As the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series approach one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course, the addition of practice and qualifying to the weekend’s schedule has required some organizations to switch their driver lineups, to include drivers with more road racing experience.
After half of the organization’s four-car fleet failed to qualify at Road America, JD Motorsports w/ Gary Keller is one of the organizations that will be relying on this strategy for Saturday’s Pennzoil 150, placing road course specialists in three of their NASCAR Xfinity Series entries.
Piloting the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro – usually driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt — will be Spencer Pumpelly, who has already contested a pair of events in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season, picking up a pair of top-20 starts and a career-best 19th-place finish at Circuit of The Americas in May.
“I’m thankful to be back with JDM for another road course event, this time at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Pumpelly said in a team release. “The last two events, the cars have shown quite a bit of speed, but unfortunately, we’ve gotten caught up in a few incidents. I’m really excited to get back to the track and do the best I can this weekend. I’m really just thankful for the opportunity.”
Getting behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro – usually piloted by Ryan Vargas — will be Ryan Eversley, who will attempt to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in Saturday Afternoon’s Pennzoil 150 at Indy’s Road Course, after making his NASCAR Cup Series debut with Rick Ware Racing at Road America. This season, Eversley has been competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR Class, claiming one victory and four podiums in seven starts.
“I’m really looking forward to making my Xfinity series debut and racing for JD Motorsports at Indy this week,” said Eversley. “Joining my good friends Mike Skeen and Spencer Pumpelly will make it an easier transition as well since they both have been racing stock cars a little longer than I have so I’m confident that if we work together we can get our car in the field. Racing anything at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an honor but to get to race in another NASCAR series at the most famous race track in the world is something I honestly never imagined. Thanks to Johnny and the team for giving me this opportunity.”
In what will be his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start with JD Motorsports, Mike Skeen will be piloting the No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro – in place of Colby Howard — in the series’ second-ever event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course. In 2018, Skeen made his series debut with JD Motorsports at Watkins Glen International, qualifying 24th and finishing 28th, after brake issues.
Skeen has been competing in the Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli this season, claiming the victory in the TA2 Class’ most recent event on the streets of Nashville. On top of his Trans Am success, Skeen has also competed in the IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 Class, collecting one podium and one ‘fastest lap’.
“I’m really excited to be back with the guys at JD Motorsports,” said Skeen. “Back in 2018 at Watkins Glen, we had a really fast car. Sadly, towards the end of the race we had brake issues. I’m hoping to improve on previous finish this time at the Indianapolis Road Course. I know the guys at the shop can build me a fast car, and I hope I can give them the finish they deserve. A huge thank you to Johnny and everyone on the team for giving me another opportunity.”
When the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to competition at Michigan International Speedway next weekend, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ryan Vargas and Colby Howard will all be returning to their respective rides.