BJ McLeod Motorsports Names New Driver for Phoenix Race

Getty The No. 5 will have a new driver during the trip to Phoenix Raceway.

A new driver will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut during the trip to Phoenix Raceway. Nick Sanchez, who also competes in the ARCA Menards Series, will join forces with BJ McLeod Motorsports.

BMM announced the news on March 9 and provided the first look at Sanchez’s stock car. He will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro with Barefoot Rentals, a vacation rental company with properties in the Florida Keys, as his primary partner. Brand South Africa, the official marketing branch of South Africa, will join as an associate partner.

Sanchez will first hit the track on Saturday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m ET for practice and qualifying. He will try to qualify for the 38-car field based on speed. If he secures a spot in the starting lineup, he will then compete in the United Rentals 200 (4:30 p.m. ET, FS1).

“We are thrilled to partner with Nick Sanchez as he makes his debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” said Barefoot Rentals in a statement. “Just as Nick is excited to showcase his talents on this next stage, we are excited to share our brand within the sport. Possibilities are endless and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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Sanchez Will Pull Double-Duty at Phoenix

While Sanchez does not have Xfinity Series experience, he has previous starts at Phoenix Raceway in the ARCA Menards Series. He finished sixth during the 2020 race and 21st in the 2021 race after a crash.

Sanchez will gain more experience at the track while pulling double-duty. He will kick off his weekend by competing in the General Tires 150 on March 11 (7:30 p.m. ET, MAVTV, FloRacing). He will join fellow Drive for Diversity member Rajah Caruth as they battle a stacked field of competitors for 150 laps in Nevada.

Sanchez will return to Phoenix Raceway the following day for his Xfinity Series debut. This race will be the first of “several” starts that he will make as a member of BJ McLeod Motorsports, and it will provide the opportunity for Sanchez to test himself against the likes of Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, and Ryan Sieg.

Sanchez Will Take Over for Another NASCAR Driver

Matt Mills

GettyMatt Mills races at Michigan International Speedway.

The No. 5 Chevrolet has featured a different driver during the first three races of the Xfinity Series season. Matt Mills, a Virginia native with 104 career Xfinity Series starts, was the man behind the No. 5 at Daytona International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Mills posted two DNFs in his three starts with a 23rd-place finish in the middle of his schedule. However, his trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway started with a strong run in qualifying. He posted 19th-fastest time and lined up next to Sieg at the start of the race.

Mills’ afternoon came to an early end after a series of unexpected circumstances. His team first had to drop to the rear of the field after a pit road penalty. This removed any progress that he had made earlier in the race. Mills’ day then ended after Joe Graf Jr. collided with the side of the No. 5 and sent it hard into the inside wall.

Mills was able to climb from the No. 5 under his own power and walk over to the ambulance. He headed to the infield care center where he was evaluated and released.

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