NASCAR Weekly: Hendrick Motorsports makes history in Charlotte
Hendrick Motorsports is the most successful team in NASCAR history after Kyle Larson’s win at Charlotte Motor Speedway – You find this and more news in our Weekly
NASCAR Cup Series (by André Wiegold)
Kyle Larson gave Hendrick Motorsports its 269th Cup victory last Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This makes Rick Hendrick’s team the sole leader in the overall standings of NASCAR winners. The racing team passed Petty Enterprises. For Larson, it was already the second win of the season, which is why the Californian has now got his playoff ticket for sure.
According to information from “The Athletic,” Kurt Busch is being linked to the planned second car at 23XI Racing, the team owned by Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan. The new racing team plans to expand to two cars with the introduction of Next Gen cars.
The experienced Busch, who is currently under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing, appears to be a hot candidate. It wouldn’t be the first time Busch has helped a still fairly small team with his skills. In 2012 and 2013, the Las Vegas race driver drove for Furniture Row Racing, helping the team that later became champion with Martin Truex Jr. to raise its game in the NASCAR world.
Two-time truck race winner Ben Rhodes will make his Cup debut at Sonoma Raceway. The 24-year-old will take over the #77 Spire car. Meanwhile, Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell has expressed a desire to continue driving for Front Row Motorsports next year. Ryan Newman has announced he is not yet thinking about ending his career.
The first final race of the next-gen era will take place at Phoenix Raceway. The one-mile oval in Arizona has been home to the season’s deciding race since 2020, where the “Final 4” are battling for the championship win. The unique oval with its famous dogleg opened in 1964 and has been a fixture on the NASCAR calendar since 1988.
Hendrick Motorsports has suspended Chase Elliott’s spotter Eddie D’Hondt. D’Hondt was arrested a few weeks ago for assaulting a pregnant woman. The suspended spotter will stand trial in June. D’Hondt will no longer work for the NASCAR team until the verdict is announced.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (by André Wiegold).
Ty Gibbs won his second Xfinity race in Charlotte. The 18-year-old grandson of Joe Gibbs is doing a part-time program in the championship in 2021 and has already been allowed to put his Toyota in Victory Lane at the Daytona circuit. In six Xfinity starts so far, Gibbs has two wins and five top-five results: awesome!
Gibbs survived a late restart to secure the lead. He defended against the chasers and crossed the finish line in first place. The two stage wins, on the other hand, went to Daniel Hemric, who was involved in an accident with seven riders involved on lap 187 and therefore had to retire.
Santino Ferrucci is eyeing a full-time start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The US American, who finished sixth at the Indy 500, is part of the part-time program at Sam Hunt Racing. The former Formula 2 driver has contested four races for the team. Ferrucci is said to already have two offers: He could compete for Rahal in the IndyCar Series or go to Gibbs in the Xfinity Series – a tough choice.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (by Simon Mones)
Things could hardly be going better for John Hunter Nemechek this year. On Friday night, the 23-year-old secured his third win of the season in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But there was a moment of shock for Nemechek shortly before the end of the race when his truck was hit by debris after a collision between Johnny Sauter and Trey Hutchens. Despite the damage to the roof of his truck, the KBM driver brought home the win in a duel with Carson Hocevar and secured the $50,000 Triple Truck Challenge bonus.
Overall, it was an eventful Friday for Nemechek, who touched the wall after just two laps in practice. “We only ran about ten laps total in practice,” said the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver. “Hats off to all my guys who worked on it. I’m just so thankful and blessed to be in a position like this.”
Josh Berry starts for Rackley WAR
Josh Berry actually competes in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, but he is currently in demand in the other NASCAR series as well. Just recently, the 30-year-old made his debut in the Cup Series, and he will also make a few starts in the Truck Series.
After parting ways with Rackley WAR and Timothy Peters, Berry will compete for the team in races at Texas Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway and Pocono Raceway.
Chris Hacker makes truck debut
Nashville will also see Chris Hacker make his Truck Series debut for Cram Racing Enterprises. The 21-year-old joined the team last year with plans to compete in the ARCA season opener as well as some Truck Series races.
Due to a positive coronation test, Hacker missed the preparation for Daytona and had to change his plans. Instead, the 21-year-old competed in the ARCA race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he finished in the top 10.
In Nashville, Hacker will pilot the #94 car for Cram Racing Enterprises, but there is one problem: There is no sponsor yet. But the 21-year-old knows how to help himself and uses Twitter to find sponsors. For example, he tried to persuade Red Bull to return to NASCAR.
However, this attempt had little success, so Hacker posted a picture of his truck with the words “sponsor me.” In addition, he inquired in the same tweet whether Markus Lemonis could help out. As is well known, the CEO of the series’ title sponsor, Camping World, has already helped out some teams with small budgets this year.