When the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 27, a new face will join them. Jesse Iwuji, a part-time Truck Series driver and officer in the United States Navy Reserve, will make his 2021 Xfinity Series debut.
According to Jayski, Iwuji will drive the No. 74 Chevrolet Camaro for Mike Harmon Racing. He will partner with eRacing Association/Gap Em while replacing fellow driver Bayley Currey. The primary man in control of the No. 74, Currey has started 13 races during the 2021 Xfinity Series season, posting an average finish of 28.8. Though he drove the No. 74 to a seventh-place finish at Phoenix Raceway on Mar. 13.
“Looking forward to getting some seat time this weekend in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this Sunday! I’ll be in the  [Gap Em] Chevrolet Camaro with [Mike Harmon Racing],” Iwuji wrote on Instagram after MHR announced the news. “We are racing Sunday morning at 12 pm noon EST at Pocono, the tricky triangle.”
Iwuji has not competed in any Xfinity Series events during the 2021 season, but he has made three starts in the Camping World Truck Series for Reaume Brothers Racing. Iwuji drove the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway before climbing into the No. 34 Toyota Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway.
Iwuji Has Limited Starts in the Xfinity Series
A part-time Truck Series driver since 2018, Iwuji only competed in the Xfinity Series for the first time during the 2020 season. He made four starts for two separate teams, competing on both ovals and a road course.
Iwuji joined Carl Long Motorsports for a trip to Road America on Aug. 8, 2020. He started the race 35th overall and proceeded to avoid multiple incidents involving other drivers. Iwuji drove the No. 13 Toyota Camry to a 26th-place finish while Team Penske’s Austin Cindric raced to Victory Lane.
Iwuji’s three other Xfinity Series starts all came with BJ McLeod Motorsports. He drove the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro during races at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and the championship race at Phoenix Raceway. His best finish was 23rd at Texas in a playoff race that Harrison Burton won.
A European Racing Star Will Also Join the Xfinity Series Race
Iwuji will not be the only newer driver competing in the Xfinity Series race at Pocono. NASCAR Whelen Euro Series points leader Loris Hezemans will also suit up and take on the Tricky Triangle. He will drive the No. 90 DGM Motorsport Camaro for Reaume Brothers Racing.
Hezemans, the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion, previously drove for Carl Long Motorsports at Phoenix on Mar. 13. He started 40th and finished 31st while driving the No. 13 Chevrolet Camaro. According to Jayski, completing this race will help Hezemans move closer to obtaining a license to compete at every NASCAR oval on the circuit.
“I am extremely happy to announce that I will be participating in my second NASCAR Xfinity race of the year and my first at Pocono Raceway driving for DGM Motorsports with support from Reaume Brothers Racing,” Hezemans said in a statement via Jayski. “Priority number one will be to drive a clean race and finish, whilst gaining as much experience as possible.
“With no practice nor qualifying it will be about adapting as quickly as possible to the track, as well as to the car and how it reacts on a faster oval such as Pocono as opposed to Phoenix. I would like to thank my sponsors Hezeberg Systems, Eurol, Momo and TimeZone for their support.”
The Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons Xfinity Series race will take place on Sunday, June 27, at 12 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage for the event as Iwuji and Hezemans both strive for strong finishes.