The NASCAR Xfinity Series season is five races deep, and three championship-eligible drivers have reached Victory Lane. Kaulig Racing’s Landon Cassill is not among this group, but he is off to the best start of his Xfinity Series career.
The Iowa native is fresh off a fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which was his third consecutive top-10. He started the run with a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before ending the trip to Phoenix Raceway ninth overall. Cassill has matched his three top-10s from the 2014 season, and he has set himself up for a career year.
The last time Cassill posted three consecutive top-10 finishes was the 2008 season when he made 19 starts for JR Motorsports. He finished 10th at Chicagoland Speedway, sixth at what is now World Wide Technology Raceway, and seventh at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. He ultimately ended the year with five top-10s, which still stands out as a career-best mark.
“We were sitting in our meeting today, and I told him how proud I am of him because when we left Daytona, I used some words that I use a lot to motivate people,” Kaulig Racing President Chris Rice told Heavy ahead of the trip to COTA. “And my other drivers go, ‘Oh my gosh, you were like really strong on him.’ I was like, ‘Yeah because I want him to be better.’
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“Landon… we do look smart, right? But Landon, all his life, has taken equipment that hasn’t been the best, and he’s actually been really good at what he does. I pay attention to that, I pay attention to that each and every week. What Landon has done — and I feel like he probably would have been on a streak better than that if we hadn’t done something at California to create a fire.”
Cassill’s Second Start Featured a Frightening Moment
Cassill kicked off his inaugural season with Kaulig Racing at Daytona International Speedway, and he finished 14th overall in the No. 10 Chevrolet. His second start, however, came to a very early end after a frightening moment.
The driver of the No. 10 qualified seventh overall in the Kaulig Racing entry and he spent the first few laps at Auto Club Speedway battling Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry for position on the track. However, the situation changed when massive flames began shooting out from under the Chevrolet.
Cassill was able to safely exit his stock car while the track safety crews extinguished the blaze caused by the broken oil line. He headed to the infield care center and underwent evaluation before his eventual release.
This fiery setback only derailed the first race of the west coast swing. Cassill rebounded with two top-10 finishes before heading back to the east coast for the third. Now he will head to Circuit of the Americas and strive to keep the positive momentum.
“Landon is doing well. He’s getting ready to go into some race tracks that he says are not some of his best race tracks,” Rice added. “So I look forward to how he does there and how well he is a student — especially this weekend — of AJ’s and Daniel Hemric’s. Man, he’s just so smart. I’m very impressed with how smart he is, which has helped us as a company, helped us with our drivers. But I’m really, really impressed with Landon and how well he’s doing.”
Cassill Will Debut a New Partner at COTA
Cassill will use the trip to COTA as an opportunity to pursue another top-10 finish. He will also showcase a new primary partner will competing at the Texas road course. Cassill will have support from Usio, Inc., a cloud-based, integrated FinTech electronic payment solutions provider.
Usio announced the news on February 24 and provided the first look at Cassill’s primary scheme. He will head to the track with a black, yellow, and white stock car featuring Usio graphics on the sides and hood. The trip to COTA will be the first of two for Usio. The company will also return to the No. 10 at Texas Motor Speedway in September.
“We are extremely excited to team up with Landon Cassill and Kaulig Racing,” said Louis Hoch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Usio, in a press release. “NASCAR continues to grow in popularity with attendance up in 2021 and viewership both on NBC sports and over its streaming networks on the rise. This partnership is a win in every dimension, for Usio, for Landon, for Kaulig Racing, and NASCAR in general.”