Commentary

TRACKING THE CHANGES: NASCAR Xfinity Series Part 2

By: Ashley McCubbin

The theme of each NASCAR Silly Season is figuring out what the changes will be, so that way you can find the ride that your favourite driver(s) is(are) behind the wheel of. It’s why News From The Pits is here to help you sort through it all.

Read the full first part of the series by clicking here.

#31: Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing, LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro

The news keeps continuing to filter out from Kaulig Racing as they confirmed Justin Haley will run multiple races in the No. 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series entry, alongside his full-time campaign in the NASCAR Cup Series. Haley is no stranger to Kaulig, having ran a full Xfinity campaigns from 2019 to 2021 with four wins and a best finish of third in the standings. It should be beneficial for the young driver, as he continues to build his notebook and talent. He was solid last season in Cup with Kaulig’s first full-time campaign there, scoring three top-five finishes with a 22nd in points.

Jordan Anderson Racing has expanded from a single car, to a pair, but neither will be driven by Myatt Snider who spent last season with the organization. Jeb Burton will drive the No. 27 entry, after scoring 20 top-20 finishes with Our Motorsports in 2021, which you have to consider solid being a newer team. Similar expectations should be in place for this year, as he looks to find his way back into a solid ride. He had the opportunity in 2020, scoring a win and seven top-five’s with JR Motorsports. His teammate will be Parker Retzlaff, who ran nine races in 2022 for RSS Racing including a 10th at Richmond Raceway. His opportunities come following a top-five and nine top-10’s in 12 ARCA Menards East Series starts. Hopefully he can rack up similar finishes to Burton, but lack of experience may be a factor.

Alpha Prime Racing hopes to keep building their organization, as evident by entering three separate entries into the series in 2023.

Ryan Ellis’ schedule will expand from to 24 races in the No. 43, after competing in just 11 events last season. He picked up five top-20 finishes for the start-up organization giving them good footing to start on, including a 13th on two occasions. Now they just need to find a little bit more to get into the top-10 a couple times.

Jeffrey Earnhardt joins the organization for the full campaign, after running 13 races across three different teams. He has shown potential, as evident by placing second at Talladega Superspeedway with Richard Childress Racing. Those races allowed him to score six more top-20 results, including a seventh at Nashville Superspeedway with Sam Hunt Racing. If you give him some decent equipment, he has proven to be a solid mid-pack contender – which may be what Alpha Prime needs to reach the next level.

#02: Sage Karam, Our Motorsports, Peachwood Floor Coverings Chevrolet Camaro

Sage Karam, Stefan Parsons, and Leland Honeyman Jr. will be running partial schedules each under the Alpha Prime Racing banner, which will certainly keep things interesting. The biggest name of those is IndyCar competitor Karam, who ran nine events last season with five top-20 finishes, including a fifth at Daytona International Speedway. He continued to learn and adapt to the stock cars, which if the trend continues may see more consistency and less damage.

After getting their feet wet last season, Big Machine Racing is ready for the full schedule in 2023, and have elected for Parker Kligerman to do the job. Scott Borchetta had 10 different drivers last season, including a couple Cup Series regulars, and had success courtesy of a win by Tyler Reddick – proving they can get the job done. Kligerman, meanwhile, could easily be the man for the job. He took one of the smaller teams in the Truck Series to victory lane, winning at Mid-Ohio with eight top-10’s in 12 races for Henderson Motorsports. He also finished sixth at Talladega in his first start with BMR.

Mike Harmon Racing has been rebranded, now going by CHK Racing as Gary Kellar joins Harmon on the ownership side. Ryan Vargas, who spent time with Kellar at JD Motorsports with Gary Kellar, is being titled the team’s “anchor driver” for 2023. They are hoping his experience will help with the team’s reconstructing. However, can you really depend on someone whose only ran a pair of full seasons with one top-10 finish? With just six top-10 finishes last season for Johnny Davis, this is a group to not probably hold your breath on.

BJ McLeod Motorsports will have a new face behind the wheel, as Anthony Alfredo comes over full-time with funding from long-time personal sponsor DUDE Wipes. He ran for OUR Motorsports in 2022, scoring four top-10’s including sixth at Talladega. He could be what is necessary to help build BJ’s program up to a steady top-20 contender, after a single top-five last year which came with Ryan Preece.

The Breakdown So Far:

  • Anthony Alfredo – from OUR Motorsports to BJ McLeod Motorsports
  • Blaine Perkins – from ARCA Menards to Series to SS Green Light Racing
  • Brandon Jones – from Joe Gibbs Racing to JR Motorsports
  • Brett Moffitt – from Our Motorsports to AM Racing
  • Chandler Smith – from Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series to Kaulig Racing
  • Cole Custer – from Stewart-Haas Racing in the Cup Series to SHR
  • Connor Mosack – from Late Model standout to Sam Hunt Racing
  • Jeb Burton – from Our Motorsports to Jordan Anderson Racing
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt – from partial schedule with three teams to full-time with Alpha Prime Racing
  • John Hunter Nemechek – from KBM in the Truck Series to JGR
  • Justin Haley – partial schedule with Kaulig alongside Cup commitments
  • Parker Kligerman – partial schedule with Henderson to full-time with Big Machine Racing
  • Parker Retzlaff – partial schedule with RSS Racing to Jordan Anderson Racing
  • Ryan Truex – from part-time with JGR to full-time JGR
  • Ryan Vargas – from JD Motorsports with Gary Kellar to CHK Racing

Stay tuned for the third part of the series as we digest more of what is to come in 2023.

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