NASCAR Weekly: Truck Series playoff field set
While the Cup and Xfinity Series drivers are still battling for a spot in the playoffs, the Truck Series finalists have already been determined – This and more in the NASCAR-Weekly
NASCAR Cup Series (by André Wiegold)
The purchase of Chip Ganassi Racing by Trackhouse has made big waves. Justin Marks is the owner of the racing team, which will field two cars with charters beginning with the 2022 season. The team’s two full-time drivers have also been announced: Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.
This means Kurt Busch will have to look for a new employer for the coming season. The 43-year-old is being linked to a second car from 23XI Racing – the new team of Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan. However, the racing team has not yet purchased a second charter.
The race numbers on the door will be moved forward on the next-gen car, which will be introduced in the 2022 season. In this way, NASCAR wants to give teams the opportunity to provide more generous space for sponsors. Exactly what that will look like is not yet known.
There was a two-week Olympic break in recent weeks, but two Cup races still have to be worked off: Stewart-Haas Racing made it back to Victory Lane with Aric Almirola at Loudon, while Kyle Larson won the road course race at Watkins Glen.
Austin Cindric, who will take over the #2 Penske Ford next year due to Brad Keselowski’s move to Roush-Fenway Racing, will again get Cup experience in the #33 car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Where will Matt DiBenedetto go after the 2021 season? The likeable racer will be without a Cup cockpit at the end of the year and the opportunities to get competitive material are dwindling by the day. DiBenedetto, meanwhile, is even open to taking a step back and looking into the Xfinity or Truck Series.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (by André Wiegold)
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ty Gibbs, the grandson of Joe Gibbs, has once again caused quite a stir. Following Christopher Bell’s win at New Hampshire Speedway, the 18-year-old put in a dominant performance at Watkins Glen. It is Gibbs’ first Xfinity year in which he is only competing part-time. The youngster has already won three races in 2021 – in ten starts.
Actually, a total of five EuroNASCAR drivers would have tried their hand in qualifying for the Indianapolis Xfinity race this coming Saturday. Loris Hezemans as well as Giorgio Maggi are active EuroNASCAR drivers and are racing in the PRO classification in the 2021 season. Myatt Snider was part of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2019, earning a sixth-place finish. Will Rodgers participated in the recruiting program in 2017.
They would have been joined by Max Papis, but he tested positive for the coronavirus, so he had to withdraw his entry. J.J. Yeley has been named to replace Papis in the #13 car. The Italian competed in EuroNASCAR in 2013 and scored a podium in four races.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (by Simon Mones).
After a four-week break, the finale of the Regular Season was on the schedule last weekend. For the first time since 2000, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned to the road course of Watkins Glen. As at the race in Knoxville, the winner was Austin Hill.
The Hattori Racing Enterprises driver secured his first victory on a circuit and also benefited from the bad weather. Only a few laps before the end, the race had to be interrupted due to thunderstorms. Since the Xfinity Series race was still taking place afterwards, NASCAR decided to end the race after a one-hour break.
Meanwhile, Chase Purdy had to sit out last weekend because he was sick with the coronavirus. “We wish Chase a steady recovery and hope to see him compete at the series’ next event at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway,” said his team GMS Racing. At Watkins Glen, Purdy was replaced by A.J. Allmendinger.
Playoff field set – Nemechek Regluar Season Champion
Unlike his teammates Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith, Purdy didn’t make the playoffs. Meanwhile, the title of Regular Season Champion was secured by John Hunter Nemechek, who enters the title fight with a 28-point lead over Austin Hill.
In addition to Nemechek and Hill, these drivers made the playoffs:
|1||John Hunter Nemechek||Kyle Busch Motorsports||5||2049|
|2||Austin Hill||Hattori Racing||2||2021|
|3||Ben Rhodes||ThorSport Racing||2||2019|
|4||Todd Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||1||2015|
|5||Sheldon Creed||GMS Racing||1||2011|
|6||Zane Smith||GMS Racing||0||2009|
|7||Matt Crafton||ThorSport Racing||0||2004|
|8||Carson Hocevar||Niece Motorsport||0||2002|
|9||Chandler Smith||Kyle Busch Motorsports||0||2001|
|10||Stewart Friesen||Halmar Friesen Racing||0||2001|