By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
WeatherTech Sports Car Championship driver Katherine Legge will make her NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Legge’s diverse racing background includes A1GP, Champ Car, DTM, Formula 3, Formula E, Formula Renault, IndyCar, and currently IMSA competition in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 for Meyer-Shank Racing.
Legge will drive the No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro SS for JD Motorsports in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170. The Johnny Davis-owned team is on the verge of making the Xfinity Series Playoffs with Ross Chastain in the teams’ No. 4 entry.
“To say that I’m looking forward to making my NASCAR debut in the Xfinity Series would be a massive understatement, and I can’t thank Steve and Eileen Bildman at Airtec enough for helping to provide me with this opportunity,” Legge said. “Racing a stock car will be a massive adjustment for me from the types of cars I usually race, even on road courses, but I’m eager to take on the challenge. Thanks to Johnny Davis, Gary Keller, and everyone at JD Motorsports for all their hard work to make this happen.”
JD Motorsports debuted in 1983 and has been competing full-time in the Xfinity Series since the 2004 season. The team’s best finish, fourth (three times) was first earned by Joe Thurman in 1983 and has been matched twice in the past two seasons by Chastain. In total, the organization has five top-five and 36 top-10 finishes. Chastain and Garrett Smithley have earned 11 of those top-10s in the past two seasons.
Davis said “I am very excited to work with this young lady. She has a very impressive background and we are glad to assist in her growth over to NASCAR and introduce her to the stock car racing world.”
Although Legge has an extensive background in sports car and open wheel racing, stock car racing is a different animal entirely. The code of conduct, that some road course ringers have is different from NASCAR regulars, evidenced by the last lap bump and run Regan Smith performed on Alex Tagliani several years ago. Drastically different weight, brakes, among other factors are just some of what the Guilford, England native will encounter this weekend.
“Making my Xfinity Series debut will be a huge challenge. These cars are very different from what I’m used to driving in open-wheel and sports car racing, but I’ve built my career on diversity and going where opportunities take me,” Legge said. “I hope to learn as much as I can at Mid-Ohio, and then apply that knowledge a couple of weeks later at Road America.”
Earlier this year at Mid-Ohio, Legge finished second in the GT Daytona (GTD) class with Alvaro Parente. Despite missing the third round of the 2018 IMSA Championship, she is third in the Championship Points Standings for GTD, 18-points behind the Points Leaders Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow. Legge won in GTD at Belle Isle with Mario Farnbacher as the co-driver.