As if Landon Cassill hadn’t already reached legendary underdog status through his career to this point, Saturday in NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying for the Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Cassill took things to a new level.
The 30-year old journeyman driver took Morgan Shepherd’s No. 89 Chevrolet Camaro SS and qualified it in the ninth position for Saturday night’s race.
Not a big deal?
The last time Shepherd’s No. 89 team had scored a top-10 qualifying run was over a decade ago. Shepherd qualified the car in the 10th position for the July Daytona race back in 2009.
What’s more, Shepherd Racing Ventures enters this weekend 43rd in the NASCAR Xfinity Series owner championship standings. To put what Landon Cassill did on Saturday into perspective, it would be the equivalent of Joey Gase scoring a top-10 qualifying run in the No. 66 MBM Motorsports car in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
In the Cup Series, the No. 66 team is also the 43rd ranked team in the owner championship standings.
This weekend will mark Cassill’s fourth start in Shepherd’s No. 89 car for the 2019 season. In those four starts, Cassill has starting positions of 24th, 13th, 16th and ninth. That equates to an average starting position of 15.5.
Shepherd, although not at the height of his game behind the wheel at the age of 77, has an average start of 34.4 in the same car this season. Shepherd is a four-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series and a 15-time winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.