Hot or Not: Xfinity Series’ Owens Corning Atticat 300 at Chicagoland Speedway


The Xfinity Series will have the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway all to itself this weekend for the Owens Corning Atticat 300. It’s the 14th race of the Xfinity Series’ 2015 season and the first of two races on the oval this year.

Here’s a look at which drivers are on a hot streak and those who have gone cold entering Saturday night’s race, which starts at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

After winning in his first Xfinity Series race back from injury last weekend, Kyle Busch won’t be in this weekend’s race. His No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota will be driven by Erik Jones.

Who is hot entering Chicagoland:

Chris Buescher:

  • Won two of the last four races and leads the points by a season high 25 points.
  • Finished in the top six in four of the last five races and has seven top-five finishes in 2015 which is tied for the most with Austin Dillon.
  • Finished eighth at Chicagoland last July, his only top-10 finish there in two races.

Ryan Blaney:

  • Finished 34th at Dover in his last start due to contact with Brian Scott that sent him to the garage and ended a 13-start streak of top-10 finishes that included 11 top fives.

Austin Dillon:

  • Finished in the top five in seven races in 2015 including the last three.
  • Both of his wins in 2015 came on 1.5-mile tracks from the pole after leading 87 percent of the laps raced.

Ty Dillon:

  • Finished in the top 10 in nine of the 13 races in 2015 including five of the last seven races, all four of his top-10 starts in 2015 came in the last five races.
  • Started and finished in the top 10 in both of his Xfinity Chicagoland starts with a best finish of
    fifth in this race last year.

Chase Elliott:

  • Finished in the top 10 in a series high 11 races in 2015 (all but the two plate races) and finished runner-up in two of the last four.
  • Earned one of his three wins of 2014 in the first Chicagoland race.

Erik Jones:

  • Finished in the top 10 in seven of his last nine Xfinity start.
  • Led 70 laps at Dover in his last start but finished ninth after being busted for speeding as the leader on Lap 184 of 200.
  • Started fourth and finished seventh at Chicagoland last July in his only NASCAR start there.

Elliott Sadler:

  • Finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races including his season best finish of fifth at Michigan last week.
  • Finished in the top 10 in all but one of the last seven races at Chicagoland including a win
    in this race in 2012.


Who is not hot entering Chicagoland:

Brendan Gaughan:

  • Finished in the top-10 in only two of the last six races after starting the season with four top-10s in the first seven races.
  • Has not gained points on the leader since he finished second at Auto Club Speedway.

Brennan Poole:

  • Finished ninth at Las Vegas in his Xfinity debut but does not have a top-10 finish in his seven races since.
  • Finished 28th or worse in two of the last three races.

Daniel Suarez:

  • Has only one top-15 finish in the last five races.
  • Sixth-place finish at Charlotte is his only lead-lap finish in the last five races.

Darrell Wallace Jr.:

  • Cut a tire from while running second at Dover with seven laps to go, finishing 17th. Spun from 15th with 19 laps to go after contact with Gaughan and finished 15th at Michigan.

NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2


Kyle Busch moved closer to the top spot after his win Sunday at WWT Raceway, but William Byron keeps hold of No. 1 after another top-10 run.

The series heads to Sonoma Raceway this weekend, the second race of the season on a road course.


(Previous ranking in parenthesis)

1. William Byron (1) — He goes into Sonoma with six consecutive top-10 finishes after his eighth-place result at WWT Raceway. Byron has led a series-high 717 laps this season.

2. Kyle Busch (4) — Recorded his third win of the season Sunday. He is tied with Byron for most wins this year. Busch scored 59 of a maximum 60 points and won his first stage of the year Sunday. He has 16 playoff points. Only Byron has more with 17 this season.

3. Kyle Larson (3) — His fourth-place finish continued his up-and-down season. In the last nine races, Larson has two wins, four top fives, a 20th-place result and four finishes of 30th or worse. He has led 588 laps this season, which ranks second this year to Byron.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (2) — His fifth-place finish is his sixth top 10 in the last eight races. He ranks third in laps led this year with 383.

5. Denny Hamlin (7) — Runner-up result at WWT Raceway is his fourth top 10 in the last seven races.

6. Ryan Blaney (10) — Followed Coca-Cola 600 win with a sixth-place run at WWT Raceway. He had an average running position of 2.6 on Sunday, second only to winner Kyle Busch’s average running position of 1.9.

7. Joey Logano (9) — Third-place finish is his second top 10 in the last four races.

8. Kevin Harvick (NR) — His 10th-place finish is his fourth consecutive finish of 11th or better.

9. Ross Chastain (6) — Lost the points lead after placing 22nd, his third consecutive finish outside the top 20.

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (NR) — Headed for his eighth top 15 in a row until he was collected in a crash after the contact between Austin Cindric and Austin Dillon late in Sunday’s race.

Dropped out: Chase Elliott (5th), Tyler Reddick (8th)

NASCAR will not penalize Austin Cindric for incident with Austin Dillon


Despite Richard Childress and Austin Dillon saying that Austin Cindric intentionally wrecked Dillon late in Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway, NASCAR will not penalize Cindric.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that there would be no penalty to Cindric after reviewing the contact.

Dillon and Childress were upset about the incident, which brought out the caution on Lap 220 of the 243-lap race. Dillon said NASCAR should suspend Cindric for the contact, just as NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for hooking Denny Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600.

Contact between the left front of Cindric’s car and the right rear of Dillon’s car sent Dillon up the track into Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Dillon finished 31st. Cindric continued and placed 13th.

Dillon told “I was wrecked intentionally by (Cindric), hooked right just like Chase and Denny and Bubba’s deal (in wrecking Kyle Larson at Las Vegas in 2022). He better be suspended next week.”

Childress said: “(Dillon) had drove up to about 10th until (Cindric) wrecked him in there on purpose, sort of a payback.”

Sawyer said a review of the incident included viewing video and data.

“We didn’t see anything — and haven’t seen anything — that really would rise to a level that would be a suspension or a penalty,” Sawyer said. “It looked like hard racing. One car coming up a little bit and another car going down.

“As we said last week, we take these incidents very serious when we see cars that are turned head-on into another car or head-on into the wall. I spent a lot of time (Monday) looking at that, looking at all the data, looking at TV footage and just deemed this one really hard racing.”

Sawyer said NASCAR plans to talk to both Cindric and Dillon “to make sure we’re all in a good place as we move forward to Sonoma.”



Seven Cup drivers entered in Xfinity race at Sonoma


Kyle Larson is among seven Cup drivers entered in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

The race marks the first time the Xfinity Series has competed at the California road course. Teams will get 50 minutes of practice Friday because this is a new event on the schedule. That additional time will give those Cup drivers more laps on the 1.99-mile road course.

MORE: Sonoma Xfinity entry list

Here is a look at what Xfinity rides the Cup drivers will pilot this weekend:

The race is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

The ARCA Menards Series West also is competing this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Cup driver Ryan Preece is entered in that event. Xfinity drivers Cole Custer, Riley Herbst, Sammy Smith and Parker Retzlaff also are entered in that race, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday.


Winners and losers at WWT Raceway


Winners and losers from Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway:


Kyle BuschWins the pole, leads the most laps and holds the field off over the last five restarts to win the race. He scored six playoff points, giving him 16 on the season, second only to William Byron’s 17. Busch left Joe Gibbs Racing after last season for Richard Childress Racing. Busch’s three wins this year equals what JGR has done so far.

Ryan BlaneyHis sixth-place finish moved him into the points lead. He last led the points after the spring 2022 Richmond race. Blaney also won a stage Sunday to collect another playoff point. He has seven this season.

Kyle LarsonFourth-place finish was a big turnaround after struggles earlier in the race. It has not been easy for this team the last few weeks. He has three top-five finishes and four finishes of 20th or worse in the last seven races.

Daniel SuarezHis seventh-place finish moved him up two spots to 16th in the standings, the final playoff transfer spot at this time.


Ross ChastainHe finished 22nd for his third consecutive result outside the top 20. He entered the weekend leading the points and fell to fifth afterward. He is 29 points behind new series leader Ryan Blaney with 11 races left in the regular season.

Tyler ReddickRebounded from an early spin to lead but had his race end after a brake rotor failed. He was one of four drivers eliminated by brake rotor failures. The others were Carson Hocevar, Bubba Wallace and Noah Gragson.