It’s been an absolutely dreadful season for CJ McLaughlin, who moved to Emerling-Gase Motorsports for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. On Friday, McLaughlin found trouble in the opening moments of practice for Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway.
While battling below Riley Herbst, McLaughlin lost control, spun around, clipped the side of Herbst’s No. 98 machine, and then backed his No. 53 car hard into the outside wall.
Here is the incident that destroyed the No. 53 Emerling Gase machine. McLaughlin lost control on the low side battling Riley Herbst. pic.twitter.com/XEiMn8vC45
— Toby Christie (@Toby_Christie) June 23, 2023
McLaughlin had just completed his first lap of the practice session, which was a 32.805 sec. lap time.
Herbst, returned to the track and clicked off more laps after the incident.
After climbing from his obliterated No. 53 machine, McLaughlin was seen punching the C-post of his car in frustration. The Emerling-Gase Motorsports team is preparing its backup car.
— Jared Haas (@RealJaredHaas) June 23, 2023
McLaughlin, who has made four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts this season, found trouble in practice earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and crashed the car. That weekend, Patrick Emerling slid behind the wheel of the backup car and competed for the team in a 34th-place effort.
Emerling then ran two additional races — Phoenix and Atlanta — with McLaughlin’s primary sponsor SciAps on the car.
No word has come from the team as of yet as to whether McLaughlin will continue to pilot the car for the remainder of the weekend at Nashville.