Categories
NASCAR Cup Series

Whitt, TriStar See Success In Duel

A year ago in the Can-Am Duels, Cole Whitt entered the race needing a strong performance to make the Daytona 500. Unfortunately for the California-native, his night came to an end after getting caught up in an accident trying to gain positions, effectively ending his hopes of making “The Great American Race.”

You could say Whitt got his redemption this year.

Unlike last season, he entered the race with a guaranteed spot virtue of a charter, but that wouldn’t stop him from having a good run. Battling hard all night, he came home with a 10th place finish to start the season on a high note.

After qualifying 34th this past Sunday, the 25-year-old rolled off 18th in the first Duel and stayed at the tail of the lead pack early on, trying to find a way through the pack. As the race neared its close, Whitt kept himself out of trouble and worked his way into the top-15. After restarting 12th with eight laps to go, he used the final laps to maneuver his way into top-10.

Thanks to his 10th place finish, Whitt will start 19th on Sunday. In addition to that, he also earns one point thanks to new rule changes to the Duel races.

The night also serves as a huge boost to his team, TriStar Motorsports, who are returning to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, after not fielding an entry in NASCAR’s top-tier series since 2013. It’s safe to say Thursday night will be used a step in the right direction, as the No. 72 team continues to grow and, it will be interesting to see if they can turn it into more success in the 500.

Mitchell Breuer is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist

EMAIL MITCHELL AT mitchell.breuer@popularspeed.com

TWITTER: @MitchellB66

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
NASCAR Cup Series

Front Row Buys BK Racing Charter; Leases to TriStar

A day after Front Row Motorsports revealed the acquisition of one of its Charters by TriStar Motorsports, the organization has bought one of BK Racing’s two Charters for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

BKR’s No. 83 Charter now belongs to TriStar though because FRM is leasing it to the new Cup Series No. 72 team. BKR will compete in the upcoming season with only one Charter for the No. 23, which will be driven by Joey Gase and Gray Gaulding.

FRM’s two full-time cars will both remained guaranteed into all 36 points events for Landon Cassill and David Ragan because both entries are chartered. At the end of the 2017 season, TriStar’s Charter lease will end, and it will be returned to FRM, giving the Ford organization three Charters for 2018.

As the season gets closer and closer, the MENCS field is becoming more and more clear. To avoid any confusion, here is a list of all 36 Charter teams that will be guaranteed into every race this season:

  1. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
  2. 2 Team Penske
  3. 3 Richard Childress Racing
  4. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
  5. 5 Hendrick Motorsports
  6. 6 Roush Fenway Racing
  7. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
  8. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
  9. 13 Germain Racing
  10. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
  11. 15 Premium Motorsports
  12. 17 Roush Fenway Racing
  13. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
  14. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
  15. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
  16. 21 Wood Brothers Racing
  17. 22 Team Penske
  18. 23 BK Racing
  19. 24 Hendrick Motorsports
  20. 27 Richard Childress Racing
  21. 31 Richard Childress Racing
  22. 32 GoFas Racing
  23. 33 Circle Sport-The Motorsports Group
  24. 34 Front Row Motorsports
  25. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
  26. 38 Front Row Motorsports
  27. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
  28. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
  29. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
  30. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
  31. 48 Hendrick Motorsports
  32. 72 TriStar Motorsports
  33. 77 Furniture Row Racing
  34. 78 Furniture Row Racing
  35. 88 Hendrick Motorsports
  36. 95 Leavine Family Racing

EMAIL JOHN AT john.haverlin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @The5thJohnHav

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
News

Whitt and TriStar Team up for Full Cup Series Season

TriStar Motorsports will compete in NASCAR’s premier series for the first time since 2013 and Cole Whitt will be its full-time driver in the No. 72 for the upcoming season.

Whitt ran the final two races of the 2016 XFINITY Series campaign with the team driving the No. 14 Toyota. His last start in the Cup Series was in Premium Motorsports’ No. 55 at Kansas Speedway in October, where he finished 33rd.

“I’m looking forward to being back in the seat at TriStar Motorsports for the Monster Energy Cup Series for 2017,” Whitt said in a press release. “We are glad to have Florida Lottery back with us for the season opener at Daytona and are fortunate to continue and expand our relationship with Rinnai, RTIC Coolers, and Carolina Skiff throughout the year.”

The 25-year-old California native competed in 26 Cup races last year — all in an Open car without one of NASCAR’s 36 team Charters. Motorsport.com reported on Thursday afternoon that TriStar will acquire a Charter from Front Row Motorsports to guarantee Whitt into every event in the 36-race schedule.

“We are taking a different approach and expanding our competitive platform for 2017,” said Mark Smith, TriStar’s owner. “It is an opportunity we feel is the best direction for this season, and we are pleased to have Cole and his partners involved in those efforts.”

The organization has predominantly used Toyotas in NASCAR’s top two divisions since 2012. For 2017, the team will be using Toyota again with J.J. Yeley on the XFINITY side, but the No. 72’s paint scheme rendering has a Ford body. It’d be unusual for a team to use two different manufacturers at the same time in one season.

Frank Kerr will be the No. 72’s crew chief as Whitt enters his fourth full season of Cup competition.

EMAIL JOHN AT john.haverlin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @The5thJohnHav

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.