SPARTA, KY –
On Friday night, the NASCAR Xfinity Series raced under the lights at Kentucky Speedway for the lone night race on a 1.5 mile track this season. The recently repaved track always possesses new challenges to drivers, and this latest race was no exception. JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) drivers were ready to tackle the challenges in the Bluegrass State head on.
Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 0 Victory Lane Quick Oil Change/Kendall Motor Oil Chevrolet, started his night off from deep in the pack in 35th due to a mishap in qualifying. However, he proved to be the biggest mover from the JDM stable, finishing 21st in Stage 1, then following that up with a 19th place effort in Stage 2. The #NumberNuthin driver out of Ligonier, PA retained his spot throughout all of Stage 3 to come home with a 19th place effort, leading the charge of his JDM teammates. With this finish, Smithley was able to move up one spot in the drivers’ points standings, now sitting in 16th.
BJ McLeod had his first drive in the No. 4 machine this weekend in Kentucky, sporting some decals bringing awareness to deceased University of Kentucky player Jared Lorenzen and his Memorial Fund. McLeod qualified his Chevrolet in the 24th position, and continued to run right around the Top 20 throughout the night. Stage 1 had the Florida native scored in 23rd, with Stage 2 showing him in 21st place. BJ ended the night with a 20th place finish, keeping him in the 20th position in the drivers’ points standings.
Stephen Leicht started his No. 01 Rising Star Casino & Resort Chevrolet the highest out of all the JDM cars in 23rd position to start the night off. Leicht ran consistently near the Top 25 throughout the race, finishing Stage 1 in 27th and Stage 2 in 26th, respectively. After having to battle the car coming out of gear late in the race, Stephen was able to stay on track and come home with a 24th place finish. He remains in 19th place in the drivers’ points standings heading into New Hampshire, just 16 points ahead of fellow teammate BJ McLeod.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s Landon Cassill drove JDM’s No. 15 Chevrolet this weekend for the first time this season, but he faced his share of problems all night. Cassill qualified in 30th position to start the race, but early on in Stage 1, he was forced to go behind the wall to fix a suspension issue, relegating him to a 35th place finish at the end of the stage, multiple laps down. Stage 2 showed Cassill in 31st, and as attrition started to hit multiple cars in the latter portion of the race, he was able to continue on to reach a 26th place finish.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on Saturday, July 20th for the running of the Lakes Region 200. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET to watch the four JD Motorsports with Gary Keller drivers battle it out at the flat track known as the “Magic Mile”. For all things JDM, follow along on our social media pages @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM
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