Xfinity Series News (7203)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
The NASCAR XFINITY Series opened their season on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway with the NASCAR Racing Experience 300. The race featured a 38-driver field and was won by JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett. The event had nine different leaders throughout the 300-mile event.
“This is amazing,” Annett said after the win. “My first words were ‘Eight years,’ my eighth year in the series. My guys have stuck with me through the hard times, when everybody has counted us out and wondered why I get to drive this car.”
Annett, driving the No. 1 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, led the field for 45 of the 120 laps to earn his first career NASCAR National Series victory. The driver from Iowa has 230 starts in the series along with nine top five and 45 top 10 finishes.
The Iowa native, who qualified third but started second after pole sitter Tyler Reddick made unapproved adjustments after qualifying, finished the day running 13th in stage one and ninth in stage two.
Sitting second behind Annett was teammate Justin Allgaier in the No. 7 Chevrolet. Allgaier, starting 15th on the leaderboard at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, ran runner-up for majority of the final stage.
“First of all, hats off the everybody back at JR Motorsports. To see a car that was that strong… all four of our Camaro SS’s were strong today,” said Allgaier. “To see Michael get his first win… he’s tried so hard, and to see the time and the effort he’s put in, especially this offseason, it’s really, really cool. I was disappointed I couldn’t make a run, but a great way to start the season.”
Allgaier, earning five wins last season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, finished 12th in stage one and seventh in stage two.
Brandon Jones rounded out the top three finishers at the 2.5-mile oval. The driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing collected his fourth career top five. Jones spoke about the issues with passing and racing in the high line all race long:
“I mean, you could just tell everybody was so scared to get out of line there and then lose the pack. Me and Justin (Allgaier) just talked after the race and we thought that that 1 (Michael Annett), whenever he tried to swing that block, that was going to be the ticket to get by him,” said Jones after the race. “Just not enough momentum. Just very hard to get going there, but the Supra looked great on the race track for the debut of it. Juniper was back on the car for us this weekend, so I can’t complain. We had a great day. It was a great start to the year.”
Ryan Seig earned his fourth career top five finish by placing fourth. Austin Cindric, piloting the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, rounded out the top five.
Rest of the top 10 included Christopher Bell, Jeff Green, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Reddick and Chase Elliott.
There were four yellow flags in Saturday’s season opener at Daytona. The first two were for the end of stage one and two while the third stoppage involved the No. 12 Ford of Brad Keselowski on lap 70. Keselowski had issues with the roof hatch coming apart – putting debris on the track. The No. 12 Ford went to the garage and finished 48 laps down in 37th.
“I felt like I was back in the ‘50’s running a convertible here on the beach. That was interesting,” said Keselowski on the incident. “The roof, escape hatch, whatever it is called looks like there was a defect from the factory on the body and just nothing we could do. The guys tried to fix it but it is in a spot where you can’t get to it and work on it. It is made the way it is made. We are stuck. It is one of those things outside your control and sometimes that is just how things go. It has to be right from the factory and isn’t something we control. Just part of it I guess.”
Nine laps later, on lap 79, a two-car incident brought out the fourth and final yellow of the day on the backstretch. The incident involved the No. 07 of Ray Black Jr. and the No. 18 of Jeffrey Earnhardt. Both drivers were able to continue racing after the accident.
The next event for the NASCAR XFINITY Series will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 23. The Rinnai 250 will air live on FS1 and PRN Radio at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Seven months have passed since Toyota unveiled the competition version of its new Supra at Daytona International Speedway.
On Saturday, the car will make its much-anticipated debut at the iconic track in the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 Xfinity Series race (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Fans got a good look at the fifth-generation production version of the Supra last month at the Detroit Motor Show. On Saturday, they’ll find out how well the car races in its maiden season.
Those of you that were following Barrett Jackson (auctions), you saw that the first Supra that's actually going to come off the assembly line sold at Barrett Jackson for charity for $2.1 million,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing for Toyota Motors North America.
“If that's any indication about the Supra coming back into the market after not being around for 22 years, it's a very exciting time for us at Toyota, very exciting time to have us at Daytona.”
Laukes appeared on Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway with Joe Gibbs and Bob Leavine, two car owners who will carry the Toyota banner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season.
With NASCAR already discussing plans for a Generation-7 Cup car with its OEMs, will the Supra replace the Camry and join the Cup series in 2021 to compete with Ford’s Mustang and Chevrolet’s Camaro?
“We've talked about that for a while,” he said. “We're still… unlike some of the other manufacturers, we're still in the car business, and we plan on staying in the car business for a while.
“Camry and Corolla are still a big part of our company. So, at this point, we don't have any plans to bring Supra up to Cup, but you never know.”
Long before that decision is made, Gibbs will try to win a third Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Gibbs got his first with Dale Jarrett in 1993 and had to wait another 23 years for Denny Hamlin to deliver the second.
Former Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs, who died last month at age 49 from a neurological disease, was a tire changer for Jarrett’s winning car. Hamlin hopes to win a second Daytona 500 and dedicate the victory to his former boss.
But that will be a tall order, as Gibbs knows only too well.
“I used to kid people… I talked to them for a while there, we won the Daytona 500 once, and we've been here about 24 times,” Gibbs said. “I’d say, sooner or later, come on, a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then, come on, give me one. To win it twice… but you think about it, we've won twice in 27 tries.
“So it's extremely hard. So much can happen. And everybody here, I think that's the exciting thing for our fans. If you're coming off (Turn) 4, OK? We've come off of 4 I don't know how many times leading, and we haven't won the race.
“So everybody is excited about it. Everybody realizes that that can happen at the Daytona 500. It's a thrill to win it for sure, but it's extremely hard to win.”
Leavine is new to Toyota this year, having switched from Chevrolet, but he expects Leavine Family Racing to enjoy a strong season with driver Matt DiBenedetto and an affiliation with JGR.
“The transition was and is very intense,” Leavine said. “It's also exciting for Leavine Family Racing. Both of these organizations have assisted in the transition. Unless you've been there, you have no idea the technical portion that goes on, and I stand back, I'm kind of operation and not marketing-related, and I enjoy the operation and to watch what Coach's people have helped our people do, and Toyota and TRD. What they have done is truly amazing, over the time period that we had.
“Our people worked really hard with theirs, and together we got a car on the track, and they're working hard for our West Coast Swing, Atlanta, so the transition has gone exceptionally well, considering what we had to go through—a lot of communication—and both of these organizations here were on top of everything we needed and provided for it.”
After jumping into its first NASCAR team sponsorship at Charlotte's Roval in 2018, LeithCars.com is excited to announce its partnership with driver Timmy Hill and MBM Motorsports will continue in 2019.
Hill will make the official sponsorship announcement of the #66 Toyota Supra Xfinity Series racecar this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. LeithCars.com will sponsor Hill's car at the Alsco 300 on May 25th and at the Drive for the Cure 200 on September 28th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
2019 marks the return of Toyota's iconic sports car Supra and the first time the new Supra will appear as a NASCAR race car in the Xfinity Race Series. The street version Supra is set to arrive at Leith Toyota in Raleigh, N.C. this spring.
While the May Xfinity Series race will feature Hill's new LeithCars.com Toyota Supra on the track's high speed, banked oval, the late September race will be a return to the exciting ROVAL action that proved to be a fan favorite last season.
Timmy Hill had the best finish for MBM Motorsports in 2018 when he placed 7th in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona. Charlotte's ROVAL, a hybrid road course + oval layout will be the perfect setting for the new Toyota Supra and with last seasons experience under Hill's belt, LeithCars.com is looking forward to an even better finish at Charlotte this year.
Following Hill's sponsorship announcement with LeithCars.com at Daytona, expect to see regular updates on social media from Timmy Hill and LeithCars.com throughout the season, leading up to both Charlotte Xfinity races.
The new 2019 Toyota Supra Xfinity Series paint scheme on the #66 featuring LeithCars.com will be revealed in early May.
In an 11th-hour agreement, NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) newcomer Max Tullman (@MaxTullman) has teamed up with Motorsports Business Management (MBM) for Saturday’s NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Tullman returns to the “World Center of Racing” a year after making his ARCA Menards Series debut in 2018 driving for Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) which saw the Sports Car veteran qualify fourth, lead 10 laps before finishing sixth, his career-best finish in the developmental series.
This weekend, Tullman is eager to maneuver a similar performance aboard the No. 13 Zoomi | Myota Toyota Supra.
Veteran Motorsports crew chief Doug Richert, who led Dale Earnhardt Sr. to his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) championship in 1980 will call the shots for Tullman in the 120-lap event.
“I’m very thankful and appreciative for this opportunity to join MBM this weekend at Daytona,” said Tullman who made three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2018 with his family-owned Tullman Walker Racing.
“We are still working hard on our firm plans for 2019 – but Carl reached out and together we were able to put some support together to see if we can earn a good finish on Saturday.”
For Tullman, a native of Chester Springs, Pa., he’s hoping that his prior experience in ARCA and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) on a restrictor plate track will pay dividends in the first Xfinity Series race of the year.
In addition to Daytona, Tullman scored a sixth-place finish for MMM at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last April – before delivering a career-best ninth-place effort at Talladega in the Truck Series last October in a third effort for Young’s Motorsports.
“I learned a lot about drafting and restrictor plate racing last year,” offered Tullman. “Between Mason Mitchell Motorsports, Young’s Motorsports, my crew chief Doug Richert and my mentor Todd Bodine – I was able to really gather a lot of knowledge. All of their support plus the in-race experience helped me a ton.
“I have a good crew behind me and Carl (Long) is taking three other Xfinity Series cars to Daytona this weekend, so I’m hoping I can work with my teammates in some capacity. Hopefully, we’ll be able to earn a solid finish to start off my 2019 season and see what develops from there.”
Backing Tullman’s efforts at Daytona are longtime partners Zoomi and Myota.
Zoomi is the first AI-informed learning analytics company that uses machine learning to rapidly individualize training pathways in real-time. Its artificial intelligence studies learner behaviors and patterns to understand what each employee knows, what still needs to be taught and how to best deliver that information automatically – so you don’t have to.
Myota is a superior data security management solution that leverages artificial intelligence – exponentially increasing the protection of critical data while providing cost and operational efficiencies.
“I’m very thankful for the support of Zoomi and Myota,” sounded Tullman. “We had a lot of success in our first race at Daytona. Here’s hoping we can do the same this weekend.”
In addition to Zoomi and Myota, Tullman’s first Xfinity Series race at Daytona will carry additional support form partners Yurpal, Onspira and Top Tier.
For autograph requests and to join Max Tullman on social media, please like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @MaxTullman.
Additional at-track updates can be seen on Twitter @TeamMaxTullman.
The NASCAR Racing Experience 300 (120 laps | 300 miles) is the first of 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 15 from 12:05 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 16 beginning at 9:40 p.m. The 38-car field will take the green flag shortly after 2:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).
Max Tullman Racing PR
Xtreme Concepts Inc., a worldwide leader in turnkey security solutions, is augmenting its existing sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) by forming an alliance with the team that will see Xtreme Concepts Racing (XCI Racing) field its own racecars in two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and five NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2019.
Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive XCI Racing’s No. 81 Toyota in both series, with the team’s debut coming March 30 in the Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The event will serve as a precursor to XCI Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series debut when it unloads for the April 28 race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
XCI Racing will return to the Xfinity Series June 29 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway, Aug. 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Aug. 31 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
XCI Racing will finish its maiden season Oct. 13 in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega.
“We are taking a very deliberate and methodical approach to becoming a NASCAR team,” said Landon Ash, founder of Birmingham, Alabama-based Xtreme Concepts and owner of XCI Racing. “Having a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing makes the learning curve a little less steep and allows us to field competitive racecars right out of the gate.
“Our ultimate goal is to become a fulltime team in the NASCAR Cup Series. We’ll take what we learn this season and apply it to next season. We plan to grow incrementally, and our alliance with JGR will be a key component of that growth.
“As we build the competition side of our race team, we’re also building a strong marketing platform for our brands, most notably iK9, a comprehensive canine solutions provider for detection and service dogs. iK9 will be the lead brand on the No. 81 Toyota in both series. Jeffrey Earnhardt has been an excellent representative for Xtreme Concepts and iK9, and through this endeavor with Joe Gibbs Racing, we plan to grow together.”
JGR is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR with four NASCAR Cup Series teams, three Xfinity Series teams and a driver development program. Its depth of resources will allow XCI Racing to run competitively and build for the future.
“JGR prides itself on delivering performance, not just for us, but for our partners,” said Coy Gibbs, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, JGR. “Having a new team in XCI Racing is great for our sport, and all of us at JGR are committed to ensuring its success.”
XCI Racing PR
Davis’s efforts for Daytona will continue to be supported by ALLPRO and Tower Sealants. ALLPRO Corporation is a business-to-business purchasing cooperative comprised of a network of independently owned paint and decorating product retailers.
They serve over 280 such member retailers who represent approximately 1,400 storefronts located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe.
Tower Sealants is a manufacturer of top-quality caulks and sealants. With the strong financial backing of M-D Building Products, Tower Sealants started construction of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in September of 2005 and opened for business March 1, 2006.
“This is great exposure for our sponsors, especially on a national platform,” added Davis. “We kept ourselves near the front at the end of the K&N race – but hopefully we can qualify our No. 82 ALLPRO | Tower Sealants Ford near the front and stay in the hunt for all 100 laps.”
The Dawsonville, Ga. native will attempt to make his sixth NGOTS start on Friday night and is eager to duplicate his seventh-place outing with Kyle Busch Motorsports from last February.
“It’s going to be a tall task to duplicate what we did last year,” added Davis. “It’s a much more competitive field this year compared to last – but we’re staying positive and have a plan of attack. Mark (Rette) is super smart when it comes to setup and strategy. Once we get into this race, it will be all about avoiding the “Big One” and just being around in the end when it counts most.”
Crew chief and co truck-owner Mark Rette knows Daytona is always a tough challenge – but a task he knows they can conquer.
“We’re ready and we’ll go there and give nothing less than 100 percent,” added Rette. “We did OK at New Smyrna. It was a solid start to the year – I think we just got a little behind as far as track position. As for Daytona, it’s another beast.
“It’s going to be a close race to make on speed and we gotta be in the top-27. We’ll just see what happens. We have a dedicated bunch, a talented driver and great partners like ALLPRO and Tower Sealants, hopefully, all those mixed together can bring a good result on Friday night.”
In addition to ALLPRO and Tower Sealants serving as the title marketing partners for the opening round of the season, Rette Jones Racing also welcomes Horton Ave. Materials, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement, Ford Performance, JRI Shocks, Huntilar Corp. and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems as associate marketing partners for Friday night’s anticipated thriller.
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.
In 33 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, Davis has earned one victory (Dominion (Va.) Raceway 2016), two poles, achieved 14 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. He has also 224 laps led in event competition.
Davis, 20, also has five NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) starts to his credit – all in 2018 driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He earned two top-10 finishes including a career-best of seventh in his series’ debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 (100 laps | 250 miles) is the first of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs, Feb. 14 from 2:35 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:35 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Feb. 15 beginning at 4:40 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).
For more information on Spencer Davis, please check out his Facebook page (Spencer Davis Racing) or on Instagram @spencerdavis_29.
Davis tweets too. Follow him @SpencerDavis_29.
The latest on Rette Jones Racing is available at RetteJonesRacing.com, the team’s Facebook page or Twitter @RetteJones30.
Sparrow Ranch on the Island is teaming up with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.