Road America Incident Leads to NASCAR Sponsorship

Josh Bilicki

Getty Josh Bilicki (front) has a new primary partner for Watkins Glen International.

Alpha Prime Racing has just landed a new NASCAR partner in a unique way. The Xfinity Series team and Josh Bilicki have partnered with Sargento Foods after an on-track incident at Road America led to Bilicki carrying a Sargento Cheese sign around the road course.

APR announced the partnership on August 10 while in the middle of the Xfinity Series off-week. The team showcased Bilicki’s yellow and black No. 45 Chevrolet Camaro, which featured the Sargento Cheese logos on the hood and sides. The Wisconsin native will put this scheme on display at Watkins Glen International on August 20.

“Sargento has been a long-time partner of Road America and we are proud to have this iconic landmark in our own backyard,” said Louie Gentine, CEO of Sargento. “When we saw our sign on the front of Josh’s car, we had the same reaction as many others. We like to have fun so, we’re excited to partner with the Wisconsin native for this upcoming race.”

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The Incident Occurred During a Heated Battle

The new partnership stems from an unexpected on-track incident that involved both Alpha Prime Racing cars. Noah Gragson intentionally turned into Sage Karam on a straight stretch of the road course and kicked off a wreck that collected 13 total cars.

The incident occurred during the final stage of the Xfinity Series race. Gragson and Karam made contact multiple times over two laps, to the point that the JR Motorsports went off the track and kicked up dirt. Once they hit the straight portion of the track, Gragson turned into Karam and started the wreck.

There were several drivers that slammed into each other or the wall. Bilicki, however, went off the track while trying to avoid a race-ending wreck. He collided with a Sargento Cheese sign, which remained on the front of his No. 44 Chevrolet Camaro until he made it back to pit road.

That incident led to thousands of dollars worth of damage, as well as angry comments on Twitter from Alpha Prime Racing general manager Tommy Joe Martins. Gragson received a 30-point penalty and a $30,000 fine for his role in the wreck. One month later, it led to a new sponsor for Bilicki.

Bilicki Will Make His Sixth Xfinity Series Start of 2022

Josh Bilicki

GettyJosh Bilicki races at Road America.

The race at Watkins Glen International will be Bilicki’s sixth of the Xfinity Series season and 23rd in a national NASCAR series when combined with his time in the Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series. He has spent time with two different teams while securing one top-10 finish to kick off his part-time schedule.

Bilicki started the year with DGM Racing. He took over the No. 36 Chevrolet Camaro at Daytona International Speedway, and he finished ninth overall. Bilicki then began driving for Alpha Prime Racing, starting with Circuit of the Americas and continuing at Darlington Raceway, Road America, and Michigan International Speedway.

The trip to Road America featured Bilicki going through the grass and hitting a Sargento Cheese sign. However, he still turned in his second-best finish of the 2022 season. Bilicki drove the No. 44 to a 13th-place finish.

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