NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Music City
After a two-week break, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will head back to the track for the Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday June 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
The Xfinity Series found its way back to Nashville Superspeedway last year after a 10-year hiatus. In last year’s race, it was Cup series regular Kyle Busch that made the trip to Victory Lane after leading 122 of the 189 laps.
Nashville Superspeedway has hosted 22 Xfinity Series races. The inaugural race was on April 14, 2001 and was won by Greg Biffle.
After the 2001 race, the Xfinity Series raced at the Nashville track twice a year through the 2011 season. Prior to last season’s race, Carl Edwards was the most recent winner and currently sits as the winningest driver at the track (2006, 2007 sweep, 2011 sweep). He also holds the record for most top fives (11), most top 10s (12) and most lead lap finishes (13).
In total, there have been 15 different pole winners and 14 different race winners. Joey Logano is both the youngest pole winner and race winner in the Xfinity Series, having won the pole at 18 years, 0 months and 14 days and the race the following year at 18 years, 10 months and 18 days old.
The on-track action is set to begin with practice on Friday, June 24 at 5:35 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 25 on the USA Network.
Nashville: A place of “firsts”
Nashville Superspeedway has been a place of firsts for some drivers – seven of the 14 race winners were first-time winners when the series competed at the track from 2001-2011.
|1||Xfinity||Nashville||Greg Biffle||Saturday, April 14, 2001|
|2||Xfinity||Nashville||Scott Riggs||Saturday, April 13, 2002|
|3||Xfinity||Nashville||Jack Sprague||Saturday, June 8, 2002|
|4||Xfinity||Nashville||Jason Leffler||Saturday, June 12, 2004|
|5||Xfinity||Nashville||Reed Sorenson||Saturday, March 26, 2005|
|6||Xfinity||Nashville||Clint Bowyer||Sunday, June 12, 2005|
|7||Xfinity||Nashville||Brad Keselowski||Saturday, June 7, 2008|
This weekend, we could see an eighth winner added to the first-timers list as 25 of the 41 Xfinity Series drivers entered for this weekend’s Tennessee Lottery 250 have yet to post a series win.
Nashville ringers to watch this weekend
Although a fairly new track for many of these NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers, there is one driver in particular that has been around the series long enough to have some experience to look back on – JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier.
Allgaier has seven starts at Nashville Superspeedway, posting four top fives and four top 10s. He has won a pole at the Tennessee track (2010) and put up a good fight in last year’s race, going back and forth for the lead against Kyle Busch in the last 38 laps. Ultimately, Busch took the lead in the last two laps and Allgaier finished runner-up. Allgaier has already posted a win this season at Darlington, a track that is almost identical in length to Nashville Superspeedway, so perhaps he’ll bring home his second victory this weekend.
Josh Berry only has one start at Nashville but is sure to give his JR Motorsports teammate, Allgaier, a run for his money – just as he’s done all season long. Last season at Nashville, Berry raced his way up to a fourth-place finish after starting in the 22nd position and has been neck-and-neck with Allgaier on tracks in the mile/ mile and a half range this season. In Las Vegas (1.5-mile track), Berry finished fourth and Allgaier finished fifth. In Dover (one mile track), Berry won the race and Allgaier finished runner-up. In Texas (1.5-mile track), Allgaier had a fourth-place finish and not far behind was Berry in seventh. Given that these teammates tend to not stray far from each other on the track, fans can be sure to see the pair racing near the front in Saturday afternoon’s Tennessee Lottery 250.
Another driver sure to impress in Music City this weekend is Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger. Like Berry, Allmendinger has only given the Nashville track one go, but finished in the top-five (fifth). Allmendinger has been hot all season long, already with two wins under his belt (COTA, Portland), seven top fives and 13 top 10s. Plus, he’s coming off of a win in Portland so let’s see if he can carry the momentum into this weekend’s race.
Playoff Race: Sieg opens up huge points cushion over Alfredo
With 12 races left in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season, the battle for the final five remaining Playoff spots is still very much up in the air, but one thing is for certain is that RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg, currently in the 12th and final transfer position on points, has built up a hefty points cushion on the competitors outside the postseason cutoff.
Heading into Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, Sieg is up 58 points on Our Motorsport’s Anthony Alfredo in 13th, 67 points up on Jeb Burton in 14th and 71 points up on Brett Moffitt in 15th.
If Sieg can stay consistent over the next 12 races he will be hard to catch with that big of a points cushion, but if a driver below him in the standings were to win, he could be bounced out of Playoff contention.
Looking to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend for the Tennessee Lottery 250, Sieg made his series track debut at Nashville last season; he started 13th and finished 16th. Of the drivers outside the postseason cutoff looking to catch Sieg and make the Playoffs, Jeb Burton (seventh) posted the best finish in last season’s race at the 1.33-mile track followed by Jeremy Clements (11th), Brett Moffitt (23rd), Myatt Snider (31st) and Brandon Brown (35th). Anthony Alfredo (-58 points from Sieg) and Sheldon Creed (-73 points behind Sieg) will be making their series track debuts at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Julia Landauer to make Xfinity debut in New Hampshire – Alpha Prime Racing announced this week that Julia Landauer will be making her NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Saturday, July 16th, driving the No.45 Chevrolet for Alpha Prime Racing.
“We’ve been trying to get Julia in our racecar all year long,” said Tommy Joe Martins, GM of Alpha Prime Racing. “Ever since her days in a NASCAR West car, I felt like she deserved an opportunity at this level. I am really glad we were able to put it all together and give her a shot here at Alpha Prime.”
Sammy Smith set to start eight races in the Xfinity Series – Sammy Smith, the reigning ARCA Menards Series East champion with Joe Gibbs Racing has now been called up to pilot the No. 18 JGR Toyota in select races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
His Xfinity Series career debut will be at Road America on Saturday, July 2. He will also be behind the wheel for the races at Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Kansas Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.
The 18-year-old driver will be the seventh to pilot the No.18 this season after Trevor Bayne, Ryan Truex, Drew Dollar, John Hunter Nemechek, Bubba Wallace and Connor Mosack.
2022 Xfinity Season Competition Update – The 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season has placed fans at the edge of their seats all year long and the stats are here to back it up.
The 2022 season has seen nine different pole winners and nine different race winners. Plus, the 2022 season had produced an average of 7.14 leaders per race and an average of 13.0 lead changes per race through the first 14 races of the year. In total, 32 different drivers have led laps this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – the most since 2018 (38).
In addition, the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season has produced 355 green flag passes for the lead, second-most since the inception of the Loop Data stat in 2007; behind only the 2015 season’s 364. The first 14 races in the 2022 Xfinity Series season have also produced 33,350 total green flag passes throughout the field, the series-most since the statistic was initially tabulated in 2007; the next highest was the 2012 season with 28,533.
Looking to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, the 2021 Xfinity Series race at the 1.33-mile track generated 12 lead changes among five different leaders. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch led the most laps in last season’s Xfinity race at Nashville with 122 of the scheduled 189 laps out front (64.5%). Busch won the event.