NXS: Underdogs Of the Grid; A Look at Saturday’s Potential Spoilers

Marshall Gabell Featured, NASCAR 0 Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America photo –

While Daytona International Speedway produces high speed, close, and often aggressive racing, most drivers dislike the monstrous, and demanding, 2.5-mile demon.

On the flip side, the beast of a track can also be a beauty for the small guys, who are labeled the underdogs.

With the drafting, crashes, and racing being so tight, the race does not come down to who has the best equipment or setup, it’s about putting yourself in the right position at the right time. Therefore, the small teams are in the fight, and will be a threat.

For drivers like Joey Gase, Timmy Hill and Eric McClure, tomorrow’s Subway Firecracker 250 is an opportunity, one that each of them look to capitalize upon.

Gase, who drives for Jimmy Means Racing, JGL Racing’s Hill and TriStar Motorsports’ McClure will all be looking for their first XFINITY Series win tomorrow – and their chances are prominent.

Last season in this event, it was Ryan Sieg, piloting his family-owned No. 39 Chevrolet, who shocked the NASCAR universe after recording a third place finish, the best of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career and qualified for the Dash-4-Cash program the next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Needless to say, this is a chance for the underdogs to prevail.

“Who doesn’t love the type of racing Daytona provides,” McClure said in a press release earlier this week. “It [Daytona] provides an opportunity for all teams to be equal and maybe steal a win from one of the bigger teams. TriStar Motorsports always fields strong cars there and I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead.”

And a win for these small teams is not just an accomplishment, it can make or break their careers, or possibly encourage sponsors to board their program.

“We’re a small team. I don’t even have a PR person,” Gase said after a strong finish at Talladega last season. “What we get for the entire year is what a top team gets for one race and we’re standing up here (in the top ten).”

There it is. From that quote above, you can understand how even a top ten finish can mean the world to these small teams.

Therefore, come Saturday afternoon, when the cars come roaring to the finish line, one of those underdogs can only hope to be leading the pack and have the chance at triumph – and a whole lot more.


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