NASCAR weekly: Spire Motorsports to sign two full time drivers in 2021
Spire Motorsports wants to rely on consistency after the purchase of the Leavine Family team – Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick won in Dover
NASCAR Cup Series (by: André Wiegold)
In the 2020 season, Spire Motorsports put eight different drivers in its #77 car: Stanton Barrett, Josh Bilicki, James Davison, B.J. McLeod, Garrett Smithley, Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley and Ross Chastain. This is to end from the 2021 season onwards. The team has bought the Leavine Family’s property and plans to compete next season with two full-time drivers in two cars.
It is not yet known who will drive these two cars, but Ross Chastain and Justin Haley, who surprisingly won the Daytona summer race with Spire due an rain in 2019, seem to be hot candidates for the team’s two cockpits.
Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) continue to dominate the action in the NASCAR Cup Series. The two title favorites each won one race at the double header at Dover International Speedway, increasing their lead on the rest of the grid.
Due to their race and stage wins, both have already secured a large cushion of points in the playoffs. Before the last race of the regular season at Daytona International Speedway, Harvick is already determined as the winner of the first part of the season, which will earn him 15 extra points for the playoffs. The Stewart-Haas driver also has seven race wins and seven stage wins in his pockets. Hamlin, on the other hand, collected six race wins and seven stage wins.
But who else has to fear for participation in the playoffs before the Daytona roulette? Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron and Jimmie Johnson are still fighting for the two remaining spots. Clint Bowyer is sure to be there when he gets three points in Daytona. But with a surprise victory of a top 30 driver, the whole scenario could change completely.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (by: André Wiegold)
Noah Gragson, who has long been considered a potential successor to Jimmie Johnson, will compete a third season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports and will not advance to the NASCAR Cup Series. On Twitter he first posted the emoji of a pen and then the team’s confirmation video appeared on social media.
In the double header at the Dover International Speedway, Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports) drove to his first win of the 2020 season, securing a place in this year’s playoffs. So far in the Xfinity championship there have been seven different winners from the regular field of the series. The second race was won by Chase Briscoe (Stewart-Haas Racing), who grabbed his sixth win of the season.
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series (by: Simon Mones and André Wiegold)
While the NASCAR Cup Series started twice this weekend in Dover, the drivers in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series only had one race on Friday on the schedule.
For the second time this season, Zane Smith (GMS Racing) prevailed in the battle for victory and also secured the $50,000 prize of the “Triple Truck Challenge”. Brett Moffitt (GMS Racing) crossed the finish line in second place – despite 50 lead laps.
But once again, a name was not found on the entry list in Dover: Natalie Decker (Niece Motorsports). The explanation is easy as the young pilot does not drive all the races in the Truck Series. As her team Niece Motorsports has now announced, Decker will nevertheless start more often this season than previously planned.
With the WWT Raceway 200 presented by CK Power, the ToyotaCare 250, the UNO 200 presented by Ohio Logistics and the SpeedyCas.com 400, the 23-year-old plans four more starts in the 2020 season.
“I’m so thankful N29 and Niece Motorsports are giving me this opportunity to do four more races this year! I’m very excited and can’t wait to get to Gateway”, said Decker, who already knows the Gateway circuit from the ARCA Midwest Tour, ARCA by Menards and the Truck Series.
At the truck race at the Darlington Speedway, NASCAR fans of the old guard will have a reason to smile: Greg Biffle will compete in the race with GMS Racing. The 50-year-old with 19 Cup victories on his books has ended his Cup career after the 2016 season. He contested his last NASCAR Truck race in 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway.