By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
Less than one week after crew chief Nick Harrison unexpectedly passed away, Justin Haley and Kaulig Racing will be back in action at Iowa Speedway.
Haley and Harrison were in their first year working together on the No. 11 Leaf Filter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro SS. The duo earned two top-five and 13 top-10 finishes after 18 races in the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Haley and Harrison were one part of Kaulig Racing’s first one-two finish at Daytona International Speedway.
Harrison passed away unexpectedly following the Roxor 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kaulig Racing announced that team President Chris Rice will substitute for Harrison in this weekend’s U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa.
Haley explained that their run at NHMS was less than stellar before looking forward to Iowa.
“We just came off our run at New Hampshire. We finished 13th – not the day we wanted, but we are headed to Iowa this weekend and racing with heavy hearts for the loss of my crew chief, Nick Harrison. We will have Chris Rice filling in for the job spot this weekend.”
The Rookie of the Year contender has two starts at the Newton, IA track. Haley made his Xfinity debut at the track last year. In his two starts he has two top-15 finishes.
“Nick and I had a really fast car at Iowa a few weeks back,” Haley stated. “This will be our second time there this year. Hopefully we will be just as fast and maybe get a win for Nick and see what else we can do this weekend.
“We’ve got some road courses after that, so I am really excited. We are going to the race track this weekend in honor of Nick, and we are going to go win one for him.”
Entering the U.S. Cellular 250, Haley is ninth in the championship standings, 257-points behind points leader Tyler Reddick. The 20-year-old is also 57-points ahead of the playoff cutoff currently held by Brandon Jones.