Shane Lee

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Xfinity driver Shane Lee, H2 Motorsports part ways

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After less than three months together, Shane Lee’s tenure as driver of the No. 28 H2 Motorsports Toyota in the Xfinity Series is over.

When asked by a fan on Twitter about if Lee had been released from the No. 28 ride, Lee replied, “That’s is correct.”

A team spokesman confirmed to NBC Sports on Thursday that Lee is no longer its driver.

The spokesman said the team will not participate as planned in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway. The team spokesman also told NBC Sports that a new driver has not been named and the team has not decided what its next race will be.

Owned by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Matt Hurley, H2 Motorsports formed this past May, with its first race at Iowa in June. Lee and the team competed in seven races, with a best finish of seventh in its return trip to Iowa in July. NASCAR veteran Pete Rondeau is the team’s crew chief.

A native of Newton, North Carolina, the 26-year-old Lee competed in 13 Xfinity races last season for Richard Childress Racing, including one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He also has raced on the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and the ARCA Series.

When H2 Motorsports announced its formation and Lee as its driver in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Lee was upbeat about his future.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been patiently waiting for the right opportunity to present itself and that time is now,” Lee said at the time. “This is the biggest step yet in my career and I appreciate the confidence Matt Hurley and H2 Motorsports has shown in me.”

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Preliminary entry lists for NASCAR at Watkins Glen, Eldora

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It will be an expanded weekend of sorts for NASCAR, with the Gander Outdoors Truck Series racing Thursday night under the lights and on the dirt at Eldora Speedway, while the Xfinity Series will race Saturday and the Cup Series on Sunday on the road course at Watkins Glen International.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for the weekend:

Cup – GoBowling at The Glen (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN) at Watkins Glen

There are 37 cars entered.

NASCAR On NBC’s Parker Kligerman will make his ninth Cup appearance of the season for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96 Toyota.

Two cars do not have drivers listed yet on the preliminary entry list: the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford and the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford.

Chase Elliott is defending winner of this race.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Zippo 200 at The Glen (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC) at Watkins Glen

The preliminary entry list has 37 cars entered in this race.

Ryan Preece will be in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

NASCAR on NBC analyst A.J. Allmendinger will be in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

Kyle Busch will be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Stanton Barrett will be in the No. 42 Motorsports Business Management Toyota.

There is no driver listed on the preliminary entry list for the No. 74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet.

H2 Motorsports, which owns the No. 28 driven by Shane Lee, announced this week it will not compete this month’s three road-course races.

Joey Logano is the defending winner of this race.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Eldora Dirt Derby (9 p.m. ET Thursday on FS1) at Eldora Speedway.

There are 32 trucks entered.

Chase Briscoe is the defending winner of this race and will be making his first Truck Series start of the season.

Spencer Boyd will be replaced in Young’s Motorsports’ No. 20 Chevy by Landon Huffman due to an injury in a non-racing related incident. Huffman has three career Truck Series starts. His most recent was the 2018 playoff race at ISM Raceway with Niece Motorsports.

Boys said he could potentially miss multiple races.

Click here for the entry list.

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Chase Briscoe passes Christopher Bell late for Iowa Xfinity win

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Chase Briscoe stopped Christopher Bell’s two-race winning streak at Iowa Speedway, capturing Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250.

It was the second career Xfinity win for the 24-year-old Briscoe, a native of Mitchell, Indiana, first in 2019. He bounced back from a penalty for running over an air gun on pit road earlier in the race.

“I just can’t believe it,” Briscoe told NBCSN. “When I ran over the hose, I was worried.

“It’s nice, for sure, to kind of silence everybody. We definitely still aren’t near where we need to be but I feel like we’ve been way closer, especially these last couple of weeks. We still have to get better if we’re going to beat the big 3 (Tyler Reddick, Bell and Cole Custer), but I feel like we’re slowly getting into the conversation to be that fourth guy.”

Bell, who had won at Iowa this past June, as well as last July, led a race- and career-high 234 laps. But Briscoe grabbed the lead away from Bell late in the race on Lap 244 and led the final seven laps to take the checkered flag.

“That was tough, to be able to hold him off for as long as I did and not win the race,” Bell told NBCSN. “This car was super, super fast today.”

MORE: Results, points after Iowa race

MORE: Dillon Bassett’s car runs into track sweeper in Iowa Xfinity race

Bell has now finished first twice and second two other times in his last four starts at Iowa.

“It’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said Bell, who was seeking his sixth win of the season in Saturday’s race. “I tried to chase him (Briscoe) into the corner. Maybe I could have opened my entry and tried to turn down, looking back at it. He did a good job, he won the race and we had a great race car.”

Bell finished second, followed by John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Tyler Reddick.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Justin Allgaier, Shane Lee, Justin Haley, Zane Smith and Michael Annett.

Stage 1 winner: Christopher Bell (series-leading 11th stage win)

Stage 2 winner: Christopher Bell (12th stage win)

Who had a good race: Even though he finished second after dominating almost the entire race, Christopher Bell had one of his most impressive performances of the season, including leading a career-high 234 laps. … John Hunter Nemechek battled Bell for the lead several times in the final stage, including leading six laps, before finishing a still very impressive third.

Who had a bad race: Cole Custer suffered his fourth DNF of the season when his car unexpectedly and sharply veered right and into the outside wall with 86 laps to go in the race. Custer finished 29th. “I honestly couldn’t exactly tell you,” Custer told NBCSN when asked what happened. “I got really loose going into three and guess I over corrected it into the fence. … I’m really frustrated. I hate that we’re out (of the race).”

Notable: The series now has three road course events in the next four scheduled races.

What’s next: Zippo 200 at The Glen, Saturday August 3 (3 p.m. ET on NBC), Watkins Glen International

 

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Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe on front row for Iowa Xfinity race

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Christopher Bell captured the pole for this afternoon’s U.S. Cellular 250 Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Bell covered the 7/8-mile oval at 132.855 mph. Bell has won the last two Xfinity races at Iowa, including this past June 16 (and also last season on June 17, 2018).

Chase Briscoe, the final driver to make a qualifying run, was second-fastest at 132.676 mph.

Brandon Jones was third-fastest (132.436 mph), followed by Riley Herbst (132.225 mph) and Justin Allgaier (132.026 mph).

Sixth through 10th were Cole Custer (131.992 mph), Shane Lee (131.932 mph), Austin Cindric (131.849 mph), Michael Annett (131.716 mph) and Ryan Sieg (131.573 mph).

Series points leader Tyler Reddick (131.551 mph) qualified 11th.

The race will take the green flag shortly after 5 p.m. ET and will be televised on NBCSN.

There were two incidents of note during the session.

A steering wheel that the crew uses to steer the car from the grid onto pit road fell off the roof of Morgan Shepherd’s car when he took to the racetrack. To be clear, it was not the steering wheel Shepherd used in the car.

I’ll make sure it’s actually connected to the steering shift, not on the roof of the car,” fellow competitor Tyler Reddick told NBCSN. “It’s kind of funny, it’s not something you see every day, but that could easily happen to anyone.”

A few moments later, the No. 17 Chevrolet of Mark Meunier spun and backed into the outside wall, suffering significant damage and was unable to qualify for the race.

Click here for full qualifying results.

Click here for the full starting grid. 

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Xfinity Series practice report from Iowa Speedway

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Cole Custer was fastest in final practice for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Custer posted a top speed of 129.972 mph.

He was followed by Tyler Reddick (129.833 mph), Christopher Bell (129.736), Chase Briscoe (129.587) and Justin Allgaier (129.486).

Noah Gragson and Mark Meuiner recorded 61 laps each in the session.

Click here for the speed chart.

First practice

Bell was fastest with a a top speed of 129.646 mph.

He was followed by Tyler Reddick (129.220 mph), Shane Lee (129.098), Brandon Jones (129.014) and Ryan Sieg (128.850).

Chase Briscoe was eighth on the speed chart and recorded the most laps with 43.

Click here for the practice report.