The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s “Roval” course this weekend for the tour’s final road course race of 2019. The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller driver lineup included road course ringer Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 0 Chevrolet, Garrett Smithley in the No. 4 Contec Chevrolet, Stephen Leicht in the No. 01 Chevrolet, and BJ McLeod in the No. 15 Chevrolet.
Lawson Aschenbach brought home JDM’s highest finish from the Roval, while also improving on his best career finish in the series. Aschenbach’s day started off with a 19th place run in Qualifying, but the road course ace quickly made his way through the pack. The Maryland native worked his way up to 11th at the end of Stage 1, and a strategy call by crew chief Bryan Berry brought him down pit road before the end of Stage 2, where he would finish back in 25th.
This positioned Lawson to restarting up inside the Top 5, where he remained until getting spun by another car late in the going. Ultimately, Aschenbach would rally through the field once again, but a finish of 14th place was all he could manage after having very few laps left to make up track position. Solid points day and a great recovery by him in just his fourth career start.
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Chevrolet, capped off his road course season with yet another solid Top 20 finish. Leicht, who hails from nearby Asheville, NC, started from 26th on the grid. Stephen moved up nine positions in Stage 1 to a 17th place finish, but dropped back down to 23rd at the end of Stage 2. After narrowly avoiding disaster in the form of a multi-car crash near the end of the race, he was able to come home with a clean car in 19th position. This run keeps Leicht still positioned in 19th for the season standings after a clean finish at Charlotte.
BJ McLeod, who is a self-admitted newcomer when it comes to road courses, managed to come home with a finish that matched his best this season on the “right handers”. McLeod started deep in the field with a qualifying effort of 34th, but he did not let that stop his determination to make up spots when the opportunity presented itself. Stage 1 showed the Florida native up two spots to 32nd, with another spot coming in Stage 2 where he finished 31st. The final portion of the race is where BJ went on the attack, as he was able to pass eight cars in a smooth, calculated form. The results sheet will show the No. 15 Chevrolet coming home with a 23rd place finish, keeping him comfortably still in 20th for the season standings.
Garrett Smithley, who normally drives the #NumberNuthin, traded in his familiar surroundings for a chance to drive the No. 4 Contec Chevrolet. After a lightning fast lap in First Practice showed Garrett in 4th place, a brake line fire required him to sit out for Final Practice. Smithley started the race from the 27th position, and was involved in a crash on lap 1 of the race. Despite the crash, the Contec Camaro worked its’ way up to an 18th place finish at the end of Stage 1. The Pennsylvania native kept a solid Top 20 run going throughout Stage 2, where he finished 19th. Misfortunes plagued Smithley to an early exit due to a broken transmission, and he came home with a disappointing 33rd place finish. He still sits 18th solidly in the points standings.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to Dover International Speedway this Saturday for the running of the Use Your Melon 200. Not only is the Delaware Office of Highway Safety sponsoring the race, but they will also be proudly displayed on the No. 4 Use Your Melon Chevrolet! The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller driver lineup will consist of the returning Ross Chastain in the No. 4, Garrett Smithley back in the No. 0, Stephen Leicht in the No. 01, and BJ McLeod in the No. 15. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 3:00 PM Eastern Time to see live coverage. For all things JDM, follow us along on social media with the handle @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM