Obaika Racing

Tanner Berryhill to race full-time for Obaika Racing in Cup in 2019

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Tanner Berryhill will compete full-time in the Cup Series next year for Obaika Racing, Berryhill announced Monday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Late Shift.”

The native of Bixby, Oklahoma will drive the No. 97 Toyota.

“I couldn’t be more excited than to get the news that that was all going to come together, ” Berryhill said. “We’re going to be full guns ahead towards Daytona.”

Berryhill, 25, made his first two starts in Cup points races this year in the last two races, driving the No. 97 for Obaika Racing.

His debut in the Nov. 11 playoff elimination race at Phoenix marked his first NASCAR start of any kind since the Monster Open in 2015. He has 40 Xfinity starts, with the last coming in 2014.

“I’ve been ready to go this whole time, just been waiting for somebody to call me to put me in (a ride),” Berryhill told NBC Sports last month before the Phoenix race. 

Berryhill placed 31st in Phoenix after a wreck and 38th in season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Tanner is a very intelligent and motivated young man, and I am very excited to what he can accomplish during his rookie season,” said team owner Victor Obaika in a press release. “The Obaika Racing team is working hard through the winter to put fast cars on track next year, and I have every confidence that Tanner is going to work hard to improve every race and get the most out of our equipment. 2019 is going to be a great year for this team.”

Berryhill’s sponsor and crew chief will be announced at a later date.

Berryhill joins a rookie class that includes Daniel Hemric, Ryan Preece and Matt Tifft.

Berryhill’s two starts were just the second and third Cup starts for Obaika Racing.

The team debuted in the Nov. 4 race at Texas with David Starr.

One Cup, six Xfinity teams docked practice time Friday

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Chase Elliott is the only Cup driver who will be penalized practice time Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while six Xfinity teams, including one title contender will miss practice time.

Elliott will miss 15 minutes for being late to inspection last weekend at Phoenix. Cup practice is from 1 – 2:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Xfinity title contender Christopher Bell will miss 30 minutes of opening practice for failing inspection three times last week at Phoenix. The cars of Josh Bilicki and Chase Briscoe also will miss 30 minutes for the same infraction.

David Starr will be docked 15 minutes of practice for being late to inspection last week at Phoenix. The cars of Vinnie Miller and Stephen Leicht will miss 15 minutes for failing inspection twice.

Opening Xfinity practice is from 2:35 – 3:25 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Xfinity practice report at Texas

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Ryan Truex swept Friday with the fastest lap (187.780 mph) in final practice on the heels of his fastest lap in the first session.

He beat Brandon Jones (187.689) by .014 seconds.

Shane Lee (187.676), Cole Custer (187.474) and Christopher Bell (187.454) rounded out the top five.

Josh Bilicki, Joey Gase and David Starr hit the wall in separate incidents. Bilicki does not have a backup available, but reported that he was looking for a car to borrow.

Elliott Sadler had the quickest 10-lap average at 186.190 mph.

Fellow playoff contenders Justin Allgaier (185.862) and Daniel Hemric (185.622) lined up behind him.

Click here for the practice report.

First Practice

Ryan Truex posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Xfinity race at Texas with a speed of 187.162 mph.

He beat Daniel Hemric (186.832 mph) by .051 seconds.

Elliott Sadler (186.580), Cole Custer (186.387) and Matt Tifft (186.130) rounded out the top five.

Ryan Reed, Morgan Shepherd and Austin Cindric all hit the wall in separate incidents during the session. Reed and Cindric will go to backup cars. Shepherd does not have a backup available.

Brandon Brown (177.024) and Quin Houff (171.124) were the only drivers who made at least 10 consecutive laps.

Click here for the practice report.

Preliminary entry lists for NASCAR at Texas

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All three series will be back in action this week as NASCAR makes its final push to the Miami finale.

Drivers have two more opportunities to win and become part of the championship battle in all three series.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race.

Cup – AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

There are 41 entries for the race, so one car will go home.

Joey Gase is entered in the No. 51.

Kyle Weatherman is in the No. 99.

Parker Kligerman will attempt to make his fourth start of the season in the Gaunt Brothers No. 96.

Trevor Bayne will make his final appearance of the season in the No. 6.

David Starr will drive the No. 97 car Obaika Racing announced Wednesday.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There are 40 entries for the race.

Drivers who score Cup points are not permitted to compete in playoff races.

John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

Austin Cindric is entered in Team Penske’s No. 22.

Quin Houff will make his third Xfinity start in JD Motorsports’ No. 15. He finished 14th in this car at Kansas.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – JAG Metals 350 (8:30 p.m. ET Friday on FS1)

There are 35 entries for the race.

John Hunter Nemechek will do double duty in the NEMCO No. 8 in addition to the CGR Xfinity entry.

Ross Chastain is entered in all three series, racing the No. 15 Premium Motorsports car in Cup, the JD Motorsports No. 4 in Xfinity and the No. 38 Niece Motorsports entry in Truck.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Kurt Busch wins pole at Talladega, Stewart-Haas sweeps first two rows

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Stewart-Haas Racing swept the top four positions in qualification with Kurt Busch winning the pole for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 195.804 mph. This is Busch’s first restrictor plate pole.

He beat teammate Clint Bowyer (195.301 mph) by .126 seconds with Kevin Harvick (195.186) and Aric Almirola (194.571) rounding out the top four.

Starting spots are unofficial until after post-qualification inspection.

Hendrick Motorsports took the next four positions. Chase Elliott (194.394), Jimmie Johnson (194.172), Alex Bowman (193.768) and William Byron (193.768) qualified fifth through eighth.

HMS was the last team to sweep the top four positions before today’s qualification session. In April 2011 at Talladega, Jeff Gordon won the pole with Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lined up behind him.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch (193.693) in ninth and Denny Hamlin (193.380) in 10th round out the top 10.

Playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. (192.928) qualified 11th.

Team Penske has six Talladega wins in the last eight races but failed to advance any car into the final round of qualification. Brad Keselowski (191.900), Ryan Blaney (191.731) and Joey Logano (191.386) will line up 18th through 20th.

Kyle Larson (188.731) was the slowest among the playoff contenders in 34th.

David Starr failed to qualify.

Click here for qualifying results