NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Toyota Owners 400
The Place: Richmond Raceway
The Date: Sunday, April 2
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $7,529,485
TV: FS1, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (400 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 70), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 230), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: ToyotaCare 250
The Place: Richmond Raceway
The Date: Saturday, April 1
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,721,030
TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 187.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 75), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 150), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Next Race: Speedycash.com 250
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, April 1
The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $710,218
TV: FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 250.2 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 77), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 122), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)
NASCAR Cup Series
Five different winners in first six NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023
Off to a fast start, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has seen five different winners from five different organizations this season — JTG Daugherty Racing‘s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Daytona), Richard Childress Racing‘s Kyle Busch (Fontana), Hendrick Motorsports‘ William Byron (Las Vegas, Phoenix), Team Penske‘s Joey Logano (Atlanta) and last weekend‘s victor 23XI Racing‘s Tyler Reddick (Austin). The only repeat winner this season has been the opportunistic William Byron, who was able to grab both of his wins on the heels of late race cautions and overtime restarts at Las Vegas and Phoenix. Now, the highly-competitive series heads to historic 0.75-mile Richmond Raceway for the seventh race of the season, the Toyota Owners 400, on Sunday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for some good old short track racing.
In addition to a bevy of different winners this season, through six races the NASCAR Cup Series has produced an average of 11.33 lap leaders per race; which is the seventh-most in the Modern Era (1972-2023); behind the 2011 (13.0), 2014 (12.5), 2010 (12.0), 2022 (12.0), 1989 (11.7), and 2007 (11.5) seasons. In total, 30 different drivers have led laps in the first six races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, led by Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson with 270 laps led (20.22% of the total 1,335 laps run this season).
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has also produced an average margin of victory of 1.111-seconds through six races; with three events finishing with a margin of victory under a second. Four of the first six NASCAR Cup Series races this season have resulted in overtime finishes (Daytona, Las Vegas, Phoenix and COTA).
Plus, this season has produced 369 Green Flag Passes for the Lead in the first six points-paying races of the year (Daytona 204 GFPL, Fontana 35 GFPL, Las Vegas 22 GFPL, Phoenix 14 GFPL, Atlanta 73 GFPL, COTA 21 GFPL) — second-most through the first six races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (last 17 seasons); just behind the 2022 season with 378 GFPL.
Reddick adds name to Playoffs / Allstar lists with COTA victory
Fifth different winner this season was 23XI Racing‘s Tyler Reddick last weekend at the Circuit of The America‘s, his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series victory and third on a road course. Not only did the California native secure his spot in the Playoffs with the win but also the NASCAR All-Star Race which will take place at the newly renovated North Wilkesboro Speedway (May 21).
This season Reddick spun the tires in the first few races but has since found the traction he needs to put up some decent finishes. In six starts he has amassed one win (COTA), three top fives and three top 10s. His average finish this season is 16.2.
Looking to Richmond, Reddick has made five starts posting a best finish of 11th in 2020. His average finish at Richmond is 17.8. He finished 12th in this race last season.
The short on racing at Richmond Raceway
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has been filled with unpredictable finishes and stellar on-track competition producing five different winners in six races. Plus, the Cup Series has seen four different driver point standings leaders through the first six races, with Trackhouse Racing‘s Ross Chastain currently out front.
This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series prepares for the close, beating and banging racing the fans love at short tracks like Richmond. Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway was held on April 19, 1953 and won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty in a Petty Enterprises Dodge with an average speed of 45.535 mph. The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968. In total, Richmond Raceway has hosted the NASCAR Cup Series 132 times producing 57 different pole winners and 53 different race winners.
NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (1961, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 sweep, 1974, 1975) and Bobby Allison (1972 sweep, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1982) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Richmond with eight each. Eight of the 57 NASCAR Cup Series Richmond Raceway pole winners are active this weekend, led by Denny Hamlin (2006, 2008, 2016) and Kevin Harvick (2005, 2018, 2019) with three poles each.
Active Richmond Pole WinnersPolesSeasonsKevin Harvick32019, 2018, 2005Denny Hamlin32016, 2008, 2006Brad Keselowski22019, 2014Joey Logano22015 sweepKyle Larson12022Ryan Blaney12022Kyle Busch12010Martin Truex Jr12018
NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Richmond Raceway with 13 victories (spring 1961, 1967 sweep, fall 1968, fall 1970, 1971 sweep, 1972 sweep, 1973 sweep, fall 1974 and spring 1975) — the third-most wins by a single driver at a single track in series history, behind his 15 wins at Martinsville and North Wilkesboro.
Eight of the 53 NASCAR Cup Series Richmond Raceway winners are active this weekend, led by Kyle Busch with six victories (spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011, spring 2012, 2018 sweep). Joe Gibbs Racing‘s driver Denny Hamlin is the defending winner of this weekend‘s race at Richmond Raceway, and Stewart-Haas Racing veteran Kevin Harvick is the most recent victor taking the win last August.
Active Richmond Race WinnersWinsSeasonKyle Busch62018 sweep, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009Kevin Harvick42022, 2013, 2011, 2006Denny Hamlin42022, 2016, 2010, 2009Martin Truex Jr32021, 2019 sweepBrad Keselowski22020, 2014Joey Logano22017, 2014Alex Bowman12021Kyle Larson12017
All the on-track action begins on Saturday, April 1 with practice from 10:05 a.m. — 10:50 a.m. ET and will be immediately followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying from 10:50 a.m. — 12 p.m. ET. Both event will be broadcast on FS1.
Veterans have dominated Richmond recently in Cup
Looking at the recent visitors to the Richmond Raceway Victory Lane in the NASCAR Cup Series, and eight of the last nine races have been won by veteran drivers — Kevin Harvick (2022), Denny Hamlin (2022), Martin Truex Jr. (2021, 2019 sweep), Brad Keselowski (2020) and Kyle Busch (2018 sweep) — the one lone exception is Hendrick Motorsports‘ Alex Bowman who won in 2021. Will the veterans prevail again this weekend or will we see one of the ‘young guns‘ hoist the trophy this weekend?
A total of eight former Richmond winners are entered this weekend, led by Richard Childress Racing‘s Kyle Busch with six victories at the 0.75-mile track (spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011, spring 2012, 2018 sweep). The driver with the most wins recently at Richmond though, is Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Martin Truex Jr. who has earned all three of his wins since 2019.
Th level of competition is always fierce at Richmond. Only five first-time winners have earned their first NASCAR Cup Series career win at Richmond Raceway, and it hasn‘t happened since 2005 — Kasey Kahne (2005), Tony Stewart (1999), Kyle Petty (1986), Neil Bonnett (1977) and James Hylton (1970).
Ross Chastain is the driver to catch in points
Trackhouse Racing‘s Ross Chastain has retaken the NASCAR Cup Series points lead following his fourth-place finish at the Circuit of The Americas last weekend — Chastain is one of three different drivers to lead the driver standings this season (Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano). Now, the Florida native is 19 points up on Richard Childress Racing‘s Kyle Busch in second and 25 points ahead of Team Penske‘s Joey Logano in third place.
This season, Chastain has put up two top fives, three top 10s, and has an average finish of 10.8 — third best on the year, behind Alex Bowman (7.0) and Kyle Busch (9.0).
Looking to this weekend in Richmond, Chastain will have his work cut out for him to hold off Logano and Busch in the standings. Chastain has made eight career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 0.75-mile track posting one top-10 finish. His average finish at Richmond is 23.2. He finished 19th in this event last season.
Bubba Wallace‘s Block Party at Richmond returns
NASCAR announced plans to bring back, Bubba‘s Block Party, a community block party hosted by 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace. The free, family-friendly event will take place from 6-10 p.m. March 31 at Virginia Credit Union Live! located at Richmond Raceway.
“We‘re excited to bring Bubba‘s Block Party to the Richmond community for a second consecutive year. The feedback we received last summer was very positive and we want to keep the momentum going,” said Pete Jung, NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer. “This is an important initiative that fosters a community of inclusion and support while exposing our sport to new fans. We‘re thrilled to know it has been very well received.”
The free ticketed event hosted by Desi Banks will offer guest performances by Backyard Band and The Art of Noise RVA. Attendees will also enjoy iRacing, video games and live pit stop demonstrations by Wallace‘s No. 23 pit crew. Wallace will engage the audience as part of a fireside chat which will focus on his career journey and NASCAR‘s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion across the sport.
“I‘m thrilled to bring my block party back to Richmond this year,” Wallace said. It‘s important to make sure everyone feels welcome at the track. I‘m happy to keep creating these spaces and to spark more conversation around the sport. It‘s going to be a good time.”
The best in a Next Gen on tracks less than a mile in length — short tracks
When looking back at the inaugural season of the Next Gen car (2022), the NASCAR Cup Series competed in six events on tracks that measure less than a mile — Richmond Raceway (0.75-mile), Martinsville Speedway (0.526-mile), Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt (0.5-mile) and Bristol Motor Speedway (0.533-mile) — and below is look at the drivers that excelled on these type of tracks.
Wins — Six different drivers won on short tracks in the Next Gen car in as many races last season. The six winners were Denny Hamlin (Richmond-1), William Byron (Martinsville-1), Kyle Busch (Bristol Dirt), Kevin Harvick (Richmond-2), Chris Buescher (Bristol), and Christopher Bell (Martinsville-2).
Runner-Up Finishes — Six different drivers finished runner-up in the six short track Cup Series races last season: Kevin Harvick (Richmond-1), Joey Logano (Martinsville-1), Tyler Reddick (Bristol Dirt), Christopher Bell (Richmond-2), Chase Elliott (Bristol), and Kyle Larson (Martinsville-2).
Top Fives — A total of 14 different drivers scored top-five finishes in the six short track Cup Series races run last season, led by Kyle Larson with four top-five finishes, and followed by Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and William Byron with three top fives each.
Top 10s — A total of 23 different drivers posted a top-10 finish in the six short track Cup Series races run last season, led by Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney with five top 10s each.
Average Finishes — A total of six different drivers had an average finish of 10th or better in the six short track Cup Series races last season — Christopher Bell (6.6), William Byron (7.2), Chase Elliott (8.2), Kyle Larson (8.2), Ryan Blaney (9.8) and Joey Logano (10.2).
Lap Led — A total of 20 different drivers led at least one lap in the six short track Cup Series races last season. Here are the top five lap leaders on short tracks last season — Christopher Bell (356 laps led), William Byron (334), Chase Elliott (240), Denny Hamlin (230) and Joey Logano (223).
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: Ty Gibbs is opening up his rookie points lead — Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Ty Gibbs posted his second top-10 finish of the season at the Circuit of The Americas last weekend, and as a result has opened up his Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings lead over Legacy Motor Club driver Noah Gragson by 32 points through just six races.
This season Gibbs is putting up an average finish of 18.2, compared to his rookie counterpart Gragson with a 22.8.
Both rookies made their series track debuts at Richmond Raceway last season, and both will be looking to build on their first appearance. Of the two rookies last season Gibbs qualified better (14th) than Gragson (19th), but it was Gragson who pulled out the better finish (24th) compared to Gibbs (36h).
But don‘t sleep on these two rookies this weekend, as both have won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond in the past — Gragson (2021) and Gibbs (2022).
Festivities start early for fans with Finish Line Party presented by Richmond Raceway, March 30 – Richmond Raceway has announced it will host a Finish Line Party to begin the Toyota Owners 400 Weekend, March 30. The simultaneous rooftop parties will take place at three different iconic Richmond venues.
The celebrations will take place at the Quirk Hotel Rooftop starting at 5:30 p.m., New York Deli at 6:30 p.m., and The HofGarden Rooftop at 7:30 p.m. All three parties are located within minutes of each other making it easy for fans to come and go as pleased.
The parities will include appearances from Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond Raceway President Lori Collier Waran and multiple NASCAR personalities. In addition to music, giveaways, and food and drinks for purchase.
“I am looking forward to using this time to interact with our passionate NASCAR fans and share my excitement about the Toyota Owners 400 Weekend,” said Richmond Raceway President Lori Collier Waran. “With this being NASCAR‘s 75th anniversary season, I can‘t think of a better way to celebrate together.”
Vernon Davis Named Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Toyota Owners 400 – Richmond Raceway announced this week that Vernon Davis, a former NFL tight end and current actor, producer, and entrepreneur, will be the Honorary Pace Car Driver and will lead the field to green for Sunday‘s Toyota Owners 400.
“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.”
Cup Series driver milestone starts to watch for — Over the next few races several drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series will reach milestones starts if they continue to run fulltime in the series.
At Richmond Raceway in two weeks on April 2, Team Penske‘s Austin Cindric will be making his 50th career NASCAR Cup Series start. Five different drivers all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series have won on their 50th career Cup start — Glen Wood (1960, Winston-Salem), Dick Hutcherson (1965, Lincoln), Charlie Glotzbach (1970, Daytona), Darrell Waltrip (Nashville Fairgrounds) and Jeff Gordon (1994, Indianapolis).
Then at Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt on April 9, Richard Childress Racing‘s Kyle Busch will be making his 650th NASCAR Cup Series career start. Busch will become the 27th different NASCAR Cup Series driver all-time to make 650 or more starts. Only one driver all-time has won on their 650th career NASCAR Cup Series start, and it was NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty at Dover Motor Speedway on Sept. 15, 1974.
And at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23, Stewart-Haas Racing‘s Kevin Harvick will be making his 800th career NASCAR Cup Series career start. Harvick will become just the 10th different NASCAR Cup Series driver all-time to make 800 or more starts in the series. Only one driver all-time has won on their 800th career NASCAR Cup Series start, and it was NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty at Dover Motor Speedway on Sept. 16, 1979.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Dash 4 Cash: Who‘s taking home the first $100,000 bonus check?
Back once again thanks to its unparalleled popularity, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program returns for another year of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during the four designated races in the program. The Xfinity Dash 4 Cash program encourages an increase in on-track competition, engages fans and rewards / recognizes NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.
The first opportunity for drivers to win the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus will be this Saturday at Richmond Raceway. Last weekend‘s race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was the first qualifier so we will be seeing JR Motorsport‘s teammates Justin Allgaier and Sam Mayer, Kaulig Racing‘s Daniel Hemric and Joe Gibbs Racing‘s rookie Sammy Smith dashing for their chance to win.
Of the competition, Allgaier is the most experienced at Richmond Raceway. In 22 starts, he has posted two wins, eight top fives, 11 top 10s and has led 494 laps. His average finish is 12.6.
Allgaier‘s JR Motorsports teammate Sam Mayer won last year‘s Dash 4 Cash bonus at Richmond Raceway. He has two starts at the .75-mile track with a best finish of third (2022).
Kaulig Racing‘s Hemric enters the weekend with six starts at Richmond, posting three top fives and five top 10s.
JGR‘s Smith will be making his series track debut at Richmond Raceway this weekend.
Road course ringer AJ Allmendinger does it again
Last year as a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver for Kaulig Racing, AJ Allmendinger was the one to beat on road courses as he found Victory Lane at four of the six road course events on the Xfinity Series schedule (COTA, Portland, Indianapolis RC and Charlotte RC).
This season, Allmendinger has transitioned into a full-time car in the NASCAR Cup Series with his team Kaulig Racing but was given the chance to run the Xfinity Series race at COTA last weekend — and he did not disappoint.
Allmendinger came into the weekend quick out of the gate and won the pole for the Pit Boss 250 presented by USA Today, a position he managed to keep at the end of the 46th and final lap. The win marked his second at COTA and the 16th of his Xfinity Series career.
Although Allmendinger will be sticking strictly to his Cup Series duties this weekend at Richmond Raceway, he will be back for some road course fun in the Xfinity Series at Sonoma Raceway later this season.
In Allmendinger‘s stead this weekend in the Kaulig Racing No. 10 Chevrolet will be Derek Kraus who will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut. Kraus has made 74 career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series career starts posting four top fives and 26 top 10s; including three Truck Series starts at Richmond where he posed two top-15 finishes.
Richmond Raceway returns
After some road course action last weekend at Circuit of The Americas, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will be heading to Richmond Raceway for the ToyotaCare 250 for some side-by-side short track racing. The fun will begin on Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
There have been 76 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Richmond Raceway, producing 38 different race winners 40 different pole winners. Sixteen races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Ty Gibbs (2022).
Kevin Harvick sits as the winningest driver in the Xfinity Series at Richmond with seven victories (2003, 2005, 2006 sweep, 2010, 2012, 2014). He also holds the record for most top fives (18) and top 10s (21); while Kyle Busch has posted the most poles (six) and lead lap finishes (23).
Two previous winners are entered in this weekend‘s ToyotaCare 250 — Justin Allgaier (2020 sweep) and Cole Custer (April, 2019).
Allgaier has two Richmond wins under his belt (2020 sweep), eight top fives and 11 top 10s. In last season‘s spring Richmond race, he posted a fourth-place finish.
Custer posted his Richmond win in the spring of 2019 and has two top fives and four top 10s in seven starts. His last stint at the .75-mile track was in the fall of 2019 where he finished in the third position.
The Xfinity Series will kick off the weekend with practice on Saturday, April 1 at 8:05 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying at 8:35 a.m. ET.
Drivers to watch: Richmond edition
With two previous winners in the field for the ToyotaCare 250 on Saturday, of course conversations have sparked on who will take home the 2023 win and it‘s very possible to see a new face in Victory Lane.
Joe Gibbs Racing‘s John Hunter Nemechek has put up some good stats at the Richmond short track, especially in the last couple of years. In his five starts, he‘s posted two top fives, three top 10s and has led 171 laps. Last season, he posted a runner-up finish and in 2021, he finished third.
Kaulig Racing‘s Daniel Hemric also has put on impressive performances at Richmond, posting a top-10 finish in all but one of his six starts. He also won the pole in his first ever Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway.
Stewart Haas Racing‘s Riley Herbst has been fighting to post his first Xfinity Series win and Richmond could be the place to make it happen. In his five starts, he‘s posted two top fives and four top 10s. In both Richmond Raceway races last season, he posted a fifth-place finish.
A total of six different drivers have posted their first NASCAR Xfinity Series career win at Richmond Raceway — Butch Lindley (1982), Tommy Houston (1982), Bobby Hamilton (1989), Jeff Purvis (1996), Kyle Busch (2004) and Robby Gordon (2004).
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Chris Hacker running at Richmond — Chris Hacker will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Richmond Raceway, driving the No. 38 Ford with RSS Racing.
Hacker has made 11 starts in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series with a best-finish of 16th at Martinsville in 2021.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Zane Smith goes back-to-back at COTA
Front Row Motorsports‘ Zane Smith continues to dominate the pack as he found Victory Lane again at the Circuit of The Americas last weekend, securing his second victory and third top-10 finish in 2023. Smith became the first repeat NASCAR winner at the famed road course and made the Front Row Motorsports team a perfect three-for-three in CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at COTA, after taking the reins from Todd Gilliland (2021).
As the competitors head to Fort Worth, Texas this weekend for the SpeedyCash.com 250 at Texas Motor Speedway (Saturday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the No. 38 Ford will look to take the checkered flag for the third time this season. The defending series champion is no stranger to 1.5-mile tracks, posting top-five finishes in five of seven races during the 2022 season.
Looking to this weekend at Texas, Smith has made four series starts at 1.5-mile speedway posting one top five and two top 10s. Smith‘s best-finish at Texas was his rookie year (2020) where he posted a third-place finish.
Staying in the Lone Star State: Texas Motor Speedway up next
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series won‘t have to travel too far this week as they are now heading to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas after some road course action at Circuit of The Americas in the Texas capitol last weekend. Drivers will take the grid on Saturday, April 1 for the SpeedyCash.com 250 on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio, the fifth race of the 2023 season.
The 1.5-mile Texas track has hosted 48 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races, producing 26 different race winners and 30 different pole winners. Seven races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by John Hunter Nemechek in 2021.
Veteran Matt Crafton holds several Truck Series records at Texas Motor Speedway in just about every category — most poles (five), top fives (17), top 10s (30), lead lap finishes (32) and laps completed (6,453). Todd Bodine holds the record for most wins with six (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010) and Ron Hornaday Jr. has led the most laps (685).
There are two previous winners entered this weekend — Stewart Friesen (2022) and Matt Crafton (2015).
Friesen is the track‘s most recent Truck Series winner. The Canadian driver has made 10 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, posting one win (2022), four top fives, five top 10s and has led 90 laps, 60 of which were in last year‘s race.
Crafton has made 42 starts and has posted two wins (2014, 2015), 17 top fives, 30 top 10s and has led for 444 laps.
The Truck Series will fire up their trucks for practice on Saturday, April 1 at 10:35 a.m. ET followed by qualifying at 11:05 a.m. ET.
Who‘s wranglin‘ in the checkered flag?
Matt Crafton and Stewart Friesen have an advantage coming into the weekend with their respective wins, but some drivers might be fighting to add a Texas Motor Speedway trophy to their trophy case.
GMS Racing‘s Grant Enfinger is no newbie to the 1.5-mile Texas track. In his 10 starts, he‘s posted five top fives, seven top 10s, one pole (2019) and has led 60 laps. In last year‘s race, he finished just outside the top 10 (11th).
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing‘s Christian Eckes doesn‘t quite have the track time on Texas Motor Speedway that Enfinger has but he has put up some impressive numbers. In his three starts, he has put up two runner-up finishes (2020, 2022) and has led for a total of 92 laps.
2023 Sunoco Rookie of the Year race continues
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series rookie class have now traversed their way through four races. Let‘s take a deeper look at where they‘re sitting as they head into race number five of the 2023 season at Texas Motor Speedway:
Leading the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 98 points is Nick Sanchez, piloting the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet. He posted a seventh-place finish last weekend at COTA, earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award for the second time this season. Sanchez continues to be the highest finishing rookie so far with his best finish being second-place in Atlanta.
Following suit and tied for the second-place spot in the rookie standings with 65 points is Bill McAnally Racing‘s Jake Garcia in the No. 35 Chevrolet and GMS Racing‘s Daniel Dye in the No. 43 Chevrolet. The pair finished 18th (Dye) and 19th (Garcia) at COTA.
Just three points behind Garcia and Dye is GMS Racing‘s Rajah Caruth driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet. Caruth comes back from COTA after posting a season best finish of 13th.
Rounding out the rookie class with 47 points is Bret Holmes Racing‘s very own, Bret Holmes in the No. 32 Chevrolet. The Alabama native brought home a 23rd-place finish from COTA last weekend. Holmes will make his second appearance, but first as a full-time driver, at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.
The only rookie to have previously raced at the Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile track, is Bret Holmes, who posted a 15th-place finish at Texas last year.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
Ryan Vargas to make second Truck Series start at Texas — Ryan Vargas will be joining On Point Motorsports this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for his second NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series career start. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Toyota.
Vargas made his first Truck Series career start earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he raced his way up to a 14th-place finish after starting in the 35th position.
“Texas is a special place for me, and I‘m excited to have the opportunity to head there in my Toyota Tundra TRD,” said Vargas.
Joey Logano to run the Bristol Dirt Truck race — Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano is set to pull double duty and join ThorSport Racing at Bristol Dirt in a couple of weeks.
This will be Logano‘s first Truck Series race of the 2023 season. Last season, his one and only Truck Series race was on the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway where he finished sixth.
— NASCAR —