By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
Saturday at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, Josh Bilicki tied his career-best finish in his Xfinity Series career when he came home 12th in the UNOH 188.
Driving the No. 99 Insurance King Toyota for BJ McLeod Motorsports for the fourth time this year, the 52-lap race ended with a strong result for the team.
“Today was a good day for us,” Bilicki said. “We struggled with the low-speed corners and didn’t have the outright speed, but we capitalized on the restarts.”
Starting 19th, the 25-year-old Wisconsin kid used strategy and balanced aggression amongst a 38-car field to land in the race lead on a lap-33 restart. The lap led made it the second straight week Bilicki ran out front after leading four laps on his home turf of Road America one week ago.
But from there, he maintained.
Restarting 11th with five laps to go, the fight was on for Bilicki and the small team. Battling the likes of Justin Allgaier and Harrison Burton in the closing laps, Bilicki’s eventual place run was his best finish in the series since placing 12th back in 2017 at Road America.
But despite the big day, a racer always wants more.
“[We] got ourselves into a position where we could have a good points day,” he said. “I really wanted that top 10, but I’ll take a solid 12th place and move on to the next one.”
A top 10 on Saturday would have been the first of Bilicki’s 66-race career in the series and the first for BMM outside a superspeedway. However, with a career-best result, some extra TV time and another clean racecar for the shop, the positives outweigh the negatives.
“It gives us a lot of momentum going forward,” he said. “Especially the fact that we’ve been toward the front every road course.”
Bilicki’s next race with BMM will “probably” be at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in October, with possible last-minute opportunities before then. He has also made 11 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020.