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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.

JD Motorsports completes Xfinity driver lineup with Garrett Smithley

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Garrett Smithley will return to JD Motorsports with Gary Keller for a third season, the Xfinity Series team announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old Smithley will again drive the No. 0 car.

He completes JD Motorsports’ driver roster for 2018. Smithley’s teammates will be Ross Chastain, Vinnie Miller and Matt Mills.

“I’m so excited to be back with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller this season,” Smithley said in a statement from the team. “We’ve had two very successful seasons together and to be given the opportunity to continue to build on that is something I do not take for granted.

“Each and every year JD Motorsports with Gary Keller grows and improves. This offseason has been an extremely strong one for this organization, and I knew that if the opportunity presented itself to return, I wouldn’t pass it up. I can’t thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunities they have given me and this entire team for all that they do. We’re a family, and we’re in this together. It will be awesome to work with Ross once again, as well as Vinnie and Matt this season.”

Smithley finished 21st in the points last season. He finished a season-best eighth in the season opener last year at Daytona International Speedway.

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Martins Motorsports returns to Truck Series with Matt Mills at Iowa

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After a brief absence, Martins Motorsports is returning to the Camping World Truck Series this weekend at Iowa Speedway.

The team will field the No. 42 Chevrolet with driver Matt Mills.

Martins Motorsports shifted its focus to the Xfinity Series earlier this year and sold the rights to its No. 44 to Faith Motorsports.

“It’s been a weird year,” said driver and team spokesman Tommy Joe Martins in a press release. “So much has changed for our team in just one year. The Truck series has shifted dramatically. But I think we’ve found a good direction for Martins Motorsports. We’re at home in the Truck series. We want to be a platform for guys to take their first step in NASCAR – just like I did.”

Mills will be making his fourth Truck start of the year. His first three, at Kansas, Charlotte and Dover, were with Faith Motorsports. The 20-year-old driver finished 17th at Kansas and Dover. He finished 24th at Charlotte.

Martins Motorsports has made 29 Truck starts since 2009. Its only starts this year were at Atlanta with Martins and at Martinsville with Brandon Brown.

“We know we’ve got a chance to go out and compete for top-15’s consistently with Matt driving our trucks.” Martins said. “The relationship he’s formed with our crew chief Kevin Eagle is also going to give us a big head start on unloading fast. We want to give Matt as many opportunities as we can.”

The team hopes to compete in “several” of the remaining races in the Truck season, but a final schedule is not set.

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Latest young gun makes Xfinity debut: Matt Mills to race at Phoenix

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After four starts in 2016 in the Camping World Truck Series, 19-year-old Matt Mills will make his Xfinity Series debut this Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.

The Lynchburg, Virginia native will drive the No. 8 Thompson Electric Chevrolet for B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the DC Solar 200. Mills will be making his second career start at Phoenix, having finished a career-best 21st in the Truck Series race there last fall.

“This is a great opportunity and I’m excited, yet humbled to be making my NASCAR Xfinity Series debut,” Mills said in a media release. “I’m hoping that my prior experience at Phoenix should be to some benefit to myself and the B.J. McLeod Motorsports team.

“I’m really hoping for a good result on Saturday afternoon.”

Veteran Keith Wolfe will serve as Mills’ crew chief.

In addition to Mills, B.J. McLeod Motorsports will have two other drivers entered in Saturday’s race: team principal B.J. McLeod in the No. 78 Chevrolet and veteran driver David Starr in the No. 99 Chevy.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Matt have a great Xfinity Series debut on Saturday,” McLeod said. “He is a sharp kid who takes his racing very seriously and is anxious to learn and succeed.

“I think with prior experience at Phoenix, it offers the chance to make that transition that much smoother.”

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