On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway for a 300-mile race in the sweltering heat. With two off weekends in a row leading up to the Charlotte race, the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) race teams had plenty of time to prepare cars capable of running well.
And run well they did. Though the weekend didn’t start off the greatest for any of the JDM cars in qualifying, they made their way through the field during the race, ending up with some good finishes.
Ross Chastain, who drives the No. 4 Florida Watermelon Association Chevrolet Camaro, started 37th due to a broken wire in the ignition during qualifying. He didn’t stay there long, however, as he worked all the way up to the Top 15 during Stage 1 of the race. The No. 4 was a rocket ship early on, but midway through the race, it was apparent that there was a problem with the car, which turned out to be the splitter pan that was dragging underneath, which hindered performance.
Once the team fixed the issue, Chastain made his way back through the field at a quick rate. He was nipping on the heels of another Top 10 finish, but ultimately ran out of time, and brought his Camaro home in the 11th position. That finish keeps Ross solidly in 13th for the season standings, now 49 points behind the Playoffs cutoff spot.
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Flex Glue Chevrolet Camaro, had a roller coaster of a day. The near by Asheville, NC native struggled in qualifying, and rolled off from the 32nd position to start the race off. From there, he was able to knock down spots one at a time, and ran on the lead lap for the majority of the event. Leicht consistently improved throughout the race, and thanks to the help of four fresh tires near the finish, he was able to cap the weekend off with a solid 15th place run – his best finish yet this season. Stephen jumps up a whopping three spots in the season standings to 23rd, and now sits 26 markers back from the Top 20.
The #NumberNuthin Flex Tape No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Garrett Smithley had a relatively uneventful afternoon in Charlotte. After qualifying the car in 30th place, he too made his way through the field, spending most of the day in the 15th – 20th positions. At one point, thanks to some strategy by the crew, Garrett found himself restarting up inside the Top 10. He ran consistently for the remainder of the race, and ended up coming away with a 17th place finish. Smithley still sits in 16th in points, now just 38 points back of being inside the Top 15.
BJ McLeod, who had backing from Flex Seal on his No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro, continued to build on momentum for the team with another solid run. McLeod qualified the car in 21st, which was the best out of the four JDM cars. From there, he ran right around Garrett in the 15th – 20th positions, ultimately coming home with an 18th place finish. BJ sits 22nd in the standings, just 11 points back out of 20th.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Pocono Raceway for the running of the Pocono Green 250 Recycled By J.P. Mascaro & Sons on Saturday, June 1st. Be sure to watch FS1 for live coverage at 1:00 PM ET, or listen along on the radio on PRN. For all things JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, be sure to follow along on our social media pages @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!