JJ Yeley has partnered with a new NASCAR team entering the 2023 Cup Series season. He will be the driver for Finishline Motorsports, a team that plans to make its debut during the West Coast swing of the schedule.
FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass reported on the morning of February 11 that Finishline Motorsports would attempt to make its debut in the 2023 Daytona 500. Yeley was set to be the driver. However, Reaume Brother Racing, the team that has been working with Finishline Motorsports, issued a statement later in the day and said that there would be a delay.
“To clarify with everyone, We’ve been working with [Finishline] Motorsports to run a number of Cup Series events as an open car,” the statement said. “With several factors in play, a decision was made this afternoon to delay the teams debut. An official announcement can be expected Monday.”
The Daytona 500 will not feature the Finishline Motorsports entry. The current plan, per TobyChristie.com, is for Yeley to help the team make its debut on March 12 during the trip to Phoenix Raceway.
There Were Some Details Provided on February 11
Reaume Brothers Racing did not provide many details about the new venture after the initial report. However, there were some pieces of information available that set the stage for Finishline Motorsports’ debut.
For example, the new NASCAR team will work with Ford Performance during the part-time season. Finishline Motorsports will field a Ford Mustang as it takes on the Cup Series. Though the team’s website shows the rendering of a Gen 6 Chevrolet Camaro with Tire Rack as the primary partner and the No. 80 on the doors.
According to the Finishline Motorsports Marketing website, the parent company resides in Carefree, Ariz. The website also states that the race shop is in Indianapolis, Ind., while the team’s Twitter account lists its location as Mooresville, N.C.
Another piece of information provided is that Josh Reaume will be the crew chief for the No. 80 Ford Mustang. Reaume has been the crew chief for 21 Craftsman Truck Series races and 10 Xfinity Series races. He also served as the crew chief for Team Hezeberg drivers Loris Hezemans and Jacques Villeneuve as the team made its Cup Series debut in 2022.
Yeley Started 2023 With Another Cup Series Team
Yeley has driven for a variety of teams over the years, most notably Joe Gibbs Racing during the 2007 season. He has also suited up for Tommy Baldwin Racing, Front Row Motorsports, BK Racing, and multiple others while reaching 352 total starts.
Yeley has primarily made starts for Rick Ware Racing since midway through the 2019 season. This includes 2022 when he competed in 19 events. A pair of 23rd-place finishes stood out as his best performances of the season.
This partnership also included a trip to Los Angeles, Cali., on February 4-5. Yeley took over the No. 15 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing, and he attempted to qualify for the Busch Light Clash. However, he did not make the 27-car field and had to head home early alongside several other Cup Series drivers.