9 October’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval will feature two Sam Hunt Racing cars. On Friday, the team announced Will Rodgers will drive the #26 Toyota Supra in the event while Kris Wright will be entered in a #15 entry. The latter is leased from JD Motorsports.
Rodgers joined SHR in June for a three-race schedule beginning at Nashville, where he finished fourteenth. Two months later, he débuted a new #24 car at the Indianapolis Road Course. Known for his road course prowess, Rodgers never finished worse than second on such tracks in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East between 2017 and 2018, and also won at Sonoma in the West Series in 2017.
The 26-year-old Hawaii native first appeared in the Xfinity Series in 2019 with Brandonbilt Motorsports. His best career finish is twelfth at Mid-Ohio that year. He finished twenty-eighth in his lone attempt at the Roval in 2019. Wright also made his Camping World Truck Series début at Watkins Glen in August, but mechanical issues knocked him out early.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Roval with Sam Hunt Racing this year,” Rodgers stated. “I had a great run in 2019, qualifying in the top ten and running there for most of the race, so confidence is high for the event. After our showing at the Indianapolis Road Course and having more experience with SHR and their equipment, I have no doubt we will go perform at Charlotte.
“The Roval definitely fits my driving style. Being that there is no practice or qualifying, it should give me an edge over some of the competition.”
Wright, a Truck Series regular and former open-wheel and sports car driver, serves as SHR’s road course ringer. His best finish is seventeenth at Watkins Glen.
As a Truck Series rookie, Wright has run most of the 2021 schedule (only skipping Atlanta due to COVID-19 and the road courses that clash with Xfinity) with a highest placement of twelfth in the season opener at Daytona. Wright first began stock car racing in 2020, finishing second and third in his ARCA West début at Utah Motorsports Campus.
“I guess the cats out of the bag then. I will be piloting the #15 F.N.B Supra for SHR in the final road course at @CLTMotorSpdwy next weekend,” tweeted Wright. “Ready to put this car up in the front where it belongs. Thank you @SamHunt22 (Sam Hunt, team owner) for everything this year!”
Although SHR fielded the #24 alongside the flagship #26 at Indianapolis, the decision to rent the #15 from JDM comes as the Roval event does not have qualifying, meaning the #24—which only attempted Indianapolis—would have been locked out on points. Both SHR’s #26 and JDM’s #15, the latter of which is thirty-third in owner points, are multi-driver cars, though the #15 was previously a full-time ride for Colby Howard before his departure in September.