By AMANDA VINCENT
Michael Lira plans to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut Saturday night with the running of the US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. He’ll be behind the wheel of the No. 15 Ford for McLeod Motorsports.
“He had a ride open this weekend,” Lira said of the offer from car owner and fellow-racer B.J. McLeod, according to an article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is racing and Pocono and his driver (Travis Kvapil) wanted to run trucks. He told me, ‘Michael, there’s nobody else I’d rather have in that car.’”
The bulk of Lira’s national-level racing experience has come from the ARCA Racing Series. In 26-career starts in that series, he has six top-10 finishes. Those 26-career ARCA starts include two at Iowa Speedway. Lira also has quite a bit of racing experience from driving a Super Late Model at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway where he raced against his now-car owner.
Qualifying for the US Cellular 250 is scheduled for 3:15 CT (4:15 ET) Saturday. The race is scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 7 p.m. CT. Both will air live on FOX Sports 1.
For his Xfinity debut, Lira will be a teammate to his car owner. McLeod will drive the No. 78 Ford, the car he’s driven all season, to this point.
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