KANSAS CITY, K.S. (September 8, 2023) – There’s no place like home, but we’re loading up from home and heading to the midwest to take on Kansas Speedway and mark the end of the regular season for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It will be a weekend for the books for driver of the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet, Austin Hill, who is racing for the 2023 regular season championship title.
Hill is looking to take home his fifth checkered flag of the season along with that championship trophy. Teammate and driver of the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet, Sheldon Creed, is looking to punch his ticket into the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs that will begin next week in Bristol. With this weekend being the cutoff, there’s a lot on the line. Creed has grown exponentially since his 2022 start with Richard Childress Racing with a combined 23 top-ten finishes, three of those placing second in 2023 alone.
Kansas Speedway nests a 1.5-mile tri-oval with bankings up to 20-degrees. What makes this weekend so special on top of marking the end of the Xfinity Series regular season is the tribute that all drivers will pay to those who have battled or are currently battling cancer. All four of RCR’s drivers will participate in the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation’s “Honor A Cancer Hero” initiative.
Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet, will honor Annette Moore, who is currently battling rectal cancer. Annette’s daughter, Ashley Moore, nominated her mother as her Cancer Hero because she knew how much it would mean to have her name ride along on her favorite driver’s car.
Kyle Busch’s Cancer Hero for the No. 8 Casey’s General Store Chevrolet is Melisa Paro. Paro battled a rare form of cancer, Metastatic Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, which has no known cure and is unique in each case. Paro was nominated by Dwayne Paro who says, “she is not only a Hero but a champion.” Melisa has followed Busch since his rookie year and has not wavered from her loyalties with him since.
Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will represent Pam Yarbrough. Yarbrough has been battling breast cancer since 2019 and continues to battle. Just as Yarbrough is a beast in battling cancer, she was nominated by cancer survivor Kenny Kirouac who says Creed is a beast himself with so much talent.
Austin Hill’s Cancer Hero who will drive the tri-oval with him is Anastasia Vessell. Vessel and Hill share the same home state of Georgia, but it’s what he did last year post-race that truly touched the life and family-members of Vessell. In an interview, Hill mentioned Vessell on national television and her husband, Wayne Vessell, said “she beamed with joy” and for that he will be forever grateful to Austin.
With much to honor this weekend and a lot to look forward to, Kansas Speedway is sure to deliver to spectators. Make sure to catch all the action beginning with practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday, September 9, at 10 a.m. ET on USA Network. On-track action for the Cup Series will begin shortly after at 12:00 p.m. ET. Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race will be televised at 3 p.m. on USA Network.