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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
"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.”
- 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.
"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.