NASCAR Xfinity Series News & Notes – Bristol Motor Speedway

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway
The Date: Monday, June 1
The Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 159.9 miles (300 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 85),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 300)
2019 Race Winner: Christopher Bell

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Bristol, Tenn. for some short-track racing at “The Last Great Colosseum” on Monday night to kick off the month of June.

The Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco (7 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be the series’ first race back since their Memorial Day race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

In that race on Monday, Kyle Busch secured his 97th victory in the series after making a last-lap pass on Austin Cindric who had originally blown past Busch during an overtime restart. Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, then finished runner-up to Busch and Cindric, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, finished third.

Ross Chastain, the pole-sitter, finished fourth in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet and Justin Allgaier finished fifth in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Brett Moffitt, Brandon Brown, Harrison Burton and Myatt Snider completed the top 10. Noah Gragson finished in 11th and was the last driver to finish on the lead lap.

Chase Briscoe, the only multi-race winner in the series thus far, held onto his status as the points leader by finishing 20th. And Burton kept his status as the leader of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

 

Dash 4 Cash is back!
The Dash 4 Cash initiative for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is back this season, but the schedule looks a little different due to the changes in the 2020 schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco will serve as the qualifier race to set the field of four (the top four Xfinity Series finishers at Bristol) who will race for the first bonus in the EchoPark 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 6.

The Atlanta race will set the Dash 4 Cash field for the next race in the program, which will be Miami-2 on June 14th. Talladega Superspeedway follows on June 20 and then the next race on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule will round out the program as the fourth event. That race will be determined when NASCAR releases the next portion of the revised schedule.

The first of the four competitors to finish at Atlanta will win the $100,000 bonus. The winner and the next three highest finishing full-time Xfinity drivers will qualify for the next event.

Once again, Xfinity will have a charitable component tied into the local markets in the Dash 4 Cash program. In each of the Dash 4 Cash markets, Xfinity is going to make donations that reaffirm their companywide commitment of connecting families, veterans and seniors to tools necessary for navigating these tough times.

 

Xfinity to salute employee heroes on windshields
On Monday, June 1 during the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Xfinity will salute military community employees from across the company that are working to keep communities safe and connected. Among those recognized are 23 employees actively serving in the National Guard who are responding to the current crisis.

The Xfinity logo that is typically on each windshield will be replaced with these Comcast employees’ names and a patriotic red, white and blue design.

“This global crisis has challenged everyone to step up and prioritize those around us, so we wanted to showcase our pride and salute the selfless efforts of our employees with this unique recognition on all NASCAR Xfinity Series race cars,” said Matt Lederer, Comcast’s Vice President of Brand Partnerships & Activation. ““Comcast is proud of our employees nationwide that are coming together to support our customers and communities during this national crisis.”

A few of the honorees include: Deeva Williams, a recently mobilized National Guard soldier who distributes prepackaged meals at mobile food banks in Tacoma, Wash., Rachel Cabanting, who is assisting with National Guard safety programs and procedures at testing centers in the state of Florida – while also collaborating on other key operations to minimize risk during the mission, Stephen Rolston, whose National Guard unit is directly assisting the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and Ashley Farmer, a third-generation service member that utilizes her military experience to propel her teammates forward – earning business results and recognition from her co-workers.

There are approximately 50,000 National Guard and reserve service members mobilized in response to the pandemic and more than 2,000 Comcast NBCUniversal employees serve in the National Guard and reserve.

 

Xfinity Series at Bristol
A lot of history has been made at Bristol Motor Speedway, the .533-mile track in Bristol, Tennessee. The track has 24 to 28 degrees of banking in corners and five to nine degrees of banking on the frontstretch and four to nine degrees on the backstretch. The backstretch and frontstretch are both 650 feet long.

Elliott Sadler holds the race record at the track from March 17, 2012 at 94.740 mph.

Kyle Busch has the most wins (9), most poles (6) and most top fives (17) at the track for the Xfinity Series. Kevin Harvick holds the record for the most top 10s (24).

The most lead changes in an Xfinity Series race at Bristol was 16 in 2016 and the fewest was one, most recently in 2015. In 2015, there was only one leader and in 2010, there were 10 different leaders.

The most cautions in a race was 14 in 2006 and the fewest cautions was two in 1983. There were 103 caution laps in the 2007 race and only 19 in the 1983 race. Chevrolet has the most wins by a manufacturer at the track with 33.

Currently, there is only one previous Bristol Motor Speedway winner entered in the Xfinity Series race on Monday. Jeff Green, who will pilot the No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet, won at Bristol in 2002 for Richard Childress Racing. Green works fulltime for RSS Racing as a crew chief for the No. 93 and also runs a part-time schedule for the team.

There have been 75 races at Bristol with 49 different pole winners and 48 race winners. The last race won from the pole was in 2017 by Kyle Busch.

 

Holding onto the lead
The points standings did not see a huge shakeup after the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday. With Kyle Busch, who cannot declare points in the Xfinity Series, winning both stages and the race, Chase Briscoe was able to hold onto his points lead.

Austin Cindric’s impressive third-place run bumped him up to second in the points standings and Harrison Burton dropped to fourth. However, he is still the highest-ranked rookie in the series.

 

Here is a look at the Xfinity Series points standings:

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND WINS
Chase Briscoe 251 0 2
Austin Cindric 243 -8 0
Ross Chastain 239 -12 0
Harrison Burton 234 -17 1
Noah Gragson 232 -19 1
Justin Allgaier 218 -33 0
Ryan Sieg 192 -59 0
Brandon Jones 186 -65 0
Justin Haley 186 -65 0
Michael Annett 169 -82 0

 

Who stacks up at Bristol, baby?
Looking back at this race last year, six of the drivers that finished in the top 10 are currently sitting in the top 10 in Xfinity Series points standings.

Christopher Bell (first), Tyler Reddick (second) and Cole Custer (third), now Cup Series drivers, took the first three spots and Chase Briscoe took the fourth.

In sixth was Austin Cindric followed by Justin Haley, Michael Annett, Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton.

Briscoe will be making his fifth start at Bristol on Monday. He has two top fives in the last two races, finishing fourth and runner-up.

Cindric will also be making his fifth start on Monday. He has one top five and two top 10s at the track and started from the pole position at the second Bristol race last year.

Haley will be making his third start and has a best finish of seventh in this race last season.

Annett has 15 starts to his name at Bristol, the most of any of the drivers in the top 10. He has seven top-10 finishes and three of those came in the last three races.

Gragson will be making his third series start and has one top 10, coming at this race in 2019, too. Lastly, Burton will be making his second start in the series at Bristol. His first came last season for Joe Gibbs Racing, when he started fifth and finished 10th.

Speaking of Joe Gibbs Racing, Burton, who now competes fulltime in the No. 20 Toyota, will look to carry Bell’s momentum into Monday’s race.

Burton took over the No. 20 this season for Bell, who moved up to the Cup Series for Leavine Family Racing.

Joe Gibbs Racing shines at Bristol Motor Speedway and has won six of the last nine races at the track. Kyle Busch won the fall 2015 race for JGR and Erik Jones won the spring race in 2016. JGR swept the races in 2017 with Jones and Busch both taking home another victory. Ryan Preece won at the spring Bristol race in 2018 for JGR and Bell’s win last season is the most recent.

In total, JGR has 13 wins at the track in the series, the most of any other team owner.

Even with only one start at the track, Burton is ranked second at the track for average running position and has the fifth-best driver rating at 97.3.

He also leads the rankings in average speed early in the run at 106.038 mph.

With the momentum that Burton has shown so far this season and a strong showing in his first start at the short track last season, another win could be in the cards for the driver of the No. 20.

 

Eyes on Allgaier
The numbers would say that Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, is the one to watch on Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Aside from the fact that he has had a strong start to the season, Allgaier’s numbers at Bristol are extremely good. Allgaier got his first career win at the track in March of 2010.

So far this season, Allgaier has two top-five finishes (Darlington and Charlotte) and three top-10 finishes (Darlington, Charlotte, Las Vegas).

Monday’s race at Bristol will mark Allgaier’s 19th start at the track. He has one win (2010), eight top fives and 11 top 10s. He also has an average start of 7.3.

Allgaier finished in the top 10 in the last 10 Xfinity Series race at Bristol except two.

Allgaier has the third-best driver rating of the series at Bristol at 125.2 and the only two drivers in front of him are Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.

He’s also ranked third for the fastest laps run at 243 and second for green flag passes (520).

Allgaier has run 4,067 laps in the top 15 and is in second place for the most laps led at 482.

The No. 7 Chevrolet has run up front a lot this season and Bristol seems like it could be the place that he finally takes home the checkered flag.

 

Chastain, Cindric moving on up
Ross Chastain and Austin Cindric are two drivers to keep an eye on at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday.

After Chastain’s performance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he jumped two spots in the standings and is now third, only 12 points behind Chase Briscoe.

Chastain’s jump in the points is the most of any other driver in the top 10. He led 68 laps, the second-most, and finished runner-up in both stages at Charlotte.

Austin Cindric also jumped up one spot and is now second in the points standings, right behind Briscoe by only eight points.

He finished sixth in Stage 1 and fourth in Stage 2 before battling with Kyle Busch for the win on the last lap.

Chastain and Cindric are both the highest ranked drivers without a win and seem to be getting closer and closer each week to the victory.

Cindric has only finished outside of the top 10 in one of the six races so far and it was in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, where he was involved in a wreck.

Chastain is in the same boat as Cindric and only finished outside of the top 10 in the season-opening race at Daytona.

 

Pit stall assignments, starting lineup procedures update
Pit selection will be selected based on finishing position from the May 25 race at Charlotte, followed by new entries in order of points.

Starting lineup:

  • 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.

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