It’s been a year of the underdog in NASCAR, and it’s fair to say Kyle Weatherman, who will be making his 21st NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the year on Saturday, is one of those at the top of the list.
From scoring top 10 finishes with DGM Racing earlier in the season, to helping the upstart Jesse Iwuji Motorsports team find it’s footing in the sport after a rocky start to the year, Weatherman has made waves week in and week out and if Friday’s qualifying session is any indication, Homestead-Miami Speedway will be no different.
Coming off a 14th place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway a week ago, the 25-year-old driver carried that momentum into a rain-delayed qualifying session in South Florida and when the final car was done clocking in, Weatherman found himself with an eighth place effort.
For the Iwuji team, Weatherman’s eighth place starting spot ties the organization’s best-ever starting position. Weatherman also turned out an eighth place starting spot at Michigan International Speedway for the team back in August.
The last time Weatherman started eighth for the team, they ended that race weekend with a 16th-place finish. While that is a solid effort for the first-year team, Weatherman is excited to see how this weekend winds up for he and his team.
“Huge for our team to qualify eighth, we have really good race speed as well.” Weatherman told TobyChristie.com after qualifying. “So excited to get the race started tomorrow and rip the fence for 200 laps.”
Saturday will mark the 28th start in the history of the Jesse Iwuji Motorsports team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. While the season started with team owner Jesse Iwuji behind the wheel, hoping to keep the car clean and gain experience, the team found itself in a less than favorable points position and by race four of the season the team found themselves DNQing at Phoenix Raceway.
It was a humbling day for the team, and yet another one followed with a DNQ in the sixth race of the season at Circuit of the Americas, but after that DNQ Weatherman was brought into the fold and the team has found steady and consistent strength from him.
Weatherman has an average finish of 21.4 in his 15 starts with the team. The team’s average finish in their 12 races without Weatherman is 29.0.
The native of Wentzville, Missouri will now look to roll the strong momentum into Saturday afternoon’s Contender Boats 300, which will see vastly different conditions that we saw Friday night.