Xfinity Series News (6451)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced today that Garrett Smithley will return to the organization to pilot the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) this season. 2018 will mark the 25-year-old Ligonier, Pa., native’s third season with team.
Smithley, who has coined the phrase “Number Nuthin” when referring to his car number, will join longtime teammate Ross Chastain, and new comers Vinnie Miller and Matt Mills, completing the team’s driver roster. Smithley, along with the rest of the NXS field, will kick off the season on Saturday, February 17th with the Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. In last year’s event, he finished 8th after getting caught up in an early wreck and his team repairing the damage using his sponsor’s product, Flex Tape.
“I’m so excited to be back with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller this season,” Smithley said. “We’ve had two very successful seasons together and to be given the opportunity to continue to build on that is something I do not take for granted.”
“I’m very happy to have Garrett back in the No. 0 Chevy again this season,” said team owner, Johnny Davis. “Garrett has a lot of talent as a driver, and he has the right attitude for working with his team, his crew chief, and the team’s sponsors. This will be JD Motorsports’ best season yet, and having Garrett behind the wheel will play a key part in that.”
“Each and every year JD Motorsports with Gary Keller grows and improves,” Smithley continued. “This off season has been an extremely strong one for this organization, and I knew that if the opportunity presented itself to return, I wouldn’t pass it up. I can’t thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunities they have given me and this entire team for all that they do. We’re a family, and we’re in this together. It will be awesome to work with Ross once again, as well as Vinnie and Matt this season.”
Also returning will be Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, better known as FAME. FAME is a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement dual track, apprenticeship-style training that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers. The primary method to achieve this goal is through partnerships with local educational institutions to offer the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT).
JP Motorsports is proud to announce the addition of Josh Bilicki to our 2018 driver lineup. Bilicki will pilot the No. 45 Prevagen Toyota Camry, beginning in two weeks at the Daytona International Speedway. JP Motorsports, who purchased Tri-Star Racing’s Xfinity cars, was not expected to field a second entry until Atlanta. On Friday, the organization secured a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and finalized a deal with Bilicki to start the season with two cars. Picture
“We’re really blessed that everything has come together for this to happen a week early,” said Phyllis and Jerry Hattaway, team-owners of JP Motorsports. “Josh is a great driver and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he and Stephen Leicht can do this season.”
Bilicki made his debut in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge in 2015. One year later, he made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut at Road America. In his return to Road America in 2017, Bilicki earned his career best XFINITY finish of 12th. Along with running in the XFINITY Series, Bilicki made two starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series last season, racing at Sonoma and New Hampshire.
“I’m ecstatic to announce a full season effort in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JP Motorsports in the #45 Prevagen Toyota Camry,” said Bilicki. “I have gained a lot of valuable experience over the past two years by racing at different tracks and with different teams, but it will be nice to show up to every race this year with the same team. I come from a road course racing background, so there are still several NASCAR tracks that I have yet to race. It feels great to have the business side of things done before the season starts, so now I can focus solely on driving. It will be a year full of learning, but we have good equipment and cars and will be competitive from the start.”
Bilicki brings Prevagen® with him to JP Motorsports. Prevagen is the number one selling brain health supplement in America and has been shown to support healthy brain function, a sharper mind and clearer thinking and is manufactured by Madison, Wisconsin based Quincy Bioscience. Prevagen sponsored Bilicki in four XFINITY Series starts and at New Hampshire in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series last season.
“This certainly wouldn’t be possible without Prevagen," says Bilicki. "They were my primary sponsor at several NASCAR races last year, so it will be great to have them for a full season this year. The company began in a building only five miles from my house, which I find very cool. They are still located in Wisconsin, so I hope to be able to grow the Wisconsin Prevagen brand throughout the 2018 season.”
“We’re very pleased to be able to support Josh for the entire racing season this year,” said Todd Olson, market development manager at Quincy Bioscience. “He’s proven himself to be a great competitor and we’re looking forward to seeing how Josh turns last years’ experience into some exciting finishes this year.”
Tune into the PowerShares QQQ 300 at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 17th at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1 to see Josh Bilicki try his hand at restrictor plate racing for the first time.
Josh Bilicki PR
Team Penske announced a new multi-year partnership today with PIRTEK, the industry leader in fluid transfer solution sales and service in the United States. PIRTEK will be an associate partner throughout the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) season and will serve as the primary sponsor for the team’s No. 22 Ford Mustang in the NXS race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, July 6.
PIRTEK also enjoys a productive partnership with Team Penske through the DJR Team Penske Virgin Australia Supercars Championship program, as the company continues as an associate sponsor with the team in 2018.
“We welcome PIRTEK as a new partner with the Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series team in 2018,” said Roger Penske. “We have worked closely with PIRTEK globally in several of our Penske Corporation businesses and the company has been a terrific partner with our Australian Supercars team. This new partnership will create even more opportunities to grow with the PIRTEK brand this coming season.”
PIRTEK is the only franchise of its kind in the United States, providing hydraulic and industrial hose replacement sales and services. There are 73 PIRTEK franchises and a fleet of Mobile Service Vehicles throughout the United States. Globally, PIRTEK has more than 400 locations and 2,000 Mobile Service Vehicles in 23 countries.
The partnership with Team Penske through its XFINITY Series program will provide some high-profile marketing and promotional opportunities for PIRTEK working the team and its drivers.
“Expanding our NASCAR involvement and growing our partnership with Team Penske was a natural evolution and certainly the right avenue for us,” said PIRTEK CEO Glenn Duncan. “Everyone at PIRTEK was excited about our first foray into NASCAR and we couldn’t be more excited to continue our relationship with Team Penske in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.”
The No. 22 team enters the 2018 season riding the momentum of Team Penske’s fourth NXS owner title in the last five years. The team’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney all raced in the No. 22 Ford Mustang in 2017. Racing with them were former INDYCAR champion and 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) standout and eventual Championship 4 finalist Austin Cindric.
PIRTEK will make the transition to Team Penske in 2018 after serving as a full-time associated partner with Brad Keselowski Racing and Cindric in NCWTS competition. The company served as primary sponsor for Cindric in five Truck Series races and five ARCA Racing Series starts over the past two seasons.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series season gets underway with the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Team Penske PR
The NASCAR racing season kicks off with Speedweeks each February at Daytona International Speedway. Chad Finchum of Knoxville, Tennessee, can’t wait to arrive at the “World Center of Racing” in the Sunshine State because he will be competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 on Saturday, Feb. 17 driving the No. 40 Toyota for MBM Motorsports.
The dream of someday racing at Daytona International Speedway for Finchum began as a young boy attending NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway with his family.
The Road to Daytona for Finchum started in racing go-karts before moving along to Bandolero, INEX Legend, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition – winning not only races, but also championships.
He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, plus captured the Kingsport Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car championship in 2013. He also added to his resume the Tennessee NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state title in 2013.
“Yeah, I guess it can be said that dreams do sometime come true,” said a smiling Finchum at his family’s race shop in Knoxville. “I told my parents and really everybody, from just when I was a young boy and attending NASCAR races that someday I was going to be a NASCAR driver.
“Over the past 10 years I’ve really worked hard trying to become the best race car driver I could be, and I’ve been quite fortunate to have won a lot of races and also championships. It’s helped prepare me for the next step up the racing ladder in my career, competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.”
Finchum competed in seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races last year for MBM Motorsports, and tentative plans call for the 23-year-old to run the full schedule in 2018. Finchum’s starts in 2017 came at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, twice at Dover International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“Getting to run the NASCAR Xfinity Series races last year was just awesome and I can’t thank Carl Long enough for the opportunities he gave me to drive for MBM Motorsports,” Finchum said. “Hey, I was just a short-track racer and Carl took a chance on me that not only would I be able to get the job done behind the wheel for his team, but that I would take good care of his equipment.
“Racing is really about chemistry between the team owner (Carl Long), the driver and the whole race team. Everybody has to have confidence in each other, and we all formed a good relationship last year. I’m truly blessed to be associated with MBM Motorsports.”
With MBM Motorsports being a smaller racing operation compared to resources associated with NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series teams such as JR Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing who each field multiple entries in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Finchum realizes it’s an uphill battle and not really a level playing field – but it is what it is.
“You hear people say the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers shouldn’t be allowed to step down and run NASCAR Xfinity Series races, but as a driver I want to race against tough competition because really, at each step along the way in my racing career I’ve had to race against tough competition,” Finchum stated. “Sure, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers have more experience, plus their Xfinity cars are prepared alongside the Cup rides and it just makes it tough for the smaller Xfinity teams to compete against the Cup operations. The Cup teams have engineers and really just a whole lot more overall resources and personnel to work preparing the cars.
“Carl (Long) and MBM Motorsports have good equipment, but we realize we’re not going to be able to compete with the Cup teams fielding Xfinity cars. The group of cars we’re equally competing against on our level each week, our goal is to finish the best among those cars. You can rest assured we’re going to give it our best effort.”
NASCAR Xfinity Series practice at Daytona International Speedway begins Friday, Feb. 16 with two sessions scheduled: 12:05 p.m. - 12:55 p.m., and from 2:05 p.m. - 2:55 p.m., televised on Fox Sports 1.
NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying will take place Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9:35 a.m., with running of the PowerShares QQQ 300 set for 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. Live radio coverage will be provided by Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90. ... You can also visit the Daytona International Speedway website at www.DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.
To learn more about possible sponsor opportunities with Chad Finchum Racing, contact James Finchum at (865) 740-3535. To keep up with Chad Finchum’s racing visit the website at www.ChadFinchum.com, on Facebook at Chad Finchum Racing, and Twitter @ChadFinchum.
Chad Finchum PR
“I am happy to announce that Matt Mills will be driving for JD Motorsports starting in Atlanta,” said team owner, Johnny Davis. “Matt has a real passion for racing, and it is impressive how he has worked his way up to Xfinity Series. I see a lot of potential in him, and I believe that he will do a great job behind the wheel of my No. 15 Chevy.”
Mills, a native of Lynchburg, VA, made ten starts in the Camping World Truck Series from 2016-2017 with two top-20 finishes. Mills made his Xfinity Series debut in last season running three races, including Chicagoland Speedway in the JDM No. 15 Chevy.
Mills began his career in Junior Champ Karts in 2009 and has been racing anything he can get his hands on ever since. In his first year in Junior Champ Karts, he was the Rookie of the Year, and he won six races the following year.
In 2013, he moved on to an Outlaw Late Model where he won one race and was the McIntosh Oil Outlaw Late Model Rookie of the Year. After completing three years in the Junior Champ Kart series he moved on to an asphalt modified in 2012 where he was the Summit Racing Modified Rookie of the Year as well as winning the Midvale Speedway Young Gun Award. He captured four wins in 2012 and finished fifth in points.
2014 brought a return to his Outlaw Late Model where he continued to turn heads. He won the Mid-Season Championship at Midvale Speedway where he was the youngest driver ever to do so. He finished fifth in points with three season wins. Before getting his break in NASCAR, Mills raced in JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour in 2015.
“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity I’ve been placed in,” said Mills. “2018 is gonna be a great learning year for me. I haven’t raced a full season in anything since 2013 in late models. It’s gonna be good for me as a driver getting in a car almost every weekend to be able to stay in a rhythm and continue to learn. Just can’t thank Johnny enough for this opportunity, and I hope to make him and the team proud this year.”
JD Motorsports with Gary Keller is thrilled to welcome back long-time partner Flex Seal for the sixth consecutive year. The Flex Seal family of products will be onboard the JD Motorsports Chevrolet Camaros for multiple races throughout the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
“We’re very happy to have the Flex Seal family of products back with us again this year, and I can’t thank Phil Swift enough for all of the support over the years,” said team owner, Johnny Davis. “They have been a very valuable part in the building of our race team, and their products are used almost daily at our shop. We’re looking forward our best season yet with Flex Seal, and it’s my goal to ‘seal’ us a spot or two in the Xfinity Series Playoffs.”
“Johnny Davis and his team are a class act, and our NASCAR fans are the best!” said Flex Seal CEO/President, Phil Swift. “It’s been a lot of fun working with JD Motorsports and their drivers. Now with the newest addition to the Flex Seal family, FLEX GLUE, we’re looking forward to a fantastic year of racing!”
RSS Racing is proud to welcome Code Rum as the primary sponsor for Ryan Sieg at Daytona Speedway for the XFINITY Series race on February 17th. Sieg will be piloting the #93 Chevrolet Camaro for the season opening race.
Code Rum, who joined the team at Homestead Speedway last season, is a Florida based rum company making a big splash in NASCAR. Owner Johnny Ringo founded TREASURE COAST SPIRITS, INC. in 2013 with their first rum brand, CODE RUM! “I’m beyond excited to be back with the Sieg team at Daytona Speedway. I actually grew up in Daytona, so this is a dream come true to have Code Rum on the #93 car at such a historic track,” commented Ringo. Popular Daytona restaurants Wing House and Caribbean Jack’s will join Code Rum as associate sponsors at Daytona.
RSS Racing is also pleased to announce primary sponsorship for twelve additional races in 2018.
Big Valley Towing – Both Las Vegas races
Mike D’s – Richmond in May
Alabama Soda Blasting – Talladega
Night Owl Contractors – Both Charlotte races
KMB Plumbing – Pocono
PYT Sports – Chicago and Second Texas
Midstate Basement – Watkins Glen
Cook’s Comfort Systems – Bristol night
Tiger Concrete – Indianapolis
Ryan Sieg announced earlier this week that he will be returning the XFINITY Series full time. “I’m humbled to have so many of our sponsors returning in 2018. We couldn’t do it without their commitment to this race team. I think our Code Rum Daytona scheme turned out amazing and I can’t wait to get to Florida to hang out with the Code Rum crew,” commented Sieg.
RSS Racing PR
RSS Racing and driver Ryan Sieg are happy to announce a return to the NASCAR XFINITY Series for a full schedule in 2018. The Georgia based team will field two additional entries for Daytona and beyond. Veteran Jeff Green, who joined the RSS Racing last year will pilot the #38 car. The driver of the third entry has not been determined.
RSS Racing will be entering its 10th season in NASCAR competition and will continue with Chevrolet as a manufacture. Kevin “Cowboy” Starland will lead the team as competition director. Sponsorship announcements for the team are forthcoming.
Ryan Sieg will be entering his fifth full season in the XFINITY Series. Sieg finished the 2017 season 15th in the final driver points standings. “It’s great to return to the XFINITY Series in 2018 for the full schedule. It’s been a busy winter preparing three cars for Daytona but I’m looking forward to getting to Daytona and seeing where we stack up,” commented Sieg.
RSS Racing PR