Drivers racing in different series for NASCAR at COTA

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Back in March, Kevin Harvick announced he would run three Xfinity Series races this season. The first comes Saturday at Circuit of the Americas.

BJ McLeod Motorsports announced Monday that it will field the No. 5 Ford for Harvick with many of Harvick’s usual sponsors joining him.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on iRacing and we’ve had a couple of simulator dates to get prepared for this weekend – one, just for basically learning the track, and the second, for actually trying to go fast enough to be competitive when you get on the racetrack,” Harvick said in a release.

“But the main reason we decided to run the Xfinity race at COTA, and a couple of the other new road courses, is that being on-track in real-time is the best experience you can get. There’s just nothing that can replace reality and being on the racetrack.”

Harvick isn’t the only driver competing across different series during NASCAR’s inaugural weekend at COTA, the 3.41-mile road course in Austin, Texas.

Other notables include:

Cup Series

  • Austin Cindric – Reigning Xfinity Series champion will make his fifth Cup start of the season in the No. 33 Team Penske Ford. He finished 22nd in his most recent Cup start at Kansas Speedway.
  • Ty Dillon – Making his third Cup start of the season in the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota. He finished 26th in his most recent Cup start in the Bristol dirt race.
  • Kyle Tilley – IMSA sports car veteran makes his Cup debut in the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford. He will make additional Cup starts for the team later this season at Road America (July 4), Watkins Glen (Aug. 8), and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (Aug. 15).

Xfinity Series

  • Kevin Harvick – Driving the No. 5 BJ McLeod Motorsports Ford for Saturday’s Xfinity race at COTA. A two-time Xfinity Series champion, Harvick has not competed in the series since September 2018 at Darlington Raceway.
  • Kyle Busch – 2009 Xfinity Series champion makes the first of five Xfinity starts this season in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Busch also will compete in upcoming Xfinity races at Texas Motor Speedway (June 12), Nashville Superspeedway (June 19), Road America (July 3), and Atlanta (July 10).
  • Cole Custer – Harvick’s Cup teammate will drive the No. 17 Rick Ware Racing Ford. Custer made his Cup debut for RWR in March 2018 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Tyler Reddick – Two-time Xfinity Series champion will drive the No. 31 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet. Reddick also will compete for the team in upcoming Xfinity races at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 29) and Nashville Superspeedway (June 19).
  • Austin Dillon – Former Daytona 500 champion will drive the No. 77 for Bassett Racing.
  • Miguel Paludo – Former Truck Series full-timer makes his second Xfinity start of the season in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet. He finished seventh in February at the Daytona road course.
  • Spencer Pumpelly – The two-time Rolex 24 class winner makes his series debut in the No. 6 for JD Motorsports.
  • Boris Said – The road racer has run 54 Cup races (last series start in 2017) and 28 Xfinity races (last series start in 2015). He will drive the No. 13 for Motorsports Business Management.

Truck Series

  • Paul MenardPast Brickyard 400 winner returns to NASCAR in the No. 66 ThorSport Racing Toyota.
  • Kaz Grala – He will be making just his third Truck start since last year. He’ll drive the No. 02 for Young’s Motorsports.
  • Camden Murphy – Only driver in the field who has raced NASCAR and in Monster Jam, winning rookie of the year in 2017. He will drive the No. 11 for Spencer Davis Motorsports.
  • Lawless Alan – He seeks his second career Truck start. He will drive the No. 34 for Reaume Brothers Racing.
  • Parker Chase – He makes his second start of the season. He’ll be in the No. 51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Multiple Truck debutants – Super late model driver Logan Bearden (No. 44 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet) … Trans-Am driver Michele Abbate (No. 30 On Point Motorsports Toyota) … ARCA Menards Series driver Jack Wood (No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet) … SCCA driver Brad Gross (No. 83 CMI Motorsports Chevrolet) … Past Rolex 24 class winner Cameron Lawrence (No. 33 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet). … Trans-Am racers John Atwell (No. 49 for CMI Motorsports) and Sam LeComte (No. 72 for CMI Motorsports).