Xfinity

Using restrictor plates at Indianapolis dovetails with aerodynamics, team official says

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NASCAR’s efforts to improve the racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway stretch well beyond the restrictor plates that will be used for the Xfinity race July 22.

In an interview with SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel Tuesday morning, Richard Childress Racing director of competition Dr. Eric Warren said NASCAR has been working with teams on aerodynamic enhancements for the 2.5-mile track.

“There’s been a lot of work with the teams, the aero guys with all the teams, and working with NASCAR on different things,” Warren said on “The Morning Drive” program. “Lots of collaboration. Different aero items of how you create drag and an intermediate-type car at Indy to kind of draft almost. How can you make that work?”

Kyle Busch led 62 of 63 laps in last July’s Xfinity Series main event at IMS, highlighting the difficulty in passing at the front.

“The way the cars are, the rules are, it’s a single-groove racetrack,” Warren said. “The speed of that track and the entry and layout with stock cars, it’s really difficult to pass. Even with the perfect situation. Even 15 years ago, it was difficult to pass.”

NASCAR held a test with the Xfinity cars of RCR, JR Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing to try the restrictor plates after last year’s race.

“We were trying different aero devices and things,” Warren said. “It certainly is an alternate view of what can be done. Time will tell with getting into Turn 1 and what other problems get created. You can say, ‘We’re going to do restrictor-plate racing and bunch everybody up.’ There are other items to consider. You have to get a feel for how this works out. I’m more on the interest side than convinced either way.”

A high-drag package was tried at Indianapolis in 2015 with suboptimal results.

“Unfortunately, everyone learned lessons there that were undesirable features,” Warren said. “You add a lot of drag, but the aero behavior didn’t make it easier to bunch the cars up and draft. You have to address both at the same time. They’ve done a really good job of combining the two. The question is going to be when the end product happens, is the race better or do you end up with something like Daytona with a lot of wrecks and crashes, which maybe is exciting for some but not for others.”

In a separate interview, JRM driver William Byron said using the restrictor plates, which reduce horsepower by cutting airflow to the engine, is “worth a try.

“I really kind of race whatever we’re given, especially being a rookie,” he said. “I’m trying to adapt to whatever it is. I think restrictor-plate racing there is going to be an interesting thing. I think that when they don’t have restrictor plates, it seems like it’s gotten really spread out, and it’s tough to pass. It’s worth a try. I don’t know if it is the right thing. We’ll see what happens. It could be a really good race.”

NASCAR to meet with Austin Dillon, Cole Custer after Xfinity incident

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NASCAR plans to meet with Austin Dillon and Cole Custer this weekend at Auto Club Speedway after their incident in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Phoenix Raceway.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on “The Morning Drive” that officials parked Dillon after his actions in the Xfinity race and met with Dillon, his crew chief and spotter.

Custer got into Dillon’s car in the final laps of the race, causing it to hit the wall. Dillon slowly drove away and waited for Custer to get near him. Dillon then slowly cut across Custer’s path and they made light contact.

“We made sure Austin understood where we were and where we stood on his actions that took place,’’ O’Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “We plan on meeting with both drivers prior to practice out in California. We’ll continue to look at the videos, but, at this point, feel like we are where we are in terms of that conversation, but again leave the door open as we continue to review. It was a really short night coming back from Phoenix, so we’ll take our time from that.’’

After the race, Custer tweeted the incident was his fault and Dillon responded.

Dillon is not scheduled to drive in this weekend’s Xfinity race at Auto Club Speedway.

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Erik Jones paces opening Xfinity practice at Phoenix

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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Erik Jones posted the fastest lap (131.521 mph) in the first Xfinity practice session Friday at Phoenix Raceway.

Jones was followed by Ryan Blaney (131.353), rookie William Byron (131.305), Brandon Jones (131.234) and Justin Allgaier (131.176).

Click here for full practice report

The Xfinity series has two other practice sessions Friday.

Xfinity points standings after Atlanta: Elliott Sadler moves into lead

Jerry Markland/Getty Images
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HAMPTON, Ga. — Elliott Sadler moved into the Xfinity Series points lead with a fifth-place finish Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Sadler leads by three points over JR Motorsports teammate William Byron (seventh).

MORE: Kyle Busch Wins Xfinity Event at Atlanta, Takes First Step Toward A Tripleheader Sweep

MORE: Results of Xfinity Series race at Atlanta

Ryan Reed, who won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and finished 18th at Atlanta, slipped to third in the standings.

Click here for Xfinity Series driver points standings.

Click here for Xfinity Series owner points standings.

Results: Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

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HAMPTON, Ga. — Kyle Busch scored his 87th Xfinity Series victory Saturday, winning the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, leading the final 19 laps.

It’s the first of 10 starts that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver will make on the circuit this season. A new rule limits full-time Cup drivers such as Busch to 10 starts in Xfinity, and he joked about someone putting up a bounty to be undefeated.

“I’m 1 for 1,” Busch said. “Maybe I can get an extra million if I win all 10.”

MORE: Kyle Busch Wins Xfinity Event at Atlanta, Takes First Step Toward A Tripleheader Sweep

MORE: Xfinity points standings after Atlanta, Elliott Sadler moves into lead

Busch will have the opportunity to win twice more at Atlanta — in the Camping World Truck and Cup series.

Brad Keselowski finished second in the Xfinity race, followed by Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler.

Click here for the results and race report for the Xfinity Series race at Atlanta.