JD Motorsports Survives Daytona

Ross Chastain

The first race of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season was held over the weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida. The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) teams had their heads held high entering the weekend, and they were really looking forward to starting the season off right.
At Daytona, everyone fears one thing: getting caught up in The Big One. Luckily, to plenty’s surprise, the big wreck never happened, and the race ended up being one of the cleanest super speedway races in recent memory.

Leading the JD Motorsports brigade was Scott Lagasse in the No. 4 Rimrock Devlin Chevy. After qualifying in 17th place, the St. Augustine, Florida, native stayed calm, cool, and collected, having a relatively uneventful day. He brought his Camaro SS home in the 21st position.

Next, we had Garrett Smithley, a driver who achieved a career milestone in the NASCAR Racing Experience 300, making his 100th career start. He qualified his No. 0 Flex Tape Chevy in the 26th position, and with the help of veteran spotter Freddie Kraft, he was able to make some moves to move up to finish 24th.

Coming out of Daytona with the third-best JDM finish was BJ McLeod. BJ’s No. 15 BTX Global Logistics Chevy had a mishap in qualifying, forcing him to start in 35th, but he slowly started to pick off some of his competition, coming home in the 27th position.

Unfortunately, the fanfare surrounding another JDM driver making his 100thcareer start came to an end early. Stephen Leicht entered the race with high hopes after laying down the 2nd best qualifying lap of the team in 23rd, but on lap 24, his No. 01 OPAV Chevy started to overheat, forcing him to bring his Camaro SS to the attention of his crew in the garage. They were unable to get him back out on track, and so he finished 38th to start the season.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia on Saturday, February 23rd. Fans can watch the Rinnai 250 live on Fox Sports 1 at 2:00 PM EST. Be sure to tune in to see how the JD Motorsports brigade stacks up against their competition for the first mile and a half race of the season.


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