WE HAVE TO FIX NASCAR!!!

Ok, that’s as close to mainstream media as I will get here. Interestingly enough, we don’t need to fix NASCAR. I hear you, “But Couch! Look at the stands! Look at the ratings! Look at the…” No. If you find pleasure and entertainment in looking at the stands and ratings, then this IS A GREAT time for you. I, like many others, watch what’s on the track.

So, what has happened? This doesn’t make sense. How can NASCAR go from top popularity to struggling. Now, I am no political science major, I’m not some marketing guru, I don’t even do long range planning. My long range plan is to hopefully have pork chops for dinner tomorrow night. It isn’t hard to see though.

The cycle. Let’s start with the 1950’s. Open wheel racing is at a peak, people are fascinated with it. NHRA drag racing is founded in 1951. 1959, NASCAR is born. By the early 60’s NHRA is fast on the rise. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s loud, and there are events everywhere. The mid 1960’s everyone is TransAm road racing, LeMans is HUGE, at it’s peak. The late 60’s NASCAR is building up steam.

Then come the 1970’s. Open wheel is low, NHRA slowly starts to lose ground. NASCAR & TransAm are hosting events coast to coast at local tracks. They are affordable, families can go for an entire weekend and camp. We get to the 80’s, NASCAR is approaching it’s peak. TransAm is on the slide. Open wheel is starting it’s comeback. 90’s hit and you see NASCAR at its peak, open wheel is back in popularity. Sponsors, big corporations see stands full of fans and get in line to get on a car. TV sees this so they start paying money that sanctioning bodies can’t pass up to get these sports on TV.

Then IndyCar tries to off itself by fracturing down the center. NASCAR loses some huge stars, drivers that people grew up watching. Prices have gotten so high that families have to budget for just one race instead of three or four. Then NASCAR in conjunction with SMI and ISC leave the small local tracks. You get a ton of 1.5 mile tracks. So the racing is similar at all these venues. This is all because so many people wanted to go. Now you have hundreds of thousands of seats and suddenly people get burnt out. They’ve seen the races in person. Plus who wants to sit shoulder to shoulder with 110,000 people? So people start leaving.

Where do they go? They still love Motorsports. They go back to road racing, local tracks, places they can afford to go to regularly. With cable having all the races they can stay home and watch NASCAR. IndyCar reforms with the best of the best, they listen to fans and try to give them what they want, within reason. NASCAR has long term deals that keep them at tracks that people just don’t want to go to anymore. Now people stay home and rather than buy cable or go to the race, they live stream the race. They see it in different ways.

So that is just the first bit. The cycle has many more spokes that cause it to move, right now, NASCAR has lost a chunk of their fan base, kind of. Those fans are excited about IMSA WeatherTech series, IndyCar, F1, Pirelli World Challenge. They’ve got a great product at an affordable rate because they’ve all been on the bottom, they’ve all lost TV contracts, they’ve all had to go through empty stands. NHRA is even on the rise with bright young stars that have come on in the last 10 years and first class fan access. It’s ok! NASCAR will survive.

How will it survive? TV will eventually reduce how much they pay for the broadcast. Then they don’t have to have as many commercial breaks, since there are fewer commercial breaks the corporations that want that advertising will go back to cars. The cars will once again become the rolling commercial. Corporations will realize that fans now take in all sports in a whole new manner. Millennials want the experience, the face to face, the one on one time. So social media will become huge and drivers will be asked to use their social media to promote product. Sound familiar? Ask Nature’s Bakery, they were just the start.

Drivers will have to realize that the fan now is like the fan in the 60’s and 70’s. They want to see you, they want to shake your hand, and they want to buy you a beer. Because it’s all about, “What did you do this weekend?”

So, do we have to fix NASCAR? No. What do we do? We ride out the cycle until people want to go back to big circle tracks. If that doesn’t happen, NASCAR will move back to smaller tracks because SMI & ISC & NASCAR all do the math. It doesn’t pay to maintain 150,000 seats if you only have 35,000 fans. It’s a self correcting system.

What about the quality of racing? It’s so bad! No, no it isn’t. The TV coverage is bad because they follow the top 10. That’s not where the racing is, that’s between 15th and 30th. Listen to an in-car radio. Those guys are like hornets who just had their nest hit with a rock. Plus, many can’t afford to tear up their car. So they race, on old tires, pinching dimes. They aren’t your big names, but they have die hard fans and they fight for every position. Fans have to say, “It’s ok, I don’t need to see the biggest names on TV, I want the closest racing on TV.” They do it a little, not a lot. Trust me, there is great racing.

Well some drivers say the cars suck! Yeah, sometimes the cars aren’t great, but welcome to spec racing which is what NASCAR is today. Everyone has essentially the same thing. Fans demanded closer, tighter, cheaper racing. You got it. All drivers have to deal with the same thing out there. If the drivers don’t like it, Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA have a wide variety of BOP (Balance Of Performance) racing that they can go to, some love it, some hate it. It’s just a matter of what you want to drive, what fans want to see, and where you want to race.

Welcome to Motorsports. We have cycles, we have personalities, we have companies that want to make money, and we have people that love to drive fast. We also have fans that need to reeducate themselves about what racing is, man and machine trying to be the fastest in whatever discipline. If you don’t like the racing, tell your driver to quit sandbagging for 100 laps.

Whats wrong with NASCAR racing? Nothing. It has great racing. What’s wrong with NASCAR really? We are at the bottom of a cycle, waiting for contracts to expire so we can move some races where they need to be and so we can watch a race with commercial interruption instead of watching commercials with race interruption.

So feel free to listen to talking heads about ratings and attendance. Watch or don’t watch. Go or don’t go. NASCAR was here before many of us, NASCAR will be here after most of us leave. It’s like life, it’s going to go on with or without us.

I will see you in the box.

Keeping the Drive.


The measure of a small team is not just how well they run, how many races they make, how well they finish. The true measure of a small team is can they keep doing it? It’s easy to go back to the track every week when you have the best equipment on the track, but what happens when you’re a small team that is fighting to make ends meet? The answer, you have to have drive. Not only do you have to have it, you have to keep it. That is exactlay what BJ McLeod and his team of “Highlanders” has done!

From the men who drive the haulers, to the mechanics, the car chiefs, crew chiefs, and drivers. Everyone has to play not just one role or two, they each have to be an entire crew. When they unload, it is a week of work for each member in just a few days.

The year has not been all roses for this small team. Daytona was particularly unkind and saw the team swept away in incidents they did not cause. The challenges have rolled and rolled, but like the Highlanders of Scottish yesteryear, this entire team has battled back, over and over.

The hardest week was Talladega. The 78 car missed the race due to a part failure as BJ took off. This left the team with just the 99 of David Starr and the 8 of Jeff Green in the race. As the team mourned the loss of their “Racing Star” Ana Lucila Perdomo, grandmother of car chief Kevyn Rebolledo, all looked on. Sometimes when things seem their darkest you can receive some Heavenly help. That is exactly what the Highlanders got. With BJ on the radio and cheering from the pits, Jeff Green expertly drove to a tenth place finish! The highest in team history.

As the team van rolls down the highway, Car Chief Kevyn sits in the back seat recalling the weeks leading up to Talladega. “There was a lot leading up to Talladega. As a team we had been going 42 straight hours before loading up to head to the track. Morale was pretty low after having the parts failure which led to BJ not making the race. It ran a little deeper for me since I had lost my grandmother [who helped raise me] during the week of Richmond. I had spent all of the last few days with her which gave us time to talk. One of the last things she told me was that she was sorry she never made it to one of my races.  I was 19 during my first race as a Crew Chief. We tried many times to get her to a race but the stars never lined up. After she passed I spoke with the team and mentioned what she had said and that’s what lead to the decal we ran in her memory. Eerily enough, the graphic designer chose a font that was virtually identical to my grandmother’s signature. I was in pretty rough shape before the race, so I spent a lot of time on the grid talking to my grandmother’s decal. It was really tough. When the race fired off we didn’t waste much time getting into the top 15. I don’t get nervous easily but the whole race felt kind of eerie. My family was texting me nonstop once we took the lead. They were crying when they saw my grandmother’s decal on TV. My family knows next to nothing about racing and have never felt any connection to it. When the race was over, I lost it. My grandmother had finally made a race and I feel like she made her presence felt. I’ve never had such and emotional race and I don’t believe I ever will again.”

Teams live for the high points and for this team, that was the highest of highs when it could have been the lowest of lows. Though the 78 would miss the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, it would make its presence felt at Dover. While Jordan Anderson piloted the flagship 78 to a 26th place finish, BJ McLeod would see his best finish of 22nd this year while driving the number 8. Building on that momentum, all 3 of the team cars finished in the top 30 at Pocono!

A team this small working with a very limited budget has built itself on small successes. Every top 30, every top 25, every second on camera is a victory. That’s what it takes to make it in this industry. Determination, passion, drive. All of that can only be matched by their fans who don’t expect wins, they don’t expect to lead a lot of laps. The fans of BJ McLeod Motorsports revel in the heart of this team. To them, every race is a win and the team embraces them at every turn, inviting them to not just be a fan, but to help keep the drive alive as part of the team.

The team travels as I write, heading back to Mooresville. There they will prepare the cars to load up and head to Michigan. While some teams will take a day to rest, this band of travelers drives on. Rest coming only while they are on the road.

Drive on!

Bring On The Tears

Early Monday morning, the world of NASCAR took a giant, collective sigh. A finish 17 years in the making. Not since Dale Jr. broke his long winless streak at Michigan has one track erupted as much as Charlotte did when Austin Dillon took the 3 car across the finish line to win the Coca Cola 600.

After 3 years many were starting to doubt the talent and ability of Austin Dillon. Many would say that he is only there because of Richard Childress, but knowing all that I do, I know he had to earn it, every step of the way. The question to me was, “When will he win?” Never, “Can he win?”

For these 3 years I saw not just Austin, but his mechanics and pit crews and fans wait. The waiting is always the hardest part. Patience was being tested. After Austin’s second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series crew chief change, many people openly questioned his ability behind the wheel… again.

Charlotte was right there, looking us all right in the eye. The 600, the longest and most demanding race in NASCAR. As the engines fire and cars roll off you could hear a calm in the voices of Andy Houston, Justin Alexander, and Austin Dillon. The early race laps clicked off and Mother Nature then decided, this race wasn’t long enough. The rains came and changed everything.

When the cars rolled off again the best thing happened, everyone on the radio, was laughing and joking and having fun. That’s when I knew, something special was about to happen. I knew, there was a chance.

Austin ran in the top 15 the rest of the night. After the final pit stop it was all fuel mileage, saving, saving every drop. Needing to save 3 laps of fuel, having to lift 200+ feet early every single corner. This would be no easy feat. This would try Austin’s patience, it would try Andy’s patience, it would try fans patience.

Tensions built, it was all coming to a head. The hardest thing to do is run slower when you have a fast car, knowing you have had the fastest car on multiple runs throughout the night. Fans want to see you go fast, you want to go fast. You can’t. You have to run your race. Run a strategy that requires, patience.

Five laps to go, Jimmie Johnson started stretching it out. Martin Truex Jr. coming, Kyle Busch coming, Austin Dillon kept his pace. Four laps to go I lose my patience and I’m quoting “Hidalgo” and tweeting, and screaming to myself, “Let ‘er Buck,”

Three laps to go, Jimmie Johnson has saved a lot of fuel and starting to pull away. The Toyota contingent has tires and fuel and they are running us down. We have to make this, come on, we saved enough fuel. Justin Alexander makes the call, it’s time to go! Andy tells Austin to pick up pace!

Two to go, Johnson runs out of fuel. Austin has picked up pace, he has taken the lead! At the edge of my seat I cringe, Austin backed off again! Those Toyotas are coming!

Last lap, my head is in my hands. I’m praying, I’m hoping, I just want to see this, I need to see this. We have waited so long!

“Come on bud, come on bud, we just won our first Cup race. WOOHOO!” Andy Houston’s voice cracked in my ears, listening to the radio.

And then come the tears. Tears of sheer joy. Tears of happiness. Seventeen years since Dale went to Victory Lane. Three years since the 3 car returned to the track in NASCAR’s top series. All the trials, all the waiting, seeing all the frustration… it is over. It’s over and nobody can take that away.

“I keep thinking, ‘Please don’t run out.’ I was watching margins to Truex because he had fresh tires. Coming through [turn] 3 and 4 all I could think about was Jr. in the 2011 600 running out and I didn’t want that to happen to Austin. Once we got off 4 I knew he had it and I was jumping for joy!” ~Jake F.

“Man our car is fast, but that 48 is really saving. We can catch him if he is saving! Man the 18 and 78 are coming. Tears of joy, the 48 is out! New leader… THAT’S US! I’m trying to hold back my emotions, this is what we need. Not just RCR. Dale’s fans! WE NEED THIS!!! WE WON! WE HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE! 17 years!” ~John L.

“I’m hoping we have enough fuel! The 48 is out! The pressure is setting in. White flag came out! Toyotas are gaining. I hope Austin can clinch this race! The Checkers are out! Ol’ Glory carried the number 3 to victory! What a race! I will never forget this. It’s been 17 years since the 3 was in Victory Lane and it looked good there!” ~Tim W.

“It’s everything you work for, right in front of you. The reason we leave our families  behind for 38 weekends a year. I’m sitting there, pacing, thinking if we can just finish this thing off with a win, we have done something special. Not just special for ourselves, but RCR and NASCAR. I mean, this is the 3 car! A car some thought would never go back to Victory Lane after the 2001 Daytona 500. It was just an adrenaline rush like no other. Everything goes out the window, there isn’t a conscious thought to be had. Just SHEER joy! 24 hours later all those thoughts come back and I can reflect on them, savor the moment that much more.” ~Josh Sisco, mechanic, 3 car

It is all over, all the waiting, all the doubts, all the worries.

It’s all over, but the crying.

Bring on the tears.

Overly Opinionated: We do appreciate it.

@KyleLarsonRacin: Listen fans, it doesn’t get much better than that! That was some solid stuff all day. Time to start appreciating side by side racing!

This was just after the Monday afternoon race at Bristol Motor Speedway. At first I was more ticked that NASCAR ran the race at 1pm ET when many fans could not watch it. This after their media coverage so often goes back to attendance and ratings. The, “Oh poor us, fans need to help more.” Kyle Larson’s tweet, well it made me forget about that. So, let me explain something to Mr. Larson. Let me explain something to those who don’t get what fans want from Bristol.

Mr. Kyle Larson,

I have been a fan for many years, I’ve seen things change. I have seen tracks come and go. I’ve seen tracks reconfigured, I’ve seen cars change, and I have seen drivers come up and disappear. So trust me when you read this. We fans, we DO appreciate good side by side racing. We love it at Texas, Charlotte, Kentucky, Daytona, Homestead, Chicagoland, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Kansas, Michigan, Talladega… What we use to appreciate from Bristol was hard racing. Nose to tail, bump and run, push and shove, door to door, fender on fender racing. We had that at four places. Then North Wilkesboro went away. Richmond was reconfigured. Bristol and Martinsville, that’s what we had left of the single groove racing. Racing that favored drivers who weren’t afraid to have a rival. Drivers who weren’t afraid to make someone mad. Drivers who had the will to win. That’s what we wanted at Bristol. There’s a time and place for every style racing. Maybe that’s why fans have fought the Bristol reconfigure since race two. Maybe that’s why fans are tired of watching the series try to polish a turd. We can appreciate side by side, multi-groove racing. We just don’t want it at every track. Before you go telling the fans what we should appreciate, remember this; we fight and claw, we sacrifice and travel, we pay to watch you on TV, we pay to go to the track to watch you race. We want the same passion from our drivers that we have for the sport. That is lacking in MANY drivers. In closing, we can appreciate every facet of racing and every style of racing. Can you appreciate that we fans might, on occasion, want to see something different? 

-Jonathan A. Gruenke

 

Cold & Old, Moving Up in Hot’lanta

Atlanta Motor Speedway stands as one of the last historic reminders of NASCAR’s roots. It’s surface has not been repaved since 1996 and provides one of the most difficult challenges to even the most seasoned driver. This early appearance in the schedule provides a launching point for teams, a chance to see how they will likely compare to all other teams week-to-week. It’s shape has birthed a slew of mile and a half tracks which seek to capture the excitement of this oval. This is where the young team looks to mark its presence in this year’s competition.

As the shadows grew long late on Thursday, the BJ McLeod Motorsports team pulled into Atlanta Motor Speedway. With just two short hours to work on tech day, the team would unload cars and get them prepared for the weekend’s first technical inspections. After a five hour ride, the team was anxious to stretch out and get their new cars ready to run.

Friday morning would see three practices unfold. With a concentration on qualifying, all three teams would turn just a few laps. Practice number one saw Jeff Green lead the way at 23rd quick. Practice number two would see rookie driver, Clint King, lead the Skull Racing contingent 28th quick. After the second practice, Jeff Green was happy with his car and they would cover it for the final session. The Final “Happy Hour” practice would see Clint King finish the day 32nd quick and David Starr 38th quick.

Satuday morning would see arrival of the VIP sponsor guests, Triple R Containers and Warehouse Design Incorporated. They would be treated to a cold morning of horsepower and happiness. The flagship 78 Chevrolet sponsored by Warehouse Design, Momo Motorsport, and Roux Helmets driven this weekend by Clint King would time in to start 34th. The 8 car sponsored by Triple R Containers, OMP racing, and Ice-Frost driven by Jeff Green would qualify 32nd. Finally, the 99 driven by David Starr would finish qualifying in 38th position with the Striping Technologies L.P. Chevrolet after the 13 car retired due to contact with the wall which broke the rear end and caused a spin.

Just a few short hours later the team would have all three cars set up in race trim, adjusted air pressures and tape on the grill, ready to race. After invocation and anthem the drivers took to their cars. Crew Chiefs spoke final words of advice and encouragement, then the window nets went up.

The green flag flew, quickly followed by the yellow! Ty Dillon’s number 3 spun and collected the 11 of Blake Koch. All 3 of the BJMM cars had moved up on the initial start. Jeff Green had jumped up to 26th with the 78 jumping to 31st and David Starr up to 34th in just one lap. Too early to make any adjustments every team chose to stay out and wait.

The first run would see Clint’s 78 turning well but the 8 sliding the front tires and then snapping the rear end around once the front tires got grip. Jeff fought through the first run and held position around 28th. King would hold around 30th position. First pit stops worked to loosen up the Triple R Containers Chevrolet of Jeff Green and provide better overall grip for the 78 and 99. The next stops would improve handling and performance for all three teams which continued to hold position.

With just twenty laps remaining in the event the 78 suffered a mechanical failure which relegated Clint to a 35th place finish. David Starr would hold on for a 32nd place finish, and Jeff Green would pilot his Camaro to a 26th place finish.

Team principal, B.J. McLeod watched his team from the pit area.

“All 3 cars were fast during practices and we were happy with qualifying results. Everything looked promising and was going good. Our teams made some solid adjustments and had good pit stops. Regrettably only 20 laps from the end, Clint King’s #78 had a mechanical failure. We want to thank all of our sponsors for their partnership with BJ McLeod Motorsports. We enjoyed having you part of our team at Atlanta Motor Speedway. While we are satisfied with the final results, we look to continuously improve and perform better each and every week. See you at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.”

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B.J. McLeod Motorsports leaves Atlanta Motor Speedway with Jeff Green 28th in driver points, David Starr 32nd in driver points, and Clint King 35th in driver points.

It Comes in Threes

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When the weekend begins there is always hope. Any given day a miracle can happen, especially at God’s “House of Speed” that we call Daytona. BJ McLeod Motorsports entered their second full season with 3 cars, the 8 driven by Champion Jeff Green, the 78 driven this weekend by development driver Clint King, and the 99 driven by veteran driver David Starr. All three were ready for a great weekend on the high banks.

Thursday started for the team as a simple “tech” day, going over all the new rules and inspecting the new cars for 2017. Without incident the team made it through the day and prepared for their first practice of the year.

Friday, “I wanna go fast!” With two practice sessions totaling less than two hours, the team didn’t have much time to work on any set up. Each car made a few single car, qualifying runs in Practice 1. Carefree Catering supplied lunch before the next session. Practice 2 saw more of the same from the team, single car runs to work on qualifying speed. The sessions flew by quickly and before you could look at the stopwatch, darkness was setting upon us.

The truck race, what a crazy event. It was filled with cautions and bent sheetmetal as the excited group waged war high and low. As the event went on you could hear the rumblings of the new rules, the new stages. Action couldn’t pick up anymore before Stage 1 ended. In those short laps, the truck drivers schooled the world on what the new format would bring. By the end of the race we had seen trucks take to the skies and mow the lawn multiple times over. When the checkered flag finally waved to call for peace, most trucks had seen their share of battle scars.

Overnight I think many owners and drivers hoped that Saturday would prove to be different, that drivers who were a little older and more experienced would be more set on the “Big Picture” of racing. With all the torn up pieces loading up there was plenty to remind everyone of how expensive this pay-to-play sport can be.

Fog lifted on the Saturday morning, the sun shining off the Atlantic and calling the combatants to arms. As the crews worked through prequalifying technical inspection, the drivers suited up in their modern day fire proof armor and set to mount their steeds. With the 99 locked in and Jeff Green the likely would-be recipient of the “Past Champion” provisional, the main worry would be the 78.

Jeff Green was the second to take time and jumped well out in front. Clint King took time and needed to outrun four others. He got three and when the 13 car failed to post time, Clint was in. David Starr was the eleventh to post time and easily qualified. The lineup was set. Starr would roll off P33, King and Green would roll P38 & P40 respectively. There was just a 3 hour wait before the green flag would unleash these knights on a battle long prepared for.

The cruelest of fates always seem to happen to the greatest of people. Sadly, the BJMM team was bit, immediately. Lap 1 would see the 3 fates turn their eyes on the 99 almost immediately, the engine that easily powered David Starr to P33 for the start would expire before even stretching it’s legs on the backstretch. Before the caution could halt the ensuing battle the fates then turned to the 8 car.

Jeff Green would suddenly lose power entering the backstretch. The car slowly rolled and Jeff would describe to the crew that there was an issue with the main power switch. As they pit under caution, all purpose team player Hunter Bullins would manipulate the switch in the dash to reestablish power and give life back to this iron horse. [Note: This was a mechanical issue. It does not pertain to the garage rule or the 5 minute rule. Those rules only apply to incident damaged vehicles. The team could have gone to the garage, taken three hours to repair it and still rejoined the race.] 

With the 8 back under power and the 78 behind (penalized back of field for pit road infraction after a subsequent caution) the team looked strong as they began to work their way through the draft. Jeff had already made up 2 of the 3 laps he fell during the first incident with the power switch. Poised to work their way into the fray they gained ground on the main pack.

The fates are known for being numbered in threes; so they struck. With the 99 in the garage the fates took to spinning their yarns. Jeff and Clint both looked to escape a large scale accident, they got slowed up, but as is so often the case, you get tied up in another’s mess. The 8 car would sustain terminal damage immediately. Crew Chief, David Ingram, called it directly to the garage. Clint came to the attention of his crew. A red flag would interrupt work and pause their 5 minute clock at 3 minutes, 30 seconds.

As the red flag was withdrawn, the crew set to work trying to mend the wounded vehicle. There are times when seconds feel like minutes, but under these conditions it is quite the opposite. The minutes streamed by as quickly as water under a bridge. Time was up before the crew could get it rolling again. The day was done.

Though the results were not at all what any member of the team wanted, the drivers were safe, nothing hurt save a little pride. That is what matters the most, people.

People make this sport go and I believe that when people unite with a common goal they can and often do achieve uncommon feats. The team will have all hands on these cars, shaping and bending and molding and nurturing them back to health.

The BJMM team records finishes P38, P39, and P40. However, they were there. All three cars made it into the race and none of them retired due to something they did. This is a humbling experience, but the team is up to the Herculian effort it takes to come back.

We will see them back again and I will see you in the box.

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BJ McLeod with wife Jessica prior to the Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona.

 

…and if you need an Ice-Frost Cold drink after this, I will join you…

Moves at BJMM

Unlike any other sport, the “Silly Season” of NASCAR never truly ends until the green flag flies at the next race. Leading up to Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona the BJ McLeod Motorsports team has signed driver David Starr, a veteran, to pilot the number 99 Chevrolet Camaro. The move also will result in driver, Clint King, moving from the 99 to the 78 Chevrolet Camaro normally driven by the owner/driver, BJ McLeod. BJ will return for the second race of the year to his 78 car.

BJ McLeod has stepped out for the season’s first race to ensure that the young Development Driver has the largest pool of talent around him to succeed. McLeod is dedicated to helping foster young talent for the series and giving these drivers the much needed experience to be successful in their future.

“[Driver Development] is very important for us as that is the future of our sport.”

The last week has seen a heroic effort by all members of the team, including BJ returning to the wrenches, to prepare the third and final Chevrolet Camaro for past NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, Jeff Green. This will finalize the manufacturer change from a stable of Ford Mustangs to Chevrolet Camaros. The switch comes to provide the best possible equipment on the track each week. This combined with a group of talented mechanics, crew chiefs and drivers, makes for a very promising future.

BJ McLeod Motorsports shows a willingness to change and move to ensure they will be a competitive mainstay within the garage area for years to come. Not only will they strive to provide competitive race cars but also provide a proving ground for young drivers to make their mark. This should bring plenty of excitement to the team and the track every week. You can follow along for all the latest from the team on their Twitter: @teamBJMcLeod as well as on their FaceBook: BJ McLeod Motorsports and their InstaGram: bjmcleodmotorsports

From the press release issued Tuesday:

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B.J. McLeod Motorsports to field three XFINITY Series cars at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – To kick off their sophomore season of NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) competition, B.J. McLeod Motorsports (BJMM) will field three cars in Saturday afternoon’s PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

21-year-old Clint King will drive the team’s flagship No. 78 Chevrolet Camaro with sponsorship from Warehouse Design, while 2000 XFINITY Series champion Jeff Green will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro with longtime competitor David Starr rounding out the trio in the No. 99 Striping Technology L.P. Chevrolet Camaro.

“The guys have worked extremely hard, day and night to prepare three cars to go to Daytona, but we’re ready,” said team principal B.J. McLeod. “We have youth and experience representing our team this week, which we hope will provide opportunities to earn some strong finishes and kick off our 2017 XFINITY Series season on the right foot.”

King enters the second week of Speedweeks 2017 with momentum after finishing ninth in the season-opening Lucas Oil Engine Treatment 200 ARCA Racing Series race last Saturday.

Green will make his 24th start at the “World Center of Racing” and look to repeat his seventh place showing last February.

Starr, the Houston, Tex. native is set for his 10th career XFINITY showing at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

For Daytona, B.J. McLeod Motorsports is proud to welcome the support of Carefree Catering, ICE- FROST and @CouchCrewChief who will serve as associate marketing partners for the team’s 34th career XFINITY Series race.

The PowerShares® QQQ 300 (120 laps / 300 miles) is the first of 33 NASCAR XFINITY Series on the 2016 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 24 from 12:00 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. A final session is set for 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 25 beginning at 10:30 a.m. The 40-car field will take the green flag shortly after 3:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).

Be sure to follow B.J. McLeod Motorsports on social media; Facebook.com/bjmsinc and on Twitter @TeamBJMcLeod.

About Carefree Catering:

Carefree Catering: Central Florida’s fastest growing full-service caterer! Family owned and operated, their passion for elegant as well as tasteful catering goes back many years. Whether you’re hosting a cocktail party for 20, a 50th Anniversary celebration for 100, or planning a wedding for 250, look to Carefree to make your event a success. We also cater to the Pharmaceutical industry providing delicious luncheons on short notice. Our goal is to have you join our growing list of satisfied clients who rely on us for all of their catering needs.

About ICE-FROST:

ICE-FROST is a combination of environmentally safe minerals that when added to the ice in your cooler, will take the temperature down from 30° (that’s the average ice temperature in a cooler) to a frosty -10°.

Extend the life of your ice. Turn your cooler into a freezer. Made in the USA.
About @CouchCrewChief:

Six years ago, Jonathan Gruenke, started the twitter handle @CouchCrewChief as a fun race day gag. In the following years, it has grown to include in-race updates and a motorsports blog focused on new drivers, new teams, and road crew members who sacrifice to entertain the motorsports fans.

About B. J. McLeod Motorsports:

B.J. McLeod Motorsports (BJMcLeodMotorsports.com) is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team is owned by B. J. McLeod and wife Jessica. The team will field three Camaro Chevrolets in the Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway with drivers Jeff Green (No. 8), Clint King (No. 78) and David Starr (No. 99).