JD Motorsports will have Ross Chastain back in the fold in 2017 and are working on finalizing a deal with Garrett Smithley.
The organization announced Thursday afternoon that Chastain will embark on his third Xfinity Series season driving one of their Chevrolets while “99 percent sure” Smithley also will return. Team owner Johnny Davis said in a statement that the organization is working on funding and sponsorship for Smithley, who competed for Rookie of the Year and finished 18th in points.
Chastain finished 16th in the standings and will have Florida Watermelon Association return as a sponsor.
“Ross is a smart kid and an intelligent driver,” Davis said in a release. “We’re lucky to have him back with us next year. He brings a lot to the team, and he works with our guys really well. We’re looking to step up our program with him.”
The team’s third car is vacant as Ryan Preece has decided to move on to other opportunities. Preece also competed for Rookie of the Year honors and finished 17th in points.
Preece earned the organization’s only top-10 finish of the season with a 10th place at Darlington Raceway.
“We’re working hard every day on getting things ready for next year,” Davis said. “It’s a complicated process to get everything in line to compete at the highest levels of stock car racing. Hopefully, we’ll be set long before it’s time to head to Daytona Beach in February for the season opener.
“Our goal is to always have our teams and our drivers in a position to show the best marketability for everybody. We take a lot of pride in our cars and our sponsors and how we showcase the drivers and the companies that work with us.”
Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott will start on the front row for Saturday night’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway.
Truex won his third pole of the season.
The top five is completed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.
Kyle Busch, who is trying to win a third consecutive race, qualified 32nd.
Click here for the starting lineup.
Martin Truex Jr. qualified first for Saturday’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway, winning his third pole of the season.
Truex claimed the pole with a speed of 123.859 mph around the .75-mile track. The Toyota Owners 400 will mark Truex’s 450th Cup start. Truex had DNFs in the last two races.
“It’s definitely been a crappy two weeks,” Truex told Fox Sports 1. “But that’s part of racing. This team, I’ve got so much faith and confidence in them and everything we’re doing. You can’t let those kinds of things get you down. It was nothing we did, just circumstances. Just proud of the effort today.”
The pole matches Truex’s total from last year.
Chase Elliott qualified second (123.621 mph). The top five is completed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.
Ryan Blaney will start 12th, followed by Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
Daniel Hemric will start 22nd in his first Cup start.
Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski both failed to advance out of the first round. Keselowski will start 28th and Busch will start 32nd.
“We didn’t make a mock run in practice and then we thought the spread would be about three tenths (of a second),” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “It wasn’t, it was faster than that. We only ran two laps trying to make sure we preserve out tires for later on deeper into the session. A bunch of those guys ran three laps and obviously we needed that third lap. It would have picked up. For some reason the tire here today, even in race trim, your fastest lap was the seventh lap. So just takes awhile for everything to come in. Just trying to short cut it a little bit and it didn’t work out for us.”
Click here for qualifying results.
Cole Custer will start first in tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway after earning his second consecutive pole.
Custer won the pole for the ToyotaCare 250 with a lap of 121.332 mph. He earned his first career pole last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will be joined on the front row by Christopher Bell (120.881 mph). He has started on the front row in four of the first eight races this season.
The top five is rounded out by Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric and John Hunter Nemechek.
Cindric will start in the top five for the first time this season.
Hemric is the highest qualifying of the four Dash 4 Cash drivers. Justin Allgaier will start seventh and Elliott Sadler will roll off eighth. Spencer Gallagher will start 17th.
Noah Gragson will start 11th in his Xfinity debut.
Tyler Reddick suffered some cosmetic damage when he scrapped the frontstretch wall in Round 2. He will start 10th.
Click here for qualifying results.
The Xfinity Series is back on a short track for round two of the Dash 4 Cash series. Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Hemric and Spencer Gallagher will compete for the $100,000 bonus tonight at Richmond Raceway.
Here is all the info for tonight’s race.
(All times are Eastern)
START: Leslie Gravitte, Toyota Camry owner, will give the command to start engines at 7:07 p.m for the ToyotaCare 250. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 7:13 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 250 laps (187.5 miles) around the .75-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 5:10 p.m. Driver introductions are at 6:35 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Henrico Fire Choir will perform the anthem at 7:01 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 7 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 59 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST TIME: Kyle Larson took the lead with 10 laps to go to win this race last April. He was followed by Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric. Brad Keselowski won last September’s race and was followed by Kyle Busch and Ty Dillon.
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup.