JR Motorsports, Spire Motorsports name crew chiefs entering 2021


JR Motorsports’ director of race operations is returning to his former role as a crew chief.

Mike Bumgarner will lead driver Michael Annett and the No. 1 team for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, the team announced Thursday.

Before serving as JRM’s director of race operations from 2014-20, Bumgarner was crew chief for the No. 5 team in the 2013 season.

That year, Bumgarner worked primarily with Brad Sweet (17 races), but also with other drivers, including Kasey Kahne (11 races), Jimmie Johnson (1 race) and Jamie McMurray (1 race).

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big change,” Bumgarner said of going back to being a crew chief in a JRM release. “If anything, it’s going to help me be better. I haven’t been able to go to the race track and see what things are going on. You try to learn as much as you can from what the teams bring back to the shop and add that to our cars.

“Being more involved is a positive and I’m excited for that, being able to go to the track again. I’ll have to learn the stage-racing side of it, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

Bumgarner has made select appearances as a crew chief in recent years, including the 2016 Xfinity championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he supported Elliott Sadler in place of regular crew chief Kevin Meendering. Sadler finished third in that race, and second in points.

Annett and the No. 1 team come off back-to-back playoff appearances under previous crew chief Travis Mack.

Last month, it was announced that Mack was leaving JRM to join new Cup Series team Trackhouse Racing, where he’ll work with driver Daniel Suarez.


Cup Series team Spire Motorsports confirmed Thursday that Ryan Sparks and Kevin Bellicourt will be crew chiefs for their two-car program in 2021. Both are newcomers to the organization.

Sparks will join the No. 7 team and reunite with driver Corey LaJoie after working together last year at Go Fas Racing. Prior to last year, he served as race engineer for Austin Dillon on the No. 3 Cup team at Richard Childress Racing.

Bellicourt will lead the No. 77 team, which currently does not have a driver for next season. In 2019 and 2020, Bellicourt was a crew chief for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team Bill McAnally Racing.

This past season, Bellicourt guided rookie driver Derek Kraus to 13 top-10 finishes and an 11th-place finish in the standings.

Spire’s expansion for 2021 also includes NBC Sports annalyst Steve Letarte, who confirmed Wednesday to Motorsport.com that he is working as a consultant for the organization.

Letarte, who claimed 15 Cup wins as a crew chief during his career, said the role serves as “a great arm’s length way to stay in touch” with the competition side of the sport, which in turn helps him in his broadcasting role.

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.