Xfinity Series News (7255)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
Riley Herbst and Monster Energy Drink to Compete in the Xfinity and ARCA Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019; Ty Gibbs Joins ARCA Program for 2019 Season30 Jan 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today an extended multi-year partnership with Riley Herbst that will see the 19-year-old driver return to JGR for his third year and compete in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Series. As Herbst continues to gain valuable track experience on his move to NASCAR’s top levels of competition, Monster Energy Drink will join Herbst as his primary sponsor in both the Xfinity and ARCA Series, along with Advance Auto Parts and ORCA Coolers.
Herbst made his NXS debut at Iowa Speedway on June 17, 2018, earning a strong sixth-place finish driving the No. 18 Toyota Camry. This season Herbst will shift gears and climb in the driver seat of the No. 18 Toyota Supra for eight races joining veterans Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, along with JGR newcomer Jeffrey Earnhardt. The team will be led by freshman crew chief Ben Beshore who joins the JGR NXS program after serving as a race engineer for the JGR Cup program.
“To have Riley (Herbst) join our Xfinity program this season is a great continuation of what he’s been able to build with JGR the last two seasons running the ARCA series and Xfinity series last year,” said Steve de Souza, Executive Vice President of JGR NASCAR Xfinity Series/Development. “We’re excited to be a part of his career and help him grow as a driver. It’s important to JGR to continue building drivers and help build the sport from the ground up and Riley has certainly been a part of that and a product of what we strive to accomplish with our development program with both the ARCA and Xfinity series. We’re also adding Ty (Gibbs) to the ARCA program this season and helping him continue to build his career both on and off the track. Definitely exciting things for our young drivers and should make for another great year at JGR.”
In addition to his NXS races, Herbst will return to the No. 18 Toyota Camry in the ARCA Series for seven races. Herbst will share the No. 18 Toyota Camry with Ty Gibbs who will take over driving duties for 12 races. Mark McFarland will lead the duo for the 2019 season with Monster Energy Drink serving as the primary sponsor for the entire ARCA season with Herbst and Gibbs.
“Monster Energy loves supporting young talent like Riley (Herbst) and Ty (Gibbs),” said Mitch Covington, Vice President of Sports Marketing at Monster Energy Beverage Company. “We wish them the best of luck this season and can’t wait to see these guys go at it soon. Riley has been with our company several years and we are glad to see him progressing.”
Herbst will make his first ARCA Series start of the season at the famed Daytona International Speedway on February 9, and his first NXS race will be at Richmond International Raceway on April 12.
“To be a part of JGR the last few years has been a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to compete in both the Xfinity and ARCA series this year,” said Herbst. “The new Toyota Supra’s are pretty sweet and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one and take it around the track. We’ve got goals set for this year and it would be cool to get my first win this season and take the new Supra to victory lane. 2019 is going to be a fun year and I’m ready to get it started at Daytona in a few weeks.”
Gibbs will compete in his first ARCA race on March 8 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
“I’m really excited to join the ARCA program at JGR this season,” said Gibbs. “I’ve grown up around racing and it’s something that I love. Running late models the last few years has been fun and helped me learn a lot, but to now move up to ARCA is a big step for me and a challenge I’m ready to tackle. This year should be fun learning new, bigger tracks and hopefully along the way we can grab a few wins.”
Christopher Bell heads into the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season poised to make a run for the championship after an extremely successful rookie season. Bell will continue behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) which will be branded with the iconic red and black Rheem colors. Rheem is one of the longest running sponsors in NASCAR and enters their 11th season in the sport. The Rheem and Ruud brands will represent the company’s family of quality brands on the No. 20 Supra throughout the 2019 season at racetracks across the country.
“The entire team at Rheem is excited to continue our partnership with winners like Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Toyota for the 2019 NXS season,” said Chris Peel, Rheem President & CEO. “Through shared values of innovation, dedication, and customer focus, the JGR-Rheem partnership continues to be an integral part of growth strategy and provides an unparalleled opportunity for us to deepen our relationships with the many thousands of dedicated contractors and plumbers who sell and service our products. We look forward to another great season and to taking full advantage of the extraordinary NASCAR experience and fantastic race track accommodations to recognize and reward our dedicated customers.”
“Our continued partnership with Rheem is extremely important to us here at JGR,” said Steve de Souza, Executive Vice President NASCAR Xfinity Series/Development. “Our Xfinity Series program has always been a platform that allows us to cultivate and develop talent within our sport and industry. Rheem has been instrumental in our efforts and the relationship with Christopher Bell is a great example of a successful partnership. Everyone at JGR is ready to get the 2019 season underway and make a run at the Championship.”
Bell found his way to victory lane seven times in 2018, setting the win record by a rookie. In addition to the seven wins, Bell started from the pole position fives times and earned 10 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Bell qualified for the NXS playoffs, advancing to the final four and finished the season fourth in the point standings. Heading into the 2019 season, Bell will once again be teamed up with veteran crew chief Jason Ratcliff.
“I’m ready to get to the track and make 2019 the best season yet,” said Bell. “Rheem has had a huge presence in the sport and it’s so motivating to have them on our No. 20 Toyota Supra for the season. We had a great season last year, but I think we can make this one even better.”
Rheem is a global leader in advanced technology and the only manufacturer producing heating, cooling, water heating, pool & spa heating and commercial refrigeration products. Founded in 1925, the Rheem mission today is still simple: help families everywhere enjoy a new degree of comfort with solutions that keep them cool in the summer, warm in the winter and enjoying hot water year-round. For nearly a century, Rheem has designed, developed, and manufactured products that make lives safer, more comfortable and more productive while delivering quality, value, and reliability to homes and businesses across the globe.
Jeremy Clements Racing is pleased to announce they will return for the full 2019 NASCAR XFINITY Series campaign. The family-run, single-car independent team will be competing in their ninth full-time XFINITY season. Coming off the most consistent season of his career in 2018 with 27 Top 20s. Jeremy will kick off the 2019 season by making his 300th career XFINITY Series start at Daytona in February.
JCR will again be backed by Brad Meyer and his RepairableVehicles.com Team as a season-long partner on the #51 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Repairable Vehicles will be the primary sponsor at the World Center of Racing for the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 sporting a new stealthily livery. Clements said, “I can’t even really put into words what means to have Repairable back again this year, They have been our biggest supporter over the last few years and this year is no different.” “Brad has again come through by helping us take our program up another notch going into this season.” Clements went on to say.
When asked about 2019 and his milestone start Clements said, “I’m just ready to get back to racing, heck I would race every weekend if I could," “Yeah it's really hard to believe we have started this many races, we are always one or two steps behind the Cup funded teams, but our longevity and competitiveness is a testament to Tony looking to make us better every year and the dedication of the great people we have at the shop.”
GMS Racing and GMS Fabrication announced today an expansion of its technical alliances with several teams within the racing industry.
GMS Fabrication is a full-service business providing new chassis, as well as the rebuilding of chassis and their components, while GMS Racing provides engineering support for teams.
For the 2019 racing season, GMS has formed technical alliances with NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series teams Jordan Anderson Racing, Niece Motorsports, AM Racing and KBR Development in the ARCA Racing Series.
“We have been very fortunate to have success in the racing industry and it gives us an opportunity to work with up and coming teams to provide technical support and guidance,” said Mike Beam, president of GMS Racing. “Obviously if a GMS team can’t win, we would love to see one of our partners in Victory Lane with Chevrolet.”
"To have the technical alliance with GMS Racing, and direction of Mike Beam and his entire group in place moving forward into 2019, we’ve been able to make great strides in improving our trucks and the quality of our operation as a whole over the off-season,” said team owner and driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado, Jordan Anderson. “For a small team like ours, the amount of help that we have gotten from the GMS fab shop in hanging new bodies and updating our chassis, along with their direction on setups and builds, is going to play a substantial role in the upswing in performance that we are aiming towards for this season and beyond."
GMS Racing PR
With a new season on the horizon, JR Motorsports is off to a fresh start. Today, through a video from team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., the team announced the restructuring of its car number lineup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Most notable is the news that the organization will add the iconic No. 8 Chevrolet to its stable, a number long associated with the Earnhardt family. Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. each competed with the No. 8 at times in their respective storybook careers.
“Everybody remembers the number on the side of the car,” said Earnhardt Jr. “The No. 8 is very special to me and to JR Nation. There’s a lot of history with the No. 8 in my family and in NASCAR. It’s time to write some new stories and continue to add to the number’s rich heritage.”
The lineup for 2019 is as follows:
· Rookie Noah Gragson, previously announced as driver of the No. 1 entry, transitions to the No. 9 Chevrolet. JR Motorsports has three titles in the NXS, all with rookie drivers in the No. 9.
· Michael Annett, who has carried the No. 5 since he joined JRM, will drive the No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. The No. 1 is significant to the Annett family, as sprint-car racing legend Sammy Swindell drove that number to great success in a car owned by Michael’s father, Harrold Annett. Points from the No. 5 team will carry over to the No. 1.
· Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team remain unchanged by the announcement. Allgaier will look to defend his regular-season championship from 2018, a year in which he scored a career-best five wins.
· The No. 9 entry will now race with the familiar and popular No. 8. The team will inherit points from the No. 1 team. Its driver roster currently includes Zane Smith, Jeb Burton, Ryan Truex, Spencer Gallagher and Ryan Preece.
The only thing changing on the teams are the numbers themselves. The previously announced crew chief and roster lineup will remain with their respective drivers.
“Things will look a little different for team JRM when we unload at Daytona,” said General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “But we’re looking forward to it. I think anytime you make changes like this, it’s exciting. The No. 8 will always be a fan favorite and we take a lot of pride in being able to run that number.”
The driver schedule for the No. 8 is currently as follows:
· Gallagher will make his JRM debut at Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 16) and serve as the team’s restrictor-plate racer. He’ll also drive the car at Talladega Superspeedway (April 27) and the return event at Daytona (July 5).
· Preece will compete in races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 23), Auto Club Speedway (March 16), Pocono Raceway (June 1) and Watkins Glen International (Aug. 3).
· Smith, a NASCAR Next alum, will make his NXS debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 2. He will also compete at Bristol Motor Speedway (April 6), both Richmond Raceway events (April 12 and Sept. 20), Dover International Speedway (May 4 and Oct. 5) and Iowa Speedway (June 16 and July 27) events.
· Truex will drive for the organization at ISM Raceway (March 9), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 14), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Sept. 28) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 19).
· Burton will drive at both Texas Motor Speedway events (March 30 and Nov. 2), Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25), Chicagoland Speedway (June 29) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 16).
Taylor Moyer will be the crew chief for the No. 8 all season.
Building on a successful technical alliance, JR Motorsports and GMS Racing jointly announced today the establishment of Drivers Edge Development, a program presented by Chevrolet aimed at grooming the next generation of racing superstars through a tiered competition pipeline coupled with comprehensive off-track education.
Drivers Edge Development will give participating drivers, all with differing levels of experience, the opportunity to race in five types of developmental series with JRM or GMS-fielded entries while staying aligned with Chevrolet. The program allows the two teams to complement each other by offering participants competition options with JRM’s regional late model program leading into GMS’ NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA entries. The next tier presents potential seat time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series with GMS. Finally, at the program’s top level, JRM entries await in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Equally as important as the competition focus, Drivers Edge Development provides added training to enhance participants’ professional growth off the track. Drivers will have access to a host of programs focusing on their physical, mental and technical development. An emphasis will be placed on educating them in areas such as brand building, social media and digital content, media training and fan relations as well as support for partner procurement and retention.
“We have always prided ourselves on being a stepping stone for drivers that want to get to the top level of racing,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., JRM team owner. “JR Motorsports was designed with that in mind, and now with the help of GMS and Chevrolet, Drivers Edge Development will provide a clear-cut path and more options for drivers to get there.”
Although mainly performance-based, there are no set criteria for selection into the program. Ideally, drivers between the ages of 14 and 21 years old will be considered. Currently, six drivers are enrolled in the Drivers Edge Development program:
· Noah Gragson (NXS driver for JRM)
· John Hunter Nemechek (NXS driver for GMS)
· Zane Smith (NXS driver for JRM in eight races)
· Sheldon Creed (Truck driver for GMS)
· Sam Mayer (Truck/ARCA/K&N driver for GMS and Late Model driver for JRM)
· Adam Lemke (Late Model driver for JRM)
“We couldn’t be more pleased to get this program off the ground,” said Mike Beam, GMS team president. “Between GMS and JRM, I feel our two programs are very complementary of each other and will give Drivers Edge Development participants multiple series options.
“We have to give Lorin Ranier some credit, too. He has been working behind the scenes and is a great help in scouting drivers for the program. He is really plugged into the local and regional short-track scene and has already worked with some of the drivers in the program.”
Drivers Edge Development participants will also benefit from the mentoring of veteran racers from both the JRM and GMS stables.
“Drivers Edge Development is going to be critical to the future of the sport and our race team,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, JRM general manager. “The fact that you have JRM, GMS and Chevrolet involved in getting this off the ground speaks to that importance.
“We’re emphasizing on-track experience in multiple series while still keeping the drivers under the Chevrolet umbrella. Off track, we’re going to offer these drivers decades of industry knowledge and best practices with the goal of helping them become the best versions of themselves in all aspects of the sport.”
The six drivers enrolled in Drivers Edge Development are joining established and successful operations. The JRM late model teams have delivered 40 wins in the last three seasons and own a total of four championships. GMS Racing has nine wins and a championship with its ARCA program. Its Truck teams have amassed 23 wins along with a championship in 2016. Over 13 years of competition, JRM’s NXS program lays claim to 44 wins and three championships, including consecutive titles in 2017-18.
Fire Alarm Services Continues Partnership with John Hunter Nemechek at GMS Racing in Select 2019 Xfinity Series Races18 Jan 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
GMS Racing announced today that Fire Alarm Services, Inc., (FAS), a provider in a superior fire, life safety, and security services, will serve as primary sponsor for John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 23 GMS Racing team in 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) races in 2019.
Since 2016, FAS has been a supporter of Nemechek. The Colorado-based company served as a primary sponsor in multiple NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) races for Nemechek, as well as 11 NXS races in 2018. FAS has been apart of many of Nemechek’s career-first accomplishments, including his first NGOTS pole award at Iowa Speedway in 2016, his first NXS win at Kansas Speedway and his first NXS pole award at ISM Raceway, both took place in 2018.
“Fire Alarm Services has been a supporter of my career since 2016 in the Truck Series starting at my family-owned team," said Nemechek. "I couldn’t be more excited to continue this relationship with them in 2019. I am super thankful and blessed that Shannon and Connie Smith, owners of Fire Alarm Services, Inc., believe in me and my career. They have been a staple in various first accomplishments for me, and I hope we can add an Xfinity Series Championship on to that list of firsts.”
FAS will sponsor the following races for Nemechek in 2019, Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, ISM Raceway (spring and fall), Auto Club Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway (spring and fall), Darlington Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The No. 23 Fire Alarm Services Inc., Chevrolet Camaro will sport a new red and black paint scheme beginning at the 2019 season-opening race, the Daytona 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET
GMS Racing PR
BJ McLeod Motorsports Announces it is Expanding to Three (3) Full Time NASCAR Xfinity Series Team in 201911 Jan 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
B.J. McLeod (Owner/Driver) and Jessica McLeod (Owner) of BJ McLeod Motorsports (BJMM) are excited to start a fourth season as a NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) Team in its new state of the art facility in Mooresville, NC. This year, the organization will field three (3) cars with its respected No. 78, No. 8 and No. 99 car numbers. "After going straight to work the week after Homestead, (Homestead-Miami Speedway, Fla) all in preparation for 2019, we feel like we got a great start for the upcoming season," said BJ McLeod. "We are stoked to announce our driver line-up and we are all looking forward to spend our weekends at the track," BJ added.
Vinnie Miller will pilot the BJMM flagship No. 78 NXS car. Vinnie will continue his campaign as announced in September last year. Vinnie signed a multi-year agreement to drive for BJMM. "Vinnie did a great job coming on board the last six (6) races of last year. We are ready to repeat and this time, it will be for a full season," said the team driver/owner who also competes in the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP Series.
22-year-old Matt Mills from New Philadelphia, Ohio will pilot the No. 8 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) entry in 2019 beginning at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Saturday, February 16.
"We’re thrilled to be working with Matt again this year," said team owner, BJ McLeod. "He is a very hard working young man with lots of talent. Our goal for the year is to work together to create a solid foundation for this season and beyond."
Mills enters his fourth year of NASCAR competition. He has 22 NASCAR starts between the NXS and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
Supporting the effort will be JF Electric and longtime partner, Thompson Electric.
"We’ve been working extremely hard the last few years to put together an effort like this one," said Mills. "I can’t thank BJ and Jessica McLeod enough for the opportunity, as well as JF Electric and Thompson Electric. I’m focused on having a solid season, gaining experience and respect along the way."
Finally, the third car, No. 99 NXS will have a carousel of drivers such as B.J. McLeod, Tommy Joe Martins and JA Avila Jr. with open seats still available to welcome drivers to the team. "It is with great enthusiasm to have Tommy Joe Martins back with the team. Martins has played a great part in helping us improve our on-track performance over the last two years and we are looking forward to what’s to come. Avila joins the team again this year and after two top twenty finishes in his first two starts, the future looks promising," said owner Jessica McLeod.
For more information about BJ McLeod Motorsports, including sponsorship opportunities and public relations requests for the upcoming 2019 season, please visit www.bjmcleodmotorsports.com or call 704.230.8720.
Statement from Team Owner Chip Ganassi:
“Due to a lack of sponsorship funding we will cease operation of the No. 42 Xfinity team in 2019. This was a difficult decision for me to make and it comes with much anguish as this is a championship caliber team (having won six races and finished second in the owners championship) and more importantly because it affects a number of good people’s livelihoods. Running a car without proper funding is difficult to do.”
The team’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series program will not be affected as Kyle Larson and Kurt Busch will remain in the No. 42 and No. 1 cars respectively.
California native Zane Smith has been tabbed to drive eight NASCAR Xfinity Series races for JR Motorsports in 2019, the team announced today. Smith, a member of the NASCAR Next Program, will take the wheel of the organization’s No. 9 entry in his series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 2) in partnership with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for the event.
The 19-year-old Smith is the first driver to be named to the lineup of JRM’s No. 9 team, which is coming off its second consecutive NXS championship (2017-18). The team intends to run a full-time schedule next season with a number of drivers at the helm.
“Zane is going to be an important part of the lineup for the No. 9 team next year,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of JRM. “It’s a great opportunity for him. The team is going to take on a different feel with a handful of drivers taking turns throughout the year, but the goal remains the same - to help these drivers gain experience and continue to advance their careers. We started the Xfinity program with that mindset and it’s something we’re proud to continue.”
In addition to the Las Vegas event, Smith’s schedule is as follows: Bristol Motor Speedway (April 6), Richmond Raceway (April 12 and Sept. 20), Dover International Speedway (May 4 and Oct. 5) and Iowa Speedway (June 16 and July 27).
“JR Motorsports has a strong history of helping groom young talent and we’re looking forward to giving Zane that platform for success,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JRM. “We feel Zane has much to offer both on and off the track. We’re going to have him in the car for these eight races, but also have him gain additional experience by traveling with the team for the season.”
Smith transitions to JRM from the ARCA Racing Series, where he posted a 2018 season that included four victories and a runner-up position in the season’s point standings. In 36 career ARCA starts, Smith has tallied 19 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes, along with three pole awards. The young racer also made one NASCAR Truck Series start this past year, earning a fifth-place finish.
“I’m super pumped to be a part of JR Motorsports with the No. 9 team for eight races,” Smith said. “I’m counting down the days until Las Vegas, which will be my debut in the Xfinity series. I can’t thank The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas enough for making this happen, along with all of my other partners who have gotten me this far. Having Dale and Kelley as bosses and to lean on is going to be awesome. They are huge icons of the sport. It is unreal to be a part of their team, so I’m just going to try and take it all in.”
Additional drivers of the team’s No. 9 Chevrolet, along with the crew chief and partner lineup will be named at a later date. Earlier this year, JRM announced its full-time roster which includes Noah Gragson in the No. 1, Michael Annett in the No. 5 and Justin Allgaier in the No. 7 entry.
NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers, team members, the sport’s national media and loyal fans descended upon Charlotte, NC last weekend to merge the spectacle surrounding the annual crowning of champions with the eagerness for the start of a new season. NASCAR Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series champions were crowned and the top drivers in their respective series were honored at an exclusive celebration held at the Charlotte Convention Center on December 8.
Brett Moffitt—a Grimes, Iowa native—is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion after a decisive victory in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Driving for underfunded Hattori Racing Enterprises, owned by former driver Shigeaki Hattori of Japan, Moffitt picked up his sixth victory of the season (second straight) and seventh of his career.
Moffitt formally received the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trophy he earned. And the sport celebrated a dramatic season and recognized some of its most impactful participants which included former winners at Iowa Speedway.
The 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series M&Ms 200 presented by Casey’s General Store at Iowa Speedway served as a victorious homecoming for the Iowa native. Moffitt, in his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway, led the final 76 laps en route to what was then his third career series victory.
Iowa Speedway is proud of the moniker for past winners … Stars Are Made Here. Christopher Bell earned a victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway in July, becoming the first Xfinity regular since Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1999 to collect three consecutive race wins.
Footage from last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series races was provided by NASCAR Productions.
List of Participants:
Christopher Bell (finished fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings)
Brett Moffitt (2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion)