JD Motorsports Finds Success In Bristolby Hunter Thomas March 16, 2014 0 comments
Bristol, Tenn. – Landon Cassill fought his way through the field to finish 12th in the Drive To Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
Two weekends ago, the JD Motorsports teams were competing at Phoenix International Raceway when Kyle Davis, son of car owner Johnny Davis passed away unexpectedly. With heavy hearts, Cassill and his team finished 19th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and entered Bristol more driven than ever to capture a competitive finish.
“Kyle was a really special part of the race team,” Cassill said. “We were really sad to lose him, and he’ll definitely be missed.”
Cassill’s No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro was 17th quickest in first practice and 24th in the second session, while teammate Jeffrey Earnhardt was 20th and 21st on the speed chart.
On Saturday, during NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying, Earnhardt was 17th and Cassill was 26th. The scariest moment of the weekend came during final practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As Cassill was behind the wheel of his No. 40 Hillman-Circle Sport, LLC Chevorlet SS, he violently slammed the wall in-between turns three and four after a mechanical failure caused the entire left rear tire, hub and all to come off.
“The snout broke off the rear end housing and went for a little bit of a ride,” Cassill said. “I banged my feet up a little bit, so I’ll be sore in the morning. I’ll probably ice my foot. If we get rained out tomorrow, then I’ll have a day to recover my body.”
Despite being a little shook up after the hard crash in Sprint Cup Series practice, Cassill had to get his mind cleared for 300 laps around the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” in the Nationwide Series. After starting 26th, Cassill quickly made his way towards the front. By lap 15, he had already cracked the top-20.
On lap 261, Cassill just narrowly escaped an accident in turn one when Ryan Reed’s car went sliding across the track in an accident just ahead of the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro. Once the field went back to green, Cassill continued his march towards the front and when the race was all said and done, he brought the car home in the 12th position, the team’s best finish so far in 2014. Unfortunately for Jeffrey Earnhardt, he had a rough day and finished 32nd.
“It was a great finish for us,” Landon Cassill said. “We were really looking forward to this race. We’ve got a front end package that we’ve been fine tuning for Bristol and Dover that I think is really good. Even my teammate, Jeffrey Earnhardt qualified well here. He qualified faster than I did. I’m just really proud of this car, and hopefully we can tailor this front end package to work at other tracks like Kentucky and Atlanta.”
Up next on the schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 22. Last season the No. 01 team finished just outside the top-20 in the 23rd position and the No. 4 team finished 28th, but JD Motorsports is very optimistic this season and looks to have more competitive runs similar to the one in Bristol.
“We’re just working away, Cassill said. “We’ve got about half the races sold on my Nationwide car with Johnny Davis Racing, so we’re going to piece some sponsorship together. We’re obviously looking for new partners and definitely a major partner. I’m just working on both teams; the Cup car and the Nationwide car.”