Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (6451)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

Vinnie Miller, a 20-year old racer from Metamora, Michigan, went on Tradin’ Paint with Jim Noble and Chocolate Meyers on Tuesday afternoon to announce his 2018 racing plans. The Michigan native announced that he will join JD Motorsports for a full-time slate in the NASCAR XFINITY Series piloting the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro.

While growing up in Michigan, the young driver grew up racing with 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year driver Erik Jones. He’s even competed at some of the same facilities as 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski.

“It’s a dream come true,” Miller said. “As a young racer, you certainly dream of making it to this level and competing with the best of the best, without being sure it will ever happen. I have several people to thank, but mostly importantly, I need to thank my family for their support. The sacrifices they have made to allow me to chase my dreams do not go unnoticed, and it will be really special to share the next step in this journey with them.”

Miller made one start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017 at Chicagoland Speedway. In his debut, Miller started 31st and went on to finish 29th in the House.com 300. About a month later, Miller made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway. Piloting the No. 66 Master Manufacturing Chevrolet for owner Jeff Bolen, Miller went on to a seventh-place finish after starting 24th that afternoon.

His resume also includes ARCA and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts. In six ARCA races in 2017, Miller finished inside the top 10 four times. His six NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts includes one top five finish at South Boston and two top 10 finishes

“I see a lot of potential in Vinnie,” said team owner, Johnny Davis. “He is a hard-working young man, and he has demonstrated his ability as a racer. He’ll have a lot to learn next year, but my team is committed to giving him the resources he needs to have a successful rookie year. Vinnie already fits in great with the team, so we’re looking forward to the 2018 season.”

Miller said his representatives and JD Motorsports worked on putting the deal together and had to wait three months before the announcement. The driver mentioned on SiriusXM NASCAR Ch. 90 just how special the announcement was for he and his family members.

“The reactions on their faces whenever they found out about the news was real funny to watch,” said Miller on SiriusXM NASCAR. “Their jaw dropped and they couldn’t believe the news. My grandmother, who has supported me since my late grandfather passed away, cried her eyes out when she heard the news. My mom and dad were super excited for me as well. Nobody could believe it when I told them.”

A crew chief for Miller and other details were not mentioned in the team release.

JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) is excited to announce that NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) graduate Vinnie Miller will drive the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) entry full-time next season. Miller made the announcement live on SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio on “Tradin’ Paint with Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers.”
 
Miller, 20 years of age, grew up racing on the same Michigan short tracks as fellow Michiganders and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones. The Ortonville, Mich., native ran events in both the NKNPSE and the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards last season, scoring an impressive six top-10s, which included leading laps at his home track, Michigan International Speedway.
 
He made his NXS debut at Chicagoland Speedway with JDM on September 16, scoring a 29th-place finish. Additionally, he made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway on October 14, 2017, scoring a strong seventh-place finish.
 
“It’s a dream come true,” Miller said. “As a young racer, you certainly dream of making it to this level and competing with the best of the best, without being sure it will ever happen. I have several people to thank, but mostly importantly, I need to thank my family for their support. The sacrifices they have made to allow me to chase my dreams do not go unnoticed, and it will be really special to share the next step in this journey with them.”
 
“I see a lot of potential in Vinnie,” said team owner, Johnny Davis. “He is a hard-working young man, and he has demonstrated his ability as a racer. He’ll have a lot to learn next year, but my team is committed to giving him the resources he needs to have a successful rookie year. Vinnie already fits in great with the team, so we’re looking forward to the 2018 season.”
 
  “I’m really looking forward to joining JD Motorsports with Gary Keller,” Miller added. “In the ever changing motorsports landscape, to join a team that has raced full-time since 2002 is super exciting, and shows the dedication the organization has to the sport.”
 
For more information about Vinnie Miller, please visit www.VinnieMillerRacing.com, follow him on Twitter, @VinnieMiller_ and “like” his Facebook page, @VinnieMillerRacing. Additional information about JDM with Gary Keller can be found at www.TeamJDMotorsports.com, follow JDM on Twitter, @JDMotorsports01, and “like” JDM on Facebook, @JDMotorsports0101.

JD Motorsports PR

Chase Briscoe’s racing career is on the move and as part of the Ford Performance Driver Development Program, it’s about to hit the fast lane.

After a 2017 season that saw him win one race, sit on four poles and earn the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Award, Briscoe will embark on a 2018 season that includes a mix of oval events and road course races.

As announced last week, Briscoe will be competing in 12 NASCAR XFINITY Series events with Roush Fenway Racing in the No. 60 Mustang.  Additionally, he’s scheduled to race at least once for Biagi-DenBeste Racing and additional opportunities are currently being sought.

Besides his stock car schedule, Briscoe will also expand his road course skills by running in select Mustang GT4 races in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series, as well as select Mustang events in the Trans-Am TA2 class.

“If you want a championship driver you have to train the young driver and that’s what our program is all about.  It’s about developing him and developing his skills,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance.  “Chase is taking a step up to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but we’re also going to pair him up with the best in the business and he’s going to understand what it means to go out and road race.”

As part of his road racing development, Briscoe will work with veteran sports car drivers Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell, who teamed up to win the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series championship in the Ford Shelby GT350R-C.

“I’m excited for next year just because I’m going to be doing multiple things.  I’m not committed to just one series, which is good because I probably haven’t run 50 pavement races in my entire life,” said Briscoe.  “I feel like I’m at a point where I learn a ton every single race, so to get a chance to run some IMSA and Trans-Am races, in addition to my XFINITY schedule, is going to be a huge deal.”

Briscoe, who won the first race of his career in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, qualified for the NCWTS Playoffs before being eliminated in the Round of 8.  He finished sixth in the final point standings after posting 10 top-5 and 14 top-10 finishes in 23 starts.

“Going back all the way to my ARCA days I was in a Ford, and I think it would be pretty special to run a Ford throughout my entire career,” said Briscoe.  “I am thankful that they saw something in me, believed in me, and were willing to give me an opportunity.  I’m appreciative of that and that’s why I want to stick with them.  I’m appreciative of what they’ve done for me, and I want to pay them back somehow.”

In addition to competing in those two series, Briscoe will assist the company as a test driver within the Ford product development program.

“Our plan is to bring him along on our road car development projects and have him test drive the products, push them to the limit and that’s where he’s really going to learn about what makes a car work,” said Pericak.  “All of these skills have to be learned, so we’re going to develop him, hone his skills, and then he will no doubt be a championship-level driver.”

Ford Performance PR

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Dylan Lupton (@LuptonDylan) has set up an online auction for his uniform he wore during last month’s Kansas Lottery 300 event weekend at Kansas Speedway during his month-long push of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Lupton’s No. 24 Nut Up Industries Toyota featured a special pink paint scheme for his debut at the 1.5-mile speedway, while the Wilton, Calif. native also wore a pink uniform to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Lupton, Nut Up Industries and his JGL Racing team also hosted a breast cancer survivor on race day through their event partnership with the Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City.

The proceeds from the winning bid of the uniform will go directly to that Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City as an additional donation from the trio.

Last month, over $10,000 was donated to them from combined efforts and initiatives from Lupton, Nut Up Industries and JGL Racing.

Lupton has also autographed the Simpson-branded uniform to bring further brass to the item.

“We’re very proud to put this suit up for auction for a good cause,” said Lupton, a NASCAR Next alumnus. “Thanks to the hard work of everyone at Nut Up Industries, JGL Racing and the Susan G. Komen Great Kansas City – my Kansas debut was a race I’ll never forget.

“We were able to raise money towards a good cause, while host a recent breast cancer survivor and her family at the race track. It was a day full of memories and we’re hoping that by auctioning off this suit, it will help create more memories.”

To view the auction, please click here.  

Lupton, 23, a multiple time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winner has 24 career NASCAR XFINITY Series starts to his credit to go along with four starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  He has a career best XFINITY Series finish of ninth which came at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the 2015 season.

Dylan Lupton PR

A week ago in Phoenix, Casey Mears and Biagi-DenBeste Racing were fast all weekend and turned in a solid result, scoring an 11th place finish in the Ticket Galaxy 200.  When they arrived in Miami for the NASCAR Xfinity Series season finale, the group aimed to duplicate their effort by putting Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang at the front of the field.  Their aim was true and they would find themselves near the top of the board during most of Sunday's 300-mile event.
 
Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford were quick off of the truck when they took to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the year's final two practice sessions on Friday.  Mears was 16th on the board in the weekend's opening practice before shooting up the scoring chart to sixth fastest in the final session.  The speedy GEICO driver continued his fast ways during qualifying on Saturday when he wheeled around the 1.5-mile oval in just 33.263-seconds, at a speed of 162.343-miles per hour, landing him 12th on Ford EcoBoost 300 starting grid. 
 
When the green flag signaled the start of the final Xfinity race of the season, Mears rolled off of the starting grid from the 12th position, but promptly began passing cars.  He pedaled the GEICO Military Ford into the top-10 in the opening few laps and appeared to have what he referred to as a 'rocket-ship'.  The 16-year veteran was strong throughout the first half of the race and as the event approached the mid-way point, Mears was running in the 10th position and turning top-five lap times. 
 
The Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew was expedient on pit road, turning in quick stops during the course of the race and always leaving Mears and the GEICO Military Ford in contention after returning him to the racing surface.  When the checkered flag waved under the night sky, Mears crossed the finish line in the 11th position, closing out the season on a strong note and capping off a fun year that saw him record multiple top-10's in his return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 
 
"I had a lot of fun out there in the GEICO Military Ford.  It was a rocket-ship and if we could've gotten a caution there near the end, we would've definitely been top-10 and maybe top-5," Mears said.  "The car was really good on short runs and it was great to have speed to pass and be able to run up front today like we did last week in Phoenix.  These Biagi-DenBeste guys have done a nice job and I'm glad we were able to finish the season on a good note.  I can't thank GEICO enough for their loyal support, and Fred Biagi and Bill DenBeste for the opportunity to drive this 98 car."
 
Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 
To learn more about Biagi-DenBeste Racing, please visit: www.biagidenbesteracing.com.
 
PMI PR

Roush Fenway Racing will field a driver development team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) in 2018, with Ty Majeski, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe, each a driver in the Ford family of NASCAR race teams, sharing the iconic No. 60 Ford Mustang.  The project is intended to continue the progression and development of the three drivers and will be run by Roush Fenway with collaboration from Ford Performance and Team Penske.  Roush Fenway veteran Mike Kelley, who helped guide Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a pair of NXS championships, will serve as crew chief on the car.

“Driver development has always been part of our DNA at Roush Fenway and Jack Roush has always taken pride in providing opportunities for up and coming drivers,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. “All three of these drivers have exhibited a great deal of potential on and off the track and it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch as they hone their skills together and grow into the next generation of champions in our sport.”

Majeski, who finished 10th in his third NXS start last weekend at Homestead, recently captured his fourth-consecutive ARCA Midwest Tour championship, winning six of the 12 races.  In 32 Late Model races this year, the Wisconsin phenom has scored an impressive 20 wins and 29 top-three finishes. He is coming off a dominating performance in the Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna, where he won the event for the third consecutive year.  Majeski is also the No. 1 ranked iRacer in the world, with over 830 wins in 1,112 starts.

At the age of 19, Cindric has a very diverse racing background.  He has won races in rallycross, IMSA, ARCA, the NASCAR K&N Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).  In only his rookie season, Cindric advanced to the championship round in the NCWTS playoffs at Homestead.  In 2017, Cindric scored eight top fives and 16 top-10 NCWS finishes; including a win this season at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Briscoe, whose family has a rich history driving and owning sprint cars, scored 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes and finished sixth in the points standings in his NCWTS rookie season, including a dominating victory in the season finale at Homestead. He won the 2016 ARCA championship in dramatic fashion, tallying six victories, leading almost 1000 laps and distancing himself from the second-place finisher by over 500 points.

The trio will look to build on the rich history of Roush Fenway’s No. 60 that includes a NASCAR record 93 wins and almost 16,000 laps led. Mark Martin was a dominating fixture in the car in the 90s and Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Chris Buescher each drove the car to NXS championships.

The No. 60 is set to run all of the NXS races in 2018, while competing for the NXS Owner’s Championship. Further details will be made available - and a media availability for all three drivers will be conducted - after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

RFR PR

Garrett Smithley, driving the No. 0 KSDT and Company Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, scored a solid 24th place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Smithley will end the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season 21st in driver standings.

“I can't believe the season is already over,” Smithley said. “It was an extremely tough season, but i think we finished as strong as we could have. We had a goal for top 20 in Xfinity Series driver standings, but missed it by one point. We gave it all we had, and I'm proud of our effort all year long. If it wasn't for Johnny taking a chance on me last year, I wouldn't have just finished my second NASCAR Xfinity Series season, and words can't express how grateful I am to him, Carol, Gary Keller, and the whole team.”

The 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season will take the green flag on February 17th at Daytona International Speedway for the PowerShares QQQ 300.

JDM PR

Ross Chastain, driving the No. 4 Florida Watermelon Association Chevrolet Camaro, finished out the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with a 17th place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Chastain will end the year 13th in Xfinity Series driver standings.

“It feels good to end the year 13th in driver standings,” Chastain said. “It’s a big deal for this team, and at the beginning of the year that was our goal. It’s been pretty incredible to outrun the cars that we did and to put together sponsorships all year. It’s not easy getting to the race track all year. There were times that, as a team, we were looking ahead one to three months and asking ‘How are we going to get to race track? How are we going to pay for this stuff?’ But the whole marketing team and everyone behind the scenes at JD Motorsports with Gary Keller was able to pull it off. They were able to put a car out on the track for me every week that was competitive, and we could go race against the group of cars that we were supposed to be behind. We ended up 17th tonight and beat the cars we needed to beat, so that’s a pretty solid finish to the year. We’re going to spend the off season putting on the new composite bodies, working on sponsorship, and we’ll come back even stronger next year.”

The 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season will take the green flag on February 17th at Daytona International Speedway for the PowerShares QQQ 300.

JDM PR

Fresh off exciting news of their switch to Ford Performance in 2018, JGL Racing entered the season finale with Corey LaJoie piloting their No. 24 Toyota once again.  Despite some troubles on pit road, LaJoie steered his No. 24 youtheory Toyota to a solid 15th  place finish in the running of the Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
"We had a solid day in our No. 24 youtheory ride," said LaJoie.  "We had very good speed and got inside the top-10 there at the midway point of the race.  But we had a droop chain break in the right rear which made it difficult during our pit stops and that cost us some valuable track position.  We also were fighting being a little loose but that is characteristic of the Homestead track and something everyone was probably dealing with."
 
Corey would start the season ending 300-mile event from the 17th position as a result of his qualifying effort on Saturday morning.  LaJoie would move up quickly in the opening laps and sit in the 15th spot when the first caution flew on lap 18.  Corey would report to his crew that despite the charge forward he was battling a loose condition.  He would briefly move up to the 13th position before sliding back a few spots and ending the 45-lap first stage in 16th place.
 
A trip down pit road before the start of the second stage proved harmful as a broken droop chain made for a longer stop that normal with Corey returning the track in the 20th position.  Once again, the No. 24 youtheory Toyota would charge forward in the field once back to green flag action and a caution free second stage would find LaJoie cracking the top-10 when the stage ended on lap 90.
 
With a trip down pit road once again costing LaJoie some track position, the North Carolina native would once again charge forward early in a run.  With the second half of the race featuring Championship excitement, while also being caution free, Corey would deal with the loose condition of the track and his No. 24 youtheory Toyota.  When the sun set and the checkered flag flew, Corey would earn a solid top-15 finish to end the 2017 season.
 
"I want to once again thank youtheory for the great support this season and everyone at JGL Racing for all of their effort and hardwork," added Corey.  "Also, congratulations to Cole Custer on the race win and William Byron for winning the Championship."
 
With the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season now in the rear-view mirror, JGL Racing now turns their attention to switching manufacturers for next season as they join the Ford Performance family.  They also welcome Kaz Grala to full time competition next season as he will pilot the No. 24 Ford Mustang.  Stay tuned for further sponsor and additional driver announcements.
 
ISM PR

Spencer Gallagher and the No. 23 Allegiant team unloaded on Friday for their first time at Homestead-Miami Speedway and for the final race of the 2017 season. Wanting to finish out the season strong, the No. 23 team worked hard all weekend to prepare the Allegiant Chevy for Saturday afternoon's NASCAR XFINITY Series 300, finishing 12th in first practice, 18th in final and claiming a 28th-place starting position for the 200-lap finale.

 

Gallagher reported early on to the No. 23 team that he was experiencing loose into the corner and throttle tight on the exit conditions. When the first caution occurred on lap 19, crew chief Joey Cohen called Gallagher to pit road for four tires, fuel, a track-bar and wedge adjustments, restarting 28th on lap 23rd. With fresher tires than the majority of the field, Gallagher made his way into the 3rd position with 10 laps to go in Stage One and stayed in that position until the green-white checkered flag waved. Gallagher collected eight stage points en route to his highest stage finish of the season. Cohen called Gallagher to pit three other times throughout the event for four tires, fuel and adjustments. The Chevy's handling started getting tighter as the sun set causing Gallagher to drop back into the 19th position where he settled in until ultimately crossing the start-finish line to end the 200-lap event and his first full-time NXS season.

 

QUOTE

“This year hasn’t been easy by any means but we can say that we kept battling and never gave up. It was a learning year and we collected a lot of good info for our NXS program. I wish we could have gotten a top-10 to finish the season off strong but we will take a 19th-place finish and build on that.”

 

GMS Racing PR

Ryan Reed closed out the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season eighth in the driver standings following his 20th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Reed had a fast No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford, but was assessed a pass through penalty after avoiding a car sideways in front of him at the start of the race.  A caution never fell his way to get back on the lead lap.  

“We probably had our best car of the season tonight,” said Reed.  “It’s extremely frustrating to get trapped a lap down with what could have been our best car of the season.  I did what I had to do on that restart to avoid a big wreck and then had to serve a penalty.  It’s frustrating, but the speed we had was promising and we’ll put in some hard work over the off season and come back next year in position to be racing for the Championship.”

Reed’s No. 16 was extremely tight in qualifying Saturday morning, resulting in a 15th-place starting position.  Things took a turn for the worse at the drop of the green flag.  The car ahead of Reed jumbled the restart and had himself sideways.  Reed had to go around the car to avoid wrecking his Ford, but NASCAR does not allowing passing prior to the start/finish line.  Reed was assessed a pass through penalty for passing prior to the start/finish line.

Reed served the penalty under green flag racing just a few laps in, resulting in him going a lap down to the leaders early on in the race.  Reed spent a majority of Stage 1 in the “lucky dog” position, but the leader passed a few other cars right before the conclusion of the Stage.

The same scenario from Stage 1 played out over Stage 2 and Reed was once again left one lap down to the field.  The race consisted of long green flag runs and a caution never fell in Reed’s favor.  Despite having a No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford that was running lap times competitive with the top 10, Reed was trapped off the lead lap.        

RFR PR