NASCAR news roundup (1/8/21): Larson spotter fired, No. 38 filled, Kaulig to run part-time in Cup Series

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 01: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Snickers Throwback Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 02, 2019 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Read to get caught up on the latest NASCAR news.

Larson spotter fired over social media activity

At the end of December, Hendrick Motorsports hired Chris Monez to spot Kyle Larson’s No. 5 machine in the NASCAR Cup Series. However, just days after his hiring, Monez was dismissed after curious social media activity emerged.

Monez was caught liking several suspicious tweets, including one about the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. Followers of the disproven theory believe that a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles are plotting against United States President Donald Trump.

Now, with just a month to go until the Busch Clash at Daytona, Larson remains without a spotter and much sponsorship. A leaked image of Larson’s hauler revealed on it, but no sponsors have officially been confirmed.

Monez was Ty Dillon’s spotter in 2020.

Kaulig Racing to run limited Cup Series races in 2021

Kaulig Racing announced on Wednesday that they are planning to run limited Cup Series races in 2021. The team’s been known for their Xfinity Series success, getting multiple drivers to victory lane in 2020. Kaulig Racing would like to field full-time Cup Series teams eventually.

The team plans to run superspeedway and road courses races in 2021, with a full schedule coming at a later date.

Justin Haley, a strong restrictor plate racer, and AJ Allmendinger, a strong road course racer, are included in Kaulig’s 2021 Xfinity Series lineup. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see those two run some of the Cup Series races, as both are Cup Series winners.

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Anthony Alfredo to drive for Front Row Motorsports

Anthony Alfredo announced on his Twitter Wednesday that he’d drive the No. 38 Cup Series car for Front Row Motorsports in 2021. Alfredo, 21, is taking the seat of John Hunter Nemechek, who went back to full-time Camping World Truck Series racing.

The youngster has competed in parts of just two seasons in NASCAR’s top three levels. He ran 13 Truck Series races in 2019 and 19 Xfinity Series races in 2020. He’s yet to win in either series but has 2 top-5s and 11 top-10s combined.

Alfredo has a lot to learn but is in a good position to do so with Front Row Motorsports.

Additionally, the team will field the No. 36 car for the Daytona 500 with David Ragan behind the wheel. Michael McDowell will return in the No. 34 car full-time in 2021.

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Bristol Motor Speedway preparing for spring dirt race

In a video posted to social media, Bristol Motor Speedway showed the beginning of preparations for the facility’s spring races.

BMS will host the Bristol Dirt Nationals from March 15th-20th, with eight different classes racing over six days.

A week later, NASCAR comes to town. The Camping World Truck Series will race a 134 lap event on Saturday, March 27th, with the Cup Series race taking place on Sunday, March 28th. The length of the Cup Series race has yet to be determined.

Top NASCAR executive leaves for Sonoma Raceway

One of NASCAR’s top executives, Jill Gregory, will be leaving to become the GM of Sonoma Raceway. The track is a part of Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), an organization owning eight NASCAR tracks.

Gregory will take the role of the retiring Steve Page, longtime GM of Sonoma Raceway. In her time with NASCAR, Gregory has led the sport’s marketing, media, communications, broadcasting, and diversity and inclusion. She’s also helped develop, the NASCAR mobile app, and NASCAR fantasy games.