Posted at 01:58h in News
at Bristol Motor Speedway
Driver: BJ Mcleod / Tommy Joe Martins
Sponsor: Epic Racewear / JW Transport
The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 weekend was an impressive one for B.J. McLeod Motorsports.
The team was thrilled going into the weekend, as it was B.J.’s 75th start in the XFINITY Series. BJMM had numerous sponsors for the race weekend. EPIC Racewear, JW Transport, Fatz Café – Bristol, AAN Adjusters Inc., Gilreath Farms were supporting the team. The race weekend started out like a typical race weekend for the two car team. All until an unexpected turn of events happened in practice.
B.J.’s car had a mechanical issue (throttle hung wide open) during practice, which caused the car to make heavy impact with the wall. Thankfully B.J. was fine. His car, however, had major damage and couldn’t be used in the race.
BJMM did not have a backup car at the track or prepared for the race. They put all of their efforts into their primary car to have best finish possible for their sponsors and fans. When the caution came out during practice and people started to see the car, people started to ask team manager Nathalie Bijeau if they were done since they didn’t have a backup car. Nathalie’s response was simple, “If I know my husband and Crew Chief, David Ingram and B.J. well, they are planning a trip to Mooresville right now.” She was right!
Within minutes of seeing the car, they were planning a trip back to Mooresville. The team packed up as many parts and tools as they could take with them to prepare the car. They started off on their 3 hour drive back to Mooresville, NC. BJMM consists of 10 team members. Five team members traveled back to Mooresville. Adam, Austin, B.J., David, and DeAndre strategized the whole way back to the shop. They were going over the exact strategy of who was doing what when they got back to the shop. The team decided to use a full body car instead of a composite car because that was the only car that was close to being ready to race. This automatically gave them a disadvantage due to the weight of the car being heavier than the vast majority of the cars in the field that were composite body cars.
Even more interesting, the car also turned out to be a car that was prepared for a mile and a half track opposed to being a short track car. The backup car was from a previous race and had some body damage from a previous race. The damage had to be fixed that night to ensure it would pass NASCAR’s technical inspection. Being an underfunded team, BJMM does not have a lot of additional parts. Some parts were taken from the wrecked car to the shop in Mooresville to be put on the backup car. Some of these parts including break cooling ducks, a fuel cell, and springs. The team had to install break cooling ducks, change steering boxes and rear differentials, change the chassis springs and replace the seat in the car to B.J.’s seat as the car was previously used for a different driver. The team also had to take off all the old decals from the past races and add them the Bristol sponsors to the car.
The team got all this work done by 2:00 am after working all through the night. Their journey got them back to the track at 4:45am. The garage opened at 7:00 am. They got to the track at 6:00 to get through tech in time. B.J. was very grateful for NASCAR’s support of getting a backup car to the track. “NASCAR was really good about working with us to get a backup car here.” said McLeod.
The team were running on adrenaline on race day. Most of the team did not get any sleep thinking about their day at the track. If they did get any sleep, it was in the team van on the way back to Bristol. Maybe getting 2 hours of sleep, if they were lucky. The team got to the track ready for race day with no time to spare. Some team members were even brushing their teeth at the track with a bottle of water that’s how little time there was to spare!
The team passed inspection and qualified for the race in 26th position in a car that was prepared only hours prior with no practice time on track! BJMM dedication and passion shined during the race. During Stage 1, B.J. finished 15th. In Stage 2, B.J. finished 18th. He finished the race 20th. This was a great showing for BJMM and extremely important to ensure a solid day in the point’s battle, which guarantees them a starting spot in future races. Tommy Joe Martin finished in 26th with only 5 members of the team at the track to assist him with changes to the car during practice.
BJMM approaches every weekend with this same approach of dedication. Each weekend they give their 110%. They are in this sport because it is something they love. The team grew up racing at local tracks and always gave it the extra effort to be as successful as possible. Everyone on the team works on the car from the driver, to the crew, to the crew chief, to the team manager. They are truly one family who will support each other to be as successful as possible. BJMM would like to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement over the past weekend. From the sponsors to the fans, they are extremely grateful to be surrounded by so many supportive individuals. And of course a big thank you to the team. They might be a small underfunded 2 to 3 car team but they proved themselves that weekend and beat a lot of barriers and obstacles. Make sure to turn into the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday at 1:30 pm/EDT to cheer on BJMM.
Written By: Danielle Minner
About Our Partners:
Epic Racewear is a company fueled by the passion of racing, with operating standards where the customer is treated as we would like to be treated – fairly and honestly. EPIC is proud to offer individual custom designs - most of which are included with a race wear purchase. EPIC strives to avoid minimums, setup fees and other supplemental charges whenever possible.
JW Transport provides customer service to companies who desire to control their supply chain and offer their customers a door-to-door logistics system. It is JW Transport’s goal to support the pre and post sale efforts of these compaines in order to see them succeed in both quality customer service and improve market share. JW transport’s goal is to be the “eyes and ears” of its clients, who may not have a physical presense in the importing country. With regards to physical movement of cargo, JW Transport will arrange all transportation and warehousing on behalf of it’s clients with the goal of serving the final customer according to their needs while controlling costs.
BJMM is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team is owned by B.J. McLeod and his wife Jessica. Please email PR@BJMcLeodmotorsports.com or call (704) 230-8720 for any public relations or sponsorship requests.
About the Author: Danielle Minner has had a passion for racing since she was 5. She grew up watching motorsports. Her passion for motorsports grew as she decided to make her passion part of her profession. She the paper The NASCAR Sponsorship Alignment Team: A Proposed Model, which was published and recognized by a business journal. She also writes press releases for BJMM.