Brian Scott

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Matt Tifft fastest in first of 2 Xfinity practices at Kentucky Speedway

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Matt Tifft ran 25 laps during Friday afternoon’s first of two NASCAR Xfinity Series practice sessions at Kentucky Speedway.

But it was just one lap that mattered the most, as Tifft (180.427 mph) emerged from the 55-minute practice as the fastest in the 36 cars that took to the track.

Brian Scott was second (179.253 mph), followed by Ryan Preece (178.465), Brandon Jones (178.288), Justin Allgaier (178.271), Ben Kennedy (178.136), Elliott Sadler (177.573), Tyler Reddick (177.544), Spencer Gallagher Jr. (177.503) and Brennan Poole (177.381).

Interestingly enough, only four of the top-10 were playoff contenders. The seven-race Xfinity playoffs begin with Saturday night’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.

There will be one more practice session today from 6:30-7:25 p.m. ET.

Qualifying and the race are Saturday.

Click here for the full practice speed grid.

What Xfinity Series drivers said after the U.S. Cellular 250 (video)

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Ryan Preece claimed victory in his second Xfinity race of the year and the 38th of his career.

He is the third Xfinity driver to earn his first-career win at Iowa Speedway. He is the ninth driver in series history to get his first-career pole and first-career win in the same race.

Here’s what the other top finishers had to say about the U.S. Cellular 250.

Kyle Benjamin– Finished second

Benjamin earned his first top five and top-10 finishes of his career in his fourth start of the year. His previous best was 16th at Pocono.

“I just needed more laps,” Benjamin told NBC. “I think our car was better on the long run there. I didn’t want to see the caution. … I was real surprised at the fire-off speed we had.  able to get beside (Ryan Preece) there at the end. But most importantly I learned a lot today. … There’s a lot I can carry throughout the year.”

Brian Scott – Finished third 

Brian Scott retired from full-time NASCAR competition after the 2016 season and made his first start of the year for Richard Childress Racing. It was his first Xfinity start since the 2015 finale.

“We weren’t very good in the first segment,” Scott told NBC. “We weren’t very good in the second segment but we made a big adjustment at the end of Segment 2. From then on I knew if we could battle back from the loss of track position and it came down to a long run that we had a shot. The restarts at the end (were) not what I wanted to see I thought but it ended up working to our advantage. It was fun. It was fun to be back out there. Congrats to Ryan Preece.’’

Brennan Poole – Finished fourth

Poole earned his first top five of the season. His previous best finish was seventh twice (Daytona II, Indianapolis).

“I felt like we had a shot at the win there at the end,” Poole told NBC. “I spun the tires a little bit on that last restart and I couldn’t quite roll up to (Ryan Preece) enough to try to make a move to make anything happen.  I was just behind a little it.”

Cole Custer – Finished fifth

Custer earned his fourth top five and his second in as many races.

“We definitely made huge gains on it since the last time we were here,” Custer told NBC. “Our short-track program definitely hasn’t been our strong suit, but we brought something completely different and it paid off. I was really proud of that.

Results of Xfinity race at Iowa

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Ryan Preece scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win Saturday, holding off several drivers also seeking their first career series win to capture the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.

Click here for results

Preece, running his second race of the season with Joe Gibbs Racing, finished ahead of JGR teammate Kyle Benjamin, who does not have a series win. Brian Scott, who came out of retirement, placed third, just missing on his first career series victory. Brennan Poole was fourth and rookie Cole Custer was fifth. They both seek their first Xfinity victory.

 

Entry lists for Cup, Trucks at Pocono and Xfinity at Iowa

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This weekend’s NASCAR action will be split between Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania and Iowa Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup series and NASCAR Camping World Truck series will be at Pocono, while the Xfinity Series is part of a standalone event along with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West series in Iowa.

The Cup teams will compete Sunday in the Overton’s 400 on Pocono’s 2.5-mile tri-oval.

The Truck Series teams, fresh off last Wednesday’s race on the dirt at Eldora Speedway, get back on pavement in the Overton’s 150 on Saturday afternoon.

Over in America’s heartland, the Xfinity Series will take part in Saturday afternoon’s U.S. Cellular 250 on the 7/8 mile paved oval.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race:

Cup – Overton’s 400

There are only 38 cars entered for this 160 lap/400 mile race.

Chris Buescher is the defending winner of this race, which was a rain-shortened event (completed 138 of the scheduled 160 laps).

Earlier this year on June 11, Ryan Blaney earned his first career NASCAR Cup win at Pocono.

This will be the final Cup race at Pocono for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is retiring at season’s end. Junior has two career wins at Pocono, both coming in 2014.

Just one car is entered without a driver, the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota.

Six cars do not have a primary sponsor listed on the entry list.

Click here for the entry list.

 

 Xfinity – U.S. Cellular 250

The second Xfinity race of the season at Iowa has a full 40-car field entered for Saturday’s 250-lap (218.75 mile) race on the 7/8-mile paved track in Newton, Iowa.

All driver spots are filled, with the exception of the No. 78 Chevrolet Camaro owned by B.J. McLeod.

With the NASCAR Cup series racing nearly 1,000 miles east at Pocono, no Cup regulars are entered in this race.

Erik Jones won this race last year, while Hornish won the race a month and a half earlier there.

On June 24 of this year, William Byron won at Iowa.

Among notable entries:

* Brian Scott comes out of retirement to drive the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

* Two-time Iowa winner Sam Hornish Jr. is back, driving for Team Penske.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Trucks – Overton’s 150

There are 30 trucks entered in the Overton’s 150, the eighth straight year the Trucks have raced on Pocono’s Tricky Triangle.

This race will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and is scheduled for 60 laps (150 miles).

All driver seats are filled, but there is one crew chief vacancy on the entry list: the No. 57 Chevrolet driven by B.J. McLeod.

Eleven of the 30 trucks also do not have a primary sponsor entered.

The only driver from the NASCAR Cup series entered in this race is Kyle Busch, who is the only driver with multiple truck wins at Pocono, having also won the 2015 race.

William Byron is the defending winner of this race last year. Byron is not entered in this race, as he’s been promoted to the Xfinity Series.

Click here for the entry list.

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Brian Scott coming out of retirement to run 2 Xfinity races for RCR

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Brian Scott will come out of retirement to compete in two NASCAR Xfinity races for Richard Childress Racing, the team announced Monday.

Scott, who retired after last season to spend more time with his family in Idaho, will compete in the July 29 Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway and the Sept. 23 Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway.

“I’m looking forward to climbing back into a RCR Chevrolet,” Scott said in a statement from the team. “Iowa and Kentucky were good tracks for our team. I have no doubt that with the advanced engineering and work they’ve put into their programs since then that we will be even stronger. These two races are all about having fun and, I hope, getting the No. 3 team to Victory Lane.”

Scott is winless in 208 career Xfintiy starts. He has 77 career top-10 finishes. He last raced in the series in 2015. Scott ran the full Cup season in 2016. He drove for RCR in the Xfinity Series from 2013-15 and finished as high as fourth in the points.

He made 53 Cup starts with a best finish of second in last fall’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Scott’s car will be sponsored by Daniel Defense.

“Everyone at RCR is pleased to have Brian Scott back in one of our cars, even if it’s only for a couple of races,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR, in a statement. “He is a great friend of the company and did well for us in the past. We appreciate that he’s going to come out of retirement to drive our No. 3 Chevrolet. I have no doubt that once Brian is behind the wheel again, he will have the same desire to win that he’s had in the past.”

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