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Miguel Paludo to run 3 Xfinity road races at JR Motorsports

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JR Motorsports announced Wednesday that Brazilian racer Miguel Paludo will join the team for three road course races this Xfinity Series season.

The 37-year-old Paludo will drive the No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course (Feb. 20), Circuit of the Americas (May 22), and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 5).

The deal marks a return to NASCAR racing for Paludo, who competed full-time in the Camping World Truck Series from 2011-2013 after making a handful of starts in 2010.

His best season was 2013, when he finished ninth in the Truck standings on the strength of four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. His career-best finish, a runner-up at Pocono Raceway, also came during that season.

Paludo also made two Xfinity starts during the 2012 season.

BRANDT’s Brazilian operations have supported Paludo’s efforts in recent years in the Porsche Carrera Cup Brasil series, where Paludo is a six-time series champion.

The company is also a long-time backer of JRM Xfinity driver Justin Allgaier.

“This is an amazing opportunity and it’s hard to put in words how grateful I am,” Paludo said in a team release. “Returning to compete in NASCAR has always been one of my top career goals. ... And to now get the opportunity to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series along with my teammate Justin Allgaier for BRANDT at JR Motorsports for three races is a dream that is coming true.

“I can’t wait to work with everyone on the No. 8 team and get ready for our first race on the road course at Daytona in a couple of weeks.”

Paludo becomes the latest driver to join the No. 8’s driver lineup this season.

Reigning NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion Josh Berry is set to drive the car in 12 races. Two-time ARCA Menards Series East champion Sam Mayer also will drive the car during the second half of the season after he turns 18.

Finally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to make a single start in the entry. Where he will compete remains to be determined.