NASCAR Xfinity Series

Andy Lally, Kyle Weatherman respectively depart Alpha Prime, Harmon

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Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A pair of drivers entered the free agent market on Friday when Alpha Prime Racing and Mike Harmon Racing respectively announced Andy Lally and Kyle Weatherman will not drive for them in the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Lally, a sports car veteran in IMSA, joined Alpha Prime Racing‘s #44 as a road course ringer for the six such races on the 2022 Xfinity calendar. Owing to his background, all of his NASCAR starts since being named the 2011 Cup Series Rookie of the Year have come at road circuits (he officially recorded seven DNQs on ovals in 2021, though he was merely a placeholder name on Our Motorsports’ #03 while that entry was being locked out of races without qualifying). In eighteen career Xfinity starts, he has nine top tens with a best finish of fifth on four occasions.

“I owe a massive thank you to Alpha Prime Racing, specifically to Caesar Bacarella and Tommy Joe Martins for allowing me to jump on a unique opportunity,” read a statement from Lally. “I can’t say enough about how gracious they were in both understanding my position, as well as encouraging me to take the step that may help my future the most. It was a great show of friendship, sportsmanship, and a great testament to their character.

“I was very much looking forward to the chance to run with the 44 crew and I believe they have a great program filled with a ton of potential in 2022 and beyond. I wish them luck!

“I will be able to share details of my new opportunity shortly. Beyond opportunities to race, I will also be working with the team in capacities beyond the cockpit, and it is an opportunity simply too good to miss. I’m extremely excited for the future.”

His departure comes a day after APR announced the addition of Sage Karam to the roster for at least a dozen races in the team’s new second #45 car. The #44 will still be shared by multiple drivers including team owners Martins and Bacarella, as well as Rajah Carruth and Ryan Ellis.

“Guys we’re sad too but we love Andy and are excited for his future endeavors,” quipped the APR Twitter account.

Credit: Jake Galstad/LAT Images

Weatherman leaves MHR after two seasons. In 2020, he scored his and the team’s first top ten when he placed eighth at the first Kentucky race in June. Solid pace throughout his part-time 2020 campaign elevated him into a full ride for 2021. He recorded seven top-twenty runs with a best finish of fifteenth twice, but also failed to qualify for three races and placed twenty-fourth in the standings.

“Today, January 7, 2022 Mike Harmon Racing and Driver Kyle Weatherman have parted ways as driver of the Xfinity 47, Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet Camaro,” the team stated. “While we thank Kyle for his time in the 47 car, we want to wish Kyle all the best in his future endeavors. The MHR crew is working at the shop to prepare our cars to compete in the season opener Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner 300 on Saturday February 19, 2022 at the Daytona International Speedway. We look forward to the continued support of our fans, great partners in 2022.”

With Bayley Currey joining JD Motorsports, neither of MHR’s primary drivers from 2021 will return. Currey also shared the #74 with the team’s eponymous owner, Dawson Cram, Jesse Iwuji, C.J. McLaughlin, Tim Viens, and Carson Ware. Iwuji is not in the list of potential replacements for either the #74 or #47 as he is focused on running his own Xfinity team, while Ware is currently suspended. Viens is also a team owner, though in the Truck Series.

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