Friday, July 28, 2023

PREVIEW: The return of Stanton Barrett, Katherine Legge, and several young stars on tap for Richmond and Road America weekend

PHOTO: @EG_Motorsports

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Saturday, July 29, 2023 (3:00 P.M. ET, NBC)
XFINITY Race 20 of 33
Henry 180 at Road America
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Will Rodgers

There are 38 drivers entered for as many spots, meaning all will qualify for this XFINITY stand-alone event.

MISSING: #3-Richard Childress Racing
First of the teams not entered from Pocono is the Richard Childress Racing #3 with which Ty Dillon finished 14th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #4-JD Motorsports
Returning to action in Road America is Kyle Weatherman, who we last saw finishing 27th in Loudon driving for this same JD Motorsports team. Weatherman takes the place of Garrett Smithley, who finished 21st in Pocono.

DRIVER CHANGE: #10-Kaulig Racing
The only Cup driver attempting double-duty between Road America and Richmond is road race ace A.J. Allmendinger, who enters the event on an upswing for the Kaulig team’s Cup program. Allmendinger enters this, his fourth XFINITY start of the season, after winning two of the last three, most recently at Nashville, and finishing runner-up in the other race at Sonoma to Aric Almirola. He takes the place of Daniel Suarez, who was 10th in Pocono.

MISSING: #17-Hendrick Motorsports
Not making the trip is Chase Elliott, who finished 3rd in Pocono, along with Hendrick’s #17 team.

DRIVER SWAP: #24-Sam Hunt Racing
DRIVER CHANGE: #44-Alpha Prime Racing
Brad Perez’ career goes full circle this weekend as he drives for Alpha Prime Racing, the same team he joined as a crew member under the Martins Motorsports banner in 2020. Bringing over his Bonesteel Aerospace sponsorship from his Chicago entry with Emerling-Gase Motorsports, Perez pilots the flagship #44 once driven by Martins by himself, and most recently finished last after Sage Karam had early transmission issues at Pocono. Karam will also run this Saturday, this time in Sam Hunt’s #24 Toyota, where he takes the place of 37th-place Pocono finisher Corey Heim. Heim will stay in Richmond for the Truck Series race, following his last-lap loss to Kyle Busch in Pocono.

DRIVER CHANGE: #35-Emerling-Gase Motorsports
Veteran Hollywood stuntman and race car driver Stanton Barrett rejoins NASCAR for the first time since last summer at Watkins Glen, where he failed to qualify for Mike Harmon Racing, and will secure his first starting spot in the series since the 2019 race at The Glen, where he ran 23rd for Carl Long. This time, Barrett takes the place of 31st-place Pocono finisher Joey Gase in the #35, carrying sponsorship from Barrett’s own winery, Stanton Barrett Family Wines, plus a returning Horseheads Brewing Company. Barrett’s fifth and most recent XFINITY start at Road America came in 2016, when he ran 27th for B.J. McLeod.

DRIVER CHANGE: #45-Alpha Prime Racing
Also coming back is Leland Honeyman, who returns to the XFINITY Series for the first time since his DNQ at Sonoma. Like Brad Perez, his Emerling-Gase Motorsports teammate that weekend, Honeyman makes the jump to Alpha Prime, and takes the wheel of the #45 in place of 19th-place Pocono finisher Jeffrey Earnhardt. Klean Freak Body Wipes, which backed Honeyman in his Phoenix debut, is again the sponsor.

DRIVER CHANGE: #66-Motorsports Business Management
Dexter Stacey will make his first XFINITY start since Talladega in the spring, where he was involved in the vicious accident involving Blaine Perkins on the backstretch, leaving him in 35th. After failing to qualify for the Chicago Street Course, Stacey will again be sponsored by ReCap Recovery Drink, securing MBM its first XFINITY start since Loudon. Stacey takes the place of Timmy Hill, who failed to qualify at Pocono and will this week run the Truck Series race at Richmond.

MISSING: #74-CHK Racing
Dawson Cram is not entered after he, too, failed to qualify at Pocono.

Josh Bilicki will make his 85th career XFINITY Series start this Saturday as he takes the place of 30th-place Pocono finisher Chad Chastain in Mario Gosselin’s #91 Chevrolet. Bilicki carries sponsorship from Trim-Tex Drywall Solutions at his home track, where he’s made every XFINITY race since 2016. Most recently, he finished 13th in the 2022 running, and also quite literally picked up sponsorship from Sargento after hitting an infield billboard. This will also be the sixth consecutive different team for which Bilicki has driven in this race.

DRIVER CHANGE: #07-SS-Green Light Racing
IndyCar and sports car driver Katherine Legge returns to the XFINITY Series for the first time since 2018, when she ran four XFINITY Series races for JD Motorsports. The best of those four races was at Road America, where she took home 14th. Legge this time takes the controls of Bobby Dotter’s #07, replacing Stefan Parsons, who failed to qualify at Pocono.

CUP INVADERS: #16-A.J. Allmendinger

Saturday, July 29, 2023 (7:30 P.M. ET, NBC)
TRUCKS Race 16 of 23
Regular Season Finale
Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Nick Leitz

There are 38 drivers entered for 36 spots, meaning two will fail to qualify.

William Sawalich returns to the Truck Series for his third start of the year and first since he took 27th at Mid-Ohio. He takes the place of Kaz Grala, who finished 31st after a multi-truck accident at Pocono, and carries returning sponsorship from Starkey and Soundgear.

MISSING: #6-Norm Benning Racing
Norm Benning isn’t entered in Richmond after his team missed the cut in Pocono.

MISSING: #7-Spire Motorsports
Also not making the trip is Spire Motorsports’ #7 entry which took home 33rd after Austin Hill wrecked at Pocono. Hill, who won that weekend’s XFINITY race, will instead go for his second-straight series victory.

RETURNING: #14-Trey Hutchens Racing
Trey Hutchens seeks his second Truck Series start of the year and first since Texas, where his #14 Quality Roof Seamers Chevrolet was involved in a multi-truck accident. Hutchens last entered a race in Nashville, where he failed to qualify.

DRIVER CHANGE: #20-Young’s Motorsports
Mason Massey returns to the Truck Series for the first time since Martinsville, and for the first time this season doesn’t drive the Reaume Brothers’ #33 entry, with which he most recently took 33rd. This time, he takes to the #20 at Randy Young’s team, replacing Chad Chastain, who failed to qualify at Pocono. Brunt Workwear follows Massey over as sponsor.

Taking the place of Stephen Mallozzi, who missed Pocono’s big wreck en route to a 24th-place finish, Christian Rose seeks his Truck Series debut. Rose currently stands 4th in the ARCA Menards Series, 87 points back of leader Jesse Love. He most recently finished 9th in his most recent race for Kevin Cywinski at Pocono. Secure Testing Services is the listed sponsor.

MISSING: #28-FDNY Racing
Jim Rosenblum’s team is not entered after Bryan Dauzat failed to qualify at Pocono.

RETURNING: #30-On Point Motorsports
On Point’s team returns with Ryan Vargas driving the team’s Toyota sponsored by Williamsburg Contracting. This would be Vargas’ sixth career Truck Series start, his first since his 23rd-place finish at Mid-Ohio.

DRIVER CHANGE: #33-Reaume Brothers Racing
RETURNING / DRIVER SWAP: #34-Reaume Brothers Racing
Minnesota late model racer Derek Lemke, who has also performed public relations and marketing with Natalie Decker, will this week seek his NASCAR national series debut in Josh Reaume’s #33. This moves Reaume to the returning #34 entry, back in action for the first time since Nashville, and one week after Reaume finished 26th in Pocono.

DRIVER CHANGE: #41-Niece Motorsports
In his four previous Truck Series starts this season, Bayley Currey has finished no worse than 17th and secured a career-best 4th in Atlanta. His last series start in Nashville nearly produced even better results, starting outside-pole, taking the lead under green, and finishing in 5th. He now rejoins the Al Niece team in place of Ross Chastain, who finished 30th after the wreck in Pocono.

MISSING: #44-Niece Motorsports
Not entered is Al Niece’s #44 entry, which Kayden Honeycutt qualified at Pocono and finished in 20th.

RETURNING: #46-G2G Racing
We last saw Jerry Bohlman at the Bristol Dirt Race, where a pressure plate failure prevented him from turning a lap in Heat Race #3, costing him a possible spot in the main event. He now returns on the pavement to attempt G2G’s first start since Dale Quarterley finished 35th in Mid-Ohio. Zoe Freedom and Eco Pile will sponsor Bohlman’s Toyota.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Kyle Busch Motorsports
Matt Mills lands the best ride he’s ever earned in his brief NASCAR career, taking the controls of Kyle Busch Motorsports’ #51 just one week after Busch scored the team’s 100th win. Carrying his longtime sponsor J.F. Electric, Mills has a real shot at scoring his first Truck Series win in his 21st series start – a series where he’s never finished better than 15th.

DRIVER CHANGE: #56-Hill Motorsports
Timmy Hill swaps in for brother Tyler Hill, who took 21st in Pocono. With returning sponsorship from UNITS Storage, Timmy races for the first time since his 21st-place showing in Mid-Ohio. Timmy has three previous Truck starts at Richmond, including a track-best 9th in 2020.

MISSING: #61-Hattori Racing Enterprises
The Hattori team has not entered their second team with which Cup regular Christopher Bell, who finished 4th in Pocono.

RETURNING: #66-ThorSport Racing
Conner Jones returns for his fifth career Truck Series start, his first since a 28th-place showing in Mid-Ohio. Jones looks to turn around a difficult stretch where he’s failed to finish his last three consecutive starts.

MISSING: #75-Henderson Motorsports
With Parker Kligerman running his full-time XFINITY entry with Big Machine Racing in Road America, neither he nor the Charlie Henderson team are entered this week after Kligerman’s 22nd-place finish in Pocono.

RETURNING: #90-Terry Carroll Motorsports
Justin S. Carroll is back on the entry list for the first time since he withdrew from Nashville, and seeks his third start of the year and first since his 34th-place run in Charlotte. 

DRIVER CHANGE: #02-Young’s Motorsports
Will Rodgers aims for his 5th career Truck Series start and first since a rough afternoon in Mid-Ohio, where he finished 34th after multiple accidents. Rodgers takes the place of Stefan Parsons, who recovered from a Turn 1 wreck in Pocono to finish in 28th.

MISSING: #04-Roper Racing
Cory Roper is not entered after he finished 23rd in Pocono.


Sunday, July 30, 2023 (3:00 P.M. ET, USA)
CUP Race 22 of 36
Cook Out 400 at Richmond
2022 Last-Place Finisher: Ty Gibbs

Only the 36 Chartered drivers are entered once more, marking the 21st straight short field since the Daytona 500.

DRIVER CHANGE: #51-Rick Ware Racing
The only driver swap on the Cup side this week is a returning Ryan Newman, the 2003 winner, back in action for the first time since Loudon, taking the place of 25th-place Pocono finisher Cole Custer. Newman carries his Loudon sponsorship from Parts Plus along with Biohaven.

TODAY IN LASTCAR HISTORY (July 28, 1974): Dan Daughtry scored the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in the Dixie 500 at Atlanta when his #35 DM Construction 1972 Ford lost the engine after 10 laps. This was Daughtry’s fifth of ten career Cup Series starts. His best finish came that fall at Charlotte, where he ran 10th. It was the only Cup race he finished under power.

No comments: