Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (7154)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

GMS Racing announced today that John Hunter Nemechek will join the team for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season. Nemechek will be the driver of the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro under the GMS Racing banner and will contend for the 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

The Mooresville, N.C., driver started his first season of NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in 2018 with Chip-Ganassi Racing. Nemechek collected one win (Kansas Speedway), six top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes, and one pole award (ISM Raceway), with an average starting position of 8.5, producing an average finishing position of 10.1 across just 18 starts with 211 laps led.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Gallagher and the entire GMS Racing organization has presented to me to be able to run full-time in 2019,” Nemechek said. “The results that GMS Racing showed last year in their NASCAR Xfinity Series program were impressive. Their goal is to create a championship-caliber team, like their truck series program, and I believe that we can achieve that goal in the 2019 season.”

Nemechek capitalized on his six NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) seasons, where he collected six victories, 28 top-five finishes, and 48 top-10 finishes. He captured his first pole award in 2016, and added to his collection in with a second pole award in 2018. In addition to his successful NGOTS campaign, Nemechek was named to the 2015-2016 NASCAR Next class, and was awarded the 2015 Most Popular Driver for the NGOTS.

The 21-year old will be under the guidance of NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran crew chief Chad Norris, who joined GMS Racing at the beginning of the 2018 season. Norris led the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro team to a record year after collecting the Statesville, N.C.,-based organization’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series win at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with Spencer Gallagher, as well as producing six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

 “John Hunter (Nemechek) is a wheelman,” Mike Beam, president of GMS Racing, said. “We are excited to have him on board for the 2019 season. With how much progress we showed last year in our NASCAR Xfinity Series program, I know that John Hunter will take us to the next level.”

GMS Racing PR

Blake Koch has officially signed to drive the No. 4 car at JD Motorsports with Gary Keller for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity season with help from his company, FilterTime.
 
“It’s hard for me to explain how excited I am to race again and to do it for JD Motorsports. I have seen the progress of this team and have raced against them for many years. Coming off their best season with Ross (Chastain) making the playoffs, it’s a perfect time to join them,” Koch said.
 
Koch was released from Kaulig Racing in early 2018 and was unable to secure another ride for the remainder of the year. In efforts to secure sponsorship, he created his own business in order to get back in a race car for 2019.    
 
FilterTime (FilterTime.com), an air filter subscription service, will be the primary sponsor in select races throughout the 2019 season, beginning with the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in February.
 
“I have always known how important it was to change my air filters at least every three months, but I always forgot to actually go to the store and buy them, or what my size was and what quality I bought the time before,” Koch said. “So I figured there has to be a better way to do this. That’s when I started FilterTime.”
 
With Koch having made the Xfinity Series playoffs in 2016 and 2017, team owner Johnny Davis is hopeful he will see the 4 car back in playoff contention next year.
 
“We are excited to get Blake back in a race car,” Davis said. “He is another overlooked talent that needs an opportunity to race, and we’re happy to have him at our organization.”
 
Koch has been racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2009, completing his first full-time season in 2015.
 
“Johnny has given me an amazing opportunity to be back in the series and to also have my company, FilterTime, on the car,” he said. “This is truly a dream come true. I started this company to eventually get me back in a seat, and it’s happening.”

JDM PR

Kaulig Racing is eager to announce the development of a multi-year deal with 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion contender, Justin Haley. Starting with the season opener in Daytona, the 19-year-old Winamac, IN native will be behind the wheel of the No. 11 Chevy Camaro owned by award-winning entrepreneur, Matt Kaulig.
 
“I am really looking forward to 2019, said Kaulig. Justin [Haley] is coming off of the best season of his young career and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the No. 11 car.” 
 
Details regarding personnel and sponsorship will be announced at a later date.
 
Kaulig Racing PR

Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (SHR) will field driver Chase Briscoe in its No. 98 Ford Mustang fulltime in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019, with Nutri Chomps serving as the primary sponsor for the first 13 races.

 

Briscoe won his first career Xfinity Series race in October at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval in SHR’s No. 98 Ford Mustang in just his 14th career start. The 23-year-old from Mitchell, Indiana, has run 17 Xfinity Series races in 2018 with next year marking his first fulltime season in the stepping-stone division to the elite Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

 

Nutri Chomps and its parent company, Indiana-based Scott Pet, have been longtime supporters of Briscoe. Nutri Chomps are rawhide-free alternative dog chews made with real chicken and pork skin. Nutri Chomps are high in protein and fiber, low in carbohydrates, and come in milk, chicken and peanut butter flavors.

 

“The Nutri Chomps brand has grown in lockstep with Chase Briscoe’s career, and as Chase seizes this opportunity at Stewart-Haas Racing, we’re doing the same,” said Mike Bassett, CEO, Scott Pet. “Chase is an excellent ambassador for our brand and this is a very strong platform for Nutri Chomps to showcase its products to an extremely loyal fan base, many of whom are pet owners.”

 

Briscoe will drive the No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang alongside SHR teammate Cole Custer in the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang.

 

“I got a taste of what Stewart-Haas Racing is capable of in the five races I ran with the team this year,” Briscoe said. “Winning at Charlotte was one of the greatest moments of my career, and I have to thank Nutri Chomps, Ford, Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and Fred Biagi for believing in me and providing this opportunity to race fulltime. I’ve been working so hard for this moment and 2019 can’t come soon enough. If I could fast forward to February and climb inside the No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang there at Daytona, I would.” 

 

Briscoe’s background makes him an excellent fit at the team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. Like Stewart, Briscoe’s path to NASCAR began on dirt tracks where the third-generation driver has been running sprint cars since he was 13 years old.

 

“I’ve been paying attention to Chase since he raced sprint cars and I saw how well he transitioned to stock cars,” Stewart said. “It was obviously great to see him in our Ford Mustangs a few times this year, and Chase didn’t disappoint. His win at Charlotte showed us a lot. He was patiently aggressive and he did a really good job of managing his tires. He’s learned a lot in a very short period of time and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do when he’s in the same car, working with the same crew, week in and week out. It was our desire to have him in our racecars, but thanks to Nutri Chomps and Ford, they made it happen.”

 

Briscoe has thrived in his transition to NASCAR, which began after a six-win campaign in the 2016 ARCA Racing Series earned him the championship by a whopping 535 points. He advanced to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017, earning four poles and winning the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes allowed Briscoe to make the playoffs, finish sixth in points and score the series’ rookie of the year and most popular driver awards.

 

“Chase Briscoe is the kind of person we’re looking to develop with our Xfinity Series program,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “Young, hungry and talented is the best way to describe Chase, and there’s no better place for him to learn and, ultimately, succeed than here at Stewart-Haas Racing. I know he’s looking forward to this opportunity, and we are too.”

 

The Briscoe name is still relatively new in NASCAR, but it’s a venerable name in the sprint car community.

 

Chase’s grandfather, Richard Briscoe, is a legendary sprint car team owner, who has fielded entries for 37 different drivers including such renowned wheelmen as Chuck Amati, Dave Blaney, Dick Gaines, Jack Hewitt, Steve Kinser and Rich Vogler. Chase’s father, Kevin Briscoe, raced sprint cars for over 20 years and won more than 150 feature events. He claimed track championships at Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway and Bloomington Speedway five times, including a streak of three straight titles.

 

​Chase Briscoe’s first time behind the wheel of a racecar came in 2001. Driving a quarter midget, he won his first heat race and then won the feature event later that evening. Briscoe moved on to mini sprints and, when he was 13, stepped into a 410 sprint car where in his first race he finished 10th in a 40-car field. In a rookie season that saw 37 starts, Briscoe racked up eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, including a win in the last race of the season, where he broke Jeff Gordon’s record for being the youngest person to win a 410 sprint car race.

 

Briscoe continued to race 410 sprint cars in Indiana and other surrounding states. People began to take notice, and soon the switch from sprint cars to stock cars was on. Cunningham Motorsports hired Briscoe in 2016 to pilot its No. 77 Ford Fusion for a fulltime drive in ARCA. Briscoe responded by winning six races and the championship.

 

TSC PR

Quin Houff ended the Xfinity Series season with a 29th-place run in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
Houff ran the final weeks of the season with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, gaining valuable experience and turning a lot of laps on tracks that were new to him. The payoff will come in the future as Houff advances in the series.
 
“Homestead was definitely a challenge for me,” he said. “But my JDM guys stuck behind me all weekend. We got faster and faster all weekend. We ran all the laps and brought the car home in one piece.
 
“That is a solid note to end the season on, and I can’t thank Johnny and the team enough for this opportunity to run for them this past month. I’m excited to see what the future holds!”
 
Tyler Reddick won Saturday’s race and the seasonal championship.
 
The 2019 Xfinity season will begin next February at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

JDM PR

Garrett Smithley closed out the 2018 Xfinity Series season with a 27th-place finish in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
Smithley, driving the KSDT No. 0 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, raced in mid-pack much of the afternoon as he completed another year with the Gaffney, S.C.-based team.
 
The race was slowed by only two cautions – both for the end of stages.
 
“It was a fast race with a lot of fast cars up in the front group,” Smithley said. “Going green so long made it tougher on us to make up spots. But we brought home another car with a decent run.
 
“It’s been another interesting year with all the guys on the team. We’ve had some really good runs and some others where we should have gotten better spots, but the year was full of fun and a lot of learning.”
 
Tyler Reddick won Saturday’s race and the seasonal championship.
 
The 2019 Xfinity season will begin next February at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

JDM PR

Ross Chastain closed out the NASCAR Xfinity Series season Saturday and reached a key goal.
 
Chastain finished 16th in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 and ended the year in 10th in Xfinity driver points. Driving the No. 4 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, he finished 14 points in front of 11th-place Ryan Reed.
 
“I can’t say enough about this team and what they’ve done for me this year – and in all our years together,” Chastain said. “To finish in the top 10 in what is a very competitive and tough series is a major accomplishment. This year is one I’ll remember no matter what happens from here forward.”
 
The race was made even tougher because of the fact that there were only two cautions – both for stage conclusions.
 
Tyler Reddick won the race and the seasonal championship.
 
The 2019 Xfinity season will begin next February at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

JDM PR

The NASCAR Xfinity Series wrapped up their final race of the 2018 season this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With everything on the line for the final four the action was sure to be at an all time high. After a season of many firsts, Boyd was ready to wrap up his first full-time NASCAR campaign. 

After all the hard work the Grunt Style Gladiators have poured into the team all season, it was time for Boyd to give them one last ride for 2018. The green flag fell in Miami and the battle began. 
Cole Custer jumped out to an early lead and absolutely dominated the early laps. Boyd struggled, fighting an extremely loose handling Grunt Style Chevy in stage one. The first stage went caution free and saw Cole Custer picking up the stage win. Despite Boyd fighting an ill-handling car, he still managed to pick a few positions in the stage. 

Miller brought Boyd to the pits for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to help tighten up the Grunt Style Chevy. The second stage had a very similar look to the first. Boyd continually improved his lap times, although he still fought the handling of his race car. Cole Custer once again captured the stage win and Boyd managed to pick up a few more positions. 

The final stage saw the lead cycle among multiple drivers, but ultimately it was the No. 9 of Tyler Reddick that rose to the occasion. The final stage went entirely caution free and Reddick soared to victory, capturing the win and the Xfinity Series Championship. Boyd fought hard all day and brought the Grunt Style Chevy home in the 30th position. 

After the race Boyd reflected, “I'm just really thankful to have had the opportunity to wheel this No. 76 Grunt Style Chevy every week for Bobby Dotter and SS Greenlight Racing for my rookie year. I feel like I've learned so much and I'm excited to take what I've learned and apply it for next year." 

Boyd earned seventeen top 25 finishes throughout 2018 for SS Greenlight Racing. This included his career best finish of 17th at Daytona International Speedway in July. Boyd finishes out his 2018 rookie campaign with a 30th place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will finish 26th in driver standings. 

Spencer Boyd Racing PR

Rookie Tyler Reddick started and ended the season on a high note, as he reached Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway in the first race of the year and then capped it off by winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Championship. Reddick is the only driver in NXS history to win the first and last race of the season.

“The year wasn’t the smoothest for us, but I knew coming in here if we just made it to Homestead, this is a great track for me, it rewards my aggression” Reddick said. “We had to overcome a lot. This year was all about learning. It was an up and down year and with everything we had to do, we had to do it in the Playoffs and it rewarded us with a championship. We can hang our hat on that. I know people will say we weren’t consistent, but we got it done when it counted most.”

Reddick beat out the remaining Championship 4 contenders – Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Daniel Hemric – by leading 44 laps, including the final 37. Custer led the most laps in the race (95) and won both Stage 1 and 2.

The championship makes Reddick the 29th different driver to win the Xfinity Series title. The driver of the No. 9 car for JR Motorsports won the championship in his rookie season, joining former JR Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017) as the only drivers in series history to accomplish this feat.

Tony Stewart and Gene Haas claimed the owner championship in their second season in the series. The win marks Stewart-Haas Racing’s first Xfinity Series owner championship. Custer won one race for Stewart-Haas this season and scored a series-high 26 top-10s.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will cap its 2018 season Sunday from Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, which will be broadcast on NBC at 2:30 p.m.

Homestead Miami Speedway PR

Race Winner:  Tyler Reddick of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):

Custer started first after securing his sixth career NASCAR Xfinity Series pole and finished first.

● Custer dominated Stage 1 by leading all 45 laps.

● At the end of the stage, Custer said his Haas Automation Ford was loose on the restart and became tighter as the race wore on.

● Custer pitted for four tires and fuel and won the race off pit road. 

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):

● Custer started first and finished first.

● The driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford held the lead during the restart, where he ran for the entirety of Stage 2.

● At this point, Custer had led every lap at Homestead since lap 61 in 2017.

● Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

● Caught in traffic on pit road, Custer exited in the third position.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):

Custer started third, finished second.

● On lap 98, Custer advanced to second and regained the lead over the other Championship 4 competitors.

● On lap 146, Custer pitted under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel. He returned to the track in fifth place.

● Climbed all the way back to second, but leader Tyler Reddick established an insurmountable lead.

● Finished 6.902 seconds behind Reddick in second place.

 

Championship 4 Notes:    

● Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste (SHR) won the Xfinity Series owners’ championship, its first in the series.

● Custer finished second among the Championship 4 contenders for the Xfinity Series drivers’ title.

● Custer was the highest finishing Ford driver in the 2018 Xfinity Series championship.

● This was Custer’s first time participating in the Championship 4 in his two-year Xfinity Series career.

 

Race Notes:         

Custer led twice for a race-high 95 laps in the Ford EcoBoost 300.

● In Custer’s two career Xfinity Series starts at Homestead, he finished first (2017) and second (2018).

● Custer earned his 14th top-five of the season and second top-five at Homestead.

● Custer’s 26 top-10s this season are the most among full-time Xfinity Series drivers.

● Custer earned the most points at 1.5-mile tracks this season (369 points).

● Both Custer and his SHR teammate in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Kurt Busch, earned the most pole awards among competitors in their respective series. Busch earned a total of five poles this season.

● Only two cautions slowed the race for a total of10 laps.

● Reddick’s victory in the Ford EcoBoost 300 was the third of his Xfinity series career, his second of 2018 and his first at Homestead.

 

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste:   

          

“First off, congrats to Tyler. I’m happy for him. He could run the wall better than I could at the end there and we were so far back from our pit stop with their strategy that once I got to him it seemed like our tires kind of equaled out and then he started running the top and I couldn’t keep up with him. It is what it is. It was a solid day. We had a fast car, we just didn’t have it play out right at the end. I’ve just got to thank everybody at Haas Automation, Gene Haas, Tony Stewart – everybody that’s been behind us all year. We were really close, it’s just sucks to be second.

 

“It means a lot being through this scenario. I thought we kept our calm all day. We did a great job it’s just that it didn’t play out right at the end. We still have something to hang our hats on. We still won the owner’s championship, which is really awesome, but I still wanted the driver’s one too.

 

“The strategy wasn’t all of it. Tyler could just run the top better than I could at the end, but looking back on it I don’t know if the call that we made, I think we would have rethought things, but you don’t want to be caught a lap down. There’s a lot of risk involved with pitting early, so it is what it is. If I could have run the top better, we probably would’ve won also.

 

“They (the tires) weren’t done, it’s just that you reach a certain point on tires where everything just starts to level out, and once I caught him I feel like everything just kind of leveled out and then he could run the top better than I could.

 

“Within my means I did as good as I could do as a driver at this point in my career. Maybe down the road if I could drive the top better we would have probably been better, but I couldn’t run the top. I don’t know. It is what it is. You run consistent and you do what you can and it just didn’t play out.

 

“I think I got way better as a driver this year just because I think I got way better at racing, so now it’s just a matter of kind of closing it out. That’s the biggest thing for me, but we’re really close. We’re one step away.

 

“We’ve come a long ways and everybody has worked really hard. It means a lot, but it’s still bittersweet when you finish second.”

 

Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste:    

        

“Like Cole said, we all think it is bittersweet. We are proud as an organization to get the owners’ championship, but we wanted to do it with our driver winning the drivers’ championship. Cole did an awesome job. The whole team did an awesome job all year. That is the hard part about the last race is that it is down to a one-race deal and we just fell a little short. We might have made a mistake on the strategy on pitting too late.

 

“We will just come back next year and try to get him one. I am excited that we were able to get Ford their first one for the weekend and, hopefully, get another for them tomorrow. I’m excited about our Xfinity program – in such a short amount of time to have cars and the personnel that can put these cars up front each weekend and excited about having a second full-time car next year. More resources for Cole and another young driver and we are excited about the program.

 

“It is an awesome day for us, but it would be a hell of a lot more exciting if Cole was out there hoisting the trophy over his head for winning the drivers’ championship. We came up short but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. I am proud of Cole as a driver. He has come a long way and keeps getting better and better.”

 

TSC PR

Spencer Gallagher, No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro

START: 17th

FINISH:17th

POINTS:11th

Notes & Quotes:—

-GMS Racing finishes 11th-place in the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) owners points standings.

-In 2018, Gallagher participated in 19 of the 33 NXS races, collecting one win, three top-fives, and 10 top-10’s.

“I was battling with a really tight Allegiant Chevrolet throughout the entire race. I came to pit road a few times to try and loosen me up but nothing seemed to really fix it completely. I had a better drive off the longer the run went on and that’s when I would make some gains. I appreciate all of the hard work team 23 put in this year. From the first lap to the last, it’s been an adventure I’ll never forget. Thank you all for your support throughout my career. Here’s to new beginnings.”

 

GMS Racing PR