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Here’s what’s different as of today (Feb. 23) heading into the weekend.
NASCAR Cup Series (Auto Club Speedway)
–Garrett Smithley will drive the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing in the first of a multi-race partnership with the team. An announcement regarding Smithley’s return to the team confirmed he will be with the team for the entirety of the West Coast swing. David Ragan, who drove the car at Daytona International Speedway, was initially listed.
-As expected, Josh Bilicki has replaced Landon Cassill as the listed driver for Spire Motorsports’ No. 77. It will mark Bilicki’s first Cup start of 2022 and the first of many with Spire, as he’s expected to run the majority of the schedule in the No. 77.
Thirty-six cars remain entered for the event, meaning all will qualify.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (Auto Club Speedway)
–Brennan Poole is entered in Mike Harmon Racing’s No. 47; the car was initially entered with a driver to be announced. Should he qualify, the race will mark Poole’s first Xfinity start since he ran the full schedule in 2017.
–Harrison Rhodes and Means Racing have withdrawn the No. 52. The pair failed to qualify at Daytona.
-The No. 53 for Emerling-Gase Motorsports has been withdrawn from the race. A driver was never listed. Joey Gase drove the car at Daytona but is in the No. 35, now the team’s only entry, this weekend.
With 41 cars now entered rather than 44, three drivers will fail to qualify this weekend instead of six.
About the author
Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.
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