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Niece Motorsports NCTS Race Advance: Charlotte Motor Speedway

NIECE MOTORSPORTS
NCTS RACE ADVANCE: CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Race: North Carolina Education 200 (134 laps / 201 miles) | Race 11 of 23
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Location: Concord, North Carolina
Date & Time: Friday, May 24th | 8:30 PM ET
Tune-In: FOX Sports 1 | Motor Racing Network (MRN) | Sirius XM Ch. 90

No. 41 Foundation for Pops Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Bayley Currey | Crew Chief: Mike Hillman, Jr.
Bayley Currey
@BayleyCurrey
@BayleyCurrey05

  • Currey’s Charlotte Stats: Bayley Currey has made a total of four Truck Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, earning a best finish of 13th place in last year’s race. He has also made three Xfinity Series starts at this track, producing a best finish of 15th in 2022. In 2019, Currey made a start in the Coca-Cola 600 which was cut short due to a crash.
  • Hillman’s Charlotte Stats: In 17 Charlotte Truck Series races on top of the pit box, Mike Hillman, Jr. has secured four top-five results. Two of those were runner-up finishes – first with Todd Bodine in 2010, and most recently with Kyle Busch in 2018. Notably, Hillman scored a pole in the 2013 event while working with driver, Jeb Burton. He has also called six NASCAR Xfinity Series races here, including two top-10 finishes with a best result of seventh (Brandon Jones, 2016) along with one Cup Series start in 2014.
  • On the Truck: Currey’s No. 41 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from Foundation for Pops, a charitable organization founded by DQS Solutions & Staffing CEO, Josh Morris. Foundation for Pops was created to assist homeless veterans by giving them resources to live more prosperous lives.
  • Family Ties to the Military: Bayley’s grandfather, G.C. Waters, fought in the U.S. Navy as a 2nd gunners mate on the USS Guadalcanal escort carrier in World War II.
  • Recapping North Wilkesboro: Currey started his weekend off on a high note at North Wilkesboro by placing fourth in practice. With qualifying rained out, Currey was relegated to a 19th-place starting position. Fighting a tight handling condition, the No. 41 slipped to 24th at the conclusion of stage one before the rain washed all activity out in postponement for Sunday. Fighting for track position, Currey worked his way up to 20th in stage two, and made up one more position at the end to finish 19th.
  • Points Rundown: Following the 19th-place finish in North Wilkesboro, Currey slid one spot back in the points standings to 15th. Entering Charlotte, he is four points behind Jake Garcia in 14th and 50 points below the Playoffs cutline holder, Tanner Gray.
  • Quoting Currey: What are some of the most challenging characteristics about racing in Charlotte?

“The bumps in turn three, no doubt. Those seem to always get worse every time I race at Charlotte, but in reality, they’re probably still the same. You just have to be able to get through those and maintain speed. Charlotte is one of the few mile-and-a-half tracks in a truck where you’ll have a lot of off-throttle time, so that’s fun. I’m looking forward to that.”

  • Quoting Hillman: How much does Charlotte change from practice in the day to racing at night?

“Charlotte is one of those places that can be two completely different racetracks from day to night. You use the daytime to set your heights and let your driver get into a rhythm, but then you have to take some pretty big swings at it to get everything ready to race well at night.”
Foundation for Pops Mission Statement: Foundation for Pops aims to empower people experiencing homelessness and veterans through education, resource development, assistance, and supportive services to enhance their economic mobility and secure quality, affordable housing.

DQS Solutions & Staffing Mission Statement: The core mission of DQS Solutions & Staffing is to attain unparalleled excellence in our specialized domains, specifically staffing and security. Simultaneously, we maintain the flexibility required to collaborate closely with our clients in the creation of innovative products and services within the framework of DQS.

No. 42 J.F. Electric / Utilitra Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Matt Mills | Crew Chief: Jon Leonard
Matt Mills Racing
@MattMillsRacing
@MattMillsRacing

  • Mills’ Charlotte Stats: Matt Mills has started three Truck Series races held at Charlotte, posting a best finish of 24th in 2017. Mills also made four Xfinity Series starts here, finishing a highest of 20th in 2022. He did not compete at this track last season.
  • Leonard’s Charlotte Stats: Jon Leonard has called two NCTS races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, both of which resulted in top-10 finishes with driver, Stewart Friesen. Friesen’s best run with Leonard on the box was a fourth-place finish in 2021.
  • On the Truck: Mills’ No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from longtime partners J.F. Electric and Utilitra.
  • Family Ties to the Military: Matt’s father, Jamie Mills, is a Recon Marine veteran who served in the Special Operations Forces while fighting in Desert Storm.
  • Recapping North Wilkesboro: Mills started in 15th at North Wilkesboro due to the cancelation of time trials. Mills and the No. 42 team fought tight handling conditions which dropped them to 21st at the conclusion of stage one. When the race resumed on Sunday, Mills dropped to 27th at the end of stage two, but the crew made huge swings on the setup. The adjustments worked out well, and Mills ended the race in the 18th position.
  • Points Rundown: For the third week in a row, Matt Mills gained a spot in the points standings. Now shown in the top-25, Mills is only three points behind his nearest competitor, Lawless Alan, who is 24th in points.
  • Quoting Mills: Does Al Niece’s military background make you more appreciative to race for him this weekend?

“Yeah, for sure. You know, Charlotte has always been one of my favorite racetracks, and we’ll be going there with our J.F. Electric red, white, and blue colors. I think my truck looks very patriotic this year, so to have that connection with Al as a Marine veteran as well as my dad, that military aspect is very cool to me. It’s definitely one that I’ve had on my list because it’s always a very special race for us.”

  • Quoting Leonard: Does having a few recent intermediate races before this week give you a good sense of direction on where the program is?

“Yeah, I think you use Vegas, Texas, Kansas, and even Darlington to maintain a similar setup on the mile-and-a-half tracks like Charlotte. We basically use the same box of a package and try to see where our aero balance is at. It’s all about what you need when tires fall off and trying to figure out how to meld all those together to figure out what the best package is. It all ends up being very similar at these tracks, varying slightly depending on how much track position matters compared to tire falloff.”

About J.F. Electric: J.F. Electric is an electrical contractor that provides engineering expertise, backed by construction and installation know-how in a diverse range of service offerings, from utilities and commercial projects, to industrial and telecommunications customers. When having a long family history in an industry, a company not only builds on its knowledge and experience, it takes pride in cultivating a solid understanding of client needs, all the while nurturing strong relationships with its employees. Evolving through five generations of the Fowler family, J.F. Electric has matured into a well-managed and thoughtfully diversified electrical contractor which is poised to continue its growth and expansion into the future.

About Utilitra: Utilitra is a woman-owned firm specializing in utility and technology solutions with a diverse team of specialized professionals. Utilitra is committed to solving their client’s unique challenges, whether one expert or a team of experts is needed. By adapting to the needs of their respective industries, Utilitra has built a range of services for their utility and technology partners.

No. 45 R.D.C. Shoe Company Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Kaden Honeycutt | Crew Chief: Phil Gould
Kaden Honeycutt Racing
@KadenWHoneycutt
@KadenHoneycutt10

  • Honeycutt Returns: After stepping out of the No. 45 Chevrolet for the past two races with Ross Chastain taking over the driving duties, Kaden Honeycutt returns to make his fifth start of the season for Niece Motorsports. In Honeycutt’s last race at Kansas Speedway, he earned his best-career finish with a fourth-place result.
  • Honeycutt’s Charlotte Stats: Kaden Honeycutt will make his first-career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
  • Gould’s Charlotte Stats: Phil Gould has two top-fives and four top-10 finishes in a total of five Truck Series starts at Charlotte. Gould’s personal-best result came in 2021 when Carson Hocevar finished in the runner-up spot, and last year, his team finished fourth. In 11 Xfinity Series races, Gould has one top-five and four top-10s with a best run of fifth (Brian Scott; Spring, 2014).
  • On the Truck: Honeycutt’s No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from R.D.C. Shoe Company. R.D.C. is owned by a disabled United States Marine Corps veteran who sells patriotic-designed tennis shoes to support Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, as well as foundations that support military heroes. In every box of shoes, a Medal of Honor recipient card is placed in the box that tells the story of that recipient.
  • Family Ties to the Military: Kaden’s family has plenty of ties to the military. His paternal grandfather, Jimmy Honeycutt, served in the U.S. Air Force, and his maternal grandfather, Douglas Brown, along with his uncle, Kevin Honeycutt, both served in the U.S. Army.
  • Tune-In: Honeycutt and team owner, Al Niece, will be featured in a pre-race interview during the showing of the NASCAR Race Day show on FS1 at approximately 8:15 PM ET before the race.
  • Recapping North Wilkesboro: Ross Chastain and the No. 45 team experienced a rear gear pinion failure in the practice session on Friday afternoon, but the crew was able to make repairs and prep for the race. As the rain canceled qualifying, Chastain was slated to start the highest of the Niece Motorsports drivers in third. Chastain fought for the lead in stage one, but later dropped to 11th with varying strategies. The loss of track position hurt the No. 45 team, and they dropped to 19th at the end of stage two. A late pit stop helped the team gain some positions to finish in 15th place.
  • Points Rundown: Despite running only a partial schedule, Kaden Honeycutt has stayed inside the top-25 in the driver points standings with only four starts. He currently sits in 23rd position, 11 points behind Mason Massey in 22nd.
  • Owner Points Outlook: The No. 45 Niece Motorsports team dropped two positions in the owner points this week following their 15th-place finish in North Wilkesboro. Now shown in ninth, the team is eight points behind the No. 71 Spire Motorsports team. They are locked into the owner Playoffs by virtue of Ross Chastain’s victory in Darlington.
  • Quoting Honeycutt: How much of a benefit has it been to lean off Ross Chastain over the past two weeks that you haven’t raced?

“I definitely have learned a lot from Ross. Him and I have had some great conversations that help validate why the truck handles a certain way. I haven’t raced at Charlotte before, but I know that our truck is going to be good. It’s the same one we raced with at Kansas, and Phil and the guys have been really good here the last three years, so it’s up to me to learn how to go fast out there. I need to be able to give the right info we need to make the right adjustments and have a shot to win it.”

  • Quoting Gould: Why is Kaden’s versatility in racing different vehicles so important in the Truck Series?

“I think that definitely helps him. He studies a lot, and he’s always in the game. Really, he’s fast in anything he drives, so I don’t expect Charlotte to be any different. I’ve always thought that Charlotte has ben really similar to Darlington, and we’ve had a good history there. Our setup should be good, and I think he’ll be quick at adapting to it, so hopefully he can go out there on Friday night and have a good run.”

About R.D.C. Shoe Company:

R.D.C. Shoe Company is a disabled veteran-owned company that produces and sells patriotic tennis shoes. Founded after the September 11th attacks in 2001, R.D.C. was created to bring patriotism to consumers by offering uniquely-designed shoes draped in the stars and stripes of the American flag. Every purchase arrives in a commemorative shoe box accompanied with a card that tells the story of a Medal of Honor recipient. A portion of all sales proceeds is given back to charitable organizations that support the families of fallen soldiers. These organizations include the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the Woody Williams Foundation, Wreaths Across America, Special Operations Wounded Warriors, Warrior Rising, Folds of Honor, and Ree Medical. To learn more, please visit www.RDCShoes.com.
About Niece Motorsports:
Niece Motorsports is owned by United States Marine Corps Veteran Al Niece. In 2024, Niece Motorsports enters its ninth season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Niece also owns Niece Equipment, which has for over 40 years provided clients with reliable products at competitive prices. Niece Equipment’s reputation is built on service, integrity and dependability. The company provides water and fuel/lube trucks that are engineered with quality and durability in mind for the construction and mining industry. Follow the team on Facebook and Instagram @NieceMotorsports as well as X @NieceMotorsport.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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