On Friday night, the NASCAR Xfinity Series made its’ second trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for the annual Food City 300 night race at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile”. The night race at Bristol always brings excitement and action to the forefront, and this year was no different. JD Motorsports with Gary Keller drivers Landon Cassill, Garrett Smithley, Stephen Leicht, and BJ McLeod brought their best gladiator suits with them for a hard-fought race – all under the lights.
Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet, qualified his Camaro in 20th position, but with the help of some strategy from atop the pit box, he was able to earn some stage points at the end of Stage 1, where he finished an impressive sixth place. Stage 2 showed Cassill in 14th position, but the crew worked hard on adjusting the car to stay up with the racetrack and keep Landon happy. At the end of the day, the Iowa native was able to come home with a 10th place finish, which is his best-career finish at the half mile short track. The finish was JD Motorsports’ fourth Top 10 of the season, two of which have been scored by Landon.
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Flex Glue Chevrolet, started from the rear of the pack in 37th, but was able to slice his way through the field to come home with another solid finish. At the end of Stage 1, Leicht was up to 28thposition, and he was able to make his way up through the pack even further to 23rd at the end of Stage 2. The #FlexGlueCrew led by Mark Setzer made some sizable changes near the end of the race to help earn Stephen some extra track position, enabling him to bring home a 19th place finish. Leicht remains 19th in the drivers’ points standings leaving Bristol, and looks to gain more points next weekend at Road America.
BJ McLeod, driver of the No. 15 Flex Shot Chevrolet, started from the 34thspot on the grid, but like Leicht, he was able to make up some ground early on in the 300 lap race. By Stage 1, McLeod was up to 23rd, and by Stage 2, he had continued his climb up to 21st. In the final stage of the event, BJ was running up inside the Top 20, and looked to have a promising finish for the #15Machine until an electrical failure brought his Camaro behind the wall on lap 242. McLeod would bring home a 26th place finish, and remains in 20th in the drivers’ points standings.
Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 0 Flex Tape Chevrolet, rolled off from the 36th position in Friday night’s race. Along with Landon, Garrett was also able to gain a stage point at the end of Stage 1, where he placed 10th. It appeared to be shaping up for a great showing for Smithley at Bristol. Midway through Stage 2 however, a power steering issue forced him behind the wall, where he spent many laps waiting for the crew to fix the problem. Smithley was able to return to the racetrack and came home with a 28th place finish, keeping him 18th in the drivers’ points standings heading into Road America.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to road course racing this weekend on Saturday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Midwest track will be the end of a string of road course races in the month of August, and is always known for its’ exciting opportunities for aggressive “dive bomb” passing action. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 3:00 PM ET to watch the Road America 180.
JD Motorsports PR