With five days until the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series opener at Daytona, Gray Gaulding has signed with Jimmy Means Racing to drive the #52 Chevrolet Camaro on a full-time basis. The move was initially reported by Dustin Albino of Jayski’s Silly Season Site in late January, but was not formally announced until Tuesday.
Gaulding posted on social media, “Proud to announce 2021 partnership with Jimmy Means and debut our #52 Panini America Chevy Camaro at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday! Thanks to Jimmy and Jason for believing in me and giving me another shot to get to the front!”
In 2019, Gaulding ran his lone full season in a NASCAR national series when he contested all thirty-three Xfinity events for SS-Green Light Racing, scoring four top tens, a best race finish of second at Talladega, and a thirteenth-place points finish. However, he lost his ride to Joe Graf Jr. at the end of the year.
Gaulding would spend 2020 making sporadic starts across the three national series. He ran nine Cup Series events for Rick Ware Racing with a best finish of twenty-fifth at Texas, rejoined SSGLR for four Xfinity dates and raced with Mike Harmon Racing at the Charlotte Roval, recording another runner-up at Daytona in August, and participated in two Truck Series events for Reaume Brothers Racing with a highest placement of twenty-sixth at Homestead. He has raced in NASCAR’s national series since 2014, which includes a best career Truck finish of fourth at Mosport that year and a best Cup run of ninth at the 2017 Talladega fall race.
He replaces Kody Vanderwal in the #52. Vanderwal departed JMR in January after just one season in which he finished thirtieth in points with two top twenties and a best finish of nineteenth at Pocono, citing a lack of sponsorship. He has not announced his 2021 plans but intends to race in Super Late Models.