Colby Howard might be celebrating his new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ride with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing for 2022, but until the new year arrives, he won’t have a ride to finish 2021. A day after announcing he had joined MHR, JD Motorsports released a statement saying Bayley Currey will drive Howard’s #15 in Saturday’s Xfinity Series event.
“JD Motorsports welcomes Bayley Currey to the roster this weekend at Richmond Raceway. He will pilot the #15 Chevrolet for the Go Bowling 250 race,” read a statement from the team. “(Team owner) Johnny Davis would like to thank Bayley for coming aboard on such short notice while we continue to figure out the roster for the #15 seat for the remainder of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.”
After making his Xfinity début with JDM in 2020, Howard was to run the full 2021 schedule. Across twenty-one starts in 2021, his best finish is sixteenth at Phoenix, but he also failed to qualify at Nashville and Road America.
On Thursday, MHR announced Howard will join the team in a second truck for 2022. The news came on the heels of him overcoming an early spin to finish thirteenth at Darlington in his first Truck race since 2019.
“Wont be the #15 anymore. Didn’t have much of a choice,” Howard tweeted after Friday’s development. The wording of his post suggests a less-than-amicable split from JDM, presumably stemming from his signing MHR though his absence from the #15 was noticeable on the starting lineup even before the announcement. Although MHR and JDM compete in different series, the former is a Toyota team while the latter fields Chevrolets.
Despite plans to run the full schedule and scoring a top ten for Mike Harmon Racing at Phoenix, Currey did not enter four of the last nine Xfinity races with the team and also failed to qualify for four events. In the meantime, he continued to travel to the track to support the team as a crewman. Currey also has five Truck starts in 2021, notching a best finish of twelfth at Kansas, and entered the Cup Series event at Atlanta in June, where he finished thirty-second for Rick Ware.
“I was really bummed about not racing one of my favorite tracks this weekend, luckily Mr. Davis called me yesterday,” Currey posted on Twitter. “Really appreciate the opportunity with @JDMotorsports01. Pumped for tomorrow.”