NASCAR: GameStop in for 10 races on Erik Jones’ XFINITY ride with Gibbs

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Erik Jones’ part-time drive this year for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series will feature a familiar sponsor.

After supporting Sprint Cup veteran Matt Kenseth over the last two years of NXS competition, GameStop will now back Jones and the No. 20 JGR Toyota Camry in 2015 for 10 events.

Those events include the NXS season opener at Daytona on Feb. 21, the two races at both Texas and Charlotte, and single races at Fontana, Bristol, Richmond, Phoenix, and Homestead-Miami.

Along with his NXS schedule, Jones will also compete full-time this year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He made three NXS starts in the No. 20 Toyota last year with finishes of seventh at Chicago, eighth at Bristol, and sixth at Phoenix.

“As a gamer, I’ve always followed the cars GameStop puts on the track each year,” Jones said in a release. “It’s so cool that they change their paint scheme for every race, and they’ve featured many of my favorite games. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to combine my love for gaming with my career as a NASCAR driver.

“I know we’ll be competitive each week with the GameStop Toyota, and I’m confident we’ll be able to get us a win, or a few, this season.”

Mike Wheeler, former race engineer for Denny Hamlin on JGR’s No. 11 Sprint Cup team, will now take over as Jones’ crew chief on the team’s No. 20 NXS program.

“Erik is a great addition to our program and will be a great representative of GameStop,” team president J.D. Gibbs said in the same release. “We also have Mike Wheeler stepping up to lead the No. 20 Toyota team as crew chief. It will be exciting to watch those two together as they run up front and contend for wins each time Erik is in the No. 20 Camry.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.