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TC Daily Pit Stop: Sammy Smith Snags Xfinity Pole; Hailie Deegan Engaged; Jason Ratcliff Retiring; Moose Returns to Chastain; Hingorani to Drive for Henderson; Saturday's TV Schedule
TC Daily Pit Stop: Saturday, October 28th, 2023
Sammy Smith picked a pretty good time to score his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series pole. The driver, who is in a near must-win situation heading into Saturday’s Championship 4-field-deciding race at Martinsville Speedway, turned a lap time of 20.035 sec. in Friday’s qualifying session, which secured him the pole position over Justin Allgaier.
“It was a good lap,” Smith said of his run. “The first lap was a little bit off, had a little bit of lock up.”
Smith continued by saying, “[I] Was able to get the pole on the second lap. Knowing going into it, the second lap was going to be the faster, just needed to get heat in the tires.”
Cole Custer, Riley Herbst, and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top-five qualifiers for Saturday’s Dead On Tools 250.
Hailie Deegan, who will move into a full-time position in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with AM Racing in 2024, is officially engaged to her long-time boyfriend Chase Cabre. On Friday, Deegan announced the engagement in images shared on her Instagram account.
In the images, Cabre is shown dropping to a knee and asking Deegan to marry him with a ring in his hands. The couple have been publicly dating since Summer 2020.
Jason Ratcliff, the current crew chief of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota GR Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will retire from being a crew chief at the end of the 2023 season. Ratcliff confirmed his upcoming retirement in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Friday.
“Nah, that’s it, yeah, Phoenix is going to be it,” Ratcliff said on Friday. “This is going to be my last season as crew chief, and really, I enjoy the competition so much, so hopefully I can stay involved somehow on that side of it, but it’s going to be nice to not have to pack a bag each week and get on an airplane.”
Ratcliff has spent 24 years in NASCAR as a crew chief, and is the winningest crew chief in NASCAR Xfinity Series history. Saturday will mark Ratcliff’s 800th start as a crew chief in NASCAR.
17-year-old Sean Hingorani will make his second career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start next weekend in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway. The young racer confirmed in a post on X on Friday that he will pilot the No. 75 Chevrolet Silverado for Henderson Motorsports in the event.
Hingorani will pull double duty at Phoenix as he attempts to close out his quest for the ARCA Menards Series West championship.
Moose Fraternity will officially return as a primary sponsorship partner of Ross Chastain and the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing team for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the team announced on Friday afternoon.
The red and black Moose colors will adorn Chastain’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in four races during the 2024 season and four races during the 2025 season as part of the extension.
On Saturday, October 28th, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race and the NASCAR Cup Series will practice and qualify at Martinsville Speedway. Here is the full TV and Streaming schedule, so you don’t miss any of the action:
12:30 PM ET: NASCAR Cup Series Practice (USA Network / NBC Sports App)
1:20 PM ET: NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying (USA Network / NBC Sports App)
2:30 PM ET: Dale Jr. Download: Ricky Rudd (USA Network)
3:00 PM ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Countdown to Green (USA Network)
3:30 PM ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Race (USA Network / NBC Sports App)
6:00 PM ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Post-Race (USA Network)
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