Saturday, Mar 25
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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One of the most memorable experiences for NASCAR fans is seeing the stars of the sport up close on race day. Fans attending this weekend’s NASCAR tripleheader at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) will have plenty of opportunities to catch their favorite drivers for a picture, autograph or even a fist-bump.

NASCAR at COTA weekend driver appearances kick off on FEVO Friday with a Q&A session with NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) driver Dean Thompson at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 2:15 p.m. CT.

Before they strap in for Saturday’s XPEL 225 NCTS race, drivers Grant Enfinger, Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye will be answering fan questions at the Team Chevy display in the Fan Zone at 9:45 a.m. Fans can also catch a Q&A session with NCTS driver Taylor Gray at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 10 a.m.

Prior to Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race, Sammy Smith will take questions from fans at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 11:45 a.m. while Brandon Jones (11:45 a.m.) and Josh Berry (12 p.m.) will be at the Team Chevy display in the Fan Zone. At noon, fans can meet Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Miguel Paludo, Jones and Berry at the JR Motorsports/Legacy Motor Club souvenir rig in the Fan Zone.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) driver Daniel Suarez will be at Freeway Insurance on North Interstate Highway 35 in Austin, Texas Saturday at 3 p.m. meeting race fans in town for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

On Sunday morning, fans enjoying the plethora of free entertainment in the Fan Zone in the Grand Plaza can see NCS drivers Harrison Burton (10:30 a.m.), Chase Briscoe (10:30 a.m.), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (11 a.m.), A.J. Allmendinger (11:15 a.m.) and Brad Keselowski (11:45 a.m.) on the EchoPark Fan Zone Stage during Trackside Live hosted by Jose Castillo.

Defending EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix winner Ross Chastain will be meeting with fans Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the TxDOT display in the Fan Zone while Denny Hamlin will be at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 12 p.m. answering fan questions.

Before Darius Rucker takes the stage at 12:45 p.m. for a one-hour concert prior to the 2:30 p.m. EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NCS race, Chastain, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney will join host Castillo on the pre-race stage on the frontstretch for Q&A sessions from 12:05-12:30 p.m. While the NCS driver Q&A sessions, driver introductions and Darius Rucker pre-race concert are free with any race ticket, the purchase of a Track Pass ticket upgrade will allow those fans to move from the grandstands to the front of the stage for premier access.

Friday, March 24

  • Toyota Racing Experience Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 2:15 p.m. – Dean Thompson

Saturday, March 25

  • Team Chevy Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 9:45 a.m. – Grant Enfinger, Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye
    • 11:45 a.m. – Brandon Jones
    • 12 p.m. – Josh Berry
  • Toyota Racing Experience Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 10 a.m. – Taylor Gray
    • 11:45 a.m. – Sammy Smith
  • JR Motorsports/Legacy Motor Club Souvenir Rig in Fan Zone (Autograph Session)
    • 12 p.m. – Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Miguel Paludo, Brandon Jones and Josh Berry
  • Freeway Insurance, 11139 North Interstate Highway 35, Suite 150, Austin, TX 78753 (Meet-&-Greet)
    • 3 p.m. – Daniel Suarez

Sunday, March 26

  • Trackside Live on EchoPark Fan Zone Stage (Q&A Session)
    • 10:30 a.m. – Harrison Burton and Chase Briscoe
    • 11 a.m. – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    • 11:15 a.m. – A.J. Allmendinger
    • 11:45 a.m. – Brad Keselowski
  • TxDOT Display in Fan Zone (Meet-&-Greet)
    • 10:30 a.m. – Ross Chastain
  • Toyota Racing Experience Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 12 p.m. – Denny Hamlin
  • Pre-Race Stage on Frontstretch (Q&A Session)
    • 12:05 p.m. – Ross Chastain and Justin Marks
    • 12:15 p.m. – Martin Truex Jr.
    • 12:30 p.m. – Ryan Blaney

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS), Xfinity Series (NXS) and CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) will converge on Austin, Texas for their first road/street course race of the young season with this weekend’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).

All three of NASCAR’s National Series will tackle the challenging and technical 20-turn, 3.41-mile permanent road course beginning Friday. The NCS will have its opening practice session while the NXS and NCTS will conduct both practice and qualifying.

Saturday’s busy schedule will include NCS qualifying (10:30 a.m. CT) along with the NCTS XPEL 225 (12:30 p.m., TV: FS1, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM) and NXS Pit Boss presented by USA TODAY (4 p.m., TV: FS1, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM). The three-day race weekend culminates with Sunday’s third running of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: FOX, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM).

Here’s a look at the “Fast Five” Storylines for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix:

  1. Seven-time NCS champion Jimmie Johnson, after a two-year absence while racing in INDYCAR for Chip Ganassi Racing, will be making his second start of a very limited 2023 racing schedule in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

Johnson, co-owner of Legacy Motor Club, will be driving the No. 84 Chevrolet for the organization in his first NCS appearance at COTA. It will be his second start of the season, following his 31st-place finish due to a late accident in the season-opening Daytona 500.

“COTA has been on my racing ‘bucket list’ for a very long time,” Johnson said. “But my timing was off by a year or so. I was hoping it was going to be on the INDYCAR schedule – and it wasn’t – and then they added it to the NASCAR schedule after I left. … From everything I’ve heard, NASCAR drivers have had a lot of fun racing at COTA, so to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.”

Johnson, who gained additional experience running road and street courses in his time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, owns one career NCS victory on road courses (Sonoma, 2010) and 20 top-10 finishes in 40 career starts.

  1. The Formula One race at COTA may be in October, but the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix will have a distinctive F1 flair with two former world champions – Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button – competing in the event.

Räikkönen, the 2007 F1 champion with 21 career wins, will be driving the No. 91 Chevrolet as Trackhouse Racing’s third race entry. The race will mark Räikkönen’s second NCS race after debuting with the organization’s PROJECT91 program at Watkins Glen last August. Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks created PROJECT91 last year with the goal of expanding the organization’s global reach by fielding a NCS entry for renowned international racing drivers.

The 43-year-old Finnish driver is quite familiar with COTA, making eight F1 starts on the road course and earning a victory for Ferrari in 2018. It was the final win of his F1 career.

“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Räikkönen, who finished 37th in his NCS debut at The Glen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”

Button, the 2009 F1 champion with 15 career wins, will be making his NCS debut driving the No. 15 Ford entry for Rick Ware Racing with support from Stewart-Haas Racing. The 43-year-old Brit also has experience at COTA with five F1 starts. He posted four top-10 finishes with a best of fifth (2012).

“Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I’m used to,” said Button, whose last COTA start came in 2016. “It’s a lot heavier with a lot less power and, basically, no downforce. It’s got a sequential gearbox where you need to blip the throttle, so there’s lots of stuff to learn in a very short space of time.

“But I just get excited about that new challenge, and when I throw myself into something, I am 100 percent in. I’m not just doing it for fun in some one-off. I want to be competitive, and I know that to be competitive, it’s going to take a bit of time.”

Button also is scheduled to compete in the Chicago street race in July and Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August.

  1. Ross Chastain returns to the site where he ignited his career-best season and signaled the arrival of Trackhouse Racing.

Last March, Chastain earned his first career NCS victory in dramatic fashion at COTA as he outdueled A.J. Allmendinger and Alex Bowman in a two-lap overtime shootout for a 1.331-second victory. The win also was the first for Trackhouse Racing and team owner Justin Marks.

Chastain would go on to earn another victory (Talladega), advance to the Championship 4 round and finish runner-up to Team Penske’s Joey Logano for the NCS championship.

He arrives at COTA this season third in the NCS points standings, five points behind Logano. He has posted four finishes of 13th or better through the first five races, including a season-best, third-place finish at Fontana.

During his COTA return, he will take his signature victory “watermelon smash” to new heights by dropping a few from the platform of the landmark, 251-foot-high COTA Tower. The media event will begin at 12 p.m. Friday followed by media availability with Chastain.

  1. Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, the 2020 NCS champion and an 18-time race winner, will miss his fourth consecutive race following surgery for a fractured left tibia that resulted from a snowboarding incident. He previously missed Las Vegas, Phoenix and Atlanta, respectively, and is expected to be out six weeks.

Champion sports car driver Jordan Taylor will handle driving duties for the No. 9 Chevrolet in his NCS debut. The 31-year-old Taylor competes for Corvette Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where he has won three championships.

Jordan made four IMSA starts at COTA from 2014-17, where he earned two wins, three podiums, two poles and led 146 of a possible 298 laps. He won from the pole in his last two appearances (2016, ’17).

“Jordan is a world-class road racer and has recently been working with our Garage 56 team preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “He’ll be able to step in and do a great job at COTA." 

  1. Joey Logano became the fourth driver from a different organization to win through the first five races of the season with Sunday’s victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Logano, the defending series champion, led a race-high 140 of the 260 laps to provide Team Penske with its first win of the season. The victory also moved Logano atop the NCS points standings by one over Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing.

The other organizations with wins this season are JTG Daugherty Racing (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), Richard Childress Racing (Kyle Busch) and Hendrick Motorsports (William Byron). Byron is the only driver with multiple wins, claiming Las Vegas and Phoenix, respectively, in consecutive weeks.

Interestingly, Logano and Busch (seventh) are the only race winners who rank among the top 10 in the series points standings heading into the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


Two-time Emmy Award-winning actor, writer and producer Brendan Hunt, who co-stars in the Apple TV+ global phenomenon Ted Lasso, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) and highlight the weekend’s dignitary roster.

Hunt will have the honor of providing the “Drivers, start your engines” command to the NCS field for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile permanent road course in Austin, Texas (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: FOX, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM).

He is best known for his role as “Coach Beard” in Ted Lasso and has won consecutive Emmy Awards in 2021 and ’22 for “Outstanding Comedy Series” as the show’s producer. Hunt is a six-time Emmy Award nominee, including five with Ted Lasso. In 2021, he was a nominee for “Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series” as well as two nominations for “Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series.”

The blockbuster comedy series, co-created by Hunt with Jason Sudeikis, Joe Kelly and Bill Lawrence, recently opened its third season on March 15. Hunt has appeared in a wide variety of critically acclaimed television programs and films throughout his career. Prior to Ted Lasso, he is most known for his roles in Community, Key and Peele, Parks and Recreation and Horrible Bosses 2.

Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer Darius Rucker will serve as the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to commence the third running of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. Earlier that day, Rucker will treat the crowd to a pre-race concert on the frontstretch beginning at 12:45 p.m. CT.

Adrianne Palicki, known for her critically acclaimed role of “Tyra Collette” in the hit series, Friday Night Lights, will help lead the NCS field to the green flag as the Honorary Pace Car Driver.

Palicki’s current project has her starring next to the female lead with Broken Lizard in Searchlight Pictures Quasi, a satirical take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasi will debut Thursday, April 20 on Hulu. Most recently, she starred in the anthology film With/In and for three seasons of Hulu’s The Orville.

Performing the national anthem will be Golden Globe Award and Critic’s Choice Award nominee actor/producer Jaime Camil. Camil is beloved by many from his roles on Jane the Virgin and Disney’s Coco and currently co-starring on the hit show Schmigadoon!, which has its second season premiere on April 5 on Apple TV+. Rounding out the list of extraordinary dignitaries will be ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor Sage Steele delivering the invocation.

Dignitaries for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NCS race:

  • Grand Marshal: Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, producer Brendan Hunt.
  • Honorary Starter: Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer Darius Rucker.
  • Honorary Pace Car Driver: Actress Adrianne Palicki.
  • National Anthem: Award winning actor/producer Jaime Camil.
  • Invocation: ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor Sage Steele.

Dignitaries for Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY NASCAR Xfinity Series race:

  • Grand Marshal: Dansons company-wide raffle winner.
  • Honorary Starter: Dansons Chief Executive Officer Dan Thiessen.
  • National Anthem: Christian recording artist Payton Keller.
  • Victory Lane Trophy Presenter: Dansons Chief Executive Officer Dan Thiessen.
  • Invocation: Dansons Chief Operating Officer Jordan Thiessen.

Dignitaries for Saturday’s XPEL 225 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race:

  • Grand Marshal: Porsche North Austin General Manager Christian Ames.
  • Honorary Starter: Authentic Details owner Brad McRae.
  • God Bless America: Christian recording artist Payton Keller.
  • Victory Lane Trophy Presenter: XPEL Vice President of Corporate Development Michael Mayall.
  • Invocation: NCS driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


Race Information

Round: NASCAR Cup Series race No. 6 of 36

Track Location: Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) - Austin, Texas

Race Name: EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

- Broadcast: Sunday, March 26th at 3:30 PM ET live on FOX (TV), PRN (Radio) Sirius XM NASCAR Ch. 90

Team Entrants:


Noah Gragson, No. 42 Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Circuit Of The Americas Stats

- Noah Gragson will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start at COTA on Sunday

- NXS Starts: 2; Best start: 12th, Best finish: 4th (2022); Top 5s: 1, Top 10s: 1

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 5, Best start: 20th; Best finish: 12th (Atlanta); Laps led: 1; Current points position: 24th


About Black Rifle Coffee Company: Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) is a Veteran-founded coffee company serving premium coffee to people who love America. Founded in 2014 by Green Beret Evan Hafer, Black Rifle develops their explosive roast profiles with the same mission focus they learned while serving in the military. BRCC is committed to supporting Veterans, active-duty military, first responders and the American way of life.

 To learn more about BRCC and save 25% off your first time purchase or subscription, visit Black Rifle Coffee Company and use the code “BRCCMOTOR” at checkout. Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube, or subscribe to Coffee or Die's daily newsletter for updates. 

- Road course starts: Throughout his five seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gragson has 20 starts on road courses accumulating nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. He has raced COTA twice in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of fourth, which occurred in 2022.

- But first, coffee: Gragson delivered a win in the season-opening Daytona event for his partner Black Rifle Coffee Company back in 2020. The rapidly growing and mission-driven premium coffee company founded to support Veterans, active-duty military, and first responders announced last week they are partnering with Gragson for six events this season starting with COTA.

ANG ppearances: 

  • Sunday, March 26th | Team Chevy Stage: On race day, Noah Gragson will make his way to the Team Chevy Stage for a Q&A session at 11:00 AM local time in the COTA Fan Zone.

- From the Drivers Seat: "Last weekend was the boost we needed for the entire LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team. We ran a solid race in Atlanta, learned a lot and I think we left a little on the table. It was a solid points day. Moving on to this week, we finished fourth at COTA last year in Xfinity and have put a lot of work in during this off season to get better there. It's a really fun track and an awesome energy with the crowd. I am looking forward to the challenge. I'm really glad to have Black Rifle Coffee Company on the car this weekend - the paint scheme is really sharp and we hope to give them a good show."


Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Circuit Of The Americas Stats

- NCS Starts: 2; Best start: 29th; Best finish: 9th (2022); Top 10s: 1

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 5; Best start: 10th; Best finish: 8th (Atlanta); Top 10s: 1, Laps led: 14, Current points position: 21st


About Allegiant: Las Vegas-based Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) is an integrated travel company with an airline at its heart, focused on connecting customers with the people, places and experiences that matter most. Since 1999, Allegiant Air has linked travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class vacation destinations with all-nonstop flights and industry-low average fares. Today, Allegiant's fleet serves communities across the nation, with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket. For more information, visit us at

First Top-10 of the Year: In a remarkable run to the finish, Jones was able to pass several cars on the white flag lap in Atlanta to bring home his Allegiant Chevrolet with an eighth place finish. Not only was this Erik's best finish of the season, but it was also LEGACY MOTOR CLUB's best result yet, scoring the team's first top-10 of the year. A great recovery and sign of tenacity overcoming damage sustained in "the big one" towards the end of the race.

Racing in the Rain: Jones has raced in the rain three times during his NASCAR career - once at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and three times in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, COTA, and most recently Watkins Glen last season. He's been quite successful in that discipline, earning three top-10 finishes with a best showing of third place at the ROVAL in 2020. If the wet condition tires end up get used on Sunday, Jones might be one to watch.

-EJ AppearancesFans attending this weekend's EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix will have a chance to meet Erik Jones on Sunday:

  • Sunday, March 26th | Team Chevy Stage: On race day, Erik Jones will make his way to the Team Chevy Stage for a Q&A session from 10:30 - 10:45 AM local time in the COTA Fan Zone.

- From the Driver’s Seat: With there being no stage breaks for this race, how will that affect the strategy in how you approach this weekend?

“I think it opens up some more options, the old stages how we've had the last few years, you were kind of locked in to one way or the other - take stage points or take a higher finishing position. We will see how it used to be I think with running the race backwards and trying to make sure you have enough fuel to get to the end of the race. We will see how much tires matter, I think they are going to be pretty important with probably some more fall off than what we've seen in the past with the track aging and getting more slick a bit. I think it will be a fine balance between tires and trying to pit as early as you can to make it on fuel, so we will see how it plays out with our Allegiant Chevy.” 


Jimmie Johnson, No. 84 Club Wyndham Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Circuit Of The Americas Stats

- Jimmie Johnson will make his first official start at Circuit Of The Americas this weekend.

NCS Career Stats

- Starts: 687, Championships: 7 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016) (tied for most all-time), Wins: 83 (sixth all-time), Poles: 36, Top 5s: 232, Top 10s: 374, Laps led: 18,941

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 1; Best start: 39th; Best finish: 31st (Daytona)


- About Club Wyndham: This year, Club Wyndham is offering racing fans 15% off on a bucket list NASCAR vacation. Save on resort stays during race weeks in destinations near select races by booking through Extra Holidays, Club Wyndham’s rental platform. See Offer Details below.* Click to learn more

*Travel offer details: Book by December 31, 2023. Travel by December 31, 2023. Two-night minimum length of stay required. Valid for new reservations only. Reservations are subject to availability. Reservations may be limited during certain holidays. Cannot be combined with any other offer. All monetary amounts are noted in U.S. Dollars unless otherwise noted.

- Hitting the road: Since the DAYTONA 500, Johnson has kept himself fairly busy. He participated in a 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway as well as a test at Circuit of Americas in the NASCAR Garage 56 entry with Hendrick Motorsports. Along with co-drivers Jenson Button, Mike Rockenfeller and Jordan Taylor, Johnson and the team continue to prepare for the rapidly approaching 24 Hours of Le Mans.

-Lots of reps: For the last two years, Johnson has been perfecting his road and street course craft in an INDYCAR. He competed in 25 events logging 4,213.7 miles on these types of tracks. Since his departure from full-time NASCAR racing, Johnson has participated in seven International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) races as a driver competing in the ROLEX 24 Hours at DAYTONA, 12 Hours of Sebring, Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen endurance events. Additionally, he has logged hundreds of hours on a simulator in preparation for each individual event.

-Racing in the Rain: Both Johnson and crew chief Todd Gordon have experience in racing in the rain. Gordon's first race at COTA took place in the first NASCAR Cup Series event at the track with driver Ryan Blaney. Johnson ran the IndyGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last May in torrential rain, which proved both educational and challenging.

-Crew Chief Todd Gordon's weekend outlook: “I ran COTA with Ryan Blaney in 2021 in the rain. Neat venue, really long and lots of different facets to this track. There are high speed straightaways, lots of short, tight 90-degree corners and it’s got some sweeping right-handers through the stadium section. So, its really a track that has all the facets of road course racing. This track asks a lot out of the team, car and driver and it’s the first time we’ve gone there with this low downforce and the package we ran at Phoenix. It’s a really cool opportunity. I’m looking forward to the practice and see what Jimmie likes – he is a really good student - and I think his INDYCAR road course experience is going to be key because he understands how to race his way thought a road course. Should be a great weekend.”

-From the Driver’s Seat:  “This is going to be such a great weekend. I’ve had this race on my bucket list for a really long time and I’m thankful for a partner like Club Wyndham for making it possible. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the track, these NextGen cars with the low downforce, and thankful we have a practice on Friday to see what we have to work with. Todd Gordon and the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team have prepared a great car back at the shop. From everything I’ve heard this track puts on a heck of a show, and from a venue standpoint, it’s such a great stage for this sport. I’m looking back to getting back to the track, we have spent some time in the SIM to prepare and I’m ready for the weekend.”


Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) announced today Kevin Harvick will enter the CARS Tour Late Model Stock race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Wednesday, May 17, driving the No. 62 Hunt Brothers® Pizza Ford. Harvick will honor his racing roots with a scheme reminiscent of one his early late model cars in California and run a number with a legacy built by his late father-in-law, John Paul Linville.

As Harvick competes in his final season in the NASCAR Cup Series, a common theme has become clear. Never forget where you started, remember the journey and those who helped you along the way.

For Harvick, those beginnings started in California running late models and winning a NASCAR West Series championship before he began his climb up the NASCAR ladder to becoming a NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Earlier this year, Harvick, along with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Burton and Justin Marks, announced they had bought the CARS Tour, a late model series competing in the Southeast region. During the announcement, Harvick made it clear he planned to compete in the series, get to know the competitors, and return to where he started his career, racing a late model.

“I’m excited to get to North Wilkesboro and compete in the CARS Tour,” said Harvick. “I’ve watched Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) go out and have fun racing with these guys and I’ve been kind of jealous watching from the sidelines. I want to go out, have fun, get to know the racers who compete in these series regularly and see how I can help the drivers with my racing knowledge. Short-track racing really is the root that feeds into the higher series and everything we do in racing. The best way to make sure that continues and is strong is to be a part of it and racing at North Wilkesboro is just one of those steps. It’s going to be a great week with all we have planned between the late model and the Cup car.”

Continuing a legacy built by his late father-in-law, Harvick will pilot the No. 62 for the CARS Tour race, but it’s a number that is also being used by Kevin and DeLana’s son Keelan as he competes in the No. 62 throughout the United States, previously in go karts and now in Legend Cars. Linville’s racing career spanned more than 30 years. He started on the local short tracks of North Carolina and competed in multiple series, including what is today’s Xfinity Series.

“I grew up watching my dad compete for our family-owned team and traveling to the racetrack every week with him,” said DeLana Harvick. “When it was time for Keelan to pick a number, he wanted the No. 62 to remember his Paw Paw John and to set himself apart from Kevin. He really wants to be known as his own racer. To see my dad’s number running again with Keelan and now with Kevin, is really special to our family.”

With his entrance into the CARS Tour race, Harvick will once again be behind the wheel of a Kevin Harvick Inc. machine, bringing the championship winning organization back to the track after a 12-year hiatus. Kevin Harvick Inc. competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Truck Series and ARCA Series from 2001 – 2011. The team garnered 10 Xfinity Series wins, 45 Truck Series wins and two Truck Series driver championships with NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr.

“With where we are on the management side, the ownership in the CARS Tour and with Keelan’s racing, it felt like the right time to bring KHI back,” said Harvick. “For now it’ll be a place for us to run races to gain experience for our KHI Management, LLC (KHIM) drivers, compete in the CARS Tour to better understand how we can help make changes for the better and ultimately, have some fun racing.”

Racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway kicks off on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, with the ASA STARS National Series followed by the CARS Tour on Wednesday, May 17, All-Star Friday on May 19, the Truck Series race on Saturday, May 20, and NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, May 21, 2023. For more information and to buy tickets for the weekend’s activities, visit Fans unable to attend the race can visit to purchase a subscription to watch the race live from North Wilkesboro and the full season of the CARS Tour.


The No. 41 Truck Last Week at Atlanta: In Bayley Currey’s first start of the season in the Craftsman Truck Series, he captured his first career top-five and moved the No. 41 Silverado into 14th-place in the Owner Standings.

Chastain at Circuit of the Americas: Though Chastain doesn’t have a Craftsman Truck Series start at COTA, he secured his first career Cup Series win at the track last year. Chastain has an average finish of 2.5 at the 3.4-mile track in the Cup Series, tied for best in the series.

Chastain on Returning to Site of First Cup Series Win: “It’s awesome to get to do this with Worldwide Express and everyone at Niece Motorsports. I’ve never been able to race for Al in Austin in his hometown before, so it’s really special. Last year’s Cup Series win was a lifelong dream and I’m pumped to try to do it again in the Truck Series.”

On the Truck: Chastain’s No. 41 Worldwide Express Chevrolet Silverado will race with support from the WWEX group of brands, which comprises Worldwide Express, Unishippers and GlobalTranz.

Niece Motorsports PR

Atlanta Recap: After running solidly inside the top-15 most of the day, Lawless Alan was involved in an incident with less than 15 laps remaining in the Fr8 208. Unfortunately, Alan was forced to retire from the race in 32nd-place.

Alan on Atlanta: “We had a lot of speed and were competitive all day which is what our goals for the race were. It’s a superspeedway, so things like that happen. But, I think we can take what we had speed-wise and use that to learn at the upcoming races.”

Alan at Circuit of the Americas: In two starts at Circuit of the Americas, Alan has an average finish of 17th, including his best finish to-date in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, an 11th-place finish in this event last season.

Alan on Saturday’s Race at COTA: “My road racing experience, combined with our speed at Atlanta gives us a lot of confidence going into COTA. I know what I’m capable of on road courses and I know what our trucks are capable of, so I’m looking forward to improving upon my career-best finish.”

On the Truck: The No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado will carry an assortment of sponsors including PlainsCapital Bank, MG Machinery LLC, and TXAPA. 

PlainsCapital was founded in 1988 by former Hilltop Holdings Vice Chairman and Co-CEO Alan White and a group of investors who raised the capital to acquire Plains National Bank, a Lubbock financial institution with one branch and $198.8 million in assets.  

Thirty years later, PlainsCapital Bank is the fourth-largest bank in Texas based on deposit market share.  PlainsCapital has a statewide presence with more than 60 locations in markets such as Austin, the Coastal Bend, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley. 

PlainsCapital has a diverse range of services, including commercial banking, treasury management, private banking, and wealth management, as well as consumer banking.

MG Machinery offers construction, heavy equipment, and mining equipment.  With a wealth of knowledge and experience, MG Machinery is more than a heavy equipment dealer. We go beyond the sale to make sure all clients are 100% satisfied with the service.

Texas Asphalt Pavement Association is a full-service Association for the asphalt industry. It serves the needs of asphalt producers, contractors, liquid asphalt suppliers, and interested firms dedicated to improving and growing the asphalt industry. The Association is committed and dedicated to providing the services and information that keeps its member firms and the industry on the competitive edge.

Niece Motorsports PR

Atlanta Recap: From his fifth-place starting position, Carson Hocevar would run inside the top-ten for a majority of Saturday’s 135-lap race. But, an accident on lap 123 involving himself as well as a few others would ultimately end his day in 31st.

Hocevar on Atlanta: “We were able to show lots of speed on Saturday, just weren’t able to get the finish this Worldwide Express team deserves. So far this season, we’ve shown our pace and I’m excited to show how good our Niece Motorsports team can be in COTA.”

Hocevar at COTA: Hocevar is just one of five active Truck Series competitors to finish inside the top-ten at COTA in both trips to the road course. His average starting position at the track is 11.5 with an average finish of 7.5.

Hocevar on Saturday’s Race at COTA: “Both times we’ve ran at COTA, we’ve been able to finish inside the top-ten which is great for my confidence going into the race. The field is going to have some Cup Series drivers and I’m looking forward to learning from them and hopefully driving past them when it counts.”

On the Truck: Hocevar’s No. 42 Worldwide Express Chevrolet Silverado will race with support from the WWEX group of brands, which comprises Worldwide Express, Unishippers and GlobalTranz.

Niece Motorsports PR

When it comes to racing, the attention is directly directed toward the many different drivers and organizations that are contending. Auto transporter businesses are another group of unsung champions that play an essential part in the sport of auto racing. These companies are responsible for delivering high-performance vehicles to the racetracks with their professional fleets. They are the ones who are in charge of transporting the automobiles.

It is the responsibility of these companies to transport the race cars as well as the tools, equipment, and additional components that are necessary to keep the race cars functioning at their greatest potential. In addition, it is the responsibility of these companies to transport the race tracks. In the absence of these organizations, it is impossible to imagine how athletic events could ever be organized.

Auto transporter businesses participate in a number of activities that are both exciting and essential in order to relocate automobiles to racing events. These activities include the following:


Get the cars to the track safely

It is the responsibility of the businesses that transport automobiles to ensure that the racing vehicles will arrive at the track in a prompt fashion and without suffering any damage. This necessitates painstakingly organizing and coordinating the preparations for the journey, from determining the routes that are the most productive to ensuring that the vehicles are loaded appropriately and safeguarded in the correct manner.


Loading and unloading safely

Because competition vehicles are such complex pieces of equipment, the administration of them must be managed with the utmost prudence in order to prevent injuries. Companies that specialize in transporting automobiles require their employees to have a high level of expertise in loading and unloading vehicles so that they can reduce the risk of damage happening while the vehicles are in transit. This is of the utmost importance for the sport of NASCAR, which demands that the vehicles be in immaculate condition in order for competitors to compete at high speeds on the track.


Assisting racing teams

Companies that specialize in transferring automobiles are not only in charge of moving the vehicles from one place to another, but they also provide assistance to the different racing teams. This entails providing any additional organizational assistance that the team may require at any given moment as well as assisting the team in setting up and dismantling down their apparatus at the track. Additionally, this entails assisting the team in any other capacity that may be required.


Assisting during wrecks and other emergencies

Auto transporter businesses are ready to handle any complications that may arise in the event that a collision takes place or there is a problem with the vehicle's mechanical components. In either case, they are prepared to deal with the situation. Only seasoned drivers who are comfortable driving high-performance vehicles and are prepared to respond appropriately to any situation that may arise are hired by these businesses.

To conclude, the significance of the role that auto transporter businesses play in the world of motorsport simply can not be exaggerated due to its magnitude. These boats are the unsung heroes of the sport because they are responsible for everything from ensuring that dispatches are made in a safe and timely fashion to providing the racing teams with crucial assistance. Therefore, the next time you are watching a race, make sure that you pause for a minute to appreciate the enormous amount of effort that goes into delivering those high-performance vehicles to the racecourse. This is something that you should do every time you watch a race.

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Top-5's: 0
Top-10's: 0
Best Start: N/A
Best Finish: N/A
Starts: 2
Wins: 0
Top-5's: 0
Top-10's: 0
Best Start: 23rd (Chase - 2022)
Best Finish: 19th (Chase - 2022)
  • Connor Mosack will make his third NXS start of the season in the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday.
  • The Pit Boss 250 will be Mosack's first NXS start at COTA.
  • Mosack has two career TransAm TA2 starts at Circuit of the Americas, including a second-place finish in 2021.
  • In 2022, Mosack made two NXS starts on road courses. At Portland International Raceway, he qualified 8th and was battling in the Top-10 until he was involved in a wreck. He started 13th and finished 15th at Watkins Glen International later in the season with Sam Hunt Racing.
  • Mosack adds next weekend's Toyota Care 250 at Richmond Raceway to his schedule with Sam Hunt Racing in 2023, driving the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra.
  • Mosack's 2023 schedule with Sam Hunt Racing:
  • March 11 - Phoenix Raceway (P24)
  • March 18 - Atlanta Motor Speedway (P30)
  • March 25 - Circuit of the Americas
  • April 1 - Richmond Raceway
  • April 15 - Martinsville Speedway
  • May 27 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 3 - Portland International Raceway
  • June 10 - Sonoma Raceway
  • June 24 - Nashville Superspeedway
  • July 15 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • August 5 - Michigan International Speedway
  • August 12 - Indianapolis Road Course
  • August 19 - Watkins Glen
  • August 25 - Daytona International Speedway
  • September 9 - Kansas Speedway
  • September 15 - Bristol Motor Speedway
  • October 7 - The ROVAL at Charlotte
  • October 14 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • October 21 - Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • October 28 - Martinsville Speedway
  • November 4 - Phoenix Raceway
“I’m really looking forward to going to COTA for my first time in the Xfinity car. It’s been a rough two weeks for us, and it will be great to go to a track I’m familiar with to have a solid result. Although I’ve only been there twice, I’ve had strong runs and I believe that will correlate to this coming weekend. We’ve had top 10 speed in both races so far, and now we need to capitalize on it."
-- Connor Mosack, Driver of the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra



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