tommy baldwin racing

Cup entry list for Wednesday night race at Charlotte

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Forty cars are entered for Wednesday night’s Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

It’s the same 40 teams but there are driver changes from Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. They are:

Josh Bilicki will drive the No. 7 car for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

JJ Yeley will be in the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports. He had originally been listed as driving the No. 27 car for Rick Ware Racing. Gray Gaulding is now entered in the No. 27.

All three cars will start at the rear because of the driver change. There is no qualifying for Wednesday’s race. The top 20 finishers from Sunday are inverted for Wednesday’s starting lineup. The remaining positions are based on where the car finished Sunday (except for those with driver changes).

Click here for the updated entry list.


NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte

Race Time:  8 p.m. ET Wednesday

Track:  Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina (1.5-mile oval)

Length:  205 laps, 310 miles

Stages:  Stage 1 ends on Lap 55. Stage 2 ends on Lap 115.

TV:  Fox Sports 1

Radio:  Performance Racing Network Radio

Streaming:  Fox Sports app (subscription required); and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Entry list for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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There are 40 entries for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on Fox).

The race is the third in eight days for the Cup Series following races at Darlington on Sunday and Wednesday.

Ross Chastain is entered in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet for the second time this season (Daytona 500). The car will be prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing.

JJ Yeley is entered in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 7 Chevrolet. This is the team’s second start this year.

Gray Gaulding is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 27 Ford.

Unlike the two races at Darlington, the field will be set by qualifying at 2 p.m. ET Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. is the defending winner of the race. He beat Joey Logano and Kyle Busch for the victory last year.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity Series – Alsco 300 (7:30 p.m. ET Monday on FS1)

There are 37 cars entered into Monday’s Xfinity Series race.

Kyle Busch is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 Toyota.

Austin Hill is entered in Hattori Racing Enterprises’ No. 61 Toyota.

Garrett Smithley is entered in SS Greenlight Racing’s No. 07 Chevrolet.

Tyler Reddick won this race last year over Justin Allgaier and Jeffrey Earnhardt

Click here for the entry list.

Truck Series – North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (8 p.m. ET Tuesday on FS1)

Forty trucks are entered. Among those entered are Cup drivers Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, John Hunter Nemechek, Brennan Poole and Garrett Smithley. Also entered is Xfinity Series driver Ross Chastain.

Click here for Truck entry list

Starting lineup for Wednesday night’s Cup race at Darlington

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Ryan Preece will lead the field to the green flag for the start of Wednesday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1). The race is scheduled for 311 miles (500 kilometers).

NASCAR inverted the top 20 finishers from Sunday’s race to set the starting lineup for Wednesday night’s event. Preece will start on the pole after finishing 20th Sunday. He’ll be joined on the front row by Ty Dillon. Sunday’s winner, Kevin Harvick, starts 20th.

Every team is returning except the No. 7 car of Tommy Baldwin Racing, making Wednesday’s race a 39-car field.

Positions 21-39 were based on Sunday’s finish and not inverted. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who finished last on Sunday, starts last on Wednesday.

Click here for Wednesday night Cup race starting lineup

NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington

Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday

Track: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C. (1.366-mile oval)

Length: 228 laps, 311.4 miles (500k)

Stages: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 125.

TV coverage: Fox Sports 1

Radio: MRN Radio

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity Series race: May 19 at Darlington  (147 laps, 200.1 miles), 7:30 p.m. ET on  FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Next Truck Series race: May 26 at Charlotte (134 laps, 201 miles), 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Tommy Baldwin Racing returns to Cup Series for first time since 2017

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Not only is NASCAR returning to live Cup Series racing Sunday at Darlington Raceway, so too is Tommy Baldwin Racing.

The team announced Monday that it will field the No. 7 Chevrolet, its first appearance in the Cup Series since the 2017 season.

“I am excited to be returning to the NASCAR Cup Series,” team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. said in a media release. “I have been in this sport for a long time, and I believe now is the best time to get back to the track.”

Baldwin spent last season as a crew chief for Premium Motorsports, primarily working with Reed Sorenson.

Josh Bilicki will drive for Baldwin in Sunday’s race. Bilicki competed in 10 Cup races last season for Rick Ware Racing.

“Darlington is one of my favorite tracks, and I can’t wait to get back on track,” Bilicki said.

Primary sponsor on the car will be Gravely Mowers, a high-performance commercial lawn mower company.

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Long: Cup victory marks giant step forward for Alex Bowman

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JOLIET, Ill. — Alex Bowman climbed from his car, which was stuck in the mud, and steadied himself on the door. The next step he took elevated him into a moment of a lifetime.

There on the car’s roof, Bowman stood, a Cup winner for the first time.

As he relished the feeling, the 26-year-old shed the doubt, disrespect and disappointment that has followed him in his career.

“I feel like I’m so used to being disappointed in a way after Cup races and stock car races in general,” Bowman said after winning Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway. “My career hasn’t been what I would have hoped it would have been as a kid.”

If you get beat down enough, sometimes it’s hard to truly revel when things go so well. Runner-up Kyle Larson noted how Bowman’s celebration seemed muted.

“Looking at the big screen, he’s like the most unexcited person I’ve ever seen in my life to get his first Cup win,” Larson said.

Larson went to victory lane to congratulate Bowman and told his friend how calm he looked. Bowman said he didn’t know what to do.

“I’m so happy, and I feel like I’m not really showing it because I just don’t really know what to say,” Bowman later said.

Bowman’s voyage to this victory was an odyssey that no one will ever repeat. He was not ordained in the way others have been, their paths to Cup paved with the proper funding and elite rides.

“His story in climbing up through the ranks … is like the workingman’s story,” teammate Jimmie Johnson said.

Nine years ago, Bowman was in an intensive care unit, eyes swollen shut, ribs and collarbones broken after a vicious crash in a midget car. Told he’d be out eight weeks, he returned in half that time.

Bowman was the K&N Pro Series East rookie of the year in 2011, beating Chase Elliott for that honor, and won that same award the next year in the ARCA Series to earn a ride in the Xfinity Series in 2013.

The rise to Cup was quick but the rides were unremarkable. He drove for BK Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing, two teams that no longer exist, in 2014-15. He was prepared to run for Baldwin’s team in 2016 until he found out on Twitter less than a month before the Daytona 500 he was no longer with the team.

Bowman ran only nine Xfinity races in 2016 and returned to Cup only after Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed the second half of the season because of concussion symptoms. Bowman filled in for Earnhardt for 10 races. When Earnhardt returned in 2017, Bowman ran no Cup races, two Xfinity races (with one win) and one Gander Outdoors Truck Series race. Instead, his time was spent mostly in Chevrolet’s simulator working for Hendrick Motorsports.

When Bowman was selected to take over the No. 88 after Earnhardt’s retirement in 2018, some people thought Bowman was a Cup rookie unaware he had run two full seasons.

“I feel like people question me a lot, and if I deserve to be here or not,” Bowman said. “Just based on the fact that I don’t have a big resume to fall back on. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities throughout my career, but when we went stock car racing, those opportunities got pretty slim.

“Just getting a Cup win is something that kind of relaxes me in the sense that I feel like I can finally say I deserve to be here. But there were definitely some times I was very worried about it. It made going to the race track not a lot of fun. But glad we’re having a lot of fun now.”

Crew chief Greg Ives understands the questions. There were those who wondered about him being paired with Earnhardt in 2015 even though Ives didn’t have experience as a crew chief in Cup.

“Sometimes respect is what you’ve got to go and get, and I think (Bowman) has been capable of doing that,” said Ives, who won three Cup races with Earnhardt in 2015 but none since until Sunday. “I feel like I’ve underperformed a little bit with the cars and been able to over the course of the last month and a half, two months been able to give (Bowman) an opportunity to run up front and show what he’s made of.”

Bowman scored consecutive runner-up finishes at Talladega, Dover and Kansas.

Bowman said the Talladega finish was good since he hadn’t placed better than 11th to that point in the season. The Dover result also felt good after he started at the rear. The Kansas finish was the most disappointing, he admits.

“I’m super bummed on that one,” Bowman said. “My family is from there, and I really wanted to win that race. I was pretty upset with myself, and I got back to the lounge, and one of our engineers, Tim (O’Brien), he’s like, ‘Just wait until Chicago, we’re going to go haul ass there,’ and we were able to do that.”

All four Hendrick Motorsports cars were strong Sunday but Bowman had to take this win from Larson after Larson chased him down and took the lead with eight laps to go. Tired of those runner-up finishes this season, Bowman pursued, pressured and persevered, passing Larson with an aggressive side draft and slight contact with six laps to go.

“The contact was pretty unintentional,” Bowman said. “That was just hard racing, and I think it’s a lot of fun to race Kyle like that.”

And even more fun winning.

“It’s something that,” Bowman said, “that’s all I’ve wanted my whole life.”

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