NASCAR Xfinity Series

Mike Harmon returns to NASCAR at Talladega Xfinity

1 Mins read
Credit: Mike Harmon Racing

Perennial backmarker but perennial fan favourite Mike Harmon will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend as he hopes to make Saturday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. He will drive the #47 Chevrolet Camaro for his Mike Harmon Racing team.

Owing to factors like his underdog status and girth, Harmon is a bit of a folk hero in the NASCAR community. Jokes frequently surround the Applebee’s restaurant chain stemming from his willingness to fight Michael Annett at one following a practice incident between the two at the 2019 Indianapolis weekend, as well as his walking away from a massive wreck at Bristol in 2002. Harmon and his team have also embraced the reputation and tend to join in the humour.

The 64-year-old has raced in NASCAR since the 1990s, but due to his team’s small stature, he has never recorded a top ten in the Xfinity or Truck Series. In 289 career Xfinity starts, his best finish is sixteenth at Daytona in 2020 while 2015 saw his highest placement in the standings of twenty-fifth. Conversely, he has seen modest success in ARCA with ten top tens and an eighth-place points finish in 2005.

Since 2020, Harmon has scaled back his driving duties to give other drivers opportunities; his lone start in 2021 came at the Martinsville fall race where he finished thirty-ninth. He placed twenty-fifth and seventeenth in the two Talladega races in 2020. While Talladega will be his first start of 2022, he received a seventy-five-point penalty prior to the season for a 2021 testing violation, though an appeal was able to at least erase a fine and crew chief suspension.

The #47 has struggled to make races in 2022, with only ten successful efforts between Brandon BrownGray GauldingBrennan Poole, and Ryan VargasStanton BarrettDawson CramBobby McCarty, and Tim Viens have also attempted to qualify but failed. The car sits forty-second in owner points with Gaulding holding its best finish of twenty-first at the first Talladega event in April.

UPDATE: Due to weather concerns, the #26 of Sam Hunt Racing, #53 of Emerling-Gase Motorsports, and #77 of Bassett Racing have withdrawn, which will guarantee Harmon a spot in the race in the event that qualifying is rained out.

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