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NASCAR Junior Series: February Round-up

Updated: Apr 3

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sean McKean

Image Credits - Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images

Welcome to the NASCAR junior series round-up for the month of February, where we compile and summarise all of the races from the Xfinity and Truck Series, then ending the round up with driver of the month award for each series. Without further ado, let’s jump into the meat and potatoes.

Race Reviews

Truck Series Daytona 250

Credit - Peter Casey, USA TODAY Sports

The race started off with Ty Majeski for Thorsport Racing leading the field on pole position, with Johnny Sauter, Corey Lajoie, and Matt Mills trailing closely. After six laps, Christian Eckes got loose behind the outside line, tagging Matt Crafton and causing a big crash on the back straight.

At the end of stage one, Sauter gets an incredible push from the outside line to overtake Majeski and eventually wins stage one.

Majeski retook the lead after the stage break, but was quickly overtaken by Tyler Ankrum on the restart and held it for the rest of the stage, winning stage two. 

After a red flag due to weather conditions, there were multiple lead changes during green flag racing and during caution. Late into the race, Nick Sanchez was leading the field, but a shaky Ankrum spun while holding ninth place, bringing out the final caution flag and sending the race into overtime. 

After the white flag was brought out for the final lap of the race, the trucks rounded turn two for the back straight, but Rajah Caruth hit the left rear of Taylor Gray, sending Gray sideways and towards Jack Wood, leading to a big crash and a win for the 2023 Trucks Series ROTY Nick Sanchez.

Xfinity Series Daytona 300

Credit - Peter Casey, USA TODAY Sports

The race kicked off after a delay due to weather conditions, with pole-sitter Jesse Love leading the field. Green flag racing persisted for 23 laps, but a crash involving Daniel Suarez, Sam Mayer, Hailee Deegan, and Kyle Weatherman brought out the first caution of the race, retiring all of the cars involved in the accident.

Love decided against pitting, retaining the lead and eventually the stage one win by a close margin over Austin Hill.

After the stage one break, AJ Allmendinger led the field, but was involved in an unfortunate accident shortly after caused by a mistimed push by J.H. Nemechek at Love, resulting in a ten- car accident that involved a majority of contenders.

However, for the rest of stage two we see one of the said involved contenders, Hill, benefit from the multiple accident that occurred, surging back into the front with ten laps left to go in the second stage, and propelling to the stage win after a huge push by fellow Chevrolet driver Sammy Smith.

After the five lap intermission, the field approaches the green flag with Love as the leader yet again. After around 30 laps of green flag racing, Jeb Burton spun and brought out yet another caution. During the caution, Hill had to pit again after recently pitting at lap 93 due to a flat tire.

After this followed a string of cautions, all the while Hill jumped up to fifth. On the final restart at lap 117, a great jump sent him straight to second place, right behind the #32 of Jordan Anderson. Hill took the lead at lap 118, never looked back, three in a row, and that is all she wrote.

Truck Series Atlanta 210 

Image Credits - Todd Kirkland, Getty Images

On a sunny Saturday in Atlanta, the first race of the weekend started off with Daniel Dye leading the field to the green flag, then Ty Majeski took the lead after multiple cars bailed on the bottom line, joining the top line.

Later on, Kyle Busch took the lead but Christian Eckes snuck up to Busch and passed him on lap 11. On lap 16, Keith McGee spun around and brought out the first caution of the race. Eckes led the field for the rest of the stage, and took the stage win.

After the stage break, Tyler Ankrum led the way but Kyle Busch retook the lead just six6 laps later and held the lead for the rest of the stage, winning stage two of the race. 

Matt Mills led the way after the second stage break, but lost multiple positions on the caution pit stop, where Ankrum led the way yet again.

After a few caution periods, Dean Thompson led the way on the restart but in the next couple of laps the lead changed hands a few times and Grant Enfinger came out on top. However, the story doesn’t end here, as a gritty Kyle Busch fought back to the lead all the way from 17th place, and eventually took taking the win.

Xfinity Series Atlanta 250

Image Credits - David Yeazell, USA TODAY Sports

The race started with Jesse Love leading the way as the pole-sitter yet again, with Austin Hill down the inside. Love took an early lead and never gave it away for the rest of the stage, winning stage one in dominating fashion. 

Love led the field after the stage break, but around ten laps later, JJ Yeley got bumped in the wrong way by Kyle Weatherman, sending Yeley sideways and, bringing out the first caution of the stage. After the short caution break, Love led the rest of the way and won stage two. 

In stage three, AJ Allmendinger led the field to green, but a rapid inside line propelled Love back to the lead, who held the lead for the entire stage until overtime. On the overtime restart, multiple cars ran out of fuel simultaneously, including Love who dominated the entire race, leading 157 laps of the 169 laps run. 

Hill’s pit stop gamble paid off incredibly, as the hometown hero took the lead immediately on the restart, and brought home the second win in a row for the season, and at Atlanta. 

Truck Series Driver of the month: #98 Thorsport Racing, Ty Majeski, Ford

It was a struggle to pick the best driver from the Truck Series, as there were multiple drivers in contention for the award. Tyler Ankrum was definitely considered, who is leading the way on the points total.

On the other hand, Nick Sanchez also exhibited great consistency, getting a win in Daytona, then following it up with a top five finish in Atlanta.

However, Ty Majeski was simply better than all of them. He passed the eye test on multiple levels: great driving, good pace, and backed it up with a big bundle of points. He will be looking to continue this hot streak into the month of March, potentially getting a win sooner rather than later.

Xfinity Series Driver of the month: #21 RCR, Austin Hill, Chevrolet

The driver of the month in the Xfinity Series is definitely Austin Hill, with both wins under his belt, and a combined total of 102 points in the first two races. He also acquired 11 playoff points through two race wins and one stage win.

He is on the hottest streak so far, and it looks like Richard Childress Racing made an amazing decision bringing back the 29-year-old on a multi-year deal. Hill is having one of the best starts to a season in his entire career, and doesn’t seem like he will slow down for even a second. Don’t be surprised if he takes more wins in March, and expands his lead on the points total.


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