The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Circuit of the Americas on March 26 for the first road course race of the year. There will be multiple guest drivers for the Pit Boss 250, including both Bubba Wallace and Miguel Paludo.
NASCAR released the initial entry list on March 21 and confirmed that there will be 43 drivers attempting to qualify for the 38-car field. Paludo will be in the No. 88 JR Motorsports machine as part of a previously-announced deal while Wallace will join Joe Gibbs Racing and take over the No. 18 entry for the first of two races. He will also drive the No. 18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in July.
The list of guest drivers continues with Ross Chastain and Preston Pardus, who will both join DGM Racing while replacing Kyle Weatherman and Mason Massey, respectively. Additionally, Will Rodgers will join RSS Racing as he attempts to qualify for his first race of the season while Cole Custer will return to the No. 07 entry for SS GreenLight Racing after winning at Auto Club Speedway.
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Wallace Has Made 1 Xfinity Series Start Since the 2017 Season
Wallace, who ran full-time for Roush in 2015 and 2016, has not been a mainstay in the Xfinity Series since moving up to the Cup Series. He made 13 starts in 2017 while also running part-time in Cup, but he stepped away from the Xfinity Series altogether while focusing on his time with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Wallace made his return to the Xfinity Series in 2021 for a one-off start. He replaced Austin Hill in the No. 61 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Supra so his fellow driver could focus on the Camping World Truck Series playoffs.
Wallace started 36th overall at Michigan International Speedway and deal with some adversity. He was one of several drivers caught up in an accident during Stage 2 when both Austin Cindric and Daniel Hemric spun into him and caused damage. However, he was able to continue while multiple other drivers headed to the garage early. Wallace ultimately raced his way to a top-10 finish, his 36th all-time in 86 Xfinity Series starts.
The Alabama native will now suit up for another Xfinity Series race while taking on a road course. He will take over the No. 18 that has featured three different drivers. Trevor Bayne has achieved the most success by posting two top-five finishes in his three starts while also winning the pole for the Phoenix race.
Paludo Will Run 3 Races for JR Motorsports
The trip to Circuit of the Americas will feature the return of Paludo, albeit in a different entry. He will take over the No. 88 after making three starts in the No. 8 during the 2021 season.
JR Motorsports announced on December 1, 2021, that Paludo would return to the organization for another limited run in 2022. The organization confirmed that he would take over the No. 88 for the race at Circuit of the Americas on March 26 before returning for Road America on July 2 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30. Brandt Professional Agriculture would serve as his primary partner.
Paludo made his return to the Xfinity Series in 2021, starting with the Daytona Road Course. He posted a top-10 finish while replacing Josh Berry in the No. 8 before heading to Texas for the inaugural NASCAR weekend at Circuit of the Americas. He was unable to follow up on his previous strong performance due to a mechanical issue. Paludo rounded out his schedule with a 27th-place finish at Sonoma Raceway.
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