MBM Motorsports to attempt Cup Series debut at Kansas

MBM Motorsports will attempt to make its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at Kansas Speedway, fielding the #66 Chevrolet, a vehicle that was formerly an HScott Motorsports car. The news was reported through team owner Carl Long’s Facebook page.

“Ok .. will break the news here … MBM motorsports will bring our chevy #66 to Kansas to compete in the Monster Energy Cup Series,” the post stated. “I am hoping to sign a couple sponsors to get us there. The special deal of the week. $25,000 gets the whole car for NASCAR’s top series. It has been a few years since i was able to race in cup and I am very excited to be back.”

MBM currently competes in the Xfinity Series, fielding the #13 and #40 cars for a multitude of drivers; the team does not have a consistent manufacturer and has driven three of the four manufacturers (Chevrolet, Toyota and Dodge) at least once during the 2017 season. Through the first eight races of the year, the majority of the #13 car’s races have been as a Toyota Camry with four, while the #40 has been a Camry and Dodge Challenger three times. For the upcoming Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega, the #13 and #40 will be a Toyota and Dodge, respectively. MBM has fielded the two cars as a Chevrolet Camaro for two races apiece.

Owned by Long and his family, the team has attempted every race in 2017 with Long, Mark Thompson, Brandon Hightower and Timmy Hill sharing the two rides. Long has attempted five races in 2017 in the #13, recording a best finish of 27th at Bristol. At the season opener in Daytona, Hightower finished 13th, a team-best. The team also fielded a car in the ARCA Racing Series, the #66 Ford, for Thompson at Daytona in February. Thompson, a former Air Force helicopter pilot and owner of MBM sponsor Phoenix Air, finished 31st after being collected in a multi-car crash on lap 49.

Long competed in the Cup Series from 2000 to 2006, running 23 races and recording a best finish of 29th at the 2001 Coca-Cola 600. In 2009, he was barred from Cup competition following an engine infraction at the Sprint Showdown, in which his engine was found to be too large by .17 cubic inches; NASCAR fined the North Carolinian $200,000 and forbade him from racing in the series until he could pay it off. After bouncing between teams in the Nationwide Series, he and driver Derek White formed Motorsports Business Management, or MBM Motorsports, in 2014.

Over its four-year history, MBM’s drivers have also included Alon Day, B.J. McLeod, Brad Teague, Chris Cockrum, Chris Cook, Cody Ware, D.J. Kennington, Harrison Rhodes, John Jackson, Josh Reaume, Kevin O’Connell, Matt Carter, Morgan Shepherd, Rubén Pardo, Stanton Barrett, T.J. Bell and Tim Cowen. Along with Hightower, Day, a NASCAR Next driver, possesses the best finish in team history, a 13th at Mid-Ohio in 2016.

Cup Series veterans Matt DiBenedetto and Josh Wise have also competed for the team. Long and White served as owner/drivers, though the latter’s ownership ended in 2016 when he was arrested on drug charges. During the 2016 season, the team added monster truck driver Todd Morey as a development driver.

A driver for the #66 has not been announced, though the Facebook post suggests a driver with enough funding and sponsorship would be considered. “The sad part is we are running short on $ to get there,” it added. “I have asked several of my fellow xfinity drivers if they can squeeze some $ from their sponsors and i will let them drive. So we will have car 66 there with George Church as crew chief and Joey Arrington providing Chevy power.”

Church has worked as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series since 1993, when he worked with Mike Stefanik. In 2000, he was P.J. Jones and Ridling Motorsports’ crew chief; together, the two recorded a top-10 at Watkins Glen. Since 2010, he has worked for teams like Rick Ware Racing and MBM Motorsports.

The upcoming Kansas Speedway Cup race, the Go Bowling 400, will be held on May 13.

UPDATE (5/6): Long has announced he has reached an agreement with NASCAR to allow him to return to the Cup Series garage.
“[NASCAR] made me an agreement so I can get over there,” he said.  “I’m just pleased to be able to make a living on the Cup side again.”

Featured image courtesy of Legends of NASCAR

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