1996 won by Mark Martin. This year, 40 drivers – including five Cup Series drivers who have all won in the last 12 months – will attempt to qualify for the landmark 36-truck field, meaning four will be sent home.

RETURNING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
Norm Benning rejoins the entry list for the first time since the Bristol Dirt Race, where he qualified for the main in the final moments of his heat race. After upgrading the body of his Chevrolet, Benning hopes to have another strong qualifying run on North Wilkesboro’s well-worn surface.

DRIVER CHANGE: #7-Spire Motorsports
The first of the Cup Series regulars on this week’s list is Kyle Larson, who after his XFINITY win at Darlington last week in Darlington will make his first Truck Series start since the inaugural Truck race at the Bristol Dirt track in 2021. This entry, driven last week to a 16th-place finish with Corey LaJoie, was originally for Alex Bowman before Bowman was sidelined by injury in a sprint car crash.

RETURNING: #22-AM Racing
From the XFINITY Series comes Josh Williams, who has not started a Truck Series race since his series debut on March 30, 2014 at Martinsville, where he ran 34th in a Ford entered by his family-owned team. This time around, he drives for Tim Self in the #22 which last ran at Kansas with Josh Reaume finishing 24th. Williams brings with him sponsorship from Katz Coffee plus his longtime backer Alloy Employer Services.

DRIVER CHANGE: #30-On Point Motorsports
The “Hackerman” is back as Chris Hacker brings his Morgan & Morgan sponsorship to the On Point effort, set to make his 12th series start and second of the season, following a 25th-place finish for this same team in this year’s Daytona opener. Hacker – who enjoyed a strong run at IRP last summer - takes the place of Ryan Vargas, who finished 27th in Darlington.

MISSING: #47-G2G Racing
Back behind the wheel of the #46 for the first time since his top-twenty performance in Atlanta is Akinori Ogata, who brings sponsorship from Kyowa Eidemiller Precision Machining and carries a logo on his hood recognizing Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Ogata takes the place of Darlington last-place finisher Brennan Poole, and will not be joined by a teammate in the #47 after Dawson Cram finished next-to-last.

PAINT SCHEME: #56-Hill Motorsports
Since the team’s founding in 2019, Hill Motorsports has piloted the #56. The number has special significance to brothers Timmy and Tyler Hill as their father Jerry Hill ran it in both Cup and ARCA, often with sponsorship from Bell Motor Company. The orange-and-yellow scheme most recently run in 1994 will for the first time adorn the truck, which Timmy will drive after his 24th-place showing in Darlington.

RETURNING: #61-Hattori Racing Enterprises
For the first time since the conclusion of Chase Purdy’s rough 2022 campaign in Phoenix, the Hattori team fields a second entry, and this time does so for Bristol Dirt Race winner Christopher Bell. Toyota Tsusho is the sponsor for the 2017 Truck Series Champion, who seeks his 55th series start and first since the Bristol Night Race on August 16, 2018. That night, Bell started on pole and finished 28th.

RETURNING: #66-ThorSport Racing
ThorSport likewise brings back their part-time entry, which we last saw with Conner Jones at Martinsville, yielding an 18th-place finish in what was his series debut. Jones will drive for the first time since that night.

CUP INVADERS: #1-Bubba Wallace, #7-Kyle Larson, #41-Ross Chastain, #51-William Byron, #61-Christopher Bell

Following this Truck Series race will be the two 60-lap All-Star heat races, set to kick off at 7:35 P.M. ET. The lineups of these heats – along with Sunday’s All-Star Open – will be determined based on the outcome of Friday’s Pit Crew Challenge. The finishing order of these heats will determine each row of the All-Star Main, to be joined by the top two Open finishers and the Fan Vote Winner.

Sunday, May 21, 2023 (5:30 P.M. ET, FS1)
Exhibition Race
NASCAR All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro
2022 Last-Place Finisher (Texas): Landon Cassill

This year’s Open race will be 100 laps with a “competition break” on or about Lap 40. Out of these 16 drivers, three will transfer into the main event later that night: the top two finishers and the Fan Vote Winner.

#7-Corey LaJoie
#10-Aric Almirola
#13-Chandler Smith
#15-J.J. Yeley
#16-A.J. Allmendinger
#21-Harrison Burton
#31-Justin Haley
#34-Michael McDowell
#38-Todd Gilliland
#41-Ryan Preece
#42-Noah Gragson
#48-Josh Berry
#51-Ryan Newman
#54-Ty Gibbs
#77-Ty Dillon
#78-Josh Bilicki

RETURNING: #13-Kaulig Racing
The lone “open” entry attempting this weekend’s All-Star festivities is the part-time third entry from Kaulig Racing. Driving will be Richmond XFINITY Series winner Chandler Smith, who finished 17th in his Cup debut that weekend after failing to qualify for the Daytona 500. The #13 team’s only other entry this year came on the Bristol Dirt Race, where Jonathan Davenport qualified for the main and finished 36th after a crash. Quick Tie Products, Inc. continues as sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #15-Rick Ware Racing
After nine Cup starts this season, most recently his 23rd-place showing in Kansas, J.J. Yeley will again take the controls of the #15 Ford, replacing Darlington last-place finisher Brennan Poole. This will be Yeley’s 12th appearance in the All-Star Open and first since the 2020 event in Bristol, where he ran 14th in Rick Ware’s #27 entry. Ryan Newman, though the 2002 winner of the All-Star Race, will join Yeley in the Open driving the #51.

PAINT SCHEME: #34-Front Row Motorsports
On Tuesday, the Front Row team revealed Michael McDowell will run a “throwback” scheme to Mark Martin’s 1990 North Wilkesboro winner, bringing back the brown-and-gold colors of Martin’s Folger’s Ford. will sponsor McDowell’s version.

DRIVER CHANGE: #78-Live Fast Motorsports
Despite a push by some fans to vote B.J. McLeod into the All-Star Race, Josh Bilicki is listed in his place in the #78 Ford with returning sponsorship from Zeigler Auto Group. This will be only the second Open start for Bilicki, who previously ran it in 2021 at Texas, finishing 13th of 22 starters.

Sunday, May 21, 2023 (8:00 P.M. ET, FS1)
Exhibition Race
NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro
2022 Last-Place Finisher (Texas): Kyle Larson

The main event will be 200 laps with a “competition break” on or about Lap 100. All laps will count, and tires will be strictly rationed.

#1-Ross Chastain
#2-Austin Cindric
#3-Austin Dillon
#5-Kyle Larson
#6-Brad Keselowski
#8-Kyle Busch
#9-Chase Elliott
#11-Denny Hamlin
#12-Ryan Blaney
#14-Chase Briscoe
#17-Chris Buescher
#19-Martin Truex, Jr.
#20-Christopher Bell
#22-Joey Logano
#23-Bubba Wallace
#24-William Byron
#29-Kevin Harvick
#43-Erik Jones
#45-Tyler Reddick
#47-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
#99-Daniel Suarez

NUMBER CHANGE: #29-Stewart-Haas Racing
As part of his 4EVER retirement tour, Kevin Harvick will run the #29 he made famous during the dark days of 2001 as Dale Earnhardt’s replacement at Richard Childress Racing. Specifically, he’ll run the white-and-red scheme that debuted the day he won his first Cup race at Atlanta on March 11, 2001. (For more on this story, tune in to tonight's premiere of "500 Days: Part 6," which chronicles that race). That scheme hasn’t run since November 18, 2001 in that year’s fall Atlanta race. This marks the first time Harvick has run the #29 in any Cup event since November 17, 2013, when he closed out his last season with RCR at Homestead. 

PAINT SCHEME: #43-Legacy Motor Group
Another standout paint scheme is that of last fall’s Darlington winner Erik Jones, whose #43 STP Chevrolet will carry an updated version of Richard Petty’s iconic 1992 STP Pontiac. The choice to run it at North Wilkesboro is particularly symbolic - Petty’s retirement and “Fan Appreciation Tour” were announced at Level Cross on October 1, 1991, just a day after that year’s fall race at the track.

Saturday, May 27, 2023
XFINITY Race 13 of 33
Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Timmy Hill

The XFINITY Series takes the week off and returns for Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (May 18, 2002): Rusty Wallace finished last in The Winston all-star event at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway (Charlotte) when his #2 Miller Lite / Harley Davidson Ford was involved in a multi-car accident after 14 laps. It was already Wallace’s second last-place finish in the race, following engine trouble 8 laps into the 1990 event. 


Michael said...

Dear Brocklastcar G2G Racing Decided To Withdrawal The 46 Truck Of Akinori Ogta After A Oil-line Caught Fire On Truck During Practice And They Didn’t Have a Backup Truck So It’s Now Only Three Trucks That will Failed To Qualify instead of 4

Michael said...

Brock Beard The G2G Racing Team Withdrew The 46 Of Akinori Ogta After A Oil Line Caught fire Inside The Truck during practice And They Didn’t Have a Backup Truck And Ogta is ok after the accident And Now Only Three Trucks Will Fail To Qualify instead of four Brock Ok and On side note it’s tough on team that has some resources like G2G Racing To Run Every Week with trucks Series