Ray Black Jr. solid in XFINITY Series debut, eyes future races

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

FORT WORTH, Texas – With a solid rookie campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), Ray Black Jr. made his XFINITY Series debut at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, staying out of trouble and finishing a respectable 27th.

The 24-year-old completed 192 of the 200 laps, keeping the Rick Ware-owned No. 15 Burnie Grills Chevrolet Camaro clean all race long after starting 22nd.

Black, who is in the midst of a battle for a top 10 finish in the NCWTS championship standings, is hoping Saturday is just the beginning of what could be more outings in NASCAR’s second-tier series.

“We have been talking to him (Carl Spadaro, owner of Burnie Grills) a little bit to maybe do some things in the future,” Black told Tribute Racing. “We were not ready to get right up into it (the XFINITY Series, but since everything kind of fell into our lap we just took it by the horns, Texas style. But, yeah, maybe next year we got like eight or 10 races planned.

“I think we’ll be having some good times there.”

With solid sponsors in ScubaLife and NASE Worldwide on his No. 07 SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet Silverado, Black doesn’t believe there will be any crossover between the two sponsors in each of the NASCAR divisions, with Burnie Grills focused on exposure in the XFINITY Series.

“You know, I think the trucks are going to be strictly ScubaLife and NASE Worldwide,” said Black. “But because I think Burnie Grills wants the XFINITY level sponsorship recognition, and they’ve been definitely talking about that a lot, that’s what he (Spadaro) wants and we want to get there and run a few races next year.

“So, i think it works out perfectly. We can kind of separate the two (sponsors) and keep our brand in Truck Series and go up to XFINITY and have a whole different outlook.”

With a promising rookie season that has seen Black lead seven of 21 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the future looks bright as 2015 comes to a close.

Image: Steven Snow/Grease Man Photography

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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