This Week in Motorsports: May 22-28, 2023
· NCS/NXS/NCTS/ARCA: Charlotte Motor Speedway – May 26-28
PLANO, Texas (May 24, 2023) – The NASCAR teams get a home game as the compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.
NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS | NCTS
Hamlin plans for a repeat… After years of trying, Denny Hamlin earned his long-awaited 600-mile victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway last May. Hamlin won the pole and got past Kyle Busch on the final lap to earn the victory. Hamlin comes into Charlotte with three top-five finishes in the last five events, including his first win of the season in Kansas.
Bell continues to lead in top-10s… Christopher Bell sits second in the standings on the strength of a series-leading eight top-10 finishes this season. Bell earned his first Cup Series top-10 finish at Charlotte in 2020, and finished a track-best fifth in the 600-mile race last season.
Wallace continues to add top-fives… For the first time since March, Bubba Wallace holds a Playoff spot on the strength of back-to-back top-five finishes. Wallace also earned two top-five finishes at North Wilkesboro over the weekend as he scored a fifth-place run in the Truck Series race, before earning a second-place finish in Sunday’s All-Star race.
Nemechek back on top of the standings… John Hunter Nemechek took a slim one-point lead in the point standings after his series-leading sixth top-five finish of the season at Darlington Raceway. Nemechek is making his first Xfinity Series start at the Charlotte oval since 2019, but won at Charlotte in Truck Series action in 2021 and followed that up with a third-place finish last season.
Gibbs, Mosack double-duty… Ty Gibbs and Connor Mosack are running two races this weekend. Gibbs, the Cup Series rookie of the year leader, is running his second Xfinity Series race of the season in the No. 19 Toyota GR Supra. Gibbs has two top-two finishes at the track in Xfinity Series action, including a victory in 2021. Mosack is scheduled to run in the ARCA Menards Series race on Friday and the Xfinity Series race on Saturday as he makes his return to Sam Hunt Racing. Mosack is behind the wheel of the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra for the next four events (Charlotte, Portland, Sonoma and Nashville), before he makes his season debut with Joe Gibbs Racing in Chicago.
Gray, Friesen plan to grow Playoff advantage… Tanner Gray and Stewart Friesen both hold Truck Series Playoff positions with six races to go in the regular season going into Charlotte. Gray is eighth in the standings, 21 points above the cut off as he looks to earn his first Playoff berth. The New Mexico-native has three top-10 finishes in the last five races and earned a career-best sixth-place finish at Charlotte, one season ago. Friesen has moved from 14th to ninth in the point standings in the last three races, four points above the cutoff line. Charlotte has been a strong place for Friesen throughout his career as the Canadian has four top-10 finishes at the track since 2018, including a third-place run in 2019 and a fourth-place finish in 2021.
Gilliland returns to driver’s seat… David Gilliland, co-owner of TRICON Garage, will make his return to the driver’s seat for the first time in two years as he pilots the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Gilliland has run two Truck Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including a top-10 finish at the track in 2009. The Tundra has six drivers behind the wheel in eight starts this season, with four top-10 finishes.
NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA
Love looks to continue winning streak… Jesse Love has taken over the points lead after back-to-back victories on the national ARCA tour. At Kansas, the 18-year-old won the pole and led 96 of 100 laps on his way to his second win of the season and fourth in his career. Charlotte is another new track for the Toyota development driver, but his 20 team led 15 laps and finished second last season.
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