Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (6159)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

Ryan Ellis will be joining SS-Green Light Racing this weekend driving the #07 Superlite Cars/Bachtel Excavating Chevy at Road America. This will be Ryan’s 46th start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and 75th NASCAR start. Ellis, who came from a road course racing background, will be making his first Xfinity start of the season.

“I think a lot of people forget that I have done a ton of road racing in the past between NASA/SCCA/Grand-Am and my experience with Superlite Cars. Once I entered this sport mostly full-time I think I just got tagged as another NASCAR driver, but I still consider myself a road course guy. I’ve raced Road America many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to get behind the wheel of a racecar. I can’t thank Bobby Dotter enough for giving me this opportunity on our off-week, we’re going to do all we can to get a good run and keep the car in one-piece. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my great friends and sponsors at Superlite Cars and Bachtel Excavating.”

Ryan was the primary driver for Superlite Cars from 2011-2014 and worked at their shop back in 2012 as well. Since meeting Fran Hall, the owner of Superlite Cars in 2011, Ryan and Fran have become great friends. Fran is even a groomsmen at Ryan’s wedding later this year and has supported Ryan and his racing many times. Ellis said, “Fran is basically family to me. He’s been so important to my racing career and has been instrumental in getting me to where I am in this sport. I called him for a lot of advice over the offseason before taking the Public Relations position at Go Fas, and I’m so lucky to have someone like him on my side.”

Bachtel Excavating first sponsored Ryan at Mid Ohio last year, where the Rick Ware Racing team and Ryan brought home an 18th place finish for the new sponsor. Ellis said, “I got the opportunity to meet Matt Bachtel and some of the other guys from Bachtel Excavating last year at Mid Ohio. They’re such a great group of people and it was so much fun giving them an introduction to NASCAR sponsorship. I’m very proud that he has come back on board with us and helped me get another great shot at a good finish this weekend. It means a lot to me that they are willing to help us out this weekend, because I know it is a good distance away from their Ohio headquarters. Hopefully I will get to see Matt and his group very soon.”

The Johnsonville 180 will take place this Sunday at 3pm EST and will be aired LIVE on NBC, the Motor Racing Network, and on the NBC Sports App.

Ryan Ellis Facebook

JGL Racing is proud to announce that Dylan Lupton will display a Darlington Throwback Scheme of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 "Rainbow Warriors" paint scheme from his 1993 rookie season with Hendrick Motorsports.  Lupton will pilot the No. 24 Nut Up Toyota for the popular "Throwback" weekend at Darlington Raceway for the running of the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 on Saturday, September 2nd.
 
Joining the program and proudly being displayed with the popular paint scheme is sponsor Nut Up Industries.  The Escalon, California based company is proud to join Lupton for this popular event.  Hailing from the state
where his childhood hero was born, Lupton is humbled to have the opportunity to bring Gordon's famous "Rainbow Warriors" colors back to the NASCAR scene.
 
"Jeff Gordon was my idol growing up," said Lupton. "Even though I was born the same year he started in his career in Cup (1993), as I began pursuing my racing career at a young age, I would remember spending my Sunday afternoons in front of the television rooting him on hoping one day I would have the chance to race against him. Next weekend at Darlington, I hope to have his support as I pay tribute to his NASCAR career sporting the famous "Rainbow Warriors" colors on our No. 24 NutUp Toyota during the Darlington throwback weekend."
 
The year of 1993 began the era of Jeff Gordon competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  He opened the season with a win in the Gatorade Twin 125's race, while also recording his first-career pole position at the fall Charlotte event, and concluded 1993 with a 14th-place points finish and the Rookie of the Year Award.  Gordon's early success in the sport reshaped the paradigm and eventually gave younger drivers an opportunity to compete in NASCAR.
 
Of course, the 1993 season would be the springboard to one of the most successful racing careers in NASCAR history.  Gordon is a four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion, having won the title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. He also won the Daytona 500 three times in 1997, 1999, and 2005. He is third on the all-time Cup wins list with 93 career wins, the most in NASCAR's modern era (1972-present). Gordon's 81 pole positions is third all-time; Gordon won at least one pole in 23 consecutive seasons, making this a NASCAR record.
 
"This is a great honor for myself to honor Jeff Gordon and his iconic paint scheme with this Throwback program at Darlington," added James Whitener, owner of JGL Racing.  "This is a little-known fact - but Jeff Gordon is one of the main reasons I am involved as an owner in this sport as I was a big fan of his.  That is why we run the No. 24 and developed the Young Guns program.  All of this makes for an exciting weekend in Darlington next weekend."
 
The running of the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 is Saturday September 2nd at the legendary Darlington Raceway.  The race will be broadcast LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 3:30 pm ET.
 
JGL Racing PR

n honor of one of his all-time favorite drivers, Elliott Sadler will carry a  throwback scheme made famous by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough on Sept. 2 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

This evening on NBC Sports’ NASCAR America, live from the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Sadler unveiled the retro paint scheme that the No. 1 Armour Vienna Sausages 150 Years Chevrolet will carry for the Sports Clips Haircut VFW 200 Labor Day weekend.

“This throwback paint scheme honors one of my all-time favorite drivers,” Sadler said. “It was the car he drove during some of the highlights of his career. Cale was such a talented driver and won two Daytona 500s while driving this paint scheme.”

The paint scheme adopts the color blocking of Yarborough’s No. 28 Hardee’s machine that the veteran South Carolina driver campaigned quite successfully from 1983-86. During that 64-race span, Yarborough won the Daytona 500 in both 1983 and 1984, swept both Michigan International Speedway races in 1983 and earned the last of his 83 career victories at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in 1985. In that paint scheme, Yarborough won nine races overall, adding 22 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes and eight of his 69 career poles in just 64 starts.

Armour blue replaces the Hardee’s orange on Sadler’s car, with the remainder of the car a blinding white with blue and gold accents.

Sadler is the current NXS point leader—holding the top spot for 20 of the 22 races this season—and one of only four drivers to have clinched a playoff spot, three of whom belong to the JR Motorsports stable. Sadler himself is a strong driver at Darlington, winning there last season on his way to runner-up in the final NXS standings. In 13 series starts at Darlington, Sadler has last year’s victory, five top-five and six top-10 finishes to his name.

JRM PR

Richard Childress Racing announced today that KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) will serve as their primary partner on Brandon Jones' No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro for the September 2 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Darlington Raceway. KCMG, an international motorsports group established in 2007, is based in Hong Kong, China and is the leading force in the support and development of professional motorsport racing across the Asia Pacific region, with operations expanding to Europe.  
 
The two organizations are exploring opportunities for KCMG to become involved full time in NASCAR as both a motorsports property and to create a unique platform for business development in the Asia Pacific region through the American stock-car racing series.
 
"We consider ourselves a global company and we're always looking for opportunities to grow our business," said Dr. Paul Ip, Founder of KCMG. "The opportunity arose to partner with Richard Childress Racing, one of the premier stock car racing teams, and we felt that a partnership for a XFINITY Series race would be the next best step in exploring opportunities in NASCAR."
 
KCMG was founded by Ip in 2007 with the aim to develop talented drivers and provide the opportunity for fresh Asian talent to step up to higher rungs of motorsport. The Hong Kong-based outfit was the first Chinese team to be granted entry at Le Mans in 2013 and went on to claim LMP2 victory in the French Endurance classic in 2015.
 
"Paul Ip's passion for all forms of motorsports is unrivaled," said Torrey Galida, president of RCR. "We're looking forward to having KCMG as a primary partner for the Darlington race in September while giving their organization a behind-the-scenes look to our world-class racing and manufacturing operations here in the United States."
 
Brandon Jones will drive the No. 33 KCMG Chevrolet during the Sports Clips Haircuts VFW 200. Jones is a second year driver for RCR and is currently competing full time in the XFINITY Series.
 
RCR PR

Ryan Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang will honor the memory and legacy of past NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki.  The No. 16 will throwback to Kulwicki’s 1989 Ford, a year in which he scored six pole positions, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes.  NASCAR artist Sam Bass helped create the throwback adaptation of Kulwicki’s No. 7 Ford.  Like Reed, Bass lives with type 1 diabetes.

“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” said Reed.  “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90’s, just like Alan.  Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”

Kulwicki was admired by many in the sport and regarded as the epitome of perseverance as he started his own team and ultimately won the NASCAR Series Championship in 1992.  Kulwicki and Reed have both defied the odds and persevered to pursue their dreams.  Reed spent his entire childhood racing, but was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17 and told he would never race again.  By working closely with his doctors and monitoring his diet and exercise, Reed now competes NASCAR’s XFINITY Series and has two wins, five top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. 

In 2016, Sam Bass helped create a throwback adaptation of Bobby Allison’s 1975 scheme.  Reed started the race 15th last year at Darlington and went on to cross the finish line 13th, tying his best career finish at the track nicknamed “Too Tough to Tame.”

RFR PR

Sheldon Creed had a challenging doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with JD Motorsports and returned to the Trans Am Series for the third time this season with Stevens-Miller Racing. It was Creed’s first-time racing at the challenging 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit.

Very stormy weather on Friday limited Creed to one Trans Am practice session as Trans Am qualifying was cancelled as well as Xfinity Series practice due to lightning in the vicinity. Saturday then became an even busier day with a very early 8am Xfinity practice session, the Trans Am race at 9:30am, Xfinity qualifying at noon, and finally the Xfinity Series race at 3:30pm.

Creed hoped to get up to speed on driving the heavier Xfinity car around the very technical Mid-Ohio track in the early morning practice, however his gearbox jammed after just a handful of laps, leaving him with very little time to get the car set up before Xfinity qualifying. The lack of setup time showed in qualifying, resulting in a very disappointing 32nd position in the 40-car field for the #01 United Rentals/A.M. Ortega JD Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

Creed hoped to run a steady and clean Xfinity race and methodically move up the order for a strong finish.  Indeed he gained 8-10 places on the first half lap, but unfortunately suffered another jammed gearbox towards the end of the first lap; necessitating a trip to the garage area for repairs and the loss of 16 laps. The gearbox was freshly rebuilt before the weekend, which caused much head scratching among all concerned.  The JD Motorsports crew did an excellent job making the repair and getting Creed back on track where he showed good speed, running with the leaders after one race restart. Unfortunately, Creed suffered another mechanical gremlin later in the race and ended up running at the finish but 19 laps down in 34th place. It was certainly not the Xfinity Series debut Creed or the JD Motorsports team had hoped for, but they will have another chance in the Johnsonville 180 at Road America on Sunday, August 27th.

Creed’s experience in the #77 United Rentals/Speedlogix/A.M. Ortega Dodge for Stevens-Miller Racing in the Trans Am race was better, but still not without challenges. Despite being among the fastest 5-6 cars throughout practice, Creed would line up for the race in 13th because Trans Am qualifying was cancelled. When the green flag dropped for the 45-lap race, Creed was able to advance to 10th place in the opening laps.  Then, a bit of “agricultural racing” on lap 6 saw Creed go off course while avoiding a slower car and mow some of the beautiful Mid-Ohio grass, dropping down the order to 21st. Unfortunately, the off-course excursion ripped the splitter off the front of Creed’s car, impeding the handling of the car for the rest of the race. Despite that, Creed was able to claw his way back up through the field, ultimately crossing the line in 7th place behind former IndyCar driver, Rafa Matos. A post-race disqualification of another competitor promoted Creed to an official finish of 6th place, for his third top-10 finish from 3 starts in Trans Am this season. Creed will return to the Trans Am Series for the next round at Road America on August 26th, where he will again pull double-duty by competing in both the NASCAR Xfinity and Trans Am Series on the same weekend.

Creed’s next event will be this weekend when he will make his first start for Mason Mitchell Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series Herr’s Potato Chips 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This will be Creed’s first ever ARCA Series race on dirt and he will be behind the wheel of the No. 78 United Rentals/A.M. Ortega Construction/RTL Leasing Chevrolet. MMM are the defending winners of this race as Justin Haley took the checkers in the 2016 edition of the Springfield Mile. Creed will return to the cockpit of the #78 MMM Chevrolet for the General Tire Grabber 100 on the dirt 1-mile oval at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, in DuQuoin, Illinois.

Sheldon Creed on Mid-Ohio and Springfield:

“Mid-Ohio was definitely a tough weekend all around, and neither race really went the way we wanted, but the good news is that we get to run both of those cars again in a couple of weeks at Road America. We learned a lot at Mid-Ohio and I’m sure we’ll have a much better weekend at Road America. I’ve never been there before, but I’ll definitely be doing a ton of iRacing laps on my Sim to get ready! On Springfield and DuQuoin, I think my driving background will help for the two dirt races. It's going to be very slick and coming from dirt I'll have a good idea what to expect and different things you can do to get the car around the track.”

Sheldon Creed has a brand-new website, developed in conjunction with Race Face Brand Development. It features the latest news on Sheldon’s career, as well as lots of great photos, videos, and radio interviews. Check it out at www.sheldoncreedracing.com.

Practice for the Herr's Potato Chips 100 is scheduled from 9 - 10am CT, with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 11am. The 55th annual Herr's Potato Chips 100 starts at 1:30pm CT.

The Herr's Potato Chips 100 is Live on MAVTV at 1:30 CT/2:30 ET. You can also follow live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activity throughout the afternoon at www.arcaracing.com.

Sheldon Creed PR

Bristol Motor Speedway has not been kind to Dakoda Armstrong in his previous visits and Friday night was no different.  Coming off a top-10 finish last week at Mid-Ohio, Armstrong would falter in Thunder Valley as he posted a disappointing 24th  place finish in the running of the Food City 300.
 
"This was definitely not one of our better performances of the season," said Armstrong.  "Bristol is a challenging track and one that has given me fits over the years.  After qualifying I thought we had a pretty good No. 28 WinField United Toyota but I struggled with it being a little too tight for me.  We battled all night and in typical fashion were able to keep our nose clean for the most part."
 
Dakoda would start the 300-lap race in the 21st position as a result of his qualifying effort earlier on Friday afternoon.  As the green flag flew, Armstrong would slowly fall through the field as he reported that his No. 28 WinField United Toyota was just too tight in traffic.  As a result, the New Castle, Indiana native would lose a lap to the leaders and sit in the 26th  spot as the first stage can to an end on lap 85.
 
The second stage would find Dakoda continue to struggle with the tight condition as well as the demanding half mile track.  As he lost another lap to the field, Dakoda would settle into the 25th
position at the end of the stage.
 
With no much changing in the last portion of the event, Armstrong would keep the nose of his No. 28 WinField United Toyota clean and avoid a few on track incidents.  As the book closed on another eventful race at Bristol, Dakoda would take the checkered flag and be credited with a season worst finish of 24th.
 
"Just another frustrating Bristol race for me," added Dakoda.  "We remain focused on this points battle and doing all we can to make the playoffs.  We have another road course race next week and we turn our focus to that and on rebounding from Bristol."
 
The 24th place finish dropped Armstrong to the 10th spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series overall driver standings - 10 points behind ninth place.
 
Armstrong and his JGL Racing team will next head to Road America for the running of the Johnsonville 180.  The 23rd race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will be Sunday August 27th and can be seen LIVE on NBC at 3:00 pm ET.  It can also be heard on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.

JGL Racing PR

Ryan Reed was prepared to take on the night race Bristol Motor Speedway, but his forward momentum was cut short in Stage 1.  Reed suffered damage being on the outside of a three-wide squeeze for position and then the damage resulted in a flat tire once racing resumed.  The damage from the flat tire was too severe to continue, leaving Reed with a 37th-place finish in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford.

The start of qualifying was delayed due to rain, forcing NASCAR to change from three rounds of qualifying, to just one 20-minute round.  Reed made two attempts in qualifying, but his Lilly Ford wasn’t handling how he needed, resulting in a 27th-place starting position.

From the drop of the green flag Reed made up a few positions before another competition tried to squeeze in the middle and make it three-wide racing.  The move ended the night of the car on the inside and Reed, who was on the outside, was left with heavy body damage.

Reed pitted for tires and damage repair, but once the field returned to green the team noticed a tire rub when the front end was loaded up at speed.  Reed was just about to pit for the tire rub when it gave way.  The blown tired caused severe damage and ended Reed’s evening after just 38 laps of competition.

RFR PR

Returning to Bristol Motor Speedway for his first NXS start, site of his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, Kennedy used Thursday’s two practice sessions to get a feel for the handling of his No. 96 Weber Chevrolet Camaro. Finishing the first session 22nd and the final session 19th, Kennedy went on to grab a 24th starting spot in rain-shortened qualifying for the Food City 300.

Early on in the 300-lap event, Kennedy was fighting loose on throttle and a Chevy that was tight on exit no matter which lane he ran. Trying to hang on to an ill-handling racecar, Kennedy finished stage one 22nd, one lap down. Crew chief Charles Denike called Kennedy down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a both a track bar and air pressure adjustment. Lining up 24th for the restart, Kennedy reported throughout the ensuing run that his Weber Chevrolet Camaro was loose on entry but felt like all four tires were on top of the track sliding around. He went on to finish stage two 22nd, two laps down. Once again, Kennedy hit pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. However, a missing lug nut on the right rear forced Kennedy to come back down pit road and restart at the rear of the field. Losing two laps due to restarting deep in the pack and a long green flag run, Denike took the opportunity for Kennedy to take the wave around when the caution came out on lap 217, getting one of his laps back.

Restarting 25th, Kennedy fought his way to just outside the top-20 when the caution came out for the final time on lap 285. Kennedy hit pit road for four fresh tires and a chassis adjustment from the 20th position. With the race going green for the final 8 laps, Kennedy went on to finish 19th, three laps down.

Quote

"I think we definitely made some progress throughout the night on the Weber Chevrolet. We fought handling issues from the start, but Bristol (Motor Speedway) is just one of those tracks that it’s so easy to get behind. I’m proud of the Weber guys though for working hard all night to put us in a position to make up some ground in the end.”

Additional Notes

- Kennedy's next race with GMS Racing will be at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, September 2nd.

GMS Racing PR

Spencer Gallagher collected a 23rd place finish in his second NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) career start at Bristol Motor Speedway. The No. 23 Allegiant team worked through two practice sessions on Thursday to prepare for Friday nights Food City 300, finishing 19th in first practice and 22nd in final. Rain caused qualifying to be shortened to one 20 minute round. Gallagher made multiple runs and earned a 29th place starting spot. Gallagher fought a tight center and loose off condition majority of the 300 lap race. Crew chief Joey Cohen called for Gallagher to visit pit road multiple times for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to try and help the handling conditions.

Quote

"This No. 23 Allegiant team built me a solid Chevrolet this weekend. We couldn't get the handling quite right but it got better towards the end. Bringing the car home from Bristol in on piece is a good day in my eyes. Now onto Road America."

GMS Racing PR

Garrett Smithley finished 31st in Friday night’s Food City 300 Xfinity Series race after parking his No. 0 Chevrolet with suspension problems.

Smithley completed 239 of the race’s 300 laps.

“Not the finish we were looking for,” Smithley said. “We finally had to park the car after battling the suspension. We’ll be back stronger here next time.”

Smithley remains 22nd in Xfinity points.

JDM PR