Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Kyle Busch will run five races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020 starting at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, March 7.

Busch’s five race NASCAR Xfinity Series program in 2020 will be as follows:

March 7 at Phoenix Raceway in the No. 54 TWIX Cookies & Creme Toyota Supra

May 23 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 54 TWIX Cookies and Creme Toyota Supra

June 20 at Chicagoland Speedway in the No. 54 Starburst Duos Toyota Supra

July 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the No. 54 Starburst Duos Toyota Supra

August 15 at Watkins Glen in the No. 54 Combos Toyota Supra

“I’m excited to have Mars partner with me in the Xfinity Series and have TWIX, Starburst and Combos on my No. 54 Toyota Supra for these NXS races,” said Kyle Busch. “It’s really going to be something to celebrate with Mars brands helping me get to the 100-win mark in the Xfinity Series this season!”

Jacob Canter will handle the crew chief duties for the No. 54 Toyota Supra. He currently serves as the Test Team Manager for JGR’s NASCAR Cup Series program.

JGR PR

On the heels of a career-best third place NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series finish last Friday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, ARCA graduate Codie Rohrbaugh and his CR7 Motorsports team are ready to double down Friday night in the Strat 200 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and earn back-to-back top-five finishes to kickoff the 2020 season.

“We almost had it,” said a still jubilant Rohrbaugh. “You know it was a crazy race for us. Our truck was pretty loose, and I spun out of the pack and luckily didn’t hit anything. Had to come to pit road for tires and stuff and lost a lap – but then we just decided to let the race play out and see what we could get.

“I was hoping those guys (Jordan Anderson and Grant Enfinger) would keep banging fenders because I had some huge momentum on the bottom – just ran out of time before getting to the checkered flag.”

With a career-best finish in the books and happy faces around the CR7 Motorsports shop in Statesville, N.C. – the team turns to Sin City where it looks to spice up the competition and make a bold statement early in the year.

“We’re here to race and race hard and fair,” added Rohrbaugh. “Right now, we’re not planning on the whole season – but who knows if we keep going in this direction, we just keep going. I’m proud of the work of my crew. From Doug (George, crew chief), Mark (Huff, team manager) and everyone who makes our No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet go – I appreciate it sincerely.”

Rohrbaugh, a native of Petersburg, West Virginia will make his second Truck Series start at Las Vegas’ 1.5-mile speedway. Last fall, he qualified 27th and finished a respectable 16th.

This weekend Rohrbaugh knows he needs to turn up the wick.

“We barely got into the race last fall, we gotta be better this weekend,” he added. “I think we’ve made great strides in our race team since September and I look forward to the opportunity to turn more laps around Las Vegas and get us in a good position for Friday night’s race.”

Following Las Vegas, CR7 Motorsports plans to return to the Truck Series scene for the Vankor 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Fri., Mar. 27, 2020.

CR7 Motorsports has 12 NGOTS starts to their credit with a career-best finish of third at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2020). Additionally, the team owns another top-10 finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2019. An 11th place qualifying effort at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 2019) is the team’s best time trials effort to date.

In 20 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh twice at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018 and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2019). He has qualified a career-best fourth on four different occasions most recently at Kansas Speedway (Oct. 2018).

Marketing partnership(s) opportunities are available for the No. 97 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet and No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet for the 2020 ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 304.257.8783.

The Strat 200 (134 laps| 201 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2020 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 21 from 8:05 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. Qualifying is later in the day beginning at 2:05 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 6:00 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 (Pacific).

CR7 Motorsports PR

Richmond Raceway (Richmond) and AEG Presents announce popular punk rock bands Rancid and Dropkick Murphys, and special guests Gerry Cinnamon, as part of the Virginia Lottery Concert Series to play at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! at Richmond Raceway on Monday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m. With today’s announcement, tickets are officially on sale to the public online at vaculive.com or in-person at The National Box Office at 708 East Broad Street in Richmond, Va.

Rancid is an American punk rock band formed in Berkeley, Ca., in 1991. The band was one of the first groups to bring mainstream interest to punk rock in the mid-1990’s. The band is made up of founding members Tim Armstrong on guitar and vocals and Matt Freeman on bass and vocals, along with Lars Frederiksen on guitar and vocals and Branden Steineckert on drums.

The band has released nine studio albums selling over four million records worldwide, making it one of the most successful independent punk rock groups of all-time. Rancid came to prominence in 1994 with its second studio album, Let’s Go, featuring the hit single “Salvation.” It followed with the certified gold and platinum album …And Out Come the Wolves, selling more than one million copies in the U.S. To learn more about Rancid, visit rancidrancid.com.

Dropkick Murphys is an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Mass., in 1996. The band consists of Ken Casey on bass guitar and lead vocals, Matt Kelly on drums, bodhran, and backing vocals, Al Barr on lead vocals, James Lynch on guitar and backing vocals, Tim Brennan on accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, keyboard, piano, tin whistle, backing vocals, and lead guitar, and Jeff DaRosa on banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, keyboard, piano, harmonica, tin whistle, and backing vocals.

The band has released nine albums and gaining mainstream popularity for their tours and annual St. Patrick’s Day shows held around Boston, Mass. Dropkick Murphy’s two biggest hits, 2004’s “Tessie” and 2005’s “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” The latter was featured in 2006 Academy Award winning movie, The Departed. The song went on to become the band’s only platinum selling single and most popular song. For more information on the Dropkick Murphys, visit dropkickmurphys.com.

The Commonwealth Mall at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! will feature concessions, displays, and merchandise on the day of the event, with gates opening at 5:00 p.m. The address for Virginia Credit Union LIVE! is 900 E. Laburnum in Richmond, Va. Parking for the event is located in Lot D, at the corner of Laburnum and Carolina Avenues, and can be accessed through Gate 4 on Laburnum Avenue. Parking is $10 cash only for the public and free for Virginia Credit Union members with lots opening at 4:00 p.m.

Virginia Credit Union LIVE! continues to bring top musical acts and superior concert experiences to music fans in the Richmond region. The venue has hosted top national recording artists such as Aerosmith, Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Robert Plant, Florida Georgia Line, The Lumineers, and The 1975.

In addition to its 6,000 covered seats, the venue hosts six permanent private dressing rooms with restrooms and showers attached to the stage as well as two loading docks. There is a separate hospitality building providing a full menu of food and beverage amenities. The backstage area is completely secured with ample room for parking large vehicles and tour buses.

To purchase tickets and learn more about Virginia Credit Union LIVE!, visit vaculive.com or connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Richmond Raceway PR

Country Artist Chase Bryant will headline the pre-race concert to kick-off the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 race on Sunday, March 1 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Bryant will perform on the main stage in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Chase Bryant has several country hits including “Take It on Back,” “Little Bit of You,” Hell if I Know,” and “Room to Breathe,” among others.

With a race ticket, fans will receive access to the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone including the Chase Bryant concert, NASCAR driver appearances, autograph sessions, Monster Energy activations, Lucha Libre, and other family fun.

Admission tickets start at $50.00 to see Chase Bryant and to watch NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 race. Call 1-800-944-RACE (7223), shop online www.autoclubspeedway.com, or stop by the Auto Club Speedway ticket office at 9300 Cherry Ave. in Fontana.

ACS PR

Ross Chastain on Racing at Las Vegas: “I love racing at Las Vegas – this track will always be special to me,” said Chastain.  “Thanks to Al Niece and everyone at Niece Motorsports for their hard work. I know we’ll have a truck capable of winning on Friday night, and I’ll do everything I can to get this team to Victory Lane.”

Chastain at Las Vegas: Chastain will make his sixth NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night.  In his five previous starts, Chastain has earned one top-five and three top-10 finishes.  Last fall, Chastain started second and led 88 laps on his way to a second-place finish.

Chastain has six NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with one win and two top-10 finishes.  It was the site of Chastain’s first NASCAR XFINITY Series win in 2018.  He started fifth and dominated, leading 180 of 200 laps on his way to the win.

Chastain also has four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Neice Motorsports PR

Decker at Las Vegas: Decker, who is coming off a career-best finish last week at Daytona International Speedway, will make her third NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night.  Decker finished 13th in this race last season.

On the Truck: The No. 44 Chevrolet will carry the REMarkable Pillow colors this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“REMarkable Pillow is hands down the best memory foam pillow in the industry and truly is remarkable, much like Natalie, so it seemed only fitting that we partner to show how a great night’s sleep effects your everyday life.” said Jonathan Frank, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Tuccinardi & Co., Inc.

REMarkable Pillow is the recognized industry leader in innovation, state-of-the-art product design, U.S. Manufacturing, and an uncompromising commitment to total customer satisfaction. REMarkable Pillow prides itself with an ever-growing portfolio in design and manufacturing of advanced molded foam solutions for a wide variety of industrial sectors including but not limited to Aviation, Automotive, Bedding and Office Furniture.

“I am so thankful to have REMarkable Pillow on board for 2020,” said Decker. “Their name says it all! The pillows are truly REMARKABLE and for any athlete it’s super important to get a good night’s sleep.”

For more information on REMarkable Pillow’s new lineup visit www.remarkablepillow.com.

Niece Motorsports PR

Ty Majeski on Racing at Las Vegas: “Our season starts this week at Las Vegas,” said Majeski.  “I can’t thank iRacing enough for their support – it means a lot to me that they’ve supported my racing career like they have.  Phil and Ross had a great run here in the fall, so we have a strong notebook to fall back on.  I’m just ready to get on track and get our season started.”

Majeski at Las Vegas: Friday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway marks Majeski’s first start at the 1.5-mile track.

On the Truck: The No. 45 Chevrolet will carry the iRacing colors at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night.

“We couldn’t help but notice Ty years ago, piling up wins and climbing to the highest oval skill rating on iRacing,” said Tony Gardner, iRacing president.  “Not long after that, we got involved supporting his late model program and watched him stack up big wins in the real world as well.  It has been exciting for iRacing to be involved in his career progression, and we’re proud to be part of this next big step with Niece Motorsports.”

Majeski’s No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado will also carry the iRacing colors at Richmond Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and in the season-finale at Phoenix Raceway.

With over 110,000 active users, iRacing is the world’s premier motorsport racing simulation.  Since it was established in 2004, iRacing has developed dozens of formal partnerships in the motorsport industry to help create the most authentic racing simulation in the world.  iRacing promotes elite eSport world championships with eNASCAR, Porsche, and World of Outlaws, and allows users to race just about any discipline imaginable on more than 80 tracks.

Majeski is one of the world’s premier oval iRacers.  In 2,535 starts, Majeski has earned 1,892 wins, 2,225 top-five finishes, and 1,717 poles on iRacing.  As part of the partnership, iRacers will have the opportunity to race alongside Majeski throughout the season in a series of special events on the simulator that will be announced at a later date.

Neice Motorsports PR

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Chastain to pilot No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in Newman’s absence

Roush Fenway Racing has tabbed popular NASCAR competitor Ross Chastain to drive the team’s No. 6 Ford Mustang while their fulltime driver Ryan Newman recovers after an accident Monday on the last lap of the Daytona 500. 

 

Newman was released from Daytona Beach’s Halifax Medical Center on Wednesday.

 

Chastain is contending for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship this year driving the No. 10 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing. He is a three-time winner in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and finished runner-up in the 2019 championship. He has a pair of Xfinity Series victories – his first coming at Las Vegas in the fall of 2018, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. His second came last summer at Daytona in while driving a partial series schedule for Kaulig Racing.

 

The 27-year old Alva, Florida, native has made 72 Cup Series starts with a best showing of 10th-place in the 2019 Daytona 500. He raced in Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500, finishing 25th in a car prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing and Spire Motorsports.

 

In four previous Cup starts at Las Vegas, Chastain’s best finish is 20th coming in the 2018 fall race.

 

“No one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track and I can’t wait to have him back,’’ Chastain said on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. “As we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery, I’ll do my best to make him and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing proud.’’

 

 

Hamlin playing with a full house in Vegas

Denny Hamlin shows up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) understandably liking his odds for a first career victory at the 1.5-mile track.

 

The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is coming off a win in Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500, making him the first back-to-back winner in the race since Sterling Marlin accomplished the feat in 1994-95. It is Hamlin’s third Daytona 500 win in the last five years. Only one other driver has won that many Daytona 500s in that short of a time frame – NASCAR Hall of Famer and the sport’s winningest driver, Richard Petty, who won in 1971 and back-to-back in 1973-74.

 

Hamlin led a race-best 79 laps and won in a photo-finish – only 0.14-seconds ahead of Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney – the second closest finish in the history of the Great America Race.

  

In 16 starts at Las Vegas, Hamlin has earned only two top-five finishes – the best of those, a third-place effort, came in only his second Las Vegas start in 2007. The 39-year old Virginian has seven top-10 finishes, including a 10th-place showing in this spring race last year.

 

Toyota has won two of the last six races, the only manufacturer other than Ford to win during that time. Both of those victories (spring, 2017 and fall, 2019) were by Hamlin’s current Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr.

 

The last time a driver won the first two races of a season was 2009 when former JGR driver Matt Kenseth won at Daytona and then at Fontana, Calif.

 

“Our team is picking up where we left off last year and really clicking so far,’’ Hamlin said. “I’m very happy with our performance, but we still have a lot of work to do and a lot more challenges coming our way. We’ll be ready to get back at it this weekend in Las Vegas and hopefully take the checkered flag.’’

 

 

Team Penske playing the odds

Joey Logano has plenty of reason to like his chances this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He is the defending winner of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube and his No. 22 Team Penske Ford will be donned in the Pennzoil yellow. He and teammate Brad Keselowski have won three of the past six races at the 1.5-mile track.

 

And Logano is statistically-speaking best in class at Las Vegas. The 2017 Cup champion boasts the best average starting position (8.9) and best average finishing position (8.5) in the field. And his average running position is also tops among the competition at 9.162.

 

Logano has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes – only Kevin Harvick (10 top 10s and seven top fives) has more.  And a very telling statistic, Logano has never suffered a DNF in 13 starts.

 

The 2018 Cup Series champion had a difficult Daytona 500 – starting third and finishing 26th after a late-race accident.

 

He’ll be buoyed, no doubt, by the past performance of his Team Penske team which shows up undoubtedly as a pre-race favorite. Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford has three victories at Las Vegas – second all-time to Jimmie Johnson’s four wins. His seven top-five finishes tie Harvick and Kyle Busch for most all-time.  He is one of only five drivers to win from the front row, earning the 2014 Vegas trophy from second.

 

As with Logano, Keselowski was fast all day in Monday’s Daytona season-opener only to be collected in a multi-car accident. His 30 laps out front was second only to race winner Denny Hamlin. But his day ended early when he was caught in a 19-car accident with 16 laps remaining in regulation.

 

Vegas, however, should give him reason to believe in redemption. He was runner-up to his teammate Logano is this race last year and answered that with a third-place finish in the fall Playoff race. Keselowski has not finished worse than seventh in the last nine races, including three wins, a runner-up and a pair of third-place finishes in that time.

 

Certainly, feeling capable of running with his veteran Penske teammates will be 26-year old Ryan Blaney, whose finish in the Daytona 500 was his second runner-up showing in the sport’s biggest race in the last four years. He’s coming off a career 2019 season, when he scored a personal best 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. His win at the Talladega Playoff race marked the third consecutive season he’s celebrated in Victory Lane and his seventh place in the Cup Series championship was an all-time high mark for him as well.

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been a productive venue for Blaney, who has an impressive three top-five and five top-10 finishes in seven starts.

 

 

Busch brothers are hometown Vegas heroes

Las Vegas natives Kurt and Kyle Busch are unquestionably the fan favorites this weekend. For the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle, it’s about adding to his winnings. He’s already won a Cup Series race, two in the Xfinity Series and a pair of Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series races at the track.

 

Unfortunately for Kyle Busch, 34, he suffered another early exit from the Daytona 500 – making the two-time Cup champion 0-for-16 in the sport’s biggest race. He couldn’t be more motivated to get back on track at his hometown track, where in 2009 he won from the pole position to become its youngest Cup Series winner (23 years, nine months, 27 days). He remains the only driver to win from pole position at Vegas.

 

He’s finished seventh or better in four of the last six Cup races at Las Vegas, including third-place in this race last March. Twice he’s finished runner-up (in 2005 and 2018). His seven top-five finishes are tied for tops among those on the grid this week.

 

He’s entered in a Late Model race Thursday night at Las Vegas’s famed “Bullring” and will compete in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race on Friday night as well.

 

“Vegas always means a little bit more pressure – more pressure on myself – just because it’s the hometown and you want to win there,’’ Busch conceded. “Thankfully, I have won there, and I’ve knocked that one off the list, but certainly you want to win there every year.

 

“I love Vegas, the atmosphere and everything going on around that place.’’

 

For older brother Kurt, 41, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion, it’s about finally finding a way to Las Vegas Motor Speedway Victory Lane. He has won a pair of pole positions (2010, 2016), but his best finish in 20 starts is third-place in 2005. Busch scored his only other top-five in this race last year, finishing fifth and leading 23 laps in his Vegas debut for Chip Ganassi Racing.

 

After leaving the Daytona 500 last week in the 19-car crash on Lap 184 of the race, Kurt Busch comes to Las Vegas eager to turn his fortune around.

 

“Lady Luck was not on our side,’’ Kurt Busch said at Daytona.

 

“That’s a roulette wheel people. The roulette wheel spins, and it grabs your number and it grabbed my number. Maybe Vegas will be a little better.’’

 

 

Harvick happy to be heading to Vegas

Although “Happy” has long been Kevin Harvick’s nickname, it was very fitting for him Sunday in the Daytona 500 when after a busy day that included overcoming a damaged race car, he persevered to earn a fifth-place finish.

 

The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford won at Las Vegas in March of 2018 and was the Busch pole winner in this race last year, finishing fourth. He scored his second career runner-up showing at Vegas in the Cup Series Playoff opener last September.

 

Harvick’s 10 top-10 finishes at Las Vegas puts him in a five-driver tie for most all-time. And his seven top-five finishes are also best – tying him with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. Ford has won four of the last six races on the 1.5-mile track.

 

In just the last seven trips to Las Vegas, Harvick has two wins (2015 and 2018), a runner-up finish (2019-2) and a pole position (2019-1).

 

 

Truex trying for trio of Vegas wins

Martin Truex Jr. is also among those NASCAR Cup Series drivers happy to move Westward this week after suffering another DNF in the Daytona 500 on Monday – his second consecutive DNF in NASCAR’s biggest race. He has only a pair of top fives and four top-10 showings in 30 race starts at Daytona International Speedway.

 

The 2017 Cup champion has a markedly different record at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; however, he is one of only four drivers on the grid with multiple wins at the track. He won in 2017 en route to his first Cup title and is the most recent winner as well – taking the trophy in last year’s September Playoff opener, one of a series-best seven wins in 2019.

 

He hasn’t finished worse than eighth in the last five races at Las Vegas, including the two victories and a third-place finish in the 2018 Fall race.

 

Truex has proven to be particularly adept at the 1.5-mile venues such as Vegas. Just going back three years, the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has 10 wins, 22 top-fives and 29 top-10 finishes in 33 races on 1.5-mile tracks – an impressive 87.8 percent top-10 showing on 1.5-milers in that time frame.

 

“I think overall, as a company, we feel really good about where we ended last season with the 550 (horsepower) package,’’ Truex said of the engine package used at the 1.5-mile venues.

 

“With us winning Vegas in the fall, Denny (Hamlin) winning Kansas and then Kyle (Busch) at Homestead, all of our cars were really fast at those places at the end of the year, so that gives me a lot of confidence going back to Vegas this weekend.

 

“Everyone has had a few months to work on their stuff and get better so it will be a challenge to keep that advantage we felt like we had late in the season and continue that as we get going with the heart of our season now that Daytona is out of the way.’’

 

 

Sunoco Rookie class looking to rebound after Daytona

The NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie Class of 2020 is one of the most decorated groups of young new drivers in years, but after last week’s season-opening Daytona 500 several of these first-year Cup regulars are looking to right their road.

 

Only two of the six drivers were running at the end of the action-packed season-opener with John Hunter Nemechek earning the best finish among them at 11th. Brennan Poole was the next highest finishing rookie at 16th after starting 36th.

 

Christopher Bell was scored 21st after being collected in a crash during overtime. Two-time defending Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick was scored 28th after being involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 199. Cole Custer (37th) and Quin Houff (39th) departed early, as well.

 

Of these six rookies, Reddick, who drives the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, is the only one who has celebrated in Las Vegas’s glitzy Victory Lane. He won the Xfinity Series race there last September and a 2016 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race there.

 

Reddick insisted, however, that his positive experiences in those two series won’t necessarily make a huge difference in his Cup debut Sunday.


“Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a crossover between the two cars,’’ Reddick said. “That’s what makes the Cup cars so challenging. We’ve got less horsepower and a lot more downforce, as well as a lot more competition.


“I do have some confidence entering the weekend though. I remember what my comfort level was when I won in the Truck Series there a few years ago and while Cup cars aren’t quite the same as the truck, there is a little more crossover between the handling of those two.’’

 

Cole Custer, who drives the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, is the only driver in this rookie class with a previous Cup Series start at Las Vegas. He started 30th and finished 25th in his first career Cup race last March. 

 

 

Suarez looking for redemption

Perhaps no one will be happier to see the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip than 2016 Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez, who was involved in an accident during the Daytona 500 Bluegreen Vacation Duel qualifying race and missed the big show.

 

He and his No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota team will give it another shot this week in Las Vegas, where he has had some success in the past. His best finish in the Cup Series - eighth place – came in the 2018 Vegas race when he was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. He was 17th in this race last year and led 12 laps driving the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

 

He was runner-up in the 2016 Xfinity Series race at the track and third place in the 2017 Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas as well.

 

 

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media rotations

Six drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series – Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick,  StarCom Racing’s Quin Houff, Gaunt Brothers Racing’s Daniel Suarez, Front Row Motorsports’ John Hunter Nemechek, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in advance of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series’ Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube  (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Tyler Reddick, 24, Corning, California, will be making his NASCAR Cup Series debut in Las Vegas, but he brings a solid track record having won in both the Xfinity Series (Sept. 2019) and the Gander Trucks (2016) at Vegas. Reddick is coming off a 22nd-place finish in his second Daytona 500 after his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was collected in a late-race accident. He is a two-time Xfinity Series champion, having earned the last two titles with two different teams – 2018 with JR Motorsports and again in 2019 with Richard Childress Racing.

 

Quin Houff, 22, of Weyers Cave, Virginia, is another member of the 2020 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class who will be making his first Las Vegas start this weekend. He has 18 previous career Cup starts with a best career showing of 29th at the first Pocono race last year. The driver of the No. 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet finished 39th in the season-opening Daytona 500, retiring only 89 laps into the race after being in a crash.

 

Daniel Suarez, 28, of Monterrey, Mexico, is attempting to make his first race of the season this week after failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 field. His No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota was running first among those needing to race their way into the field in last Thursday’s Duel, but he was in a collision midway through the event that ended his day. He and the team are eager to push the reset button and Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been a solid entry on Suarez’ resume. He finished a career best eighth in 2018 while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. His track highlights include a runner-up finish in the 2016 Xfinity Series race and third place in the 2017 Xfinity event.

 

John Hunter Nemechek, 22, of Mooresville, N.C., arrives in Las Vegas as the top-finishing rookie in Monday’s Daytona 500. He finished 11th after starting 23rd in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford. Sunday will mark his Vegas Cup track debut; however, he has solid experience at the track. He finished runner-up in the March 2019, Xfinity Series race and eighth in the fall event en route to a career-best seventh place effort in the championship standings. He had a fourth-place finish in the 2015 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race and an eighth place in the 2017 truck race there.

 

Erik Jones, 23, of Byron, Michigan, finished 18th in Monday’s season-opening Daytona 500 but was a front-runner for much of the afternoon in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The two-time Cup Series winner has had a hit-or-miss record at Las Vegas. He won the pole position for the 2018 fall Playoff race but has three finishes of 15th or better and two finishes of 36th or worse in five Vegas starts and has yet to lead a lap. His best showing is eighth in the 2018 spring race. Jones is coming off another promising year. He picked up his second career win in the historic Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and qualified for the Playoffs for the second consecutive year with a career-best 10 top-five finishes in 2019.

 

Kurt Busch, 41, of Las Vegas, would love nothing more than to raise a trophy at his hometown race track. The venue has historically been challenging for the 2004 Cup Series champion. He has only two top-five and five top-10 finishes in 20 starts. His best showing is a third place in spring, 2005. However, he finished fifth in his first race in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet last year. He is a two-time polesitter (2010, 2016) at Vegas. Busch finished a frustrating 33rd in Monday’s Daytona 500, after being collected in a multicar accident on lap 184.

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Bright lights of Las Vegas are next for NASCAR Xfinity Series

Just north of all the casinos and bright lights sits one of the jewels in the desert, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile facility set to host this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race - the Boyd Gaming 300 (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted 25 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, one race per season from 1997 to 2017 and two races per season since 2018. The 1.5-mile oval has 20 degrees of banking in its four turns and nine degrees of banking on the front and backstretch. This weekend’s Boyd Gaming 300 will be 200 laps broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 45 laps each with the final stage 110 laps.

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 25 Xfinity races have produced 17 different pole winners and 18 different race winners. Five drivers are tied for the series lead in poles at Las Vegas with two each – Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Cole Custer. NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the series wins at Las Vegas with four victories (1999, 2005, 2008 and 2011). None of the former 17 pole winners are entered this weekend, guaranteeing an 18th different pole winner on Saturday. However, two of the former Xfinity Vegas race winners are entered this weekend. Joe Nemechek won in the Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas back in 2003. This weekend Nemechek will be piloting the No. 47 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet. Ross Chastain is the other former winner active this weekend at Las Vegas. Chastain grabbed his first Xfinity Series career win at Las Vegas in 2018 driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.  This weekend he will wrestling the No. 11.   

 

 

Las Vegas’s Noah Gragson locks up Playoff spot with Xfinity season-opening win

Atop the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings and locked into the Playoffs for the first time in his career, JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson comes swinging into his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada for the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

“I always look forward to coming back to Las Vegas because it allows me to visit with family and friends.,” said Gragson. “It adds a little pressure because I want to perform in front of my hometown crowd, but coming off the win in Daytona and our streak of runs here, I feel like the No. 9 Camaro could be celebrating in Victory Lane for the second straight week.”

 

Following his first Xfinity Series career win at Daytona International Speedway last weekend the 21-year old is looking to become just the fourth different driver to win the first two races of a Xfinity season; joining Dale Earnhardt (1986: Daytona, Rockingham), Chad Little (1995: Daytona, Rockingham) and Tony Stewart (2008: Daytona, California). Gragson has made two series starts at Las Vegas posting one top five (third in this race last season) and two top 10s. His average finish at LVMS is a stout 4.5 – series-best among drivers entered this weekend.

 

 

Harrison Burton jumps out front of Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Class

To kick off the 2020 season, Joe Gibbs Racing’s rookie candidate Harrison Burton put up his Xfinity Series career-best finish (second at Daytona) and took the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings lead. Now with a 20 point edge over second place Jesse Little, Burton and the rest of the 2020 rookie class turn their attention to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Boyd Gaming 300 this Saturday (4 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings

Rookies

Points

Harrison Burton

38

Jesse Little

18

Riley Herbst

5

Joe Graf Jr.

1

Gaining experience will be key for the rookies this weekend, Riley Herbst is the only one of the four rookies with a prior start at the 1.5-mile speedway. Burton, Little and Graf will be making their series track debuts this weekend.

 

A Las Vegas native, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Riley Herbst, made his series track debut last season, starting 15th and racing his way up to a ninth-place finish. Herbst started the season with a 32nd-place finish and is looking to bounce back at Vegas and close the 33 point gap on rookie standings leader and JGR teammate Harrison Burton.

 

 

Loop Data stats point to Justin Allgaier at Las Vegas

After finishing a disappointing 30th at Daytona to start the 2020 season, JR Motorsport’s veteran Justin Allgaier isn’t faded by the team’s slow start to the year. He is currently 13th in points, 24 back from series standings leader and JRM teammate Noah Gragson.

 

“We may not have had the finish we wanted last weekend in Daytona, but we had a fast Chevrolet and that makes me excited for the rest of the season,” said Allgaier. 

 

Las Vegas is the next stop in the Xfinity schedule, and it is a particularly good one for Allgaier. He has made 11 starts at the 1.5-mile facility in Nevada posting five top fives and nine top 10s.  

 

“Las Vegas is a track that has been good to me and this No. 7 team. We’ve led laps and I feel like we have come close to winning, so I’m really looking forward to getting there and seeing what we can do this weekend.”

 

Pre-Race Loop Data says Allgaier isn’t just good but one of the best in the field this weekend at Las Vegas.  He leads all active drivers this weekend in the following Xfinity statistical categories at Las Vegas – Driver Rating (105.3), Average Running Position (7.598), Fastest Laps Run (70 laps), Green Flag Passes (470), Quality Passes (424) and Laps in the Top 15 (2,087 laps, 93.9%).

 

 

Names are made here in the Xfinity Series

The youth movement in the NASCAR Xfinity Series is strong in 2020, with the top five in points the youngest contingent of drivers to come out of the first race of the season in series history with an average age of 21.6.

 

2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Top Five In Points Following Race #1

Points Pos.

Drivers

Driver's Age

Driver's Date Of Birth

1

Noah Gragson

21

Wednesday, July 15, 1998

2

Justin Haley

20

Wednesday, April 28, 1999

3

Harrison Burton

19

Monday, October 9, 2000

4

Brandon Jones

22

Tuesday, February 18, 1997

5

Brandon Brown

26

Tuesday, September 14, 1993

Average Age:

21.6

 

The previous youngest top five in points following the first race of the season was 24.2 in 2012. Below is a chart of the average age of the drivers in the top five in NASCAR Xfinity Series points following the first race of the season:

 

 

 

 

Kaulig Racing’s tale of two teams

Kaulig Racing has started the 2020 season with two full-time teams and already through the first race of the season they are on two vastly different championship paths.

 

Running for a title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in his first full season with Kaulig Racing is Florida native and third-generation watermelon farmer Ross Chastain. Unfortunately, Chastain didn’t get his 2020 season off to the start he would have preferred finishing 22nd – his worst finish at Daytona since 2016 (22nd). Now the rising star is 20th in the series points, 30 markers back from the standings lead with lots of work to do.

 

His teammate on the other hand, Justin Haley from Winamac, Indiana, returns for his second season with the organization looking to build on his Playoff making performance of last year. Haley won the NASCAR Cup Series the rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona last season and used that confidence to race his No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet to a sixth-place finish in last Saturday’s Xfinity Series season-opener giving Kaulig Racing’s its best series points position.

 

Prior to last Saturday, Kaulig Racing’s best position in NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings was fourth following the 2018 season-opener with driver Ryan Truex. But all that changed last weekend, when Justin Haley scored valuable points in both of the first two stages of the race and finished sixth at Daytona International Speedway. Now the 20-year old sits an organizational best second in the driver standings a mere three points back from the standings lead.  

 

This weekend, Haley gears up for Las Vegas with crew chief Alex Yontz looking to climb into the Xfinity driver standings lead. Haley has made two career series starts at Las Vegas with an average finish of 12.5; he posted his best finish at Las Vegas in this race last season (10th).

 

And for Haley’s teammate Ross Chastain, Las Vegas comes at the perfect time. He is a former winner at the track (Sept. 2018) and is looking to rebound quickly in the points. The 27-year old has made six starts at Las Vegas posting one win, two top 10s and an average finish of 14.2. 

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Daniel Hemric returns to Xfinity for JRM – 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Daniel Hemric returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series on a part-time basis with series powerhouse JR Motorsports. This weekend’s Boyd Gaming 300 will be his first start in the series since 2018.

 

“I’m really optimistic heading to Las Vegas. I am looking forward to knocking the rust off since it’s been a while since I’ve been in a Xfinity Series car,” said Hemric. Hemric has made three series starts at Las Vegas posting one top-10 finish.

 

Timmy Hill to Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 61 at Vegas – Career-best finishes open doors. Just ask Timmy Hill, who recently ran the race of his career at Daytona International Speedway finishing third. Now the driver from Port Tobacco, Maryland has been tapped to pilot the No. 61 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hill has made five starts at Las Vegas in the Xfinity Series posting a best finish of 24th in 2011.

 

Nevada well represented this weekend at LVMS – NASCAR Xfinity Series points leader and JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson hails from Las Vegas, Nevada. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Riley Herbst also calls Las Vegas home. 

 

Milestones Worth Noting – This weekend in the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway a couple milestones can be achieved:

 

  • Ryan Sieg (No. 39 RSS Racing Chevrolet) will have the opportunity to make 200th consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series start second-most among active drivers behind Jeremy Clements (229) and ninth all-time.

 

  • Ray Black Jr. will attempt to make his 100th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start, he is ranked 140th on the all-time series starts list.

 

 

Parade Laps: Insight to the drivers participating in the media breakouts

Five drivers will participate in this weekend’s media breakouts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. JR Motorsport’s Daniel Hemric will be available in the Deadline Room at 10:45-11 a.m. (local time). Then his JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson (series standings leader) and Justin Allgaier along with Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Joe Gibbs Racing’s rookie Riley Herbst will hold their breakout session at 11-11:15 a.m. (local time) in the Deadline Room.

 

Daniel Hemric (No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Birthdate: Jan. 27, 1991

Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.

Resides: Mooresville, N.C.
Wife: Kenzie

Hobbies: Golf, Snowboarding

Career Highlights:

  • Won NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year in 2019.
  • Earned Championship 4 berths in both of his full-time Xfinity Series seasons (2017-18) with Richard Childress Racing.

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Will be making season debut this weekend at Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Performance:

  • Has made three series starts at Las Vegas posting one top-10 finish (sixth in 2018).
  • Average start, 15.3 and average finish, 16.0. 

 

Noah Gragson (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Birthdate: July 15, 1998

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Resides: Mooresville, N.C.
Hobbies: Downhill mountain biking

Career Highlights:

  • Won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race in the 2020 season-opener at Daytona locking himself into the postseason.
  • In 2019, his first full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series resulted in a Playoff berth and ultimately an eighth-place finish in the championship points standings.
  • In 2018, he finished runner-up in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series championship after winning at Kansas from the pole position and posting career highs in top-fives (eight), top-10s (17), poles (six) and laps led (625). Gragson also was named the Truck Series most popular driver.

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Won the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.
  • Is the current points leader by three points over second place Justin Haley

Las Vegas Performance:

  • Has made two series starts at Las Vegas posting one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
  • Average start, 20.0 and average finish, 4.5 – series-best among drivers entered this weekend. 

 

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Birthdate: June 6, 1986

Hometown: Riverton, Ill.

Resides: Mooresville, N.C.

Wife: Ashley

Children: Harper Grace
Hobbies:
R/C cars, wakeboarding, graphic design, dirt racing

Career Highlights:

  • In 2019, Justin Allgaier made his fourth consecutive appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, and third Championship 4 in the four years of the format.
  • In 2018, won the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship and made the Playoffs for the third consecutive season after posting a career-high five wins on the season.
  • In 2016 and 2017, made the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2011, 2016 and 2017, scored career-best third-place finish in NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
  • Won first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in 2010, at Bristol in March.
  • Won 2009 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Finished 30th in the season-opener at Daytona and now is 13th in points; 24 markers back from the series standings lead.

Las Vegas Performance:

  • Has made 11 series starts at Las Vegas posting five top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
  • Average start, 9.1 and average finish, 8.5. 

 

Austin Cindric (No. 22 Team Penske Ford)

Birthday: September 2, 1998

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Resides: Mooresville, N.C.

Hobbies: Mountain biking, water sports and music

Career Highlights:

  • In 2019, captured first two Xfinity Series career victories (Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio) and made the Playoffs finishing the season a career-best sixth in points.
  • Ran a full season in 2018, splitting time with Roush Fenway Racing and Team Penske, making the Playoffs and ultimately finishing eighth in the championship standings.
  • In 2017, he ran full-time in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing posting one win (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) and making it all the way to the Championship 4 round of the Playoffs: ultimately finishing third in the standings.

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Caught in an incident Cindric finished 25th at Daytona and is 16th in points.

Las Vegas Performance:

  • Has made four series starts at Las Vegas posting one top-10 finish (ninth in 2018).
  • Average start, 6.7 and average finish, 19.2. 

Riley Herbst (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

Birthday: February 24, 1999

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Resides: Huntersville, N.C.
Hobbies:
Snow skiing

Career Highlights:

  • In 2019, competed in nine Xfinity races for Joe Gibbs Racing and finished the season with three top-10 finishes.
  • Competed in three NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races earning a career-best finish of third at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Made his Xfinity Series debut at Iowa Speedway on June 17, 2018 where he earned a career-best sixth-place finish. 
  • On June 23, 2018, he made his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut at Gateway and with four starts during the year, earned one top-10 finish.
  • 2017 ARCA Menards Series Rookie of the Year.

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Finished 32nd in the season-opener at Daytona and is 30th in points.

Las Vegas Performance:

  • Made series track debut at Las Vegas last September; he started 15th and finished ninth.

 

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

 

Viva Las Vegas
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series heads West from Daytona Beach, Florida to  compete under the lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Strat 200 this Friday night, February 21 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Kyle Busch took home last season’s victory at the first Las Vegas Motor Speedway race weekend for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starting from the pole and leading a race-high 110 laps. Brett Moffitt finished in second, while Matt Crafton finished third, Stewart Friesen finished fourth and Harrison Burton finished fifth.

 

This weekend Busch returns to the series and is set to pilot the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra. This will be his fourth start in the series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His first was in 2001 for Roush Fenway Racing, where he started third and finished ninth. In his last two Gander Truck starts at Las Vegas (2018 and 2019 spring Truck races), Busch started from the pole and won each event.

 

Hattori Racing Enterprises driver Austin Hill won the most recent Gander Trucks race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 2019) in a career-best season for the driver of the No. 16 Toyota. He will compete again this weekend in hopes of making it two in a row on the 1.5-mile track. No driver in series history has ever won back-to-back Gander Truck Series races at LVMS.

 

 

Enfinger wins in wild finish at Daytona
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway did not disappoint. If you wanted to see action, three-wide passes, emotions and wrecks all at one time, then that’s exactly what you got. Plus, the race set the third highest green flag passes for the lead (110) stat at Daytona since the inception of Loop Data in the series in 2007 – behind only 2016 (129) and 2018 (103).

 

Grant Enfinger ended up grabbing the checkered flag on Friday night, his third career victory and first since the 2018 season. Enfinger battled until the very last second (literally) with a margin of victory of .010 seconds – making it the closest finish in series history at the historic track.

 

The victory automatically puts Enfinger in the 2020 Playoffs, a sweet feeling for the driver of the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford who had to battle his way in last year based on points.

 

 

All eyes on Decker: Making history at Daytona
Niece Motorsports driver Natalie Decker was over the moon on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway following her strong performance. The 22-year old finished fifth in the NextEra Energy 250, marking the highest-ever finish for a female competitor in series history –

surpassing the previous record of sixth at Daytona (2011) held by Jennifer Jo Cobb.

 

The finish was Decker’s first top five, first top 10 and her best showing since last season’s 13th place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in her rookie season.

 

Decker hadn’t had the best of luck at the historic Daytona track in the past, crashing on the opening lap of last year’s race, but this season she has redeemed herself. She started 20th last Friday in the No. 44 Chevrolet with a strategy to ride in the back till the closing laps, and she executed her plan to perfection.

 

With momentum already on her side from the historic run at Daytona, Decker heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway feeling even more confident since the 1.5-mile speedway was home to her prior career-best finish. In her two starts at Las Vegas, both in 2019, Decker finished 13th and 25th (due to electrical issues).

 

 

Happy 600th, Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series!
On Friday evening at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will celebrate their 600th race dating back to its first season in 1995.

 

The inaugural race took place on February 5, 1995 at Phoenix Raceway, where Mike Skinner started 16th and took home the trophy.

 

Since then, there have been 25 champions crowned. Matt Crafton, Ron Hornaday, Jr., Jack Sprague and Todd Bodine are drivers that have multi-championships to their name.

 

Crafton is the only driver to have ever done it back-to-back (2013-2014) and is also the current Gander Truck champion.

 

Toyota has won 11 of the 25 championships with Chevrolet winning nine, Dodge winning three and Ford winning two.

 

Tune in Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Strat 200 (9 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to help celebrate 600 Truck Series starts.

 

 

Everyone loves an underdog: Career-best finish for Anderson
Jordan Anderson is no stranger to Daytona International Speedway, and he is no stranger to disappointing finishes and tough breaks. But, on Friday night at the track, things played out a little differently.

 

Anderson, who drives his own hauler to the races, gets his own sponsors and runs his own small team, made it through a wild night at Daytona unscathed and in the process captured a career-best finish of second.

 

The 28-year old from South Carolina couldn’t have been more ecstatic. He went door-to-door with Enfinger on the final lap of NASCAR Overtime but was just .010 seconds short. That margin of victory is the closest in series history at Daytona.

 

“This finish tonight hopefully is for every underdog in America, every kid that stays up late and works on his dirt Late Model or his Legends Car and dreams of coming here to Daytona. Hopefully this finish tonight encourages them to never give up on their dreams that you can come here and compete in NASCAR without having million-dollar sponsors, you can come here and fight and claw and dig and tell everybody that says you can’t do it, to prove them wrong and be here. This is for all those kids that are out there fighting for it.”

 

Anderson will be making his seventh start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. His most recent finish of 14th also marked a career-best at the track.

 

 

Parade Laps: Insights into the drivers in this week’s media breakouts

Four drivers from the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series – ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger, GMS Racing’s Sheldon Creed, Niece Motorsport’s Ty Majeski, and Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Raphael Lessard - will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway leading into the Strat 200 on Friday night at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Media rotations are scheduled for Friday, February 21, from 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (local time) in the Deadline Room.

  

Grant Enfinger (No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford)

Birthdate: January 22, 1985

Driver’s Age: 34

Hometown: Kannapolis, NC

Hobbies: Fishing, Outdoor activities, Working on cars

Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he captured his first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff berth and finished fifth in the final points standings, the best of his career thus far in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
  • In 2017, he finished 11th in the final standings in his rookie season in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
  • In 2016, he claimed his first career NASCAR national series win at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • In 2016, posted his first NASCAR national series career pole for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona.
  • In 2010, he made his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Won the 2020 season opener at Daytona and is the current Gander Truck points leader by 11 points over second place Austin Hill.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Performance:

  • Captured his second career Gander Trucks victory at Las Vegas in 2018.
  • He will be making his eighth career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • He has an average start of 7.7 and average finish of 11. 1.
  • He’s led 47 laps at the track and has posted two top five and four top 10s.
  • He has completed 86.9% of laps attempted at Las Vegas.

 

Sheldon Creed (No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet)

Birthdate: September 30, 1997

Driver’s Age: 22

Hometown: Alpine, CA

Team: GMS Racing

Crew Chief: Jeff Stankiewicz

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • 2019 was Creed’s first fulltime season the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
  • Creed had two runner-up finishes back-to-back (Eldora, Michigan) in 2019, marking his career best.

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Finished ninth in the season-opener at Daytona and is currently ninth in the series standings 23 points back from the standings lead.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Performance:

  • This weekend will mark Creed’s third start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • In 2019, when he made both of his starts, he finished in the top 10 in both races.
  • He got a sixth-place finish at the 2019 Las Vegas-1 and a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas-2.

 

Ty Majeski (No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet)

Birthdate: August 18, 1994

Driver’s Age: 25

Hometown: Seymour, WI

Team: Niece Motorsports

Crew Chief: Phil Gould

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • 2020 marks Majeski’s first fulltime season in the Gander Trucks Series.
  • He made one start for Niece Motorsports in 2019 at Phoenix Raceway; started in fifth, finished in 11th.

2020 Season Highlights:

  • In the season-opener at Daytona, he started 17th but was involved in an early wreck that took him out of the race on Lap 15, he finished last (32nd).

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Performance:

  • This weekend will be Majeski’s series track debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

Raphael Lessard (No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota)

Birthdate: July 5, 2001

Driver’s Age: 18

Hometown: St.-Joseph de Beauce, Quebec, Canada

Team: Kyle Busch Motorsports

Crew Chief: Mike Hillman Jr.

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • 2020 is Lessard’s first fulltime season in the Gander Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • In 2019, he competed in three races for KBM as well as two races for DGR-Crosley taking home two top-10 finishes (Iowa, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park).

2020 Season Highlights:

  • Finished 20th in the season-opener at Daytona and is currently 14th in the series standings 29 points back from the series standings lead.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Performance:

  • Friday night’s race will be Lessard’s series track debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR PR

All of us at Fenway Sports Group are thankful for the wonderful news around Ryan’s progress, and his release from the hospital. Ryan is one tough hombre and we wish him a full recovery. We look forward to seeing Ryan and his family at the track again soon.

We would also like to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of NASCAR over the years to protect drivers at speeds of over 200 mph.

Fenway Sports Group PR

On Point Motorsports announces today that Brennan Poole will partner with R.E.D. (RememberEveryoneDeployed.org) for eight races. Poole will run the R.E.D. paint scheme starting this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Strat 200.
 
R.E.D. teamed up with Spartan Mosquito on the No. 30 Tundra at Daytona’s season opener last week. This weekend, R.E.D. will be the primary sponsor of the No. 30 Toyota Tundra.
 
RememberEveryoneDeployed.org is an organization that raises awareness of the hardships of the deployed and their families, and they also provide direct aid to deployed / active service members. The organization encourages everyone to wear red on Fridays to show their support.
 
“I’m so happy to have a R.E.D. on our truck on R.E.D. Friday’s. There are so many adversities and challenges that families of our deployed servicemen and women face, and RememberEveryoneDeployed.org works so hard to help these families and support those who are protecting us overseas. I’m honored to help give a platform for their amazing work.” Poole shares.
 
In addition, Poole and R.E.D. will team up to invite local veterans to the track for each of the eight races. Poole will run the scheme at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and Kentucky Speedway.
 
You can catch Poole and the R.E.D. Tundra when the race airs live on FOX Sports 1 at 9:00 PM, E.T., and broadcast on Sirius XM NASCAR and M.R.N. Radio from Las Vegas on Friday, Feb. 21.
 
On Point Motorsports PR
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