Next Up: Tripleheader weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway
This weekend the NASCAR Xfinity Series will take on Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Alsco Uniforms 300 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio as the second event of a NASCAR national series tripleheader weekend at the 1.5-mile track.
The Alsco Uniforms 300 Xfinity race will be 200 laps (300 miles) and broken up into three stages with Stage 1 ending on Lap 45 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 90.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch was victorious last season at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series grabbing his series leading ninth win at the facility (2004, 2005, 2008 sweep, 2009, 2010, 2013 sweep, 2020). Closely following Busch last season were Daniel Hemric, Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier rounding out the top five.
This weekend the Xfinity Series will compete in qualifying for the pole position. Due to the pandemic, qualifying has been eliminated from a variety of tracks and the pole position is won based on metrics from the previous race weekend. But this weekend we will get to see the field compete for the pole.
The only practice this week for Xfinity will be held Friday, May 28 at 4:35 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. with qualifying on Saturday, May 29 at 10:05 p.m. and you will be able to view both on FS1.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Alsco Uniforms 300
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 29
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 12 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)
Busch dominates inaugural race at COTA gets 29th Xfinity career Perfect Driver Rating
Kyle Busch took home his 98th NASCAR Xfinity Series victory on Saturday at Circuit of The Americas, dominating the field with an 11-second victory in the inaugural and highly anticipated race. The legendary driver also captured his 29th career NASCAR Xfinity Series Perfect Driver Rating (150.0) – the series-most.
Kyle Busch’s Xfinity Perfect Driver Ratings
|Track||Date||Perfect Driver Rating|
|COTA||Saturday, May 22, 2021||150|
|Kansas||Saturday, October 15, 2016||150|
|Richmond||Friday, September 9, 2016||150|
|Loudon||Saturday, July 16, 2016||150|
|Las Vegas||Saturday, March 5, 2016||150|
|Phoenix||Saturday, November 14, 2015||150|
|Richmond||Friday, September 5, 2014||150|
|Phoenix||Saturday, March 1, 2014||150|
|Phoenix||Saturday, November 9, 2013||150|
|Chicago||Saturday, September 14, 2013||150|
|Bristol||Friday, August 23, 2013||150|
|Indianapolis||Saturday, July 27, 2013||150|
|Charlotte||Saturday, May 25, 2013||150|
|Darlington||Friday, May 10, 2013||150|
|Bristol||Friday, August 26, 2011||150|
|Bristol||Saturday, March 19, 2011||150|
|Phoenix||Saturday, February 26, 2011||150|
|Dover||Saturday, September 25, 2010||150|
|Iowa||Saturday, July 31, 2010||150|
|Dover||Saturday, May 15, 2010||150|
|Texas||Monday, April 19, 2010||150|
|Texas||Saturday, November 7, 2009||150|
|Charlotte||Friday, October 16, 2009||150|
|Texas||Saturday, April 4, 2009||150|
|Auto Club||Saturday, February 21, 2009||150|
|Texas||Saturday, November 1, 2008||150|
|Dover||Saturday, September 20, 2008||150|
|Auto Club||Saturday, August 30, 2008||150|
|Richmond||Friday, September 7, 2007||150|
Busch led 36 of 46 laps in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota while no other driver led more than three laps at the 20-turn track.
AJ Allmendinger, one of the drivers in the field known for their road course racing talent, finished in second. Justin Allgaier finished third, Kevin Harvick fourth, and series points leader Austin Cindric finished fifth. Kaulig Racing teammates Allmendinger and Haley won Stage 1 and Stage 2, respectively and chose to earn points and stay on track rather than pitting before the conclusion of the stages.
The win marked the 17th season that Busch has won an Xfinity Series race and the 27th different track that he’s gone to Victory Lane at.
Looking to Charlotte this weekend, Busch is not entered, but instead Joe Gibbs’ grandson, Ty Gibbs will be piloting the No. 54 Toyota. Ty Gibbs is running a part-time schedule this season having made five starts posting a win in his series debut at the Daytona Road Course and four top fives. This will be his series debut at Charlotte this weekend.
Charlotte Motor Speedway Xfinity Fast Facts
There have been 75 total NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the inaugural race on May 29, 1982. Harry Gant won the first Xfinity race at Charlotte from the pole position in his own Pontiac.
The 75 Xfinity Series races have produced 48 different pole winners and 36 different race winners. The youngest pole winner was Chase Elliott in 2014 at 18 years, 10 month and 12 days. The oldest pole winner was Harry Gant in 1988 at 48 years, 8 months, 28 days.
The youngest race winner was Kyle Busch in 2004 at 19 years, 0 months and 27 days and the oldest winner was Harry Gant, once again, in 1991 at 51 years, 8 months and 25 days.
There have only been 12 races won from the pole or first starting position, most recently in 2018 by Brad Keselowski.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin holds the race record from 1996 at 155.799 mph and the qualifying record is held by Jimmie Johnson in 2005 at 187.735 mph.
Last season’s race had 37 cars with 20 lead changes and five different leaders. There were 11 cautions for 53 laps and only 11 cars on the lead lap at the conclusion of the race. There were 28 cars running at the finish and the race winner led 94 laps. The Margin of Victory was 0.178 seconds.
Joe Nemechek holds the record for the most races run at Charlotte Motor Speedway with 38. Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are tied for the most pole awards with four. Kyle Busch holds the record for the most wins (9), most top fives (19), most top 10s (22), most lead lap finishes (22) and most laps led (1,475).
Alex Bowman got his first Xfinity Series win at Charlotte in 2017 and Justin Allgaier made his first career start at this track in 2008.
Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Update
JR Motorsport’s driver Josh Berry continues to lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco rookie standings after his runner-up finish at Dover International Speedway two weeks ago. Last week, the series was at Circuit of the Americas but no rookie was entered to run the race. Therefore, the standings have stayed the same.
|Sunoco Rookie of the Year|
JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry took the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after Darlington Raceway. And extended his lead over Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs, who had been in the lead since his win at the Daytona Road Course early in the season, to +35 points.
In nine starts so far this year, Berry got his first-ever Xfinity Series win at Martinsville and has three top fives and five top 10s to his name. He’s also led 151 laps this season and has an average start of 14.9 and average finish of 17.1.
Ty Gibbs is running a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing this season and in his first-ever start at the Daytona Road Course, he won after starting 15th. He’s made five starts so far in 2021 and has four top-five finishes and four top 10s. His average finish is 6.0 and average start is 20.2.
JD Motorsport’s Ryan Vargas is still sitting in third in the rookie standings with 89 points. In nine starts so far this season for JD Motorsports, Vargas has a best finish of 18th from the season-opener at Daytona. Most recently, he finished 26th at Dover.
Bubble Trouble: Who’s in, out in Xfinity Playoffs?
With Kyle Busch’s victory at Circuit of the Americas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, drivers fighting for their spot in the Playoffs luckily didn’t lose another chance to make their way in.
Currently, there are five drivers locked into the postseason with wins – Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton and Myatt Snider.
That means there are seven spots left in the field to either make it in with a win or on points. After last weekend’s race at COTA, Harrison Burton jumped to sixth in the standings, making him the highest ranked driver without a win this season.
Daniel Hemric had occupied that spot for a majority of the season but after bad luck loomed over him and the No. 18 team again at COTA, he dropped to seventh. He still has a 141-point cushion between himself and the Playoff cutline.
Noah Gragson also had a rough day at COTA as he finished 36th because of an engine issue, completing only 13 laps. He’s in 10th in the Playoff standings, with a 59-point buffer.
Jeremy Clements is still the underdog story of the season in the Xfinity Series, sitting in ninth in the Playoff standings. His small, family-owned team has been above the cutline for the entire season so far (11 races). He’s moved up a few spots in recent weeks with a 60 point cushion between himself and the Playoff cutoff heading into Charlotte.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones is in the final transfer spot right now in 12th with Brandon Brown right behind him in 13th – the two separated by 26 points. The two drivers have gone back and forth each week for the final spot while Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg are in 14th and 15th, respectively.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following COTA:
|Rank||Driver||Points||Starts||Race Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||Pts From Cutoff|
|1||Austin Cindric||471||11||3||5||20||In On Wins|
|16||Tommy Joe Martins||187||11||0||0||0||-81|
Note: The (*) symbol by the number of Starts indicates a driver missed a race but is still eligible for the Playoffs due to receiving a waiver.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Manufacturer update after COTA: Chevrolet held onto their lead in the manufacturer standings this weekend with 411 points and six wins. Toyota got their second win of the season and jumped to the second position with 381 points. Ford is in third with three wins and 378 points, not far behind Toyota.
Best Buy sponsoring Ryan Vargas: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced that longtime sponsor Best Buy is returning to NASCAR with Ryan Vargas for Saturday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Swann Security will also join the partnership. Swann announced a four-race deal with Vargas at the beginning of the season. They will team up to showcase their latest camera security systems that are available exclusively at Best Buy. Best Buy will be prominently featured on the quarter panels of the No. 4 Chevrolet with a red, white and blue theme with stars across the front of the car to commemorate Memorial Day. This will be Vargas’ first career start at the Charlotte track.