Races built on longer runs tend to show the resilience of all the teams in the garage, even more so with the smaller teams in the field that don’t quite have the same level of resources that the bigger teams do.
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway turned into that day for JD Motorsports, when teammates Bayley Currey and Brennan Poole each secured top-15 results.
Currey, who finished 13th, started the race from 23rd and began to move up the running order slowly and methodically. The 25-year-old has seen a string of good runs lately, and knew that staying on the lead-lap would be the key to a good finish.
Taking the wave-around on the race’s final caution, Currey restarted inside the top-15, and more importantly on the lead lap.
— RJ Starcevic (@RJStarcevic) October 22, 2022
“We’ve had a rough past three weeks and to go out here and get a good run at a track as tough as Homestead is really special,” Currey told TobyChristie.com after the race. “Started 23rd, fell back a little bit early, and the guys just kept working on it and working on it and got the car really good. I think a lot of it too, I’ve never really been a guy to rip the fence like you have to here, and once I really started learning that we were rolling.”
Running the wall was the place to be throughout the duration of the 300-mile contest, especially in the middle to late portion of the run. Currey was one of many drivers to be engulfed in back and forth battles, which sometimes included a snarling pack of drivers.
The bigger picture for the driver of the No. 4, is the opportunity to finish inside the top-20 in NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings – which comes with a significant payday. Sitting seven points behind Brett Moffitt, who is no longer full-time in the series, Currey has a great chance to close that gap.
“It’s definitely huge, you know, the race team struggles to get through the winter when there’s no income, it’s a big big payday to get through the winter,” Currey explained. “I try not to think about it in the race car because then I start putting pressure on myself and making mistakes, but during the week I definitely know and I definitely look when I’m headed back up to the hotel tonight.”
On the other end of the garage at JD Motorsports sits the No. 6, which on Saturday was piloted by Brennan Poole for the second of three scheduled events in the car.
Poole finished the race in 14th – directly behind his teammate – and began his race by immediately charging to the front of the mid-field, fresh off of a run in the NASCAR Truck Series event for G2G Racing.
Taking his experience from a solid result earlier in the day, Poole ran consistently throughout the event, putting himself in position to be there when it counted, taking a similar strategy to that of his teammate.
— RJ Starcevic (@RJStarcevic) October 22, 2022
“It feels really good,” Poole told TobyChristie.com after the race. “We were pretty decent at Texas and we got caught up in a crash, so I really wanted to come here and just make a good statement and have a good run for the team. I feel like we did that tonight and Bayley [Currey] did a great job and we got 13th and 14th, so I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.”
Poole’s season hasn’t been ideal. Even though he’s been at the track most weekend, he’s been competing for teams like Mike Harmon Racing and G2G Racing, who have struggled to qualify for all the events throughout the course of the year.
A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Poole has been able to show his true ability this season, with help from Johnny Davis, who provided him this three-race stint in the No. 6 for JD Motorsports.
“Man, it means a lot, I’m just grateful for the opportunity that Johnny [Davis] has given me to drive his race car.” Poole continued. “After I left his race shop for the first time, I got home and I was actually emotional, because I was just so grateful to have an opportunity to drive for him. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been hard work this year. I’ve been battling through stuff with my family, and just being able to be here and race has been good for my mind. I’m looking forward to Phoenix and to land something full-time this year.”
Poole also added he was thankful to Mike Harmon for the opportunities he’s had this season, and without the call to race at the beginning of the season, he’s unsure what other opportunities would have come his way for 2022.
Having competed as high as NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2020, the last half-decade of Poole’s racing career has featured a number of lows, from losing his ride at Chip Ganassi Racing, being caught in a debacle with sponsor DC Solar, and even breaking his wrist, nights like Saturday lead many to believe there is a bright future that lies ahead for Poole.
The same can be said for JD Motorsports as a whole, who have made bid strides all year with Currey, Ryan Vargas, and now Poole. The team will look to field three cars for next season with Currey being back in his No. 4, but the rest of the team’s lineup is currently unknown.
Nonetheless, two races still remain in the season and the organization looks to finish as strong as possible. Vargas hops back into the No. 6 at Martinsville, with Poole finishing it off at Phoenix, as Currey continues to hunt for the 20th spot in the driver standings.