Joe Graf Jr.

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Entry lists for Cup, Xfinity at Daytona

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Get ready for lots of fireworks this 4th of July weekend – both on and off the race track at Daytona International Speedway.

This race marks the first time the 2.5-mile track hosts a Cup race without restrictor plates since 1988, utilizing instead the tapered spacer – which we’ve already seen used once this year at Talladega Superspeedway.

Both the Cup and Xfinity Series will be in action at Daytona. The Truck Series is off until July 11 at Kentucky Speedway.

Here are the updated entry lists for this weekend’s races:

Cup – Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There is a full 40-car field of cars and drivers entered for this race.

For the second time this season, Garrett Smithley is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 15 Chevrolet.

Quin Houff will drive the No. 15 for Premium Motorsports.

Ross Chastain will be in the No. 27 for Premium Motorsports.

B.J. McLeod makes his ninth start of the season for Petty Ware Racing in the No. 51 Ford

J.J. Yeley makes his third start of the season for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 52 Ford.

Joey Gase makes his first start of the season for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 53 Chevrolet.

Brendan Gaughan makes his third start of the season for Beard Racing in the No. 62 Chevrolet.

Justin Haley is back in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.

And Parker Kligerman makes his eighth start of the season in the No. 96 Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

Last year, Erik Jones earned his first career Cup win in this race. Martin Truex Jr. was second and A.J. Allmendinger finished third.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Circle K Firecracker 250 (7:30 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN)

There are 42 cars entered. Four cars will not make the race.

Sheldon Creed makes his third Xfinity start of the season and the first for JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger makes his first Xfinity start of the season in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Joe Nemecheck makes his second Xfinity start of the season in the No. 13 Motorsports Business Management Toyota.

Riley Herbst makes his fifth start of 2019 in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Joe Graf Jr. makes his second start of 2019 in the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

Chris Cockrum makes his third start for ACG Motorsports in the No. 25 Chevrolet.

Shane Lee makes his third start for H2 Motorsports in the No. 28 Toyota.

Austin Hill makes his Xfinity Series debut in the No. 61 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota.

Jeffrey Earnhardt is on the entry list with the No. 81 XCI Racing Toyota but stated on Twitter that the team would not be competing this weekend. 

A spokesperson for True Speed Communications, which had done PR for XCI Racing, said they had no additional info and that its agreement with the team was only through Chicagoland.

Caesar Bacarella makes his third start of 2019 in the No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet.

Cody Ware makes his second Xfinity start of the season in the No. 99 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Toyota.

Kyle Larson won this race last year, followed by Elliott Sadler and Christopher Bell.

Click here for the entry list.

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Joe Graf Jr. joins Richard Childress Racing as Xfinity driver, intern

Official Twitter page of Joe Graf Jr.
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Richard Childress Racing on Friday announced that it has signed Joe Graf Jr. to be part of its NASCAR Xfinity Series program. He will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro in select races this season, the first being at Michigan International Speedway this June.

In addition, the 20-year-old Graf Jr., who is a freshman at New York University, will also serve as a marketing and communications intern for the team.

“For my internship to be with one of the most recognizable teams in NASCAR is unbelievable,” Graf Jr. said in a media release. “To then think that I will also have the opportunity to drive the No. 21 car is really exciting.

“I am pumped for the opportunity to learn all facets of this business. From inside the cockpit to the corporate office, the quality of the RCR organization speaks for itself, especially celebrating their 50th anniversary this season. I am eager to learn, contribute and compete.”

In addition to his new racing and internship duties with RCR, Graf Jr. will continue competing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series. In his first full season in 2018, he earned one win, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 19 starts. That also included the closest finish in ARCA history when he finished second at Talladega Superspeedway in a statistical tie.

So far in 2019, he’s made three starts, finishing 21st at Daytona, 11th at Pensacola and ninth in his most recent race on April 14 at Salem (Indiana).

He previously competed in the NASCAR K&N Series. He began racing bandolero cars at nine years old and recorded over 50 wins in Legends Car competition, as well as multiple track championships.

Follow @JerryBonkowski