Ever wonder how race teams get great rental car rates? Now you can, too! Find out more.
Enterprise and National: Here to serve your company's needs

NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Some Xfinity Teams Remain Locked Out, Facing Uncertain Futures Under NASCAR’s Qualifying Rules

Three weeks ago, Jordan Anderson was on the highest of highs.

For the second consecutive year, the owner-driver guided his No. 3 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet to a strong runner-up finish in the season-opening race for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the Daytona International Speedway.

The very next morning, NASCAR informed him he could not race for months. That was it. End of story.

Over the offseason, Anderson made two big announcements. Not only had he gotten engaged, but the 29-year-old would also be taking his fledgling team to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, flanking his tenured Truck team.

Anderson hoped to be competitive after making a sizable offseason investment to acquire an impressive fleet of cars and engines from Richard Childress Racing.

“It was going to be the best opportunity I have ever had in my entire career as a driver to drive a competitive car,” Anderson told Frontstretch. “We had put some great equipment together and great motors together. We really wanted to bring some value to the Xfinity Series.”

However, all the hard work and preparation in anticipation of the brand new effort has gone by the wayside.

Anderson has fallen victim to a loophole in NASCAR’s new qualifying procedure. In the weeks and months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sanctioning body has had to adjust its qualifying procedures across all three of its national touring series.

A myriad of different formats was used last season before NASCAR finally settled on a mathematical metric in races that did not have actual qualifying sessions. The metric is based upon percentages relating to owner points, as well as finishing position and fastest lap ranking from the previous event.

To ensure all competitors had an equal shot at making the race, the sport expanded the NXS and NCWTS field sizes to 40.

This was a huge help for the Xfinity Series, as all 37 full-time teams were assured a spot in the field despite the absence of qualifying.

The same system has been used this season. However, NASCAR will be holding physical qualifying sessions at select events this season, meaning the qualifying metric will be thrown out the window at said races. Thus, those contests will feature 36-car fields in both series when qualifying is held.

Just one problem.

While the majority of races this season will feature 40 cars or trucks, the number of full-time NXS teams had jumped from 37 last season to 43 this season.

NASCAR had intended to hold a rare qualifying session at the season-opening Daytona race, but an errant rain shower thwarted those plans.

With no owner points, Anderson, Bassett Racing, and the new second entry for Our Motorsports were left on the sidelines at the World Center of Racing (along with three part-time teams) before ever getting a fair shot to qualify — and have been locked out since.

“We knew that going to Daytona, our one shot to get in was to qualify our way in,” Anderson added. “NASCAR had laid it out that way. They had structured it that way. Unfortunately, that rainstorm hit us and it was called very quickly.”

Since they did not compete, the Anderson, Bassett and Our trio were also left without crucial statistics from Daytona which would boost their spot in the qualifying metric. Without another qualifying session scheduled before the series heads to Circuit of the Americas (May 22), the three teams will essentially be forced to sit out for months even after committing to full seasons.

As one may surmise, responses were not positive.

“It is super frustrating, especially for all the long hours and hard work that [we] have put in to get that car ready,” Bassett Racing co-driver Dillon Bassett told Fronstretch. “For us not even to have a chance to go to the racetrack this weekend even if we wanted to, it really hurts.”

The blow is especially difficult for the family-owned team that had originally planned to enter all 33 NXS races, with Bassett and his brother Ronnie sharing the majority of the driving duties. It would have been a first for the team after competing part-time the last two seasons in a partnership with DGM Racing.

Because of the rain shower and no points, the Bassetts are sitting out the nine races between Daytona and COTA. The team is potentially looking for a driver with road racing prowess to fill the seat at COTA to ensure they make the field. Beyond that race, their plans still remain uncertain.

However, the sting of the qualifying rainout caught the Bassetts completely by surprise. Confusion and a lack of dialogue with NASCAR over the rainout and subsequent “lockout” perpetuated their frustration.

“We’ve been in contact with NASCAR a little bit, but there still doesn’t seem to be any answers because they have their top 40 set,” Bassett said. “The only way we are going to race before COTA is if someone backed out of a race. The Vegas entries are already set, so we wouldn’t be able to until after Vegas. It’s almost a disaster. We just got to keep sending our entry in. You don’t really hope for bad luck for another team, but that’s the only way we are going to be able to race.”

Anderson’s approach to the situation has been one of optimism.

“This is a setback for a great comeback for our team,” Anderson said. “We will make it through this. We will come out stronger.”

Despite the lockout, Anderson continues to operate his truck operation alongside Bruce Cook. Although he is not full-time, Anderson is still slated to compete at Las Vegas this weekend and at Talladega Superspeedway this fall, with the potential to add more races.

Brothers Bobby and Roger Resue will also drive a combined total of eight races in Anderson’s truck with the opportunity for more drivers to be named at a later date.

However, the lockout has also trampled Anderson’s bid for NXS Rookie of the Year, all but handing the title to Ryan Vargas (who is the only other full-time ROTY candidate).

Unlike the other two teams, Our has managed to find the track on the NXS this season with their second entry. The sophomore team has already bought two rides this season, but it is an added financial burden. While teammate Brett Moffitt is securely in on points in Our’s flagship entry, Andy Lally piloted the second entry at the Daytona Road Course using points from BJ McLeod Motorsports.

Tyler Reddick did the same at Homestead Miami Speedway, but used points from the No. 23 Chevrolet, which is normally an entry fielded in a partnership between RSS Racing and Reaume Brothers Racing. Success came quickly as Reddick crossed the finish line second, though he was later disqualified after failing post-race inspection.

While Reddick is again listed on the entry list in the No. 23 this weekend for the contest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it remains unclear as to the future of Our’s second car.

NASCAR continues to move on like normal while leaving Anderson, Our and Bassett scrambling. While the situation has proved tough, animosity toward the sport has not been too prevalent among them.

“I think [NASCAR] is doing the best that they can with the situation,” Bassett said. “It’s just tough for everybody. I can’t really be mad at them.”

For a series that has needed new teams and drivers (especially after struggling to fill fields in the two prior seasons), the unintended lockout has ultimately denied the three teams a chance to bolster its ranks.

NASCAR currently has no plans to adjust its procedures, so for now, the locked out trio can only hope to make it on track later this season.

About the author

He may be a full-time college student and only a part-time journalist, but Zach Gillispie’s passion for fast cars is undeniable. Since joining Frontstretch in 2018, the 20-year-old has served in a variety of roles. Currently, he pens the weekly NASCAR 101 column, which can be seen every Friday. Additionally, Zach is one of the site's news writers and helps with Fronstretch's social media pages on race day. In the rare moments when he is not studying or writing, you can find him traveling, making double bogeys on the golf course, or cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves.

Support Frontstretch on Patreon
Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Thanks for choosing to comment on this article. A name and email address are required to post a comment. The email address is not publicly visible or shared. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

7 thoughts on “Some Xfinity Teams Remain Locked Out, Facing Uncertain Futures Under NASCAR’s Qualifying Rules”

  1. NASCAR should have done everything in its power to have qualifying at the first race at Daytona. These teams deserved to have a chance after making such a huge investment. This will definitely detract any future owners from getting in. But the TV network wins again because they probably wouldn’t delay the race to allow qualifying.

  2. Pretty ridiculous since it sounds like at least one, if not all, 3 teams are attempting to be full time teams. If this is the situation that presented itself to Nascar at Daytona, how could they not ensure that there is a qualifying session for the opening race of the season to also ensure everyone gets a fair shot at the start of the season. You mean to tell me they couldn’t find a 2 hour block during Speedweeks to do it?

    The other thing that doesn’t seem right is Nascar allowing teams to use points from other drivers to get into races. Not sure why this is allowed.

    The sanctioning body continues to shoot itself in the foot. Do they realize they need new owners in this sport? The Hendricks, Gibbs and Childress’s are all up there in age and aren’t going to be there forever.

  3. I know the Xfinity Series Rookie Of The Year award means nothing since Ryan Vargas
    won it by default just by starting the season opening race at Daytona.

  4. so nascar is just absolutely screwing 3 teams and that is a huge finacial blow why not just put the 3 extra teams in the field since they make up a bunch of bullshit covid rules anyways instead of just completely fucking 3 teams and costing them tons and tons of money?cvh

  5. Doesn’t seem like too bright of a move on Nascar’s part. It’s always been a bit of an old boy’s club though, if you’re one of the chosen like a Hendrick, Gibbs, etc., you are gold. Nascar needs new blood, they should re-examine their thinking on this one, once all the government bail out money from Covid is gone there’s going to be harder economic times, and for sure they are going to lose some race teams.

    • Nah. They’re too busy watering down the field with their diversity programs, and grabbing their ankles for BLM and all the screeching woke harpies. NASCAR won’t figure it out until it hits then in the head with a 2×4.

  6. Competition is what racing is all about. When NA$CAR started that stupid franchising, but still allowed owners to have multiple teams, they were telling start-ups and part-timers “we don’t need you, because we have all the rich guys taking up all the slots”. Good thing Alan Kulwicki or Dave Marcis aren’t trying to run now. There are realistically only about 15 teams capable of winning races with a 39-car big one and a single remaining car driving 70 mph until the end. It wasn’t that long ago that there weren’t 43 Cup teams to compete. Keep the damned Cup drivers out of Xfinity for good and others can get in. I’ve known about Jordan Anderson since he was a lad. It’s time for him to have a chance at running a car, even if it is Triple-A league.

Comments are closed.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com