JR Motorsports

How the No. 8 wound up at JR Motorsports

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While some may have been surprised by JR Motorsports’ announcement Friday that it was changing one of its car numbers to the No. 8 in 2019, the move was sort of telegraphed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. three months ago.

How?

Twitter of course.

On Oct. 31, Earnhardt responded to a fan asking what Xfinity Series race he was planning to compete in this year.

He answered by saying he was “working toward” the Aug. 31 race at Darlington Raceway.

Minutes later he posted a graphic of concept art for a No. 8 car with a throwback paint scheme.

A couple of hours later, Earnhardt responded to a group of fans who had observed that JR Motorsports didn’t own the rights to the No. 8 in the Xfinity Series. Instead, they belonged to BJ McLeod Motorsports.

Then late Friday afternoon, not long after the news regarding the No. 8 was made official, Earnhardt posted a short video on Twitter explaining how the teams made the switch.

It was the result of Earnhardt’s desire to run the No. 8 at Darlington and NASCAR not allowing teams to swap numbers for one-off races.

“So we talked to BJ and asked if he’d be willing to give us the No. 8 for the whole season,” Earnhardt said. “He was nice enough to do it.”

The agreement is a recent one. BJ McLeod Motorsports announced it was expanding to three cars on Jan. 10, and listed the No. 8 as one of its cars with Matt Mills driving it.

BJ McLeod Motorsports will announce its new number next week.

This isn’t the first time Earnhardt has fielded the No. 8 in Xfinity. He fielded Martin Truex Jr. for consecutive series titles in 2004-05 with the No. 8 when he owned Chance 2 Motorsports.

 

Tommy Joe Martins returns to BJ McLeod Motorsports for 2019 Xfinity season

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B.J. McLeod Motorsports on Thursday announced that Tommy Joe Martins will return to the Xfinity Series team for a third season.

Martins joined the team in 2017. In 28 starts, his best finish with the team has been 11th at Iowa (in 2017).

“It is with great enthusiasm to have Tommy Joe Martins back with the team,” team co-owner Jessica McLeod said in a media release. “Martins has played a great part in helping us improve our on-track performance over the last two years and we are looking forward to what’s to come.”

The team, which recently moved into a new shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, will field three full-time cars in the Xfinity Series in 2019, its fourth year of operation.

Its two full-time drivers will be Vinnie Miller in the No. 78 and Matt Mills in the No. 8, while Martins will be part of a rotating cast of drivers in the No. 99 that will also include team co-owner B.J. McLeod, J.A. Avila Jr., and other drivers that may be added.

Click here to read the full press release.

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Brett Moffitt wins Truck race at Michigan

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Brett Moffitt passed Johnny Sauter in the final corner on the last lap to win his fourth win of the season. With this victory, he was able to tie Sauter for the most wins with one race remaining in the regular season. Moffitt crossed the finish line with a bumper advantage over Sauter.

John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top five.

The final run to the checkers was set up when a late-race caution was waved for an incident involving Myatt Snider, Dalton Sargeant and Grant Enfinger.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

HOW BRETT MOFFITT WON: Stalking Johnny Sauter during the final 10 laps, Moffitt laid off Sauter on the final lap and got a run entering turn three. With a little aero dynamic push from John Hunter Nemechek, he was able to get a run to the inside of the No. 21 and won the drag race to the finish line.

MORE: Complete Results
MORE: Points Standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Noah Gragson finished fourth to score his ninth consecutive top-10 in the Truck series. … JH Nemechek’s third-place finish was his fourth consecutive result of seventh or better.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Matt Mills spun in a single-truck incident on lap 27 and backed hard into the wall. … Running 19th at the time, Justin Fontaine spun on lap 35 and made heavy contact with the right side. … With 22 laps to go, Snider was hit from behind by Sargeant and spun into Enfinger entering pit road.

NOTABLE: Friesen seemed to gain an advantage when he got onto pit road when caution waved, but was penalized for improper fueling on that stop because his fuel man pushed his truck out of the stall. That dropped him from first to the last car on the lead lap (19th). Friesen charged back to eighth at the finish.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I knew Johnny (Sauter) was fast. Our Toyota engine, we were lacking a little raw speed today with that. So I was really waiting to time it. … The whole last however many laps I was behind him, I was running wide open. When I’d get to him and I’d push him with that air bubble between our bumpers, so I tried to back up 1, tried to let him get out there a little bit. I knew the 8 was behind us and I was hoping, he’d actually be able to get to us and push us.” – Brett Moffitt on FS1.

WHAT’S NEXT: UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 8:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 16 on FS1.

John Hunter Nemechek wins pole for truck race at Michigan

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BROOKLYN, Mich. — John Hunter Nemechek won the pole position for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway, turning a lap at 184.044 mph.

It’s the second career pole position on the circuit for Nemechek, who also qualified first at Iowa Speedway in June 2016.

Todd Gilliland qualified second, followed by Noah Gragson, Matt Mills and Stuart Friesen.

Click here for the starting lineup for Saturday’s race at Michigan.

 

 

Ryan Blaney wins Xfinity pole at Texas in rain-shortened qualifying

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Ryan Blaney qualified first for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway after a light rain shortened qualifying for the My Bariatric Solutions 300 to one round.

The pole is Blaney’s second in 66 Xfinity starts. It’s Team Penske’s 60th Xfinity pole and the first of this season.

Ryan Truex will start second. It’s his first front row start since winning the pole for the June 2012 race at Dover.

The starting top five is Blaney, Truex, Brandon Jones, Ryan Reed and Jamie McMurray.

Only 34 cars made a qualifying attempt in round one. Kevin Harvick, Daniel Hemric, Matt Tifft, Elliott Sadler and Kaz Grala were among the eight drivers who did not make it through inspection in time to make a lap.

Two drivers for underfunded teams who don’t normally qualify in the top 12 (though there was no final round) benefited from the absence of several contenders in qualifying.

JJ Yeley will start ninth and Jeremy Clements will start 12th.

The first round of qualifying was red flagged twice for rain and a third time for a Mike Harmon spin.

Harmon and Matt Mills failed to qualify.

Click here for qualifying results.