NASCAR Xfinity Series News & Notes – Texas Motor Speedway

Howdy, Texas!

The NASCAR Xfinity Series is heading to the Lone Star state for some doubleheader action on Saturday, June 12 at 4 p.m. ET for the Alsco Uniforms 250 on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the weekend on Saturday, June 12 at 1 p.m. ET with the SpeedyCash.com 220 prior to the green flag for the Xfinity Series.

The series heads to Texas Motor Speedway coming off an exciting weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, making left and right turns. AJ Allmendinger got his second win of the season on Saturday after an impressive run from the back of the field in the final stage. His win tied him with Marcos Ambrose for the most NASCAR Xfinity Series road course wins all-time. Allmendinger’s first career Xfinity win came at Mid-Ohio in 2013 in the inaugural race at the track.

Last weekend’s race had seven cautions for 23 laps with seven lead changes and a margin of victory of .809 seconds. Kaulig Racing swept the first two positions with Justin Haley coming in second to Allmendinger.

Ty Gibbs finished third, Brandon Jones fourth and Andy Lally rounded out the top five.

It looked like road course ace Austin Cindric was going to pull off the victory after leading 30 of the 78 laps but lost the lead after taking the outside on one of the final restarts and being shuffled off course. He ended up finishing 14th in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.

Brandon Brown finished sixth, Michael Annett finished behind him in seventh, Josh Berry in eighth, Ryan Sieg in ninth and Josh Williams rounded out the top 10.

By virtue of Metric Qualifying, AJ Allmendinger will start on the pole this weekend for the Alsco Uniforms 250 at Texas Motor Speedway. His teammate Haley will join him on the front row. Jones, Cindric, Daniel Hemric, Annett, Brown, Jeb Burton, Sieg and Alex Labbe will be starting inside top 10.


NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Alsco Uniforms 250

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, June 12

The Time: 4 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250.5 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)


Everything’s Bigger and Better in Texas

For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, this weekend will be the 41st race at Texas Motor Speedway. There have been 21 different race winners and 24 different pole winners in the first 40 races at the 1.5-mile track.

Erik Jones holds the Xfinity record for the youngest pole winner at 18 years, 9 months, 11 days in April of 2015. NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin holds the record for the oldest Xfinity pole winner at Texas at 47 years, 9 months, 26 days from November 2006.

Only six races have been won from the pole position or first starting position in Xfinity Series history at Texas and the last driver to accomplish the feat was Ryan Blaney in 2018.

2014 Xfinity Series champion, Chase Elliott, holds the record for the youngest winner in Texas history in the series at 18 years, 4 months, 7 days in 2014 and Jeff Purvis holds the record for the oldest Xfinity Texas winner at 43 years, 1 month, 18 days in 2002.

The race record is held by Kyle Busch at 151.707 mph (April 5, 2008) and Jeff Green holds the qualifying record at 193.493 mph (April 6, 2002).

This race last season was won by Team Penske’s Austin Cindric. He led 44 laps en route to the victory. Chase Briscoe finished behind him in second and Justin Allgaier finished third. Allgaier led a race-high 98 laps and swept the first two stages.

Jeremy Clements will make his 25th Xfinity Series start at Texas on Saturday, the most of any active driver.

Texas has been a place of first for many. Kurt Busch (2006), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998), Chase Elliott (2014) and Erik Jones (2015) all got their first Xfinity Series win at Texas Motor Speedway. Alex Bowman (2013), Denny Hamlin (2006) and David Ragan (2007) all got their first Xfinity pole at Texas.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing heads to Texas looking for more wins

The Joe Gibbs Racing organization returns to Texas Motor Speedway looking to get their series leading 15th victory at the 1.5-mile track this weekend in the Alsco Uniforms 250. Not only will Gibbs have the normal cast of Xfinity regulars – Brandon Jones, Harrison Burton, and Daniel Hemric – but also winningest driver in series history is slated to run as well – Kyle Busch.

The 36-year-old, Las Vegas, Nevada native, Kyle Busch, has the strongest numbers at Texas Motor Speedway during his time in the Xfinity Series. He has the most poles (4), most wins (9) and most top fives (16). He’s also tied with Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth for the most top 10s (17) and he’s tied with Elliott Sadler for the most lead lap finishes (19). He’s the leader in laps completed at 4,292 and for laps led at 1,701 at Texas as well. Busch will be piloting the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this weekend, looking for his 10th series victory. If Busch wins this weekend, Texas will become the second track in the series Busch has won at in double digits; joining Phoenix Raceway where he has 11 wins.

Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton won the Playoff Xfinity race at Texas last season and is looking to go back-to-back. Harrison Burton has the third-best driver rating at Texas, behind Kyle Busch and Harvick. He has an average finish of 4.3 and a pre-race driver rating of 113.6. Harrison also has the second-best green flag speed with an average of 174.638 mph behind Noah Gragson at 174.792 mph.

Bubble Trouble: Playoff Shakeups Continue

Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger got his second win of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season last weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which means for the drivers without a win, they haven’t lost another spot up for grabs in the post-season.

Currently, there are still only 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. Daniel Hemric jumped back up to sixth in the standings and is the highest ranked driver without a win right now. He’s 128 points above the cutline so his points cushion is strong but if bad luck continues to strike for him, he might lose the gap.

Hemric and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton are tied with a 128-point cushion, but Hemric owns the tiebreaker due to best finishes this season.

Their Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones has been improving in the last few weeks. He had been sitting in the final Playoff transfer spot after a couple bad finished but has made his way up to ninth. Justin Haley is still sitting in eighth, the only Kaulig Racing driver without a win so far this season.

Noah Gragson has been up and down all season but is currently in the final Playoff transfer spot, 15 points above the cutline. He has had a handful of bad results, including last weekend at Mid-Ohio where he didn’t even make it one lap around the track, but is hoping he can swing the pendulum back to the positive this weekend at Texas.

Brandon Brown is in 13th in the standings, 15 points below the cutline right now. He’s had a career season and has been above the cutline as well as below. If he stays consistent, he’ll be able to jump back above the cutline. Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg are sitting in 14th and 15th, respectively. The two have been running up front more regularly now and are fighting their way into the top 12.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Mid-Ohio:

Rank Driver Points Starts Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Austin Cindric 558 13 3 5 20 In On Wins
2 AJ Allmendinger 462 13 2 3 13
3 Justin Allgaier 395 13 2 1 11
4 Jeb Burton 419 13 1 0 5
5 Myatt Snider 321 13 1 0 5
6 Daniel Hemric 437 13 0 5 5 128
7 Harrison Burton 437 13 0 1 1 128
8 Justin Haley 401 12* 0 3 3 92
9 Brandon Jones 345 13 0 1 1 36
10 Jeremy Clements 334 13 0 0 0 25
11 Michael Annett 326 13 0 0 0 17
12 Noah Gragson 324 13 0 2 2 15
13 Brandon Brown 309 13 0 0 0 -15
14 Riley Herbst 279 13 0 0 0 -45
15 Ryan Sieg 244 13 0 0 0 -80
16 Landon Cassill 223 13 0 0 0 -101
17 Alex Labbe 206 13 0 0 0 -118

 

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.

 

Will Rodgers joining Sam Hunt Racing

Sam Hunt Racing announced that Will Rodgers, 26, will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series and pilot the No. 26 GoodRX Toyota beginning at Nashville Superspeedway.

Rodgers is a four-time winner in the ARCA Menards Series and is also a member of the 2018-19 NASCAR Next class. He brings GoodRX on board the Toyota for his debut at Nashville.

In 2019, Rodgers made four Xfinity Series starts at Iowa, Mid-Ohio, Charlotte ROVAL and Homestead-Miami Speedway. He has a best finish of 12th at Mid-Ohio.

Rodgers is the only active driver in NASCAR from Hawaii and was diagnosed with a chronic liver disease, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) at the age of three. Since then, he’s lived a healthy life with PSC and is on a mission to use his platform to help fight liver diseases for himself and others suffering.

He established the Will Rodgers Liver Health Foundation, a 501 (3) organization.

“I’m thrilled to be aligning with Sam Hunt Racing for our multi-race schedule in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year,” said Rodgers in a team press release. “Sam’s program has really exceeded my expectations and with the support from Toyota, has proven to be a great place for development drivers like myself. The tracks we’ve selected should help with my personal growth and also play to my strong suits – including road course racing. Sam is a self-made, hard-working guy doing all he can to succeed in this industry. We understand each other well, and it serves as motivation to perform at our best on and off the track. I’m looking forward to seeing where this relationship takes us in the future.”

Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Update

After another solid run for rookie Ty Gibbs at Mid-Ohio last weekend banking his sixth top-five finish in seven starts this season, he has extended his lead over JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

Gibbs has pocketed two wins this season at the Daytona Road Course and Charlotte Motor Speedway and he’s only run in seven of the 14 Xfinity Series events so far this year.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year

   
Rookies Points Awards
Ty Gibbs 272 4
Josh Berry 256 4
Ryan Vargas 129 4
Jade Buford 44 0
Jordan Anderson 0 0
Sam Mayer 0 0

JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry is holding onto second place in the rookie standings with 256 points and four awards to his name. Just 16 points behind Gibbs heading into Texas this weekend.

In 11 starts so far this year, he has one win at Martinsville Speedway and three top fives and six top 10s. He’s led 151 laps and has an average start of 16.6.

JD Motorsport’s Ryan Vargas is still sitting in third in the rookie standings with 129 points. In 12 starts so far this season for JD Motorsports, Vargas got his best finish of 16th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jade Buford joined the rookie party two weeks ago in the standings with 20 points and now he has 44 points after Mid-Ohio. In 12 starts so far this season, Buford has a best finish of 13th from last weekend.

He still sits ahead of Jordan Anderson and Sam Mayer who have both not yet made a start in the series in 2021.

Manufacturer update

Chevrolet is leading the charge in the Xfinity Series with seven wins so far this season and 484 points in the manufacturers standings.

Chevrolet’s wins came at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Toyota is in second in the standings with 455 points and three victories. Toyota’s wins came at the Daytona Road Course, COTA, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Lastly, Ford is in third with three wins and 441 points. Their wins came at the season-opener in Daytona, Phoenix Raceway and Dover International Speedway.

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