NASCAR Xfinity: Richard Childress Racing expands
By AMANDA VINCENT
Richard Childress Racing is expanding its NASCAR Xfinity Series presence to five full-time teams in 2017, bringing its total of NASCAR national-level teams to eight entries, including its three-car Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series operation.
The expansion to a five-car Xfinity effort, up from four, includes the addition of Daniel Hemric from the Camping World Truck Series
to drive the No. 21 car. Danny Stockman will be his crew chief. Meanwhile, Brendan Gaughan and Brandon Jones will continue as full-time Xfinity drivers for RCR, driving the Nos. 62 and 33 cars, respectively to give RCR three drivers vying for the series driver championship. Nick Harrison will be Jones’ crew chief on the No. 33 team, while Gaughan will have the familiar voice of Shane Wilson in his ears.
Richard Childress Racing will have two all-star cars, or cars driven by a roster of the organization’s Sprint Cup Series drivers, in 2017. Last year’s all-star car, the No. 2, will return with Austin Dillon and Paul Menard sharing driving duties, just as in 2016. The No. 3 will become an all-star car, as Ty Dillon, who drove the car as an Xfinity Series regular the last few seasons, will drive the car on a part-time basis in 2017 while he embarks on his first full season on Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition as the driver of the No. 13 Chevrolet of Germain Racing, through a deal with RCR. Other drivers of the No. 3 will be announced at a later date.
Matt Swiderski has been promoted to crew chief of the No. 3 Xfinity Series car after a 10-year stint in Richard Childress Racing’s engineering department. He got a tast of his new position in the 2016 season series-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He led Dillon and the No. 3 team to a runner-up finish in his debut.