On Wednesday, NASCAR issued an update to the entry list for this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway. CJ McLaughlin will no longer be in the No. 53 Emerling-Gase Motorsports car this weekend, instead, Patrick Emerling will run the car.
McLaughlin confirmed to TobyChristie.com that he will not run for Emerling-Gase Motorsports this weekend, and he will also not compete next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, despite being originally scheduled to contest both events.
The 30-year-old racer says he will return for the team at Talladega Superspeedway.
The Massachusetts native was involved in a crash during practice this past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which forced the Emerling-Gase team to move to a backup car. As a result, McLaughlin was benched for Las Vegas. Emerling ended up running the No. 53 car this past weekend in the Alsco Uniforms 300 and finished 34th, six laps off the pace.
McLaughlin has 32-career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts on his record with a best finish of 10th coming in the form of a 10th-place effort last fall at Texas Motor Speedway.
Heading into the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, McLaughlin announced a move to Emerling-Gase Motorsports and announced a schedule, which was listed as “up to” 18 races and included Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Atlanta.
Emerling, a standout in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and co-owner of the Emerling-Gase Motorsports team, has made a total of 16 starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, including 11 in 2022.
Last season, Emerling scored his career-best finish of 16th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the No. 35 Emerling-Gase entry.