By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Multi-time Indianapolis 500 starter James Davison’s much talked about NASCAR Cup Series debut will have to wait another time.
The Australian confirmed Thursday that he’ll no longer pilot the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports for this Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Instead, the ride will now be piloted by B.J. McLeod, who forgoes his own No. 78 Chevrolet to make the switch possible. Due to this, Garrett Smithley will run McLeod’s own car after getting the okay from Rick Ware Racing.
Wow! This was unexpected but Really excited to get my first super speedway start in the Cup Series. Thankful for @bjmcleod78 giving me a shot, and @RickWareRacing for allowing me to do it. Ready for 200+ at @TalladegaSuperS! @TrophyTractor #Geico500 #78 https://t.co/lAkj9MWzxh
— Garrett Smithley (@GarrettSmithley) June 18, 2020
Davison’s announcement of racing at the 2.66-mile superspeedway has caused controversy as to how he got approved as he’s only made four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts (all on road courses) while open wheel stars Dario Franchitti and Juan Pablo Montoya had to run ARCA in advance.
Davison tweeted that NASCAR reconsidered the decision of making his debut at Talladega, due in large part that there won’t be a practice session.
“I have been contacted by NASCAR and informed that although I was previously approved to race, they had reconsider their position on Superspeedways, given there won’t be practice prior to Sunday’s race at Talladega,” said Davison.
“I was pumped about the opportunity to take the green flag, however I fully understand and appreciate NASCAR’s position.”
Now that the Talladega project is axed, Davison will instead make his debut at Pocono Raceway.
“I’m approved to race next weekend at Pocono and equally thrilled to make my series debut there,” Davison added.
Davison’s debut also happens to be the first Cup Series doubleheader as Pocono will host both the Pocono Organics 325 (June 27 at 3:30 p.m. EST on FOX) and Pocono 350 (June 28 at 4 p.m. EST on NBC).