After a wild race at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to Kentucky Speedway on Friday, July 13. It’ll be the series’ third night race and their 17th event of the 2018 season.
Just 39 teams are entered this week with only a few changes to note. If that number holds, it would certainly be the first time all season an XFINITY race would go green without a full field. Missing from the list is Kaz Grala, without sponsorship for his No. 61 Fury Race Cars Ford despite three top-10 finishes in the last six races.
Unfortunately I won’t be racing this weekend @KySpeedway. We were unable to secure enough sponsorship to make it to the track. 😔
On an exciting note, we HAVE secured the sponsorship to run my home race @NHMS next weekend! 😁
We‘re continuing to work on future sponsorship. 🤞🏻
— Kaz Grala (@KazGrala) July 10, 2018
Only three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars are entered in this weekend’s race. Ty Dillon will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing while Kyle Busch will be back in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Both of them have won XFINITY races already this season.
Paul Menard will also make a spot start, sliding behind the wheel of the No. 22 for Team Penske. Menard will be looking for his first XFINITY win of the season after a strong year on the Cup side running for the Wood Brothers.
Some XFINITY full-time regulars are also moving around. After a hard Daytona wreck, Austin Cindric returns to the No. 12 car for Team Penske. He was driving the No. 60 for Roush Fenway Racing at Daytona.
Perhaps the biggest story on this weekend’s entry list is Spencer Gallagher. He’ll be back in the No. 23 car for GMS Racing for the first time since his win at Talladega earlier this season. Gallagher was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR that following week due to a failed drug test. He has since completed the Road to Recovery program and is now back with GMS full-time.
Among part-time drivers, B.J. McLeod Motorsports will have Ray Black Jr. in their No. 8 car and Tommy Joe Martins in the No. 78 this weekend. Blake Jones and Caesar Bacarella drove for the team last weekend at Daytona.
Finally, Ty Majeski will drive the No. 60 car for Roush Fenway Racing for the first time since Iowa Speedway. He also scored his best career finish of seventh in that event.
Opening practice for XFINITY teams at Kentucky takes place on Thursday, July 12 at 4:05 p.m. ET with no TV coverage. The green flag waves at approximately 8:18 p.m. ET on Friday, July 13 with coverage on NBCSN.