Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (7639)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series battled it out at Dover International Speedway for the running of the Use Your Melon – Drive Sober 200. JD Motorsports with Gary Keller drivers Ross Chastain, BJ McLeod, Stephen Leicht, and Garrett Smithley returned to Dover looking to back up some quality runs that they had in May, when the series rolled around for their first stop at the Monster Mile.

Dover marked a big weekend for JDM and the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, as they partnered up to support Ross Chastain in the No. 4 Use Your Melon Chevrolet in addition to spreading awareness of the campaign via the sponsorship of the race itself.

Ross Chastain, who returned to JDM this weekend once again with his familiar No. 4 watermelon-inspired Chevrolet, was back to form right away. The Florida native started from the 14th spot and battled up inside the Top 10 throughout most of the first half of the race. Chastain would finish 11th in both Stage 1 and Stage 2, and had positioned himself for a great result during the final 100 laps. As green flag pit stops occurred coming to the finish, an unlucky caution trapped Ross and the No. 4 crew two laps down. Ultimately, though he was unable to get back on the lead lap, Chastain battled hard to a 13th place finish – exactly where he had finished in the previous year’s race.

BJ McLeod piloted the No. 15 Chevrolet to another impressive run at the Delaware mile. McLeod had to overcome adversity early on after having to start from the rear of the field due to a water leak, but he was on the move quickly at the start. He was already up to 21st at the end of Stage 1, and managed to gain another spot to finish Stage 2 in 20th place. As the race progressed, BJ managed to pick up some more spots under green, and managed to come home with a 16th place finish. This was BJ’s best finish of the season, and also marked his best career finish at Dover. Heading into Kansas, McLeod sits 20th in drivers’ points, just over twenty markers behind teammate Stephen Leicht.

Speaking of Stephen Leicht, the driver of the No. 01 Chevrolet appeared to be well on his way to a great finish on Saturday’s race before becoming involved in a multi-car accident late in the going. Leicht qualified deep in the field back in 31st, but was able to make up some spots early on to finish 25th in Stage 1. The North Carolina native picked up some more spots to finish 21st in Stage 2, and was up inside the Top 20 as the race neared completion. Bad luck struck once again for Leicht’s bunch, as his promising day came to an end on lap 183 of 200. High rates of attrition at the Monster Mile meant that Stephen would still be credited with a 23rd place run, keeping him 19th in drivers’ points, now just twelve back of the #NumberNuthin driver.

Garrett Smithley, who hopped back in the seat of his familiar No. 0 Camaro, looked to have a good run going in Dover, as he had his best qualifying run of the season in 20th. The Pennsylvanian finished 18th at the end of Stage 1, but just as Stage 2 commenced, a locker failure forced him behind the wall. Dozens of laps were lost, but the crew went to work on fixing it, and they managed to get him back on track to pick up some precious points. At the end of the day, Garrett would be scored with a 26th place finish, but he remains 18th in the drivers’ standings.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series has an off week for the first time since June this weekend, a much-needed break for the teams. Up next on the schedule is Kansas Speedway on Saturday, October 19th. For all things JDM, follow us along on social media with the handle @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM


Team 08 Cedar Creek Marina/YAMAHA Chevrolet Camaro: 

The weekend started off a bit shaky for the 08 team when problems occurred in the opening practice session of the weekend. After sitting out the entire first practice, the team was able to diagnose their issues and post the twenty-first quickest time in final practice. Gaulding went on to qualify in the twenty-fifth position for the 200 lap race.

It didn't take long for the action to begin. A multi-car pile up took place lap 2 on the backstretch, ending several competitors days early. Gaulding was able to sneak by without incident. The second caution of the day would wave about 20 laps later after the 23 turned the 74 car. On lap 45 the green and white checkered flag signaled the conclusion of the first stage with Gaulding in the 17th position. Gaulding radioed to crew chief Patrick Donahue that he felt too loose on his corner entry. 

The 08 pitted for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to tighten up Gaulding. Unfortunately the 08 crew was busted for an uncontrolled tire during the pit stop, which forced Gaulding to restart from the tail end of the longest line. The entire second stage went caution free. On lap 90 after two stages, Gaulding remained in the 17th position. 

As the final stage got underway, the 08 team began steadily making their way forward. On lap 178 the caution waved once again after the 90 car spun around. The caution came at a poor time for the 08 team as they ran out of fuel during the caution laps. Despite all the challenges of the 'Monster Mile', Gaulding and his No. 08 team were still able to solidify an 18th place finish. With just four races remaining in the 2019 season, Gaulding moves back into the 13th position, passing the 51 of Jeremy Clements in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.  

Gray Gaulding: 
“P18 finish after grinding through several issues this weekend! Thanks to Cedar Creek Marina, Yamaha Outboards, and my guys at SS Green Light Racing for helping me escape the Monster! Ready for a week off to prep for Kanas Speedway!

Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“Any time you can go into Dover and come out in one piece, I consider that a good day! Glad to see we were able to move back to 13th in points as well. We have four more races to finish out this year strong!"


Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro: 

Ray Black Jr. started off his weekend posting the twenty-third quickest time in both practice sessions on Friday afternoon. Black was really happy with the handling of his race car and the team was confident they would have something to work with on race day. Black would roll off from the 28th position for the 200 lap race at Dover International Speedway.

On lap 2, the first caution of the day waved after the 18 car spun, triggering a multi-car pile up. Black was able to escape the early attrition without incident. As the remainder of the stage played out, Black quickly made his way up through the running order. On lap 45 stage one was complete and Black found himself up to the 13th position. Crew Chief Jason Miller made some minor adjustments to keep up with the race track; otherwise, Black was very happy with the handling of his No. 07 Chevy.

The second stage flashed by without any incidents. At the end of 90 laps, Black remained in the 13th position. As the final stage got underway Black was looking to make his way inside the top ten. On lap 178 the caution waved, setting up a twenty lap dash to the finish. With 11 laps remaining Black's No. 07 Chevy broke loose causing the car to spin and back into the outside wall. Despite the damage to the rear of the car, Black was able to salvage a 17th place finish. Black remains 16th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings and trails the No. 86 of Brandon Brown by 27 points with only four races remaining in the 2019 season. 

Ray Black Jr: 
“What a day! I am so proud of the speed our team brought to the track this weekend. We had an absolute rocket ship today. Unfortunately we had a little incident at the end there, but it was still a great day. Can't wait for Kansas!" 

Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team: 
“The 07 team unloaded with a lot of speed this weekend. It was great to see them running inside the top 15 for the majority of the race. I hated to see Ray get some damage late, but the team still recovered for a solid day!" 

Looking Ahead:
Despite some late adversity, both SS Green Light drivers were able to escape 'the Monster Mile' with respectable finishes inside the top twenty. Gray Gaulding and Ray Black Jr. are positioned 13th and 16th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings. With only four races remaining in the 2019 season, the teams will have an 'off week' before returning to racing action at Kansas Speedway. Coverage of the 'Kansas Lottery 300' from Kansas Speedway will begin Saturday October 19th at 3:00 PM ET on NBC. 

SS Green Light Racing PR

Cole Custer was the golden winner at Dover International Speedway, winning on his 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series career start. The No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang won the Golden Miles Monster trophy on the 50th Anniversary of the Dover International Speedway.

“Congratulations Cole, Tony, Gene, and the No. 00 crew,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Our Ford Performance teams were fast in qualifying, going 1 through 3. Cole drove a great race and his team put him in position to capture the win. It’s great to see all three Ford Mustang drivers in the Playoff hunt and running strong.” The weekend started off fast with the Ford Mustangs going 1, 2, 3 in qualifying. Chase Briscoe won his second career pole and marked the 130th NXS pole for Roush Yates Engines. Austin Cindric and Custer took P2 and P3 respectively.

The three Ford Mustangs led a manufacturer high, 131 laps out of the 200-lap race; led by Briscoe with 71, Custer 31 laps, and Austin Cindric with 29 laps.

With seven laps to go, Custer held off the field of playoff contenders on the late race restart and pulled away from Justin Allgaier to record his 9th career NXS win and 7th win in the 2019 season.

“I’ve wanted to win here so bad for so long,” Custer said. “I’ve been close a number of times but just to win the Gold Monster (trophy) is unbelievable.”

All Ford NXS drivers advance to the Round of 8. Custer is currently ranked P2 overall in the NXS Playoff Standings while Cindric is P4 and Briscoe P6.

In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Kevin Harvick finished P4 and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer finished P10 in the Drydene 400 on Sunday.

As MENCS returns to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, the current Ford MENCS Playoff Driver Standings will be led by Harvick in P5 and Brad Keselowski in P6.

Reference the full 2019 schedule on


Chase Briscoe qualified on the pole for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Use your melon drive sober 200 at Dover International Speedway, however Briscoe had to go the rear after making changes due to an electrical issues. Playoff contender Michael Annett also had to start at the rear of the field. 

On the first lap Tyler Reddick got loose and made contact with the wall causing cars to check up when the 19 of Brandon Jones crashed into the back of Harrison Burton causing major damage to both Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. The biggest damage was Jones’ playoff hopes.

On lap 14 championship favorite Christopher Bell had to bring his car to pit road for service because of low fuel pressure, causing him to quickly go down multiple laps and taking him out of contention for the victory.

Mike Harmon brought out a caution on lap 20 after getting spun off of turn four and making hard contact with the inside wall where his car would come to a stop on the front stretch.

The race would run green to the end of stage one with Justin Allgaier in the lead for his sixth stage win. Annett and Briscoe were able to drive all the way into the top ten.

Allgaier maintained the lead through pit stops and selected the outside lane to bring the field to the green flag for stage two. Allgaier was quick to put his fast Jr. Motorsports Chevrolet out front.

The entirety of stage two went without caution as Allgaier led all 45 laps to beat Austin Cindric by just under a second, with Briscoe behind them in third.

Allgaier was unable to maintain his lead off of pit road. Cindric led the field to the green flag, but it was Briscoe taking the lead and driving away.

With less than 40 laps to go green flag pit stops started as drivers had to navigate one of the hardest pit entries on the circuit. It was Dillon Bassett bringing out the caution before the end of the cycle as he was the one to spin attempting to enter pit road.

Cole Custer who had yet to pit was the biggest benefactor now with the lead and only several cars on the lead lap including Annett, and Justin Haley who needed to win to make the next round of the playoffs. Allgaier got the free pass while Briscoe and Cindric took the wave around.

Custer put his car out front as Allgaier took chase before a caution came out with 13 laps to go as Ray Black Jr. spun and other cars got collected in turn two. Now all of the top competitors thus far in the race were on the lead lap and out front for a final ten lap shootout.

Annett had a tough restart and stacked up part of the field as Custer pulled into the lead again, before pulling away from Allgaier to win his 7th race of the season, and the golden monster trophy.

Top five: Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, Chase Briscoe

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be back on track for the second round of the playoffs with the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 19th at 3:00PM ET.

John Hunter Nemechek, No. 23 ACME Chevrolet Camaro

START: 17th



Notes & Quotes:—

- Nemechek started the race from the 17th-position and battled his way into the top-10 to finish Stage One in the ninth-position. After the Stage One conclusion the GMS Racing team called for Nemechek to pit for four tires, fuel and adjustments but was called back to pit road under green flag conditions due to a loose wheel and finished Stage Two in the 7th-position. In the Final Stage, Nemechek made his way back into the top-10 on lap 150. As the pit stops started to cycle through Nemechek pit from the fifth-position under green flag conditions for right-side tires on lap 175 but a caution occurred placing him another lap down and took the wave around placing him to restart ninth, one lap down. The GMS Racing team called for Nemechek to come to pit road for the final time to place left-side tires on the No. 23 machine and battled back to bring home a 8th-place finish.

- Nemechek will not advance into the next round of the Xfinity Series NASCAR Playoffs. He is scored in the ninth-position with 2097 points.

-Nemechek scores back-to-back top-10 finishes with his eighth-place finish tonight at Dover, his and the teams 15th top-10 of the 2019 season.

"It was awesome to be able to make the playoffs for Maury and this GMS Racing team but I'm disappointed that we didn't advance into the next round. It came down to mistakes and we messed up on pit road which hurt us. We did what we needed to do in both of the stages and outpointed the No. 1 of Annett but it just wasn't mean't to be. We had a solid day and brought home another top-10 but it wasn't enough to advance. We will move on and head to Kansas Speedway in a few weeks."

GMS Racing PR

In his 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series start, Cole Custer conquered the Monster Mile.

Custer held off a hungry field of Playoff contenders on a restart with seven laps to go and pulled away from Justin Allgaier to win the Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Custer, who claimed the victory as Dover celebrates its 50th anniversary, is the fifth Xfinity Series driver to win in their 100th start.

“I’ve wanted to win here so bad for so long,” Custer said. “I’ve been close a number of times but just to win the gold Monster (trophy) is unbelievable.”

Michael Annett claimed the last available spot in the Round of 8 as the first round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs came to a close Saturday. Advancing along with Custer and Annett are Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe and Justin Allgaier.

Eliminated from championship contention were John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Haley, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones.

Custer, Annett and Haley were the biggest benefactors of a caution with 23 laps to go that fell in the middle of green-flag pit stops that changed the complexion of the race.

Dillon Bassett spun at pit entrance on lap 177 which brought out the yellow flag, leaving only Custer, Annett, Haley, Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric and Zane Smith on the lead lap.

Custer maintained the lead on the lap 185 restart only to see another caution displayed when Ray Black Jr. crashed in Turn 2, where Matt Mills and Stephen Leicht were also collected.

Luckily for Custer, the final caution didn’t limit him. He cleared Allgaier and Haley on the restart and pulled away swiftly for his seventh win of 2019, tying Christopher Bell for the most in the series this season.

“(The car) felt really good in practice,” Custer said. “I thought we had a good car. I don’t think it was everything we expected in the race. We kind of tried something a little bit different in this race but just (an) amazing pit call.”

The Playoff drama began on the opening lap when both Reddick and Harrison Burton broke loose on the back straightaway. Reddick slapped the wall with the right side of his car and continued, but Burton wasn’t as lucky.

Burton spun toward the inside of the track and was clobbered by teammate Brandon Jones, lifting Burton’s No. 18 car off the ground. Both drivers were checked and released from the infield care center, but Jones’ Playoff hopes ended there.

“There’s nothing that you can do about it,” Jones said after exiting the care center.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s luck worsened when Bell lost fuel pressure on lap 15, shortly after brushing the wall off Turn 4. Bell finished 25th behind the wall 34 laps down.

The early cautions continued on lap 21 when Nemechek spun Mike Harmon exiting Turn 4 and onto the fronstretch.

That was the end of yellows for on-track incidents until Bassett spun on lap 177.

Annett, who finished sixth after starting from the rear of the field due to an engine change, advanced out of the first round of the Playoffs for the first time in his Xfinity career.

“I can’t say enough about these guys all the way through these playoffs,” Annett said. “To come from the back today is just a testament to the car they gave me.”

Nemechek finished in 10th place after an eventful race. A strong pit stop at the conclusion of Stage 2 allowed his No. 23 to exit pit road fourth. That effort went for naught after a loose lug nut forced Nemechek back to the pits.

“That’s why we’re standing here, I feel like,” Nemechek said. “It just put us behind the eight-ball. We were in good position all day and right here, we came out of the pits fourth, but we didn’t have enough lug nuts on the left rear.

“Had to come back down. You can’t have a loose wheel here at Dover. It’s just something that you don’t want to have under green. I think we got the margin down to minus-six or something like that after the first two stages and were executing like we needed to all day. We just haven’t been able to close this year.”

Rounding out the top five behind Custer were Allgaier, Cindric, Haley and Briscoe. Annett was sixth and his JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson was the last car on the lead lap in seventh. Nemechek, Smith and Sieg completed the top 10.

Tyler Reddick and No. 2 Freightliner Team Survive Early Race Chaos and Advance to Round of 8

"Unfortunately, our No. 2 Freightliner Chevrolet just got away from me on the first lap, and we received some damage to our right rear quarter panel that had to be fixed. Luckily, my team is one of the best and they got our Camaro fixed up pretty good. We were able to stay on the lead lap and not lose any ground there. After the damage, I just lacked the rear lateral grip that I need at a place like Dover. We kept after it though and fought for every spot we could get today. We clinched our spot in the Playoffs to advance to the Round of 8 during the middle of Stage 2, which helped keep some pressure off. We'll regroup over the off-weekend, and be ready to kick off the next round with a strong run at Kansas Speedway, a place that we've been fast at before."
-Tyler Reddick


Brandon Brown Racing and Brandonbilt Motorsports are proud to announce a partnership with JABS Construction, a Northern Virginia based Construction company. “After speaking with Tim and Colleen I am very excited to show off JABS Construction this weekend. It’s always very special to me to have a hometown company on my car especially for a race that isn’t far away. I can’t thank them enough for supporting my racing and my team. When it comes to looking for a full-service design/ build residential remodeling company I hope everyone will go to them” says Brandon Brown. “We at JABS Construction are excited to be joining Brandon Brown and his racing team for the Dover race and are looking forward to being there,” said Tim Jabs.

Brandonbilt Motorsports PR

The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s “Roval” course this weekend for the tour’s final road course race of 2019. The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller driver lineup included road course ringer Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 0 Chevrolet, Garrett Smithley in the No. 4 Contec Chevrolet, Stephen Leicht in the No. 01 Chevrolet, and BJ McLeod in the No. 15 Chevrolet.

Lawson Aschenbach brought home JDM’s highest finish from the Roval, while also improving on his best career finish in the series. Aschenbach’s day started off with a 19th place run in Qualifying, but the road course ace quickly made his way through the pack. The Maryland native worked his way up to 11th at the end of Stage 1, and a strategy call by crew chief Bryan Berry brought him down pit road before the end of Stage 2, where he would finish back in 25th.

This positioned Lawson to restarting up inside the Top 5, where he remained until getting spun by another car late in the going. Ultimately, Aschenbach would rally through the field once again, but a finish of 14th place was all he could manage after having very few laps left to make up track position. Solid points day and a great recovery by him in just his fourth career start.

Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Chevrolet, capped off his road course season with yet another solid Top 20 finish. Leicht, who hails from nearby Asheville, NC, started from 26th on the grid. Stephen moved up nine positions in Stage 1 to a 17th place finish, but dropped back down to 23rd at the end of Stage 2. After narrowly avoiding disaster in the form of a multi-car crash near the end of the race, he was able to come home with a clean car in 19th position. This run keeps Leicht still positioned in 19th for the season standings after a clean finish at Charlotte.

BJ McLeod, who is a self-admitted newcomer when it comes to road courses, managed to come home with a finish that matched his best this season on the “right handers”. McLeod started deep in the field with a qualifying effort of 34th, but he did not let that stop his determination to make up spots when the opportunity presented itself. Stage 1 showed the Florida native up two spots to 32nd, with another spot coming in Stage 2 where he finished 31st. The final portion of the race is where BJ went on the attack, as he was able to pass eight cars in a smooth, calculated form. The results sheet will show the No. 15 Chevrolet coming home with a 23rd place finish, keeping him comfortably still in 20th for the season standings.

Garrett Smithley, who normally drives the #NumberNuthin, traded in his familiar surroundings for a chance to drive the No. 4 Contec Chevrolet. After a lightning fast lap in First Practice showed Garrett in 4th place, a brake line fire required him to sit out for Final Practice. Smithley started the race from the 27th position, and was involved in a crash on lap 1 of the race. Despite the crash, the Contec Camaro worked its’ way up to an 18th place finish at the end of Stage 1. The Pennsylvania native kept a solid Top 20 run going throughout Stage 2, where he finished 19th. Misfortunes plagued Smithley to an early exit due to a broken transmission, and he came home with a disappointing 33rd place finish. He still sits 18th solidly in the points standings.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to Dover International Speedway this Saturday for the running of the Use Your Melon 200. Not only is the Delaware Office of Highway Safety sponsoring the race, but they will also be proudly displayed on the No. 4 Use Your Melon Chevrolet! The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller driver lineup will consist of the returning Ross Chastain in the No. 4, Garrett Smithley back in the No. 0, Stephen Leicht in the No. 01, and BJ McLeod in the No. 15. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 3:00 PM Eastern Time to see live coverage. For all things JDM, follow us along on social media with the handle @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM


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