Sheldon Creed‘s hopes of winning a second straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship were dashed when he was eliminated in the penultimate race of the year, but his 2022 looks bright as he prepares for his maiden full-time season in the Xfinity Series. To prepare him for NASCAR’s second-highest tier, he will get some track time in the series’ season finale at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday. He will drive the #78 Chevrolet Camaro for B.J. McLeod Motorsports in his first Xfinity start since 2019. Global Industrial Company, an industrial and business equipment supplier, will serve as primary sponsor.
Creed is one of the top drivers in the Truck Series, winning the title in 2020 with GMS Racing and beginning the 2021 playoffs by winning the first two races. However, a crash at Las Vegas and finish outside the top ten at Talladega placed him in a precarious position entering the Round of 8’s final event at Martinsville. Despite finishing ninth, he was knocked out of the playoffs as he was bumped below the top four in points needed to advance to the Championship Round. While his title defence came to an end, he enters the last race at Phoenix as the defending winner.
In September, Richard Childress Racing announced Creed will compete for Xfinity Rookie of the Year honours in 2022, driving the #2 car. He first débuted in the series in 2017, when he was still more recognised for his successes in the Stadium Super Trucks, as a road course ringer for JD Motorsports. However, mechanical issues plagued his two starts for the team as he finished thirty-fourth and thirty-eighth.
He returned to the Xfinity Series in 2019, a year removed from his maiden stock car title in the ARCA Menards Series, at the Daytona July race. Racing for JR Motorsports, who operates the Drivers Edge Development programme alongside GMS and Chevrolet, his night came to an abrupt end when he was caught in the Big One on lap 71 and classified thirty-fourth. Creed did not race in the series in 2020 as he exclusively focused his NASCAR competition on the Truck Series.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with a renowned racing organisation in Richard Childress Racing and championship driver, Sheldon Creed,” said Global Industrial senior vice persident Klaus Werner in a release. “This is a unique and thrilling opportunity to market the Global Industrial brand on a premier national racing stage.”
BJMM’s #78, like their #5 and #99, has been piloted by multiple drivers in 2021. Jesse Little made up the bulk of the schedule, with Ryan Ellis, Andy Lally, Mason Massey, Akinori Ogata, and Stefan Parsons also recording starts. The #78 is twenty-ninth in owner points, though it is listed in NASCAR’s statistical database as #178 as BJMM switched their cars’ points in May for qualifying purposes, with the #78 inheriting the #5’s points while the #99 received the #78’s. Lally holds the car’s best finish of the year of tenth at the Indianapolis Road Course in August.
Interestingly, Saturday’s race will not be Creed’s first time driving a #78 car. In 2017, he was hired by Mason Mitchell Motorsports to race the #78 Chevrolet at the two ARCA dirt races at Springfield and DuQuoin; the off-road star finished fourth and second.
“I’m looking forward to racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Phoenix Raceway, especially with Global Industrial Company on board my Chevrolet,” commented Creed. “I’ve had a lot of success at Phoenix Raceway over the years, including winning in the Truck Series at the track in 2020, so I am hoping to bring some of that same success to Global Industrial this November 6th and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”