kentucky speedway

Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer tied at top of Xfinity playoff standings

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Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer are tied for the top spot in the Xfinity playoff standings after the playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

Each driver has 2,057 points.

Allgaier finished third after bouncing back from losing a tire on Lap 19 and going two laps down. He was two laps down for 27 laps and one lap down for 30 before getting back on the lead lap.

Custer, who finished fifth, won the first two stages of the race, earning two playoff points in the process.

The top five in points are Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler (-2), Daniel Hemric (-5) and William Byron (-6).

Click here for the points standings.

Results from Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images
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Tyler Reddick scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, leading a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Reddick beat teammate Brennan Poole by 14.5 seconds in the playoff opener.

Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last seven series races. He led twice for 66 laps. Reddick had not led any laps until Saturday night.

Playoff contender Justin Allgaier rallied from two laps down after a right front tire went down early in the 200-lap race to finish third. Ryan Preece placed fourth. Rookie Cole Custer, who won both stages, finished fifth.

Click here for race results

Tyler Reddick wins playoff opener at Kentucky for first career Xfinity victory

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Tyler Reddick, a part-time driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, led 66 laps to win the Xfinity Series playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

In his rookie year in the series, Reddick earned the win in his 15th start in the No. 42 Chevrolet.

The 21-year-old driver beat teammate Brennan Poole, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Cole Custer.

“I don’t know if it was necessarily me making a statement, it’s just Chip Ganassi Racing making a statement,” Reddick told NBCSN. “(Crew chief) Mike Shiplett has brought me from ground zero all the way to here. All the guys at Ganassi have gone above and beyond in helping me become a better driver. To be here today is surreal.”

Reddick, who had not led a lap before Saturday night, took the lead for the first time on Lap 126 of the 200-lap race.

Reddick is the fourth Xfinity driver to get his first win this season.

Saturday’s win comes after it was announced on Sept. 14 that Reddick would join JR Motorsports full-time in 2018.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Cole Custer

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Justin Allgaier bounced back from losing a tire and going two laps down to finish third. He leaves Kentucky tied with Cole Custer at the top of the playoff standings. … Brennan Poole’s runner-up finish is a career-best result in 77 starts … Ryan Preece has finished in the top four in all three of his starts for Joe Gibbs Racing. … Ryan Reed finished 10th, ending an eight-race streak without a top 10.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Sam Hornish Jr. finished 31st, nine laps down after contact with Brandon Jones on Lap 53 caused him to hit the wall at the exit of Turn 2, forcing him to pit for repairs. … William Byron finished 18th, two laps down after he was forced to pit on Lap 101 for a loose wheel.

NOTABLE: The No. 2 of Ben Kennedy failed rear heights in post-race inspection. … Reddick is the seventh different driver to win in the last seven races this season. … Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last eight races at Kentucky.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I was about the color of my car (red) there for a little bit.” – Justin Allgaier after finishing third following a rebound from going two laps down early in the race.

NEXT: Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 30 on NBCSN.

Kyle Benjamin wins pole for Xfinity playoff opener at Kentucky

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Kyle Benjamin won his second Xfinity Series pole of the season for Saturday night’s playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

Benjamin, making his fifth start of the year for Joe Gibbs Racing, won the pole with a top speed of 182.229 mph around the 1.5-mile track.

Benjamin has started on the front row in all five of his starts. The driver of the No. 18 will be joined on the front row by teammate Ryan Preece, who is looking for his second win in three starts this year.

“It’s been a good year, I’ve got a great time behind me,” Benjamin told NBCSN. “I felt like we had a real strong qualifying car. Wasn’t sure, since we didn’t mock in practice. But I felt like we would be fast based on our qualifying efforts this year.”

Cole Custer will start third as the top qualifying playoff driver.

The top five is completed by Justin Allgaier and Tyler Reddick.

Elliott Sadler will start sixth followed by Daniel Hemric, Brennan Poole and Matt Tifft.

Ryan Reed qualified 13th. Brendan Gaughan will start 16th, followed by Blake Koch and Michael Annett.

Sam Hornish Jr. will start 15th in Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford.

Jeremy Clements qualified 25th. He is the only playoff driver who will start outside the top 24.

“We were extremely tight,” Clements told NBCSN. “It’s unfortunate, we didn’t want to start off like this. I waited until the very last minute to go to make sure we got rid of the ARCA rubber out there and get some of the Goodyear rubber. When you do that and your car’s no good and you only get one shot at it, we messed up. We got a hole to dig out of tonight. We’re going to give it all we’ve got. We have to. Got nothing to lose at this point.”

The first round saw multiple cars, including many playoff drivers, be slow getting through pre-qualifying inspection due to the sun interfering in the laser-inspection station.

Teams held a black tarp in front of the cars in order to keep the sun from interfering.

All cars got through inspection and were able to make a lap.

Click here for qualifying results.

Tonight Xfinity Series race at Kentucky: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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The Xfinity Series kicks off its seven-race playoff with tonight’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

Twelve drivers will compete for the championship.

Here is all the important info you need ahead of the race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Carla Schuessler, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Board Chair-Elect, will give the command to start engines at 8:07 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 1:30 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. The driver/crew chief meeting is at 6:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 7:30 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Nashville recording artist and Kentucky native J.D. Shelburne will perform the Anthem at 8:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN’s coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green. NBCSN’s race broadcast begins at 8 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts a temperature of 79 degrees and a 2 percent chance of rain at race time.

LAST TIME: Elliott Sadler took the lead with four laps to go to win this event last year. Daniel Suarez was second, followed by Ryan Blaney. Kyle Busch won the July race this year.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.