On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series made its’ final trip out to a permanent road course on the year out at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. This was the series’ third road course race in a month, and it turned out to be a very exciting race for the fans to watch.

Entering the weekend, Ryan Vargas, driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet, didn’t have much road course experience, but he was eager to gain some valuable seat time in just his second career NXS start. Vargas started deep in the field in 33rd when a slower car blocked his timed lap, but that didn’t prevent him from learning how to pass smoothly and make his way up through the pack. At the end of the caution less Stage One, Vargas was scored in 25th, and the eighteen-year-old made up some more spots to 22nd at the end of Stage Two. In the final stage, the NASCAR Next driver was able to climb even further up the leaderboard, coming home with a respectable 18th place finish in just his second start.

BJ McLeod, who drove the No. 15 Chevrolet on Saturday, continued his learning process on the road courses, where he is self-admittedly unaccustomed to racing on. McLeod drove a clean, conservative race all day, after rolling off the starting grid in 34th position. A pair of 30th place finishes in both Stage One and Stage Two were due to the #15Machine crew electing to hang back and keep their Camaro in one piece, but as chaos ensued in the final stage, BJ was able to steer clear of all the mess and come home with a 23rd place finish. The solid run keeps McLeod scored in 20th in the drivers’ standings heading into Darlington next weekend.

Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 0 Chevrolet, had a very promising run going at the 4-mile road course. Smithley practiced in 17th, and started the race from 21st, and when it came to race time, many thought he would have a great finish. Stage One showed Garrett in 15th, with Stage Two showing him 13th, but unfortunately, on lap 37/45, the engine let go, forcing him behind the wall. Smithley would end up coming home with a 33rd place finish, keeping him 18th in the drivers’ points standings.

Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Chevrolet, faced the same fate as Garrett Smithley. Leicht started his Camaro from the 25th position, but was able to make up some ground early to 18th at the end of Stage One. Stephen was all the way up to 11th at the end of Stage Two, and appeared to have a solid run going, until he lost his engine one lap prior to Garrett. Stephen remains in the 19th position in drivers’ standings heading into Darlington.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will race at Darlington Raceway this Saturday for the running of the Sport Clips 200. The race can be viewed live on NBC, or listened to on MRN. Be sure to tune in to see JD Motorsports with Gary Keller drivers BJ McLeod, Garrett Smithley, Stephen Leicht, and Landon Cassill try to tackle the track dubbed “Too Tough to Tame”. For all things JDM, follow us along on social media with the handle @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM



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