NASCAR Xfinity Series News & Notes – Charlotte Motor Speedway

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Alsco 300
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Monday, May 25
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
2019 Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Charlotte Motor Speedway continues to heat things up for Xfinity Series

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, May 25 for the Alsco 300 (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Due to having no qualifying or practice sessions, the starting lineup will be decided as follows:

  • Positions 1 -12:  The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
  • Positions 13 – 24:  The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw.
  • Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw.
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

NASCAR officials announced that the field size for the Xfinity Series will be temporarily expanded to a maximum of 40 vehicles for all events without qualifying.

As far as the points structure, the change will not alter the standings much at all. In the Xfinity Series, officials will continue to award a baseline of 40 championship points for first place and one point for 36th (which was formerly the last place) place. As a result, teams finishing 37th through 40th will also receive one point.

Pit selection for Charlotte Motor Speedway will be based on finishing position from Thursday’s race at Darlington followed by new entries in order of points.

After Tuesday’s race was postponed due to rain and moved to Thursday, the Xfinity Series finally got to hit the track for the first time in over two months at Darlington Raceway for the Toyota 200.

Chase Briscoe took home the checkered flag in the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford while battling Kyle Busch on the final lap.

Noah Gragson started from the pole alongside JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett and won Stage 1, leading 46 laps en route to a fifth-place finish.

Busch led 45 laps at Darlington and won Stage 2 in his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Busch finished runner-up while Justin Allgaier in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet finished third, Austin Cindric finished fourth in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford and Gragson rounded out the top five.

An emotional Briscoe emerged from his car after bumping and grinding with Busch on the final lap. He and his wife, Marissa, had a heartbreaking week and he dedicated his win to her.

Briscoe takes over points lead

With his performance on Thursday night at Darlington Raceway, Chase Briscoe took over the points standings by 19 points over second-place Harrison Burton.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Burton had held onto his points lead after finishing in the top five at Phoenix Raceway before the season’s pause. His ninth-place finish at Darlington took away his lead but still has him sitting pretty in second. He is the only driver in the series to have finished in the top 10 in every race so far this season.

Briscoe, who won the Toyota 200 at Darlington in a last-lap battle with veteran Cup Series driver Kyle Busch, also won the season’s second race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He is the first driver this season to win multiple Xfinity Series races.

JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson won Stage 1 and earned points, moving him up to fourth in the standings.

Here is a look at the Xfinity Series points standings currently:

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND WINS
Chase Briscoe 223 0 2
Harrison Burton* 204 -19 1
Austin Cindric 197 -26 0
Noah Gragson 193 -30 1
Ross Chastain 188 -35 0
Justin Allgaier 186 -37 0
Ryan Sieg 183 -40 0
Justin Haley 168 -55 0
Brandon Jones 165 -58 1
Michael Annett 139 -84 0

Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings

Harrison Burton may have lost the top spot in the standings after Thursday’s race at Darlington Raceway, but he still leads the Sunoco Rooke of the Year standings and is sitting in second place in the championship points standings.

He has won every single rookie award so far this season and is the only contender in the top 10 in points.

NAME POINTS AWARDS
Harrison Burton 204 5
Riley Herbst 128 0
Jesse Little 67 0
Joe Graf Jr. 48 0
Kody Vanderwal 13 0

Herbst is currently one spot outside of the top 10 in 11th. He finished 18th at Darlington Raceway and will make his Xfinity Series debut at Charlotte on Monday.

Little is sitting in 22nd place in the points standings and finished 36th at Darlington. He will also be making his Xfinity Series track debut.

Joe Graf Jr. finished 19th at Darlington and Kody Vanderwal finished 32nd. They will both be making their debuts at Charlotte, as well.

 

JR Motorsports showing strength heading to Charlotte

Returning to the racetrack after being off for over two months could have been a difficult task for drivers that usually spend time behind the wheel of their cars multiple times a week. However, it didn’t seem so bad for the JR Motorsports camp of Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett and Daniel Hemric.

Three of those JR Motorsports teams finished in the top 10 on Thursday at Darlington Raceway. Allgaier started 10th and finished sixth in Stage 1. He went on to finish second in Stage 2 and finished third at the conclusion of the 147-lap race.

Gragson, who started on the pole, won Stage 1 and finished third in Stage 2. He finished the race in fifth.

Right behind Gragson was Hemric. Hemric runs a part-time schedule for JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet. Hemric finished Stage 1 in seventh and Stage 2 in sixth. At the end of the race, Hemric ralled to a sixth-place finish.

Lastly, Annett, who started alongside his teammate Gragson on the front row, finished Stage 1 in ninth and Stage 2 in fifth. Unfortunately in the final stage, Annett went for a spin and ultimately had to head to pit road for repairs, resulting in a 25th-place finish for the No. 1 Chevrolet team.

However, JR Motorsports has shown so much strength in the opening races of the Xfinity Series, especially on Thursday’s return to racing. The team has put up good numbers at the upcoming Charlotte Motor Speedway, too.

Allgaier has 17 starts at the track with four top fives, nine top 10s and one pole award. Annett has 14 starts with three top 10s and Gragson made his first Xfinity Series start at Charlotte last season and finished fourth. Hemric has three starts at the track and finished seventh in his last two starts.

Three down, four to go for Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch may be the busiest guy in NASCAR right now. The fulltime Cup Series driver is on a quest to run seven races among all three series in 11 days. As NASCAR heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a four-day race schedule, Busch is entered to run both Cup Series races (Sunday, Wednesday), Xfinity (Monday) and Gander Trucks (Tuesday).

Busch was almost victorious on Thursday night at Darlington Raceway when the Xfinity Series hit the track after their race was postpone due to rain. He finished runner-up to Chase Briscoe but battled incredibly hard on the last lap for the win. He also won Stage 2.

Busch finished runner-up the day before in the second Cup Series race at Darlington, too.

The last time Busch ran in the Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was in 2018 and he finished eighth. He has 25 series start to his name with eight wins, 18 top fives, 21 top 10s and two pole awards.

Xfinity Series fast facts, numbers at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway is a historic 1.5-mile track with 24 degrees of banking in corners and five degrees of banking on straightaways. The frontstretch is 1,980 feet and the backstretch is 1,500 feet.

Jimmie Johnson holds the Xfinity Series qualifying record at the track with a speed of 187.735 mph on Oct. 14, 2005. Mark Martin holds the race record at the track for the series at 155.799 mph on May 25, 1996.

Kyle Busch holds the record for the most wins (8) at the track and Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are tied for the most poles (4). Busch also has the most top fives (18) and top 10s (21) in the Xfinity Series at Charlotte.

The most lead changes in an Xfinity Series race at the track was 26 in 1984 and the fewest was four in 1991. Ford and Chevrolet are both tired for the most wins by a manufacturer with 21. In 196, there was only one finisher on the lead lap. In 2005, there were 67 caution laps, the most of any race run at he track in the series. And In 1996, there were only six caution laps.

Twelve of the 74 races run were won from the pole position and 14 races were won from the third position.

There have been 36 different race winners and 48 different pole winners at the track for the Xfinity Series.

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