Sunday, Apr 02
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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COTA Recap: After a sixth-place qualifying run on Friday, Carson Hocevar’s Saturday would not go as smooth. The 20-year old driver battled mechanical problems in the latter-half of Stage One, which forced him to the garage with a 34th-place finish.

Hocevar on COTA: “We’ve put COTA behind us, and we’re focused on the tracks ahead that we can be strong at with our Worldwide Express Chevrolet. It’s easy to be discouraged after the high hopes we had in Austin, but at the end of the day, that’s racing.”

Hocevar at Texas Motor Speedway: With two starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Hocevar has an average finish of 7.5; the best among active Truck Series competitors with more than one start. 

Hocevar on Saturday’s Race at Texas: “Our intermediate program has been strong over the past two years – that was evident in Las Vegas. Last year, we had a shot at winning Texas, but wound up forth. My confidence is high and I’m pumped to get another shot with this Worldwide Express team.

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

The No. 41 Truck Last Week at COTA: At Circuit of the Americas, the No. 41 Silverado picked up another top-five finish with Ross Chastain behind the wheel. A fuel cell issue forced a lengthy pit stop under yellow in the third stage, but ultimately, Chastain made his way through the field to move the No. 41 team to ninth in the Owner’s Championship standings.

Chastain at Texas Motor Speedway: Saturday marks Chad Chastain’s first start at Texas Motor Speedway.

Chastain on First Truck Series Start of 2023 Season: “It’s super exciting to be back with Niece Motorsports this year with GlobalTranz and WWEX Racing. We started shipping Florida watermelons this week, and I get to race on Saturday. So needless to say, this is an exciting week for me.”

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

Niece Motorsports PR

NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview


•  Event: Richmond 250 (Round 7 of 33)

•  Date: Saturday, April 1

•  Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway

•  Layout: .75-mile oval

•  Time/TV/Radio: 1 p.m. EDT on FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Cole Custer Notes of Interest


•  The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Richmond (Va.) Raceway for Saturday’s Richmond 250 and Cole Custer couldn’t be happier to be racing at a short track. After racing from the back of the field into a top-three position during last Saturday’s race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, the No. 00 Haas Automation driver looked to be in contention to fight for the win with AJ Allmendinger and Sheldon Creed. Contact with another car derailed those plans, however, as Custer fell off the lead lap and had to settle for a 32nd-place finish. He’s looking to turn his luck around at Richmond and hopes to continue to show speed as he heads to one of his best tracks on the schedule.


•  The Richmond 250 will be Custer’s eighth Xfinity Series start at Richmond. Since his first start at the track in 2016, he has never finished outside of the top-15. In his last fulltime season in the Xfinity Series in 2019, Custer led a race-high 122 laps in the April race at Richmond and scored the win in his No. 00 Ford Mustang. He beat runner-up Austin Cindric by 2.639 seconds. He followed up that victory with a third-place finish when the series returned to Richmond in September. Custer and his SHR Ford also started on the pole and led 43 laps en route to a sixth-place finish in the April 2018 race there. In his first Xfinity Series start at the track in April 2016, he scored a sixth-place finish driving the No. 5 JR Motorsports entry.


•  In addition to his Xfinity Series starts, Custer has six NASCAR Cup Series starts and two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at Richmond. His best outing was his 14th-place finish in his second Cup Series race there in September 2020. Custer’s first two Richmond starts came in the K&N Pro Series East in 2013 and 2014. The first year, he started and finished third after leading 24 of 100 laps, then qualified second and led a race-high 52 of 100 laps the following year en route to his fourth of four career victories in that series.



Riley Herbst Notes of Interest


•  Riley Herbst isn’t slowing down. As the only fulltime Xfinity Series driver to finish in the top-10 every race this season, the No. 98 Monster Energy driver hopes to keep the momentum going during Saturday’s Richmond 250. After weeks of running in the top-three and contending for wins, Herbst is looking forward to his return to his favorite track on the circuit – Richmond Raceway. He has come to excel on the short tracks in the Xfinity Series, as was evident last season. In the four races at the tracks less than a mile in length, Herbst scored three top-fives last season, including a fifth-place finish in April on the .75-mile Richmond oval. He was third in November at the half-mile Martinsville (Va.) Raceway paperclip, and fifth at the half-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September. He just missed a fourth short-track top-five last year when he finished sixth in the April race at Martinsville. Saturday’s race at Richmond will mark Herbst’s 16th on a short track. After finishing an impressive sixth in his first career start in June 2018 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Herbst has gone on to earn 11 more top-10s, including his last six short-track starts dating back to a third-place finish in September 2021 at Bristol.


•  Saturday’s Richmond 250 will mark Herbst’s sixth at Richmond. In addition to last April’s fifth-place finish, he earned a fifth-place finish there in April 2021. In his five Richmond starts since debuting at the track in April 2019, Herbst has only finished outside the top-10 once. Strategy calls by crew chief Richard Boswell and Herbst’s savvy driving led to the 24-year-old driver’s top-fives in his last two visits to the track. Both came as a result of late-race calls to take tires and good restarts by Herbst.


•  Herbst’s top-10s in each of the first six Xfinity Series races is his best career start to a season, elevating him to second in the points standings, just 15 points behind the championship leader Austin Hill. Dating back to his eighth-place result last October at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he’s posted nine consecutive top-10s. In the midst of that Xfinity Series top-10 streak, Herbst also scored another pair of top-10s outside the series. He co-drove to a third-place finish in November’s Baja 1000 in the family’s Herbst Motorsports trophy truck, and his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the 65th running of the Daytona 500 in February resulted in a 10th-place finish behind the wheel of the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang.


•  Monster Energy will once again adorn the hood of Herbst’s No. 98 Ford Mustang this weekend at Richmond, but he won’t be the only Herbst in a vehicle sporting the iconic green monster claw. Across the country, Monster Energy will also be on the Herbst Motorsports trophy trucks in the San Felipe 250. Just before Herbst takes the green flag in Saturday’s race at Richmond, his younger cousins, Pierce, Thor, and EJ Herbst, and his uncle Tim will take over the reins of the family’s Monster Energy trophy trucks for a 9 a.m. PDT race start in San Felipe, Mexico. NASCAR on FOX featured the Herbst off-road racing legacy in a segment on the March 4 Las Vegas Motor Speedway pre-race show. Watch the full feature HERE, and follow the Herbst family entries in the San Felipe 250 via live tracking on SCORE International Saturday morning prior to the Xfinity Series race.


Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang


Time to put COTA behind you and move on to a track where you’ve won in the past. How excited are you to head to Richmond in search of another victory?

“I’m ready for Richmond. It’s a track that I’ve won at before, so I’m hoping we can find a little magic there this weekend. It’s going to be hard, though. Unlike the race I won, this is a day race. The track’s going to be hot and slick. Honestly, it can be a really frustrating racetrack. I feel like you go there and fight the same thing every single time. The difference is just how emphasized your problems are, so hopefully we can get into the corner how we want to and go for the win.”


The SHR short-track program has been strong in the past, but even more so the past few years. What are your goals, both as a driver and a team, in these short-track races?

“I mean we want to go and win every race that we’re in, both myself as a driver and the overall team. Obviously, Riley (Herbst) has had some good runs on short tracks in his career and with SHR. I’m hoping to kind of lean on him with this new package and get us both up there to compete for the win at the end. We want both cars to be as competitive as possible, so we’ll continue to work together as one team.”


Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang


We’re heading to Richmond Raceway for the first true short-track race of the season. How do you think the new rules and package on the Xfinity Series cars will affect the racing there?

“I don’t think anyone knows how this package will affect the short-track races. It’s going to be different, for sure. We’ve put some simulator time in to try and figure it out, but I don’t think we’ll know until we hit the track on Saturday for practice. I could definitely see it forcing the drivers to come off the corners a little straighter but, again, there are things you just have to figure out by getting behind the wheel of the car. I’m excited to get to Richmond, though. It’s one of my favorite racetracks on the circuit. I feel like if we can do everything right, we’ll be a contender at the end of the race.”


You came out of the gate strong in 2023, now the only driver to finish in the top-10 in every race so far, and you’re contending for wins. How close do you think you are to scoring that first career Xfinity Series win?

“I think we’re close, but we’re always coming into a race competing to win. That’s never not been the plan. I could see us winning one of these next few races, though, and that’s exciting. There’s a new confidence on this team, and it’s honestly just showing how much hard work we’ve put in these past few years. I’m proud of how much I’ve matured as a driver, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to grow with. I’m hoping to put them and my biggest supporters at Monster Energy in victory lane soon.”



Richmond Raceway announced today that Vernon Davis, a former NFL tight end and current actor, producer, and entrepreneur, will be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400. He will lead the field to green in a Toyota Camry TRD as the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series begin a key early-season struggle for a possible playoff berth.

“It is an honor to have Vernon behind the wheel”, said Richmond Raceway President Lori Collier Waran. “His wide-ranging talent and accomplishments are nothing short of incredible, and now he can add Honorary Pace Car Driver to his already impressive resume.”

Originally from Washington, DC, Davis played 14 seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, and Washington Commanders. He became a Super Bowl Champion with Peyton Manning and the Broncos in 2015.  Since retiring from football in 2020, Davis has successfully transitioned to Hollywood and filmed more than 30 projects, including movies with the likes of John Malkovich, Bruce Willis, Luke Wilson, Frank Grillo, Thomas Mann and Rosa Salazar, among others. In his latest film, The Ritual Killer, Davis stars opposite Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman and Yellowstone’s Cole Hauser. Behind the camera, Davis has founded two production companies, Reel 85 and Between the Linez Production.

Away from Hollywood, Davis is a budding entrepreneur who has aligned himself with several purpose-driven companies. He is the co-owner of Q-Collar Innovations, a developer of innovative products intended to reduce traumatic brain injury, and Pescavor Jerky, a sustainable seafood jerky company, while owning multiple Jamba Juice franchises. In addition, he has partnered in PathWater, a new concept in bottled water that was created as a solution to help end single-use plastic pollution, as well as RIFF, an Oregon-based cold-brewed coffee company.

Navigating the entertainment and business worlds are only a portion of Davis’ off-the-field endeavors. In 2011, he founded the Vernon Davis Foundation as a way to promote art education and appreciation among the youth. Today, the foundation takes a holistic approach, focusing on the overall health, education, and well-being of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Toyota Owners 400 Weekend will take place Friday through Sunday. The action begins Friday with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150 and continues Saturday with the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ ToyotaCare 250. And then on Sunday the NASCAR Cup Series returns for the Toyota Owners 400 as they compete for a spot in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Richmond Raceway PR

Race Information

Round: NASCAR Cup Series race No. 7 of 36

Track Location: Richmond Raceway - Richmond, Virginia

Race Name: Toyota Owners 400

- Broadcast: Sunday, April 2nd at 3:30 PM ET live on FS1 (TV), MRN (Radio) Sirius XM NASCAR Ch. 90

Team Entrants:


Noah Gragson, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Richmond Raceway Stats

- NCS Starts: 1; Best start: 19th; Best finish: 24th (2022)

- NXS Starts: 7; Wins: 1 (2021); Best start: 3rd; Top 5s: 3; Top 10s: 5; Laps led: 48

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 6, Best start: 10th; Best finish: 12th (Atlanta); Laps led: 1; Current points position: 26th


About Sunseeker Resorts: Opening in 2023, Florida’s newest luxury resort located in Charlotte Harbor is the first resort property of Sunseeker Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company. Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor occupies over 22 waterfront acres with 785 guest rooms, including 189 Signature Sunsuites™. Set upon the Peace River and Florida Gulf Coast, this premier resort offers 20 original food and beverage concepts; including seven stand-alone restaurants, eleven bars and lounges, two poolside offerings and a 25,000-square-foot multi-dining experience. Additional hotel amenities include a waterfront promenade, two unique rooftop and waterfront pool experiences, 60,000-square-feet of combined convention space, full-service spa and salon, a 7,100-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness center with four group exercise studios with specialty instructor lead classes, three retail and market shops, and an 18-hole championship level golf club exclusive to hotel guests only. The resort is conveniently located within a short drive of Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and Tampa airports. For more information, visit www.sunseekerresorts.comFollow on Instagram: @sunseekerresorts and like us on Facebook: @sunseekerresorts.

- A memorable win: Richmond Raceway holds a special memory in the NASCAR career of Noah Gragson. At 23 years old, Gragson won the Xfinity race at Richmond on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Gragson's post-race interview was one of reflection and he was able to honor America by stating the day wasn't about the win, but about honoring those lost. Gragson's crew chief at the time was Dave Elenz.

- Above Average: Throughout Gragson's seven starts at Richmond in the Xfinity Series, he has an average finish of 9.4 coupled with three top-five and five top-10 finishes. Gragson has led 48 laps around the track with one win. He has one start at Richmond in the NASCAR Cup Series but with a 22nd place finish in 2022 completing 397 of 400 laps.

-Lambert at Richmond: Crew chief Luke Lambert has 17 starts with four different drivers at Richmond in the NASCAR Cup Series. He's coached drivers to two top-five and five top-10 finishes with 36 laps led throughout the years.

-Don't forget the coffee: As announced prior to the Circuit of the Americas race event, Black Rifle Coffee Company will support Gragson and the No. 42 team for six races this season. They are offering NASCAR fans 25% off a first time purchase or subscription. To redeem the offer, go to Black Rifle Coffee Company and use the code “BRCCMOTOR” at checkout. Follow on Instragram, Facebook, and YouTube, or subscribe to Coffee or Die's daily newsletter for updates.

NG Appearances: 

  • Sunday, April 2nd | Trackside Merchandise Trailer: Noah will sign for fans at his souvenir/merchandise rig located in the Midway at Richmond Raceway from 12 - 12:30p.m. The LEGACY MOTOR CLUB merchandise rig is shared with JR Motorsports.

- From the Drivers Seat: "I'm looking forward to Richmond this weekend. The No. 42 team has been rallying back the last two weeks with strategy and speed. The pit crew has been awesome. My first race win at Richmond in Xfinity was really special and I was able to drive the NextGen car last fall in a Cup car. We are making some progress as a team and each week things are coming together more and more."


Erik Jones, No. 43 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Richmond Raceway Stats

- NCS Starts: 11; Best start: 5th; Best finish: 6th (Fall, 2017); Top 10s: 1

- NXS Starts: 4; Poles: 1 (Spring, 2016); Best finish: 2nd (Fall, 2016); Top 5s: 3; Top 10s: 3; Laps led: 19

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 6; Best start: 8th; Best finish: 8th (Atlanta); Top 10s: 1, Laps led: 14, Current points position: 21st


- About The United States Air Force: The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win - airpower anytime, anywhere. Whether full time, part time, in or out of uniform, everyone who serves plays a critical role in helping us achieve mission success. For 2023, the Air Force Recruiting Service is hiring over 26,000 new Airmen. An emphasis is on recruiting people with no prior military service into one of over 130 enlisted career opportunities. The Air Force recruits to retain, so we recruit the brightest candidates possible, then provide them with tough, highly technical training that gives them the right skills to sustain the combat capability of America’s Air Force. For more information about Air Force benefits and opportunities, go to

U.S. Air Force Adds to Partnership Schedule: The three-race partnership between LEGACY MOTOR CLUB and the United States Air Force was announced prior to the start of the 2023 season-opening DAYTONA 500. In its 15th season with the team, The U.S. Air Force uses their partnership with the team to activate at-track for recruiting efforts. Due to excitement with the program and the proximity to headquarters in Washington D.C., the U.S. Air Force will add an additional primary to the schedule, which will hit the track this weekend. Driver Erik Jones will pilot a red, white and blue-themed U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds paint scheme on the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway on Sunday.

Qualifying Strength: Erik Jones continues to flex his muscle in qualifying sessions on several occasions this year. For a moment in Group A qualifying last weekend, Jones held the track record at Circuit Of The Americas, topping the charts in round one. Ultimately, Jones would start in the eighth position, besting his 10th place qualifying lap at Phoenix Raceway. Last year at Richmond, Jones put up a lap in his No. 43 Chevrolet that was fast enough to place him in fifth for the initial start. He looks to continue this single lap speed this weekend and turn it into more.

- From the Driver’s Seat: This weekend, you will have the added support from the U.S. Air Force on your No. 43 Chevrolet. What does it mean to you to drive this special Thunderbirds paint scheme?

“It's pretty cool to have the U.S. Air Force on the No. 43 - its year three for me as a driver to represent them. Having the Air Force Thunderbirds paint scheme this weekend - its just a really good looking car - its probably my favorite Air Force paint scheme over the last few years. I'm happy to have them onboard and I hope to have a good run for them. We've come close a few times to getting them a win in some speedway races, so hopefully we can get it done this at Richmond this weekend."


No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry TRD News and Notes:

  • BELL AT RICHMOND RACEWAYChristopher Bell will make his sixth NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) start at Richmond Raceway (RR) this weekend. Bell earned a sixth-place finish in the spring of 2022 and in the fall overcame a pit road penalty and spin to race his way up to second. In 2021, Bell earned two top-five finishes at Richmond.
  • RICHMOND XFINITY SUCCESS: In five NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) starts at RR, Bell has three wins, three top-five and four top-10 finishes. In addition, Bell has one pole position and has led a total of 457 laps. 
  • WATER HEATING: Rheem will highlight their water heating division on the No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry TRD this weekend at Richmond. For more information visit:
  • CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS RECAP: Bell qualified 14th and ran inside the top-10 most of the day until multiple late cautions extended the race. Bell took a gamble with pit strategy and fuel mileage but ultimately had to pit for tires and fuel. On the final NASCAR overtime restart Bell got damage and had to take his No. 20 to the garage, two laps shy of the finish, resulting in a 31st-place finish.
  • JGR AT RICHMOND: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has claimed 18 NCS victories at Richmond.  In 159 combined starts at the .526-mile oval, the organization has tallied 57 top-five finishes, 93 top-10s and 5,919 laps led. The championship-winning organization has won nine pole awards with an average start of 13.3 an average finish of 11.5.
  • RACE INFO: The Toyota Owners 400 at RR begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2, 2023. The race will be broadcast live on FS1, Sirius XM 90, and MRN Radio.


From the Cockpit:

Christopher Bell: “It seems like you can move around more in the daytime at Richmond which is a good thing because you are able to generate momentum and create passes. I’ve always liked Richmond a little bit more in the daytime, you get to run different lanes and JGR has been really good at Richmond.”


Bell’s Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Richmond Raceway:





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Bell’s 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats:





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Bell’s Career NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats:





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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Saturday, April 1 | 4:30 PM ET
FS1 | MRN | SiriusXM

Driver: Daniel Dye
Hometown: Deland, Florida
Birthday: December 4, 2003
Series: NASCAR Truck Series
Vehicle: Chevrolet Silverado RST
Crew Chief: Travis Sharpe
Owner: Maury Gallagher
Primary Sponsors: KIX Country, Solar-Fit

NASCAR Truck Series Stats:
Starts: 4

Points: 17th

Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2023
Race: 4:30 PM ET
Length: 250 Miles
Coverage: FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM, FOX Sports App

Onboard Camera
Daniel Dye will again be featured with an onboard camera on the FOX Sports broadcast at Texas Motor Speedway. Race to Stop Suicide and is this week's presenting partner for live coverage on the No. 43 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado.

TV Ratings on FS1 & FOX Sports App
700,000 people tuned in to the live broadcast at Circuit of the America’s on March 26. The event was rebroadcast several times, averaging more than 112,000 viewers each.

Texas Motor Speedway Stats

Daniel Dye will be making his first start in any series at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.

2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Season Stats

Starts: 4; Best start: 19th; Best finish: 16th (Atlanta); Laps led: 5; Current points position: 17th

About KIX Country 98.7 FM
WAKX (98.7 FM, "KIX Country 98.7") is a radio station licensed to serve the community of Palm Coast, Florida. The station is owned by Flagler County Broadcasting and the broadcast license is held by Flagler Broadcasting, LLC. WAKX shares radio studios in Bunnell, Florida, with sister stations WBHQ (92.7 FM) and WNZF (1550 AM).

Chassis History/Info
Dye and the No. 43 team will compete with GMS Racing chassis no. 330 in the Lone Star state. The chassis has raced one time previously at Texas Motor Speedway in 2020, where Zane Smith led 26 laps with it before finishing in 19th. The truck has one win to its credit, coming at Dover Motor Speedway in 2020 driven by Smith. Dye last drove this Chevrolet in Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, where he finished in 16th.

Sunoco Rookie Battle
A respectable 18th place finish at COTA was salvaged by Daniel Dye after suffering a catastrophic setback in practice that forced the No. 43 team to replace his engine, transmission, rear gear, and more. Dye would start shotgun on the field in Saturday's XPEL 225, but worked his way through the field methodically, climbing 18 spots in the process to earn a top-20 finish. Dye is now tied for second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with Jake Garcia, 33 markers behind Nick Sanchez.

Quarter Midgets to Trucks
This weekend might be the first time that Dye races on the 1.5-mile intermediate track layout on the property, but he has raced at Texas Motor Speedway once before in a different capacity. On June 9th, 2018, Daniel competed in a quarter midget race held in the parking lot of TMS, and even went home with the trophy. Dye continues to show his support for quarter midget racing, often spending his time with his eight-year-old nephew, Jet Risley, who currently races in the same class Dye began his career in.

DD Appearances
Fans attending the Speedy Cash 250 will have an opportunity to meet Daniel Dye on race day:

  • Located in a tent just outside of the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series garage area, fans can meet all three GMS Racing drivers in an autograph session from 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM local time.

From the Driver's Seat

Thoughts on competing at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.

“I'm looking forward to going to Texas with our No. 43 team this weekend, it's another intermediate track on our schedule but quite a bit different than what we had in Las Vegas and Atlanta. It will be a new challenge for us, but I'm going to learn all day throughout practice, qualifying, and through the first stage of the race. I haven't been to that track since I raced quarter midgets out in the parking lot a few years ago, so I think it will be a fun experience to come full-circle by racing at the big track.”

Daniel Dye PR

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series continues its “Texas Two Step” as the two-race swing through the Lone Star State culminates with Saturday’s SPEEDYCASH.COM 250 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The series competitors will shift from last week’s twisting, 3.41-mile Circuit of The Americas permanent road course in Austin to the ultra-fast, high-banked 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth for the fourth race of the season.
The one-day show opens Saturday with a 30-minute practice beginning at 9:35 a.m. CT followed by qualifying at 10:05 a.m. Once the field is set, the SPEEDYCASH.COM 250 will get underway at 3:30 p.m. (TV: FS1, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM).
The SPEEDYCASH.COM 250 is the companion event for Sunday’s PPG 375 (11:15 a.m., TV: NBC & Peacock. Radio: SiriusXM, INDYCAR Radio Network, 95.9 The Ranch-local).
Here’s a look at the “Fast Five” storylines for the SPEEDYCASH.COM 250 NCTS race:
1.  ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton will extend his record for most career starts of any series that has competed at Texas Motor Speedway in Saturday’s SPEEDYCASH.COM 250. The 47-year-old Crafton, in his 23rd full NCTS season, will be making his 43rd TMS start, which dwarfs the career leaders in NASCAR’s other two national series and INDYCAR.
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick owns the NASCAR Cup Series mark with 38 while Jeremy Clements of Jeremy Clements Racing holds the top spot in the Xfinity Series at 28. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, the INDYCAR career leader, will be making his 25th start in Sunday’s PPG 375.
Crafton is a two-time winner at Texas and has the track records for career top-five finishes (17) and top 10s (30). He also ranks second for career laps led at 444.
2.  Defending series champion Zane Smith of Front Row Motorsports is producing a carbon copy of his run to last year’s title and is hopeful the script finishes out the same way.
A year ago, he won the season-opening race at Daytona and followed with his second victory of the season at Circuit of The Americas. He has done so again, winning last week at COTA by 5.451 seconds over runner-up Kyle Busch after a season-opening win at Daytona.
Smith, however, does find himself in a much better position in the NCTS points standings at this stage. Smith, who was 31 points behind leader Chandler Smith last season, exited COTA with the top spot, three ahead of ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski.
He is hopeful that he doesn’t mirror his 2022 result at Texas Motor Speedway, where he finished six laps down and in 32nd place.
3.  ThorSport Racing’s driving trio of Ben Rhodes, Majeski and Crafton have combined for one win through the first four races of the season, but there is no need to fret for the organization.
ThorSport Racing currently holds three of the top six positions in the NCTS points standings heading into the SPEEDYCASH.COM 250. Majeski is two points behind Smith in second, Rhodes is 18 back in third and Crafton is 38 out in sixth.
Consistency has been the key as the group has combined for eight top-10 finishes, including four among the top five. Majeski and Rhodes have registered top 10s in three of the four races, including both having a pair of top-five performances, while Crafton has two top-10 finishes.
4.  The NCTS may want to issue directions to Victory Lane leading into the SPEEDYCASH.COM 250.
Of the expected 36 drivers in the field, only two current fulltime NCTS drivers have recorded victories in the series’ 26-year history at Texas Motor Speedway. Crafton is one as expected, with the ThorSport Racing veteran winning at Texas in 2014 and again the next season.
Joining Crafton is Stewart Friesen of Halmar Friesen Racing. Friesen earned his victory last season in overtime, marking his first win in 53 races dating to November of 2019.
5.  The most productive drivers in the last 10 races at Texas Motor Speedway include some of the usual suspects.
Crafton leads the way with nine top-10 finishes, including four among the top five. Grant Enfinger of GMS Racing has seven top-10 finishes, including five top-five efforts. Friesen has four top-five finishes and five top 10s overall. Rhodes has four top-10 finishes, including two among the top 10.
Interestingly, Friesen is the only one among the group with a win during the timeframe.
Texas Motor Speedway’s 2023 events schedule consists of everything from the April 1-2 NTT INDYCAR SERIES/NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series doubleheader and the Sept. 23-24 NASCAR Playoffs weekend, car shows and competitions and the Ducks Unlimited Expo, the four-day Hwy 30 Music Fest and Bandas y Trocas Hispanic concert and truck show, and then wrapping up the year with the family-favorite and speedway tradition Gift of Lights holiday light show.
Season tickets and camping for Texas Motor Speedway’s 2023 major event season are on sale now. Save up to 33 percent versus buying individual tickets, get the best seat selection and more. All-new reduced rates are available for the GEICO Infield, GEICO VIP and WinStar World Casino & Resort Lone Star Circle camping areas. Click HERE for more information and to purchase season tickets.

Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy team are headed to the Commonwealth of Virginia, home of the Wood Brothers and the Burton family, hoping to for a strong home-team run in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.

The Wood Brothers have been competing at Richmond since 1959, when the late Glenn Wood made the team’s first start there, finishing second in the Richmond 200. Wood also won a Convertible Series race there in 1957.

“Any time the Wood Brothers team races in Virginia we’re excited about the weekend,” crew chief Brian Wilson said, adding that Richmond race, like many others in the early portion of the schedule, will see teams working to adapt to new rules for the 2023 season.

“There’s great opportunity as everyone is still learning about the new low-downforce short-track package.”
Wilson said a big part of racing in the Cup series is evolving with rule changes. 

“With a drastic reduction in spoiler size and removing several under-body aero pieces, we know this package will require changes to the car’s set-up,” he said. “We’ve tried to utilize what we learned at Phoenix with this package and apply that during our simulator time through Ford Performance this week.
“Everyone on the Menards/ Dutch Boy Ford is excited to get to Richmond for Saturday’s practice and Sunday’s race.”
Practice for Sunday’s 400-lapper on the three-quarter-mile oval is set for Saturday at 10:05 a.m., to be followed at 10:50 by qualifying.
Sunday’s race is set to get the green flag just after 3:30 p.m. with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. Stage breaks are planned for Laps 70 and 230.


  • Race: Toyota Care 250
  • Date: Saturday, April 1
  • Time: 1:00PM ET
  • Track: Richmond Raceway
  • Distance: 250 laps / 187.5 miles
  • Stage Duration:
  • Stage 1: 75 laps, ends Lap 75
  • Stage 2: 75 laps, ends Lap 150
  • Final Stage: 100 laps, ends Lap 250
  • Broadcasting: FS1 | Motor Racing Network | SiriusXM NASCAR Ch. 90
  • Practice (FS1)
  • Date: Saturday, April 2
  • Time: 8:00AM EST
  • Qualifying (FS1)
  • Date: Saturday, April 2
  • Time: 8:30AM EST
  • Format: Single Vehicle | Two Laps | One Round
Starts: 4
Wins: 0
Top-5's: 0
Top-10's: 2
Best Start: 7th
Best Finish: 9th
Starts: 2
Wins: 0
Top-5's: 1
Top-10's: 1
Best Start: 27th (Nemechek - 2021)
Best Finish: 3rd (Nemechek - 2021)
  • Kaz Grala will pilot the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra in the ToyotaCare 250 on Saturday afternoon at Richmond Raceway, alongside teammate Connor Mosack who is driving the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra.
  • Grala has four NXS career starts at the .75-mile track.
  • He has collected two top-10 finishes in his most recent starts at the Richmond, Virginia short track.
  • Additionally, Grala has a single NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Richmond Raceway.
"I’m excited about some short track racing this weekend. I’ve always been a big fan of Richmond’s abrasive track surface and the patience and discipline you need to have all day. It reminds me of late model racing and growing up at places like Myrtle Beach and Hickory. I’ve always done well at those types of tracks. I’ve finished in the Top-10 in my last couple of Xfinity Series races at Richmond, and I feel like I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it’ll take to do that again with Sam Hunt Racing. I’ve got a good feeling about this one, so hopefully, we’ll put our Toyota GR Supra up front all day."
-- Kaz Grala, Driver of the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra

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