Friday, July 19, 2024

Sheldon Creed making Cup debut at Kansas

Sheldon Creed‘s ascent through the stock car racing ladder has been tumultuous, but he has finally reached the top rung. On Wednesday, Live Fast Motorsports announced he will run his maiden NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on 10 September, driving the #78 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with Whelen Engineering sponsorship.

“I’m excited to race a Cup race for the first time as that’s been the dream for a long time,” said Creed. “Whelen is a great company and I’m appreciative for their support in allowing us to do this with Live Fast Motorsports. We hope to have a good day at Kansas Speedway come September.”

Creed is currently in his second full season of Xfinity Series competition for LFR ally Richard Childress Racing. He sits tenth in points after seventeen races in a sophomore campaign fraught with misfortune, having shown speed throughout the first half of the year only to be caught up in accidents or other troubles—some of his own doing such as a 25-point penalty for on-track conduct—as evidenced by his average start of 7.4 versus average finish at 16.4. This was also the case during his rookie year, missing the playoffs after barely losing a chaotic scramble in the regular season finale.

Despite his ongoing Xfinity difficulties, Creed has displayed impressive pace in his career. After being a rising star in short course off-road racing, he won two Stadium Super Trucks championships before breaking into stock cars. Creed scored the 2018 ARCA Menards Series and 2020 Truck Series titles before graduating to NASCAR’s second tier.

Creed will be the thirteenth driver with SST experience to compete at the Cup level, company that includes his mentor and SST founder Robby Gordon. Stanton Barrett, Greg Biffle, Ryan Eversley, P.J. Jones, Casey Mears, Max Papis, Travis Pastrana, Boris Said, Zane Smith, and Kenny and Rusty Wallace have also done the same, with Pastrana, Eversley, and Zane Smith making their Cup débuts after racing in SST as well.

The #78 is primarily driven by team owner B.J. McLeod, though he occasionally allows others like Anthony Alfredo and Josh Bilicki to make starts. It sits thirty-sixth in owner points with McLeod holding a pair of top twenties at Talladega and Atlanta. McLeod’s Xfinity programme fielded a car for Creed at the finale in 2021 ahead of his move up, where he finished tenth.