Fresh off their 300th NASCAR Cup Series victory, Hendrick Motorsports has shocked many with the news of an additional two races for their No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Chevy in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The team will run the car at the Charlotte Roval, and then again at the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) September 26, 2023
The drivers come as a bit of a surprise. The 61-year-old Boris Said is no stranger to NASCAR racing with one career victory. The road course ace will pilot the No. 17 at the Charlotte Roval, a track he has yet to race. As for Phoenix, NASCAR's greatest team will give the up-and-coming Rajah Caruth a shot of a lifetime.
Hendrick Motorsports announced the news in a press release shared by the team.
"Hendrick Motorsports will enter two additional 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season with its No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro," according to the release. "Veteran road racer Boris Said will drive in the Oct. 7 Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL event, while Rajah Caruth will be in the seat at the season-ending race at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 4. Both will be sponsored by HendrickCars.com."
The 14-time Cup Series Championship team doesn't often give these types of opportunities, but it looks like they value what Said and Caruth have to offer.
For many fans in NASCAR, seeing Said behind the wheel of a Hendrick Motorsports car is going to be an unforgettable moment, and Said believes he will have a real shot in what he calls "the best car" he's ever had, in what is likely his final drive in NASCAR.
"If I do well in this race, it'll definitely be my last for sure in NASCAR," Said told Kelly Crandall from RACER. "To end like this in the best car I've ever had is pretty neat. It's exciting.
"It's funny, I've raced every track in the world and I've never raced on the Roval," Said added. "Which is weird. But it doesn't look like my favorite track. I'm more of a technical, high-speed kind of guy and I think the Roval looks fairly low-speed but very technical. But it's a track, and I like all tracks. So, I'll just have to figure it out."
As for Caruth, he is very grateful for the chance given to him by Rick Hendrick. He shared a post on X, seeing it as an honor to race for the Hall of Fame owner and team.
— Rajah Kirby Caruth (@rajahcaruth_) September 26, 2023
It will be interesting to watch what Said and Caruth can do behind the wheel of such powerful equipment. Can one of them break through, where Hendrick's four full-time cup drivers have yet to win in the No. 17? Is this a possible audition for Caruth, who is looking for a ride in 2024? Time will tell. Regardless, what a great opportunity for both drivers to make some noise.
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