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Rico Abreu, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson part of Chili Bowl’s NASCAR list

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Last year Rico Abreu stood on top of his right rear tire and stared into the future after winning the 29th annual Chili Bowl.

That victory contributed to an invitation to join HScott Motorsports in the K&N East series and propelled him into the NASCAR ranks where he won his first race in Columbus, Ohio in July.

Last Friday, Abreu became the latest of six current NASCAR drivers to toss his name into contention to defend his title in the 30th running of the Chili Bowl, according to a press release from the track.

Abreu will join fellow NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson as they head back from the Winter Heat series held at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona. This year’s Chili Bowl will begin on January 12th, three days after the five-day Winter Heat series wraps up.

Located near Yuma, Arizona, Cocopah is a natural place to race during the winter, but the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma takes a little more preparation. This 1/4th-mile oval is constructed inside the Tulsa Expo Center and last year had one of the most expensive tractor operators of all time contributing to its creation.

Long-time Chili Bowl participant Tony Stewart essentially traded in his sprint car and instead spent the weekend aboard an earth-moving machine.

Stewart was the winner of the 2007 edition of the Chili Bowl and is part of an 11-year streak of NASCAR-related winners of this race. Former developmental drivers Tracy Hines, Tim McCreadie, Kevin Swindell, Sammy Swindell, and Bryan Clauson have won recent editions of the Chili Bowl. Hines started the streak in 2005. Damion Gardner won in 2008 and while he does not have any NASCAR starts, his car was owned by Jason Leffler that year.

Stewart also won in 2002.

The odds are good that a NASCAR connection will find its way into the A-Main again this year. Joining Abreu, Kahne, and Larson will be current NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier, and Alex Bowman.

Even with that stout lineup of stock car stars, it will not be an easy path to the finale: More than 200 drivers are currently entered to take a bite out of the Chili Bowl.

Follow: @FantasyRace

Report: Justin Allgaier returning to JR Motorsports in 2020

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Justin Allgaier confirmed to Catchfence.com Friday that he will remain with JR Motorsports in 2020.

It will be Allgaier’s fifth season in the Xfinity Series with JRM.

“I will be back next year. Same deal,” Allgaier told Catchfence.com “Everything is good. We’re doing the same thing next that we are doing right now.”

Allgaier, 33, is fourth is the point standings entering this weekend’s race at Road America (3 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN).

Allgaier is the only driver in the top six in points without a win this year.

 

Xfinity Series practice report from Road America

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Christopher Bell was fastest in the final Xfinity Series practice Friday at Road America.

Bell posted a top speed of 108.562 mph around the road course.

The top five was completed by Matt DiBenedetto (108.106 mph), AJ Allmendinger (108.091), Justin Haley (107.927) and Cole Custer (107.895).

Chase Briscoe recorded the most laps in the session with 19.

The session was stopped with about 50 minutes left for a hard crash by Brandon Jones exiting Turn 11. Jones will go to a backup car for Saturday’s race.

Just before Jones’ wreck, the left-rear truck arm mount broke on Jeremy Clements‘ No. 51 Chevrolet and his car stalled on the track.

The red flag was brought out for the second time when Preston Pardus’ No. 43 Chevrolet stalled on the track. His car then stalled a second time in the final minute of the session.

The session had a third red flag when Josh Williams‘ car stalled on the track.

Click here for the practice report.

First Practice

Bell was fastest, posting a top speed of 108.559 mph around the road course.

The top five was completed by defending race winner Justin Allgaier (108.530 mph), Cindric (108.346), DiBenedetto (108.139) and Allmendinger (107.967).

Chase Briscoe recorded the most laps with 14.

The session was stopped once for debris with 35 minutes left in the session.

Minor incidents in the session included Noah Gragson briefly going off course and a spin by Dexter Bean.

Click here for the practice report.

Updated entry lists for Xfinity, Truck Series this weekend

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While the NASCAR Cup Series will be off this weekend, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any racing.

On the contrary, the Xfinity Series will be racing Saturday at Road America and the Truck Series will compete Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Here are the entry lists for both series:

Xfinity – CTECH Manufacturing 180 (3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 38 cars entered.

Regan Smith will be in the No. 8 J.R. Motorsports Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger will drive the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Saturday’s Cup runner-up, Matt DiBenedetto, will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Ryan Vargas is entered in JD Motorsports’ No. 4 Chevrolet for his second start of the year.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Chevrolet Silverado 250 (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1)

There are only 29 Trucks listed for the entry list. A full field would be 32 trucks.

Alex Tagliani is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota for his first start of the year.

Dylan Lupton is entered in Young’s Motorsports’ No. 20 Chevrolet.

Click here for the entry list.

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Friday schedule for Xfinity Series at Road America

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series hits the track today with two practices at Road America in preparation for Saturday’s race.

The wunderground.com forecast for Friday calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 69 degrees and a 10% chance of rain during the day.

Here is today’s schedule at Road America:

(All times are Eastern)

10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

1:35 – 2:25 p.m. – Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

3:35 – 4:55 – Final Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)