Stephen Leicht

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Josh Bilicki to run second car for JP Motorsports in Xfinity Series

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Josh Bilicki announced Monday that he’ll drive a second car for JP Motorsports this season in the Xfinity Series, piloting the No. 45 car. JP Motorsports, a team owned by Phyllis and Jerry Hattaway, will have Stephen Leicht drive the team’s No. 55 car in the Xfinity Series this year.

The 22-year-old Bilicki has made nine career Xfinity starts, including six last season. His best finish last year was 12th at Road America for B.J. McLeod.

“I’m ecstatic to announce a full season effort in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JP Motorsports in the #45 Prevagen Toyota Camry,” Bilicki in a statement.  “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.”

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Doug Richert leaves BK Racing after seven seasons as crew chief, R&D director

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After seven seasons with BK Racing as a crew chief and Director of Research and Development, Doug Richert has left the organization.

Richert’s wife, Robin, made the announcement on Facebook. Neither Richert, 57, nor his wife said what he would do next.

Richert, was crew chief for 21 races in 2017 for a rotating group of drivers that included Joey Gase, Gray Gaulding, Corey LaJoie, Stephen Leicht, Brett Moffitt and Ryan Sieg.

Richert first came to NASCAR in 1977 as a then-17-year-old. Three years later in 1980, at 20 years old, he served as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt’s first of what would eventually become a record-tying (along with Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson) seven NASCAR Cup championships.

Richert also led Greg Biffle to a runner-up crown to Tony Stewart in the 2005 NASCAR Cup championship.

On the NASCAR Cup level, Richert has served as crew chief for 560 races, being part of 13 wins, 66 top-5s, 119 top-10s and 5 poles. Three wins were with Earnhardt, while 10 were with Biffle.

Richert also spent 46 races as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series with one win (Biffle), six top-5s, 15 top-10s and 1 pole

He also spent 64 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as a crew chief, being part of 12 wins (8 with Ron Hornaday Jr., 3 with Carl Edwards and 1 with Mike Skinner), 35 top-5s, 45 top-10s and 7 poles.

During his NASCAR career, Richert worked for a number of team owners including Rod Osterlund, Richard Childress, Jack Roush, Dale Earnhardt, Robert Yates, Joe Gibbs and Junior Johnson.

Brett Moffitt joins BK Racing for next two Cup Series races

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Brett Moffitt will make his return to the NASCAR Cup Series as he joins BK Racing for the next two Cup races.

Moffitt will step into the No. 83 Toyota this weekend at Watkins Glen International and at Michigan International Speedway.

The 2015 Cup Rookie of the Year, Moffitt will make his first start in the series since the 2015 finale. Moffitt enters the cockpit a week after he made his first Xfinity start of the year at Iowa Speedway, finishing 11th in the No. 96 owned by GMS Racing.

Moffitt began his year by competing in five Camping World Truck Series races with Red Horse Racing before the team shut down.

“I’m very excited to be back in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car for the next two weekends, and I can’t thank BK Racing and JAS Expedited Trucking enough for making it happen,” Moffitt said in a press release. “I have only raced Watkins Glen once in a K&N car, but it was a great race and I finished third. I can’t wait to race the Glen in the No. 83 Toyota Camry this weekend and Michigan next week.”

MORE: Details of BK Racing’s split with Gray Gaulding over financial dispute

Moffitt’s return to Michigan comes a year after he won his first national NASCAR race at the track, taking Red Horse Racing’s No. 11 truck to victory lane after a last-lap pass of teammate Timothy Peters.

The 24-year-old is the fourth driver to be in the No. 83 the season. Corey LaJoie has been in it for 14 races, Ryan Sieg for four and Stephen Leicht for one. Sieg withdrew from the Brickyard 400 and the No. 83 was not entered at Sonoma.

“I have been watching Brett display his ability to drive at the Cup level for many years,” said Ron Devine, Owner of BK Racing in a press release. “He is a big part of the Toyota family, and we are very excited to have him in our car for the next two races.”

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Matt Kenseth paces opening Cup practice

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LONG POND, Pa – Matt Kenseth posted the fastest lap in Saturday morning’s opening Cup practice session with a lap of 176.077 mph.

He was followed by Kyle Larson (175.957 mph), rookie Erik Jones (175.415), Kyle Busch (175.360) and Chris Buescher 174.774 mph.

Sixth through 10th: Rookie Daniel Suarez (174.598), Martin Truex Jr. (174.574), June Pocono winner Ryan Blaney (174.527), Ryan Newman (174.277) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (174.081).

The only incident was for Stephen Leicht, who spun his No. 83 BK Racing car but did not hit anything.

Click here for full practice report

The final Cup practice is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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William Byron on pole, Erik Jones alongside in today’s Xfinity race at Phoenix

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William Byron and Erik Jones will start from the front row after qualifying for this afternoon’s DC Solar 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

Byron earned his first career Xfinity Series pole with a top speed of 133.487, while Jones was just a few ticks away at 133.432 mph, putting him on the outside of the front row.

Austin Dillon (133.033) was third-fastest, followed by Blake Koch (132.724), Justin Allgaier (132.694), Xfinity points leader Elliott Sadler (132.387), Darrell Wallace Jr. (132.246), Matt Tifft (132.222), Cole Custer (132.052) and Brendan Gaughan (131.960).

Eight drivers did not make it through pre-qualifying inspection in time and did not make qualifying attempts, leaving them to start at the back of the field in today’s race. Those drivers were: Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Daniel Hemric, Dakoda Armstrong, Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, B.J. McLeod and Stephen Leicht.

The race starts this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox.

Click here for the full qualifying session results.

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