NASCAR Veteran Makes Cup Series Debut With Live Fast Motorsports

BJ McLeod

Getty BJ McLeod drives at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford Mustang will have a new driver during the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Xfinity Series driver Josh Williams will make his Cup Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR revealed the news with the release of the entry list for the Food City Dirt Race on April 17 (7 p.m. ET, FOX). The chart showed Williams as the driver of the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford and Alloy Employment Services as his primary partner. Williams will make his first-ever Cup Series start while working with Lee Leslie as his crew chief.

Williams will start his NASCAR weekend on Friday, April 15, as he gains experience in the Gen 7 Ford Mustang. He will take part in two practice sessions at Bristol Motor Speedway — one at 4:05 p.m. ET (FS1) and one at 6:35 p.m. ET (FS1). Williams will then take part in the heat races on Saturday, April 16, at 6 p.m. ET (FS2).

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Williams Previously Indicated He Could Make a Cup Series Start

Josh Williams

GettyJosh Williams (left) will make his Cup Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Xfinity Series driver switched teams after the 2021 season. He left DGM Racing and agreed to join BJ McLeod Motorsports and drive the No. 78 Chevrolet Camaro. One of the reasons why Williams moved to a different organization is that he saw the possibility of making his Cup Series debut.

BJ McLeod, the co-owner of BJ McLeod Motorsports, is also the co-owner of Live Fast Motorsports. He serves as the primary driver of the No. 78 Ford Mustang, but he doesn’t start every single race. He steps aside at certain tracks and makes way for other drivers.

“I was looking for something to expand a little bit, grow a little bit and try to get somewhere where I could start running a couple of Cup races per year,” Williams told Jayski’s Dustin Albino in December 2021. “With the possibility that we’ll find some partners that want to go full-time Cup racing, it just worked out that BJ has the Xfinity team and has his Cup team.”

Williams Joins Another Driver Making His Season Debut

While Williams will make his Cup Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway, another Xfinity Series driver with a history of competing at the top level will make his first start of the year. Justin Allgaier will return to the Cup Series and take over the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

The entry list teased Allgaier’s return on April 11. The chart showed TBA as the driver of the No. 77 but listed BRANDT Professional Agriculture as the primary partner. BRANDT is a longtime supporter of Allgaier in both the Xfinity Series and Cup Series.

Spire Motorsports confirmed that he would take over the No. 77 Chevrolet at Bristol by issuing a press release. The team noted that Allgaier will run a similar scheme to what he uses in the Xfinity Series as he competes for the first time on the dirt track and faces off with the best drivers in NASCAR.

“Since the NASCAR Xfinity Series has the weekend off, we decided to have a little fun over Easter and go mix it up at Bristol Motor Speedway,” Allgaier said in the press release. “When BRANDT decided to come on board with Spire Motorsports for the Food City Dirt Race, it was really a no-brainer. It’s going to be a fun change of pace to play in the dirt with all the Cup Series regulars. Spire Motorsports and (No. 77 crew chief) Kevin Bellicourt always bring a good piece to the race track so we’ll have a solid shot of putting together a good run.”

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