For the first time since the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in 2013, Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman will race in a Camping World Truck Series event this weekend.
The Richard Childress Racing driver, a veteran of five CWTS races, will drive in the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway Friday night in the No. 8 Chevrolet of SWM-NEMCO Motorsports and co-owner Joe Nemechek.
Nemechek drove the No. 8 at Daytona and Atlanta, while his son, John Hunter Nemechek, raced at Martinsville. John Hunter, 17, has raced in 13 Truck series races to date and was announced as part of the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class on Tuesday.
“I look forward to returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” Newman said in a release. “I saw this as an opportunity to help a fellow Chevrolet team, and John Hunter Nemechek, a driver that I believe has a future in NASCAR.”
John Hunter can’t compete at Kansas due to his age and will split time with his father until he turns 18 on June 11. John Hunter will race at Dover International Raceway before taking over full time beginning with the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway International Raceway on June 13.
The No. 8 will be sponsored by Rescue Ranch, the charity founded by Newman and his wife, Krissie, that promotes respect for all animals, as well as agricultural, environmental, and wildlife conservation education.
The racing weekend at Richmond International Raceway kicks off today.
The NASCAR Cup Series has one practice session and late afternoon qualifying, while the Xfinity Series has two practice sessions at the 0.75-mile track.
Keep an eye on Jimmie Johnson this weekend as he goes for his third consecutive NASCAR Cup win, having taken the checkered flag at Texas three weeks ago and Monday at Bristol.
Here’s how today’s action shapes up:
(All times are Eastern)
9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Cup garage open
10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage open
11:30 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. – Cup practice (Fox Sports 1, MRN)
1 – 1:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice (FS1)
3 – 3:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (FS1)
4:45 p.m. – Cup qualifying; three rounds/multi-car (FS1, MRN)
Every NASCAR Cup driver had to come from somewhere, and for Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones, they came from Michigan.
Today’s edition of “50 States in 50 Shows” takes you to the Great Lake State.
The track that gets our attention is Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run. A track Jones cut his teeth on and where he set a record in 2010 by becoming the youngest driver to win an ASA Late Model race when he was 14.
Oh, and they also race school buses at the track.
Compared to the winning pace Joe Gibbs Racing kept the previous two seasons, it’s been a long time since the four-car team visited victory lane.
JGR last won 11 races ago in the November race at Texas Motor Speedway with Carl Edwards, who is not racing this year. The last win by a current JGR driver was the fall race at Richmond International Raceway, where Denny Hamlin triumphed.
Now, none of its drivers are in the top 10 in points.
RIR is where NASCAR heads this weekend for a race NASCAR America analyst Steve Letarte believes is “pivotal” for the team that’s won the last three races at the .75-mile track.
“We have to remember this is a new aerodynamic package for this year,” Letarte said. “There’s something about it that hasn’t really suited this JGR Toyotas. I don’t think they have found exactly the right combination, it seems Furniture Row (Racing) has. I look at Richmond, the speeds are a little bit down, aerodynamics won’t be as dominate. Even if they’re not dominate and they don’t win, they have to run better.”
Just two days after his retirement announcement, Dale Earnhardt came to the defense of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson on Twitter
After a fan attempted to criticize Johnson’s achievements by comparing them to fellow seven-time champions Dale Earnahrdt Sr., and Richard Petty, Dale Jr. said the system Johnson has competed in is twice as challenging as the eras of his father and Petty.
Watch the video to see Dale Jr. and other drivers discuss the differences between Johnson’s era and those of his predecessors.