Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, USA, PRN) race preview

Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger is two-for-two when it comes to bagging NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championships, becoming the first driver in series history to do so. Other drivers that have earned a Regular Season Championship are Elliott Sadler (2017), Justin Allgaier (2018), Tyler Reddick (2019) and Austin Cindric (2020). Of the five Regular Season Champions only two have gone on to win the overall season title – Tyler Reddick in 2019 and Austin Cindric in 2020 – but Allmendinger intends to add his name to that list this year.

By clinching the NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championship, Allmendinger snagged an additional 15 bonus Playoff points that he will be able to carry with him through the postseason.

MORE: NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff preview

MORE: 5 storylines for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs

As he heads into his second Playoff stint in the Xfinity Series, he will look to better his record and perhaps add another win to his resume. In the 2021 Playoffs, he posted one win, two top fives and five top 10s and earned a spot in the Championship 4 Round ultimately finishing the season a career-best fourth in the final championship standings. Living up to his name as a the ‘master of road courses,’ his one post-season win last year was on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. In fact, Allmendinger has won on the 2.280-mile Charlotte course every single time he has competed in the Xfinity Series (2019, 2020, 2021) at the uniquely styled track.

But first, Allmendinger must get through this weekend’s challenges at Texas Motor Speedway, a track he has run well at. In three Xfinity Series starts at the 1.5-mile facility, he has put up three top-10 finishes and has a stellar average finish of 7.0. 

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 16: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 16, 2022 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Gragson looks to tie Sam Ard’s consecutive wins record at Texas

JR Motorsports’ rising star Noah Gragson not only claimed his NASCAR Xfinity Series series-leading sixth victory of the season, but also his third in a row, becoming just the 10th different driver in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to take the checkered flag in three or more consecutive races. Now, the Las Vegas native, Gragson, will roll the dice once again and see if he can tie Sam Ard’s NASCAR Xfinity Series record of the most consecutive Xfinity Series races won in a row at four this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sam Ard currently sits as the only Xfinity Series driver to win four consecutive races, a feat he accomplished in 1983 – a record that has stood for 40 years.

The following season in 1984, Ard went on to once again manage three consecutive wins and since then nine other drivers have joined him – Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman Dale Earnhardt Jr, Mark Martin, Harry Grant and Larry Pearson.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Consecutive Wins – Three or More (1982-2022)
RankDriversConsecutive WinsFromTo
1Sam Ard4September 17, 1983October 8, 1983
2Sam Ard3May 5, 1984May 19, 1984
Larry Pearson3August 15, 1987August 30, 1987
 Harry Gant3September 6, 1991October 5, 1991
Mark Martin3February 22, 1997March 8, 1997
 Dale Earnhardt Jr3June 5, 1999June 27, 1999
Ryan Newman3August 13, 2005August 26, 2005
 Kyle Busch3April 5, 2008April 20, 2008
Kyle Busch3March 16, 2013April 12, 2013
 Kyle Busch3February 27, 2016March 12, 2016
Kyle Busch3July 8, 2016July 23, 2016
 Christopher Bell3July 13, 2018July 28, 2018
Austin Cindric3July 9, 2020July 18, 2020
 Noah Gragson3September 3, 2022September 16, 2022

Gragson, who will be moving up to the NASCAR Cup Series next season, will be looking to finish his final full-time season in the Xfinity Series with a title, but first the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet will have to tackle Texas Motor Speedway. In his seven starts at the Fort Worth, Texas track, he has posted two top fives and three top 10s. When the Xfinity Series was there earlier this season, Gragson proved he had speed as he won the pole, but he fell victim to a crash on Lap 95 and finished 36th.

Xfinity Playoffs kick off in the Lone Star State

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be kicking off its postseason with the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network, the NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

The Fort Worth, Texas, 1.5-mile track has hosted 43 Xfinity Series races, producing 23 different race winners and 25 different pole winners. Chase Elliott became the track’s youngest winner in 2014 at 18 years, four months and seven days old; while Jeff Purvis became the oldest winner in 2002 at 43 years, one month and 18 days old.

Kyle Busch holds the record at Texas Motor Speedway for most poles (four), wins (10), top fives (17), top 10s (18), lead lap finishes (20) and laps led (1,795).

MORE: 5 takeaways from the 2023 Xfinity Series/Truck Series schedule

The track is a place of “firsts” as some drivers posted their first wins in the Lone Star State – Dale Earnhardt Jr (1998), Kurt Busch (2006), Trevor Bayne (2011), Chase Elliott (2014) and Erik Jones (2015) all grabbed their first Xfinity Series win at the 1.5-mile track.

NASCAR Cup Series regular Tyler Reddick snagged the Xfinity win at Texas earlier this season, but he is not entered in this weekend’s race, so we won’t see a back-to-back winner. We could, however, see a repeat winner in Victory Lane. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular John Hunter Nemechek won last season’s fall Texas race and he is entered in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 this weekend, making him the only previous winner entered in the race.

The Xfinity Series will jump start the doubleheader weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24 with practice at 10:35 a.m. ET followed by qualifying at 11:05 a.m. ET on USA Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Where you start the Playoffs matters in Xfinity – When it comes to winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, where a Playoff driver is originally seeded entering the postseason matters, because the lowest seeded driver to win a title in the series was last season’s champion Daniel Hemric, who started the Playoffs as the sixth seed. Four of the six Playoff season championships were won by driver who started the Playoffs seeded inside the top three.

Below is a list of the NASCAR Xfinity Series champions in the Playoff Era and seedings they started their championship runs with:

2016 – Daniel Suárez (No. 3 seed)

2017 – William Byron (No. 1 seed)

2018 – Tyler Reddick (No. 5 seed)

2019 – Tyler Reddick (No. 3 seed)

2020 – Austin Cindric (No. 2 seed)

2021 – Daniel Hemric (No. 6 seed)

Jeffrey Earnhardt to run at Texas this weekend – Jeffrey Earnhardt will be returning to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season behind the wheel of the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota.

This will be Earnhardt’s ninth start this season with Sam Hunt Racing and 11th overall in 2022.

In total, Earnhardt has nine Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway with one top-10 finish.

Brennan Poole joins JD Motorsports for three races – Brennan Poole has run in seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season and will compete in three more (Texas, Homestead-Miami and Phoenix) with JD Motorsports to close out the 2022 season.

A Texas native, Poole has made five Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting two top-10 finishes.

Top Trends

  • Tyler Reddick’s spring race win was the first time the winner started in the top 5 in the last 4 races.
    • However, in general, 17 of the last 21 races at Texas were won by a starter coming from the top 3 Rows.
  • 9 of the last 10 races saw a different winner. Kyle Busch is the only repeat winner.
    • Erik Jones (2017), Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer (2018), Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell (2019), Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton (2020), Busch, John Hunter Nemechek (2021) and Tyler Reddick (2022) have won in this time frame.
  • 4 of the last 5 Fall races were won by JGR and by 4 different drivers (Jones, Bell, Burton, Nemechek).
  • Chevy went 1-2-3-4-5-7 this past May.
  • Stage 1 has seen the eventual race winner not score stage points in 2 of the last 3 races They were 1st or 2nd in the first 6 races, however.
  • 10 of the last 11 races saw the eventual race winner finish in the top 6 in Stage 2 including 4 top 2’s in the last 5 (1st, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th).

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