Timmy Hill Announces Multi-Race Agreement with Eastern Airlines

Fresh off securing a partial-year ride with Rick Ware Racing (slogan: NASCAR's Hardest Name to Say), Timmy Hill has announced new sponsorship from transportation giant Eastern Airlines. 
"We're going into 2017 full-bore ahead, and nobody represents ingenuity and hard work quite like the good folks at Eastern Airlines", Hill said in a press release. "We look forward at RWR to showing race fans all the great things this great airline has to offer."
Eastern Airlines has a long history in the US aviation industry.  From its longtime sponsorship of Walt Disney World's ever-popular EPCOT exhibits to its status as one of Look Magazine's 10 Airlines to Watch, Eastern Airlines brings a model of stability and success to the star-crossed Hill. 
"I've had plenty of sponsors in the past year or so", Hill said, "but I really think that 2017 will be a great chance to partner with great companies like Eastern Airlines, Hechinger's Hardware, and The Hecht Company. I'm out to prove this season that When There's A Hill, There's A Way."

Eastern Airlines officials could not be reached for comment. 

The Daytona 500 Commercial They SHOULD Have Aired

Sunday SUNDAY SUNDAY!!! at the Daytona International Speedway!  It’s the Daytona 500 Demolition Derby SPECTACULARRRRRRR.  Thrills, spills, and bone crunching SPILLS for four hours or 200 laps, whatever comes firrrrrst.  Millions of dollars in RESEARCH and thousands of man hours of HARD WORK will be DESTROYYYYED in a matter of MINUTES.
Come see all your demo derby favorites—Chase “The Blocker Elliott!  Jamie “I’ll Make It Fit” McMurray!  Martin “Bad Luck” Truex Jr.!  And special appearance by Konservative Kasey Kahne!
Tickets available at all ISC race tracks!  AndKidsSeatsAreOnlyFullPriiiiiiiiiiiice!
We’ll give you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edddddge for when you stand up in disgusssssst!


BREAKING NEWS: Kyle Busch Admits He Was Doing a Burnout To Celebrate Winning Stage

After a few questions of interrogation following his interview with Jamie Little, Nascar driver Kyle Busch admitted that his “spin-out” on track was not an accident.  Instead, he was doing a belated celebratory “burn-out” to commemorate winning the first stage in the Daytona 500.
“Really, I was just so excited to get that stage win”, Busch admitted in an exclusive interview with Spade Racing.  “To be able to win the first-ever stage in the Cup Series, that really means a lot to me.  I was so jacked-up about it that I just couldn’t wait until after the race to start celebrating.”
Busch had previously admitted to such odd career goals as winning 200 touring series races and smashing a priceless trophy-guitar.  This is just another of his strangely specific racing accomplishments.
“Whether its becoming the first driver to win a championship with an injury waiver, or being the guy Hendrick Motorsports didn’t choose over Casey Mears, all my career goals are my own—mine.  Whatever it takes to accomplish them, I will do.”
Busch was seen being handed a “First Ever Stage Win” flag during his most-recent pit stop, and seemed incensed that he was unable to celebrate properly.

“These Goodyear tires, they just don’t hold air”, Busch said, “when you’re trying to go around at 180 mph.  They really need to get on that.”

Uncle Max: An Introduction and Daytona Weekend Picks

For years I’ve been the only writer here at Spade Racing, but as of today, that all changes.  They say that gambling is the national pastime, and that everybody’s uncle is a Nascar fan.  Well, we’re combining the two as my Uncle Max, gambling expert extraordinaire and longtime assistant manager at big box stores region-wide, will provide insight in analysis into the world of Nascar gambling for every Cup race this year.  And now, without further adieu, UNCLE MAX!!!
Thanks, nephew.  Like he said above, I’m a pretty avid gambler, particularly on professional sports.  I’ve won my workplace pick ‘em pool for football three years in a row, and I always run the March Madness bracket challenge with my friends down at the bar.  Now I’m not going to lie to any of you—Nascar is not my forte.  But when my nephew asked me help out on his site, I started right up with the research.  I had people at work wondering why I was spending so much time with my head buried in my smartphone in the break room instead of going outside to smoke like usual—I was reading up on who dominates where, who’s due for a breakout year in 2017, and, well, figuring out how to light my ex-wife’s new boyfriend’s lawn on fire and get away with it.
Now, I might not be able to watch as many races as I’d like—the boss puts me on weekend duties at work, since I’m the only one with enough experience to handle customer returns—but I’ll be putting up my picks for each Cup Series race every Friday for the entire season—thank you, public wi-fi that happens to cover my townhouse!  If my research is any indication, it’ll be pretty easy to see why everybody’s Uncle is such a big Nascar fan—and you’ll be able to add ME to the list…well, at least until football season starts back up again.

OK, so let’s get started here: My nephew Mike wants me to pick the winners for every points-paying touring series race this year, which is apparently the Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series.  That reminds me, I gotta call Xfinity or Comcast or whatever the hell they call themselves now to get my cable bill lowered—they make me keep that land line phone line, what the hell do I need it for?  What is this, 1991 all of a sudden?  Jeez—I wish, that was a damn good year for me…but I digress.  Anyways, here’s my inaugural picks:
Truck Series Next Era Energy Resources 250: Johnny Sauter—hey, its hard to go against the champion.
Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300: Kasey Kahne—yeah, I take back what I said about going against the champion—besides, one of the ladies I work with is always wearing Kasey Kahne Dodge stuff.

Cup Series Daytona 500: OK, so here’s how I’ll pick Cup races—I’ll give you a favorite (self-explanatory), a next-favorite (in case someone else in your pick ‘em pool has already picked the favorite), and a dark horse if you’re feeling adventurous.  FAVORITE—Dale Earnhardt Jr.—even though I don’t think “the fix” is in.  NEXT FAVORITE—Joey Logano—kid looked stout in what I could see from the break room TV in the Clash.  DARK HORSE—Clint Bowyer—Mr. Everyman gets his mojo back in a new team with new cars?  Tough, but not impossible.

"News" and Notes "News" and Notes

--After a lengthy run Spade Racing's weekly "News" and Notes previews have come to an end. To paraphrase The Simpsons, "But why now? Why not five years ago?"

--I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible--John Steadman for giving me the wonderful title and idea to rip-off, even though he never met me or had any idea who I was. Jayski for givingg me such great peaces of news wvery week. And you, the reader, for putting up with my early Kenny Wallace obsession. 

--What will come next to replace "News" and Notes? Well, it'll be here on Friday, and combine three things everybody loves--NASCAR, gambling, and uncles. 

Fox Unveils Newest Model of Darrell Waltrip Cyborg

With the 2017 racing regular season just around the corner, Fox Sports held a press conference to present the latest edition of its Darrell Waltrip announcing Cyborg. 
Like all computerized robots, it is
prone to occasional crashes
"We're proud to say that our latest model will be ready to go for the (Daytona) 500", according to Fox spokesman Sloan Primo. "We still have some beta-testing to work through, but we're confident that the ol' DW version 17.01 will be fully operational by the time we go on the air. 
The latest edition was on display, though it was emphasized that it was not completely finished. 
"We're still perfecting the Danica-monitoring devices for the paisley tie, and here", Primo said, pointing to a hole in the left arm, "is where the revamped Junior-promoting functionality will be, but we're accustomed to working up until the last minute to get this thing perfect."
Primo noted that things are much easier this year than last, when a completely new model had to be constructed to be compatible with Jeff Gordon. However, issues still remain in the program. 

"While we're proud of all our Cyborgs, we're still sad to say that our Michael Waltrip robot is still encountering difficulties", Primo said ruefully. "Specifically, we have yet to stop it from racing in races in northern Florida and Alabama, and have yet to remove the Lisp-Matrix."

Spade Racing’s 2017 Cup Series Preview, The Stock (Car) Report: Part 2, The Non-Playoff Drivers

It’s a pivotal year for the newly-renamed Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series—a new title sponsor, plenty of movement between drivers and teams, and concerns about the future viability of the sport means that 2017 could go down as a make-or-break year going forward.  But who should you invest in going forward?  Who’s the best for the long-term and short-term for YOUR racing portfolio?
That’s where Spade Racing comes in!
Take at look at The Stock (Car) Report and decide where YOU should put your hard-earned money for 2017.
(Consult with a racing expert before making any investments.  Investments should not be made solely based on one weirdo from Delaware’s opinion.)
Listed in order of predicted REGULAR SEASON finish—full time drivers/teams only:

# Driver Team—Top Sponsor(s) (Ticker Symbol)—prediction (*--Rookie)
*17. 77 Erik Jones Furniture Row Racing—Five Hour Energy, Furniture Row (KID)—This IPO is attracting plenty of attention, and while there are concerns about the CEO/driver’s ability to handle adversity, this is still one to watch.  ADVICE: Buy, buy, buy.

18. 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports—Farmer’s, Great Clips (MILK)—A longtime lagging performer, the upcoming loss of Farmer’s won’t help matters, although some still see a rebound/comeback in the cards.  ADVICE: Sell, unless you like being disappointed.

19. 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing—McDonald’s, Cessna (JMAC)—Always seems to be thisclose, coming out on the disappointing end of the earnings report.  ADVICE: Sell—the number doesn’t match the performance here.

20. 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing—Dow, American Ethanol (HEAD)—Last year was a pleasant surprise, but expect a fall back to reality in 2017.  Keep an eye on though for the future.  ADVICE: Hold onto this for the long-term.

21. 47 AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing—Kroger (DING)—Sure, they can break through once in a while, but do you really want to rely on a miracle earnings report once or twice a year?  ADVICE: Don’t buy, but hold on if you have this stock at a bargain price—you never know.

*22. 13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing—GEICO, ??? (FACE)—An intriguing IPO, with management changes and increased investment from outside the team adding up to plenty of variables.  ADVICE: Buy now, this could be huge in a few years.

23. 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports—Smithfield, STP (KING)—Cutbacks may bolster the bottom line, but the future of this team remains as in flux as it has been for the past decade.  ADVICE: Sell now and bring home some bacon.

24. 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing—Menards, Menards Partners (NARDS)—Despite ample funding and upper-management with a pedigree, this stock continues to disappoint.  ADVICE: Save big money and go sell.

25. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing—Fastenal, Fifth Third Bank (BOYFR)—Chaos in the upper-management of this stock means that its probably best to get out now with what you can.  ADVICE: Sell immediately.

26. 37 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing—Scott, Kingsford (CBTEX)—Last year’s biggest surprise in mid-year earnings moves to a temporary location for 2017.  Could it help?  ADVICE: A longshot—best for the biggest gamblers amongst you, but prepare to sell at the end of 2017.

27. 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing—AdvoCare, Liberty National (FLUKE)—A big IPO followed by nothing but disappointment since.  ADVICE: Sell if you somehow still own it.

28. 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing—Nature’s Bakery?, Aspen Dental (GOIL)—A switch in suppliers/car probably won’t change much here, even though everyone seems to want to see this stock succeed.  ADVICE: Sell, despite what optimists may say.

29. 95 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing—???, K-Love (MCD)—Plenty of changes have shored up this unsteady operation, but still don’t expect to see much results.  ADVICE: Buy at a bargain rate, but sell otherwise.

30. 38 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports—???, Yum Brands (PASS)—A return to “home” after a few years of instability should calm things down—way down.  ADVICE: Sell, nothing to see here.

31. 34 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports—Love's Travel Center, MDS (LCAS)—Last year was a rough one, but this stock’s CEO/driver has shown what he can do with little to no support.  ADVICE: Only buy for sentimental reasons.

32. 32 Matt DiBenedetto Go Fas Racing—Can-Am, Keen Parts (MATYD)—Stepping-up from the penny-stocks to the slightly-bigger time this year.  ADVICE: Sell.

Spade Racing’s 2017 Cup Series Preview, The Stock (Car) Report: Part 1, The Playoff Drivers

It’s a pivotal year for the newly-renamed Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series—a new title sponsor, plenty of movement between drivers and teams, and concerns about the future viability of the sport means that 2017 could go down as a make-or-break year going forward.  But who should you invest in going forward?  Who’s the best for the long-term and short-term for YOUR racing portfolio?
That’s where Spade Racing comes in!
Take at look at The Stock (Car) Report and decide where YOU should put your hard-earned money for 2017.
(Consult with a racing expert before making any investments.  Investments should not be made solely based on one weirdo from Delaware’s opinion.)
Listed in order of predicted REGULAR SEASON finish—full time drivers/teams only:

# Driver Team—Top Sponsor(s) (Ticker Symbol)—prediction (*--Rookie)
1. 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing—FedEx (HAM)—A definite blue-chipper, but they’ve had trouble breaking-through to make the true tops of the racing financial world.  ADVICE: Stick with short-term, watch for vulnerability to injury.

2. 22 Joey Logano Team Penske—Pennzoil, AAA (JOJO)—Disappointing a decade ago, now a cash-cow for anyone who doesn’t mind a few fights along the way.  ADVICE: Keep it, this might be a breakthrough year if he can bust out of his teammate/corporate-cousin’s shadow.

3. 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing—Furniture Row, Bass Pro Shops (MTJNJ)—Hard to figure this one out, as he’s one of the top-performing stocks out there, yet he continues to give negative outlooks on the immediate future.  ADVICE: Keep it short-term, especially if you don’t expect their latest acquisition to drag down earnings.

4. 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing—M&M’s, Interstate Batteries (ROWDY)—People have shied away from this volatile stock due to concerns about the main actor at the company, but if you’re ok with some drama mixed in with your winning, hang on for a wild ride.  ADVICE: Hold on tight, it’s gonna be another bumpy ride.

5. 24 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports—Napa, 3M (AWSOM)—A big winner in the growth-stock category last year, even though it faded considerably near the end of the earnings period.  ADVICE: Short term and long term look great, even if the medium term might be a bit rough.

6. 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing—DeWalt, ??? (CHEEZ)—A solid performer for years now, though the lack of support from the sponsorship sector is a bit disconcerting.  ADVICE: Keep it, but be prepared to sell once retirement rumors flare up again.

7. 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing—Monster, Haas (KURT)—You’d think that the pairing of a chairman/team-owner who spent time in jail and a driver/CEO who was an assassination target wouldn’t perform, but you’d be wrong.  ADVICE: Short term?  Hold it.  Long term?  Wait and see.

8. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports—Lowe’s, Kobalt (SEVN)—Will they be able to perform after setting such high earnings predictions for 2017?  With Chief Strategy Officer Chad Knaus at the helm, almost certainly.  ADVICE: Hold on for dear life to this blue (and sometimes black) chipper.

9. 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske—Miller Lite, Alliance (BKES)—Selloffs of this one are always a factor every time the driver/CEO opens his mouth, so keep that in mind.  ADVICE: Keep it, but know what you’re getting into.

*10. 19 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing—Arris, Subway (MEX)—A last-minute IPO stunned the sports financial world, as did the sudden bankruptcy filing of Carl Edwards (FLIP).  Look for this import specialist to turn a few heads this year.  ADVICE: Buy in now before its too late!

11. 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing—Caterpillar, Grainger (FLYIN)—While it doesn’t have any high performances, steady as she goes for this one.  ADVICE: Cautiously hold on, as upper-management has been reluctant to show support to non-family members.

12. 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing—Busch Beer, Jimmy John’s (HAPPY)—Changes in the management structure at SHR could have this team falling back a bit, but never doubt their performance in Q4 earnings.  ADVICE: Hold on, especially if you can deal with occasional dips in the spring.

13. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports—Nationwide, Axalta (JR)—Last year’s biggest crash-stock returns, hopefully with improved performance.  Experts wait to see the results of the recent merger with AmyCo shakes out.  ADVICE: Consider selling unless you want to gamble.

14. 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing—Target, Credit One (ELK)—Stocks went up last year after finally breaking through, but concerns about proper support from the higher-ups could make for a volatile 2017.  ADVICE: Keep it for sure, especially if the possibility of a move to more-favorable quarters comes into play.

15. 21 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing—Motorcraft, Quick Lane (OHIO)—Last year showed promise after a big IPO, but a complicated ownership structure might continue to hold this growth stock back.  ADVICE: Buy if you will, hold on if you can, wait for a buyout for sure.

16. 14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing—Mobil 1, Rush (GOBOY)—Wholesale changes in management, funding, and even location should mean a turnaround for this most-volatile performer.  ADVICE: Consider selling if you don’t want to deal with uncertainty.

Spade Racing’s 2017 Nascar Xfinity Series Preview: The X Factors

With much of the focus on the newly-renamed Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series, you might not be sure what’s going on in the oldly-renamed Nascar Xfinity Series for 2017.  Thankfully Spade Racing is here to show YOU what’s going on, team-by-team, in a series that combines none of the stories of the Truck Series with none of the excitement of the Cup Series.

# Driver (Major Sponsors)—Preview

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING—A whopping FIVE Xfinity Series cars will be on the track for RCR for most (if not all) of the year, proving that if you can’t beat ‘em in Cup, join ‘em at a lower level (aka The Roush Method).
2 Austin Dillon/Paul Menard (Menards)—Expect to see this car in victory lane a time or two this year, and for it to be ONLY visit to victory lane in a car for either of these drivers in any series.  X-FACTOR: Why does RCR run the #2 in Xfinity and Penske does not?  The world may never know.
3 Ty Dillon/? (?)—Ty Dillon will run “most of the schedule”, but the car will run full-time with assorted other drivers not lucky enough to be related to a Childress or a multi-millionaire.  Well, unless Brian Scott makes a comeback.  X-FACTOR: Ty is NOT affected by the new restrictions on Cup drivers in Xfinity, because he has less than five years Cup experience—even though he has the equivalency of more than a full Cup season, and somehow can run for Rookie of the Year there.
21 Daniel Hemric (?)—After an impressive run in the Truck Series, Hemric moves up to Xfinity full-time with RCR.  X-FACTOR: How’d he get a ride with RCR with no sponsorship (that we know of) or familiar relations?
33 Brandon Jones (?)—Brandon Jones is back to tell the world, “No, I’m NOT related to Buckshot).  X-FACTOR: Let me know when they run a Skoal Bandit throwback scheme at Darlington.
62 Brendan Gaughan (South Point)—Despite rumors to the contrary, everybody’s favorite affable legacy driver returns to hunt an elusive Xfinity Championship.  X-FACTOR: Now that Tony Stewart’s retired, Brendan officially takes over the mantle of “Chubby Driver The Media Loves to Tease”.

JR MOTORSPORTS—Its FOUR full-time teams for Hendrick Motorsports’ #2 developmental team (Ganassi being #1 of course).
1 Elliott Sadler (OneMain)—The Xfinity Series’ favorite veteran returns after nearly losing his sponsor (and his ride) due to a change in management.  X-FACTOR: Ironically driving the car #1 hasn’t led to first-place results since, well, ever (sorry, Rick Mast
5 Michael Annett (Pilot/Flying J)—People wondered if HScott Motorsports’ lack of performance was due to substandard equipment, since they rarely had top-flight drivers.  Then Clint Bowyer came over and yes, yes it was.  X-FACTOR: The owner of Pilot/Flying J also owns the Cleveland Browns.  Having the Browns Stank on you NEVER helps.
7 Jushin “Thunder” Allgaier (Brandt)—The Little Gator is OK with his nickname, but with a year of top-level equipment experience under his belt, I’m guessing he’d rather be known as “The Little Champion”.  X-FACTOR: The “Hey, he designs his own paint schemes!” story that runs every single year must be wearing thin on him.
9 William Byron (Liberty University)—After dominating the win column of the Truck Series last year, he’ll be under pressure to perform on the track in the car and off the track in lame commercials.  X-FACTOR: How will he react to driving for a team owner that people actually LIKE?
88 Dale Earnhardt/Kasey Kahne (the usual suspects)—The “All-Star Car” returns on a part-time basis to sell diecast and promote one of these drivers’ 47 different sponsors.  X-FACTOR: With Harvick gone, they’ll be left with tons of Vienna Sausages to get rid of.

JOE GIBBS RACING—Two cars are confirmed, with a third almost-certain to take to the track to allow Erik Jones to gain further seat-time, and Kyle Busch to inflate his ego.
18 Matt Tifft (?)—This number assignment isn’t 100%, but let’s see what this guy can do in a top-flight full-time ride while HEALTHY.  X-FACTOR: Would it take three or four weeks of sub-par performances for Kyle Busch to “take a few races on the schedule to see how the cars measure up”?
19 Daniel Suarez/Christopher Bell? (Arris)—The reigning champion is back to defend his crown!  X-FACTOR: Daniel’s future is hampered by a logjam at the Cup level at JGR—well, a logjam until Denny Hamlin breaks his spleen or needs a tonsil transplant or something.
20 Kyle Busch/Erik Jones/? (Cup Series runoff)—The JGR “All-Star Car” will likely return with the usual collection of drivers, sponsors, and crewmen nearly good enough for Cup—kinda like AAA baseball, but more irritating.  X-FACTOR: Yeah, Rowdy running Xfinity is still annoying, but any chances to see his smoking hot wife in victory lane is fine by me.

JD MOTORSPORTS WITH GARY KELLER—The series’ most-prolific low-numbered lowbuck team is expected to return with three full-time cars again.
0 Garrett Smithley (?)—While not official yet, Smithley is expected to return in the “Jack Sprague Special” single-zero car again.  X-FACTOR: What if Smithley simply runs this car because he has nothing better to do?
01 Harrison Rhodes (?)—Ryan Preece has returned to regional racing, but this team is expected to remain full-time.  X-FACTOR: This team is much like Harrison's alma mater, NC State--nobody cares.
4 Ross Chastain (Watermelons)—Another year, another watermelon board-sponsored car, another season without the Gallagher special paint scheme he so richly deserves.  X-FACTOR: Remember when it seemed like Ross had a shot at a top-level ride?  No, really, it happened for a few weeks!

TEAM PENSKE—The Captain expands to two full-time teams in 2017, which sounds cool until you realize its to clear up space at BKR’s Truck Series program for the team manager’s son.
12 ? (?)—Not much is known yet about this team, but with Roger’s midas touch you can expect to see it sponsored and with a driver on the way to victory lane pretty quickly.  X-FACTOR: How long till David Stremme shows up asking for his ride back?
22 Brad Keselowski/Joey Logano/Ryan Blaney/? (Discount Tire et al)—Penske’s “All-Star Car” returns to develop crew members and stroke driver egos.  X-FACTOR: Who will run the road courses this year?  Is hoping for Alon Day just wishful thinking?

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING—If you like a driver who deserves to have win, and a driver who doesn’t deserve to have a win but does, this is your team.
6 Darrell Wallace Jr. (Lidos?)—Bubba’s thisclose to going from being a possible Jason Keller to becoming the next Kevin Lepage.  X-FACTOR: Maybe Bubba can parlay his friendship with Ryan Blaney into a $19.99 oil change at his local QuickLane.
16 Ryan Reed (Drive to End Diabetes by Lilly)—The next time some idiot is complaining about “minorities”, “foreigners”, or “womens” getting sponsorship just because of who they are and not their ability, remind them that this team exists.  X-FACTOR: Reed could show up in a few Cup races this year, guaranteeing at least a few cautions.

CHIP GANASSI RACING—Why yes, it IS ironic that a team with a solar energy sponsor won a race in the rain last year.
42 Kyle Larson/Tyler Reddick/Justin Marks (Eneos?)—Looks like Reddick will get the lion’s share of this ride, with Larson running about a dozen races and Marks running the road courses.  X-FACTOR: Where the heck does Marks get his money from?  Is he just a damn good businessman?
48 Brennan Poole (DC Solar)—Why does a solar energy company sponsor a gas-powered car?  X-FACTOR: And why is it called “DC Solar” if its based in California?

STEWART-HAAS RACING—Smoke n’ Gene’s team enters the Xfinity Series for the first time, thanks to a manufacturer switch and a team manager who stayed loyal through some rough times.
00 Cole Custer (Haas Automation)—See, you don’t have to be the son of a millionaire to be a race car driver—you just have to be the son of a millionaire’s top employee.  X-FACTOR: I hope the main office is ready for the flood of orders for CNC machines that will result from this team taking the track.

41 Kevin Harvick/? (Hunt Brothers Pizza)—Happy will run at least four races in this part-time car in 2017.  X-FACTOR: What if Danica decides to run some Xfinity races—will they have enough cars?  No, not that she’d run the races Harvick has scheduled, just the sheer volume of wrecked race cars that would result.

# Driver (Major Sponsors)—Preview

OBAIKA RACING—Everybody’s favorite irrelevant team returns to the back of the pack for with two close-to-full-time teams this year.
77 Stephen Leicht (?)—You’ll likely see this car “running” in 30th most weeks.  X-FACTOR: I miss Robert Pressley.
97 ? (Vroom Brands)—You’ll likely see this car “running” in 31st most weeks.  X-FACTOR: I don’t miss Chad Little.

JGL RACING—Dakoda Armstrong & Co. return with a full-time and nearly-full-time team in 2017.
28 Dakoda Armstrong (Winfield)—Strong TRD engines with JGR equipment and steady sponsorship—what more could a team want?  Oh, right, a talented driver.  X-FACTOR: How long till Dakoda adopts the nickname “Dak” in an attempt to glom on to the success of Dallas’s quarterback?
24 “The Young Guns” (?)—JGL is expected to return with its collection of unsigned inexperienced drivers this year.  X-FACTOR: Hey—remember the “Hungry Drivers” program?  Talk about a great way for Ray Evernham to find a second wife!

RSS RACING—The Official Underdog of Nascar is back!
39 Ryan Sieg (?)—It remains to be seen if Ryan Sieg runs his own team because he’s a rebel, because he just can’t catch a break, or because he has really poor job interview skills.  X-FACTOR: Just a reminder that if he makes the Chase it’ll be “…further proof that the Chase system works” somehow.
93 ? (?)—This team is expected to run again primarily as a start-and-park operation.  X-FACTOR: Yeah, start-and-parks suck, but its the nature of the beast, the beast in THIS case being running an Xfinity Series car with no Cup level support.

ONE CAR TEAMS—What they lack in numbers they make up for in guaranteed rides.
11 Blake Koch (LeafFilter)—Kaulig Racing returns with solid (team-backed) sponsorship, solid (RCR-backed) equipment, and solid (Chase-infused) chances of contending.  X-FACTOR: Its pronounced to rhyme with “Woke”, not rhyme with “Botch”, so you can avoid the “How’m I doin?” jokes.
23 Spencer Gallagher (Allegiant)—GMS Racing continues its ascent through the racing ranks, running full-time for 2017 in Xfinity.  X-FACTOR: Now that John Wes Townley is gone, he won’t have to worry about getting into an embarrassing fight again…hopefully.
46 Brandon Gdovic (?)—PPM’s driver is light on results, but he is the son of the team owner, so he has that going for him.  X-FACTOR: This is the remnants of the old Viva Motorsports team, for all zero of you who care.
86 Brandon Brown (Coastal Carolina)—Brandonbilt Motorsports runs the OTHER team sponsored by a college this year, expected to be full-time.  X-FACTOR: This is another team owned by the driver’s daddy, so I don’t know exactly how the son “bilt” it.
78/15/99 BJ McLeod, Jeff Green et al (?)—While this team has run two or three teams in the past, and plans to do the same in 2017, their performance, distilled down, equals that of a single-car lowbuck team.  X-FACTOR: Sure we know about BJ McLeod, but what about The Bear McLeod?

TO BE ANNOUNCED—For these teams, the “X-FACTOR” is whether or not they’ll actually run in 2017.
07 Ray Black Jr. (ScubaLife)—He’s usually good for at least one pre-race story about how WACKY it is to have a scuba-licensed Nascar driver.
14/44 ? (?)—TriStar’s team situation is still up in the air, thus putting JJ Yeley in danger of having to reach into his Joe Gibbs Racing money.
13/40 ? (?)—MBM (aka Carl Long’s team) continues to not sell team-branded merchandise EVEN THOUGH the team name is my own initials!
51 Jeremy Clements (?)—Other than Jeremy Clements and his father, I doubt anybody really cares, well, besides that guy from MTV.
52 Joey Gase (?)—It would suck to see Jimmy Means Racing go away, though I’m starting to wonder if the team has a Rasputin-type quality and will never truly go out of business.
74 Mike Harmon (?)—aka Nascar’s Bowling Ball Driver.
89 Morgan Shepherd (Racing for Jesus)—How long has Morgan Shepherd been racing?  He’s been racing so long that jokes about him being old are old.
90/92 ? (?)—aka That Team Martin Roy ran for.
98 Aric Almirola (?)—No word on if double-A will migrate over to one of Stewart-Haas’s Xfinity teams, or stick with these guys and constant rumors about Jeb Burton running for them.