Xfinity practice report at Charlotte Roval

Getty Images
0 Comments

CONCORD, N.C. – Cole Custer topped the field in Thursday’s second Xfinity practice at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

The two-hour session was stopped 20 minutes early because of severe weather in the area.

Custer posted a lap of 103.223 mph. He was followed by Austin Cindric (102.896 mph), Tyler Reddick (102.895), Daniel Hemric (102.759) and Justin Allgaier (102.708).

Chase Briscoe ran the most laps in the session at 26. Custer ran 25 laps. Reddick ran 24 laps.

Thirty cars ran at least a lap in the session.

Allgaier had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 102.034 mph. He was one of only four drivers to run 10 consecutive laps. Cindric was next at 102.004 mph.

First Practice

Austin Cindric posted the fastest lap in the first of two optional Xfinity practices Thursday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Cindric topped the field with a lap of 102.603 mph.

ref=”https://nbc-sports.go-vip.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2018/09/835f446b-b85b-4d9d-82f5-f5a12190c117.jpeg”> Damage to Spencer Gallagher‘s car Thursday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. (Photo: Dustin Long)[/ca
He was followed by Daniel Hemric (101.495 mph), Ryan Truex (101.139), Ryan Preece (101.075) and Justin Marks (101.022).

Matt Tifft was sixth on the speed chart with a lap of 100.902 mph. He was followed by Elliott Sadler (100.626 mph), Brendan Gaughan (100.601), Justin Allgaier (100.524) and Alex Labbe (100.490)

Click here for practice report

Twenty-five cars ran at least one lap in the session.

There were no cautions for incidents on track. Spencer Gallagher had damage to the right rear of his car. His team pulled out the backup car.

Ryan Reed ran the most laps in the two-hour session that was interrupted by moisture on track. Reed ran 21 laps. Michael Annett ran 20 laps. Tyler Reddick ran 17 laps. Teams will have another practice. The track will be open from 2-4 p.m. ET. Teams will have two practices on Friday before they race on Saturday (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Tifft said the course is challenging. He said the infield section reminded him of the back section at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He said he ran most of that infield course section on the Roval in second gear.

He also said the backstretch chicane is attention grabbing.

“You go in so hard and use up all the curbs there and you’re jumping curbs right,” he said. “Right now with the blue curbs (which are larger), you are probably going to just pull out the transmission because they’re so stacked so high right there it’s going to be dangerous for the cars. That’s a little bit strange.

“The entry off the oval to the frontstretch chicane … the transitions there are pretty interesting. I had to pass a slower car getting through there. That’s the part I think that is going to be interesting when we do start working in traffic. There are so many awkward spots on this track that it’s going to put drivers in a really tight position to try to get around those guys. I think it’s going to be a race of attrition and trying to make sure you get yourself in the right spot because if you catch anybody in the wrong spot, there’s just not really that many places to get around somebody, you’re just kind of stuck.”

Tifft also said Turns 3, 4, 5, 6 on the infield portion of the course remained slick. The track had run the tire dragon in those sections only but Tifft said morning rain made those areas slick.

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole

0 Comments

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.

Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).

MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup

Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots.

Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).

The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.

Talladega Truck starting lineup: John Hunter Nemechek wins pole

0 Comments

TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.

Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.

MORE: Talladega Truck starting lineup

Also qualifying in the top five were Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.

Failing to qualify are Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.

Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

0 Comments

The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.

 

Could Talladega open door for a record 20th winner?

0 Comments

Talladega Superspeedway is known for fast speeds, huge drafting packs, sensational wrecks and tight finishes.

On Sunday (2 p.m. ET on NBC), it could be the site of an unexpected record.

Nineteen different drivers have won Cup races this season, tying a record. If a new winner shows up in Talladega victory lane Sunday, it will mark the first time in the sport’s history that 20 drivers have won races in a single season.

One of the remarkable things about that possibility is that the driver who has far and away the best record at Talladega among active drivers is among the group still looking for a win in 2022. That’s Brad Keselowski, who has won six times at NASCAR’s biggest track. No other active driver has more than three. (Keselowski is tied for second on the all-time Talladega win list with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. Dale Earnhardt tops that list with 10).

Talladega and Daytona tend to reject repeat winners. The past nine races at the two tracks have been won by nine different drivers.

Other seasonal non-winners who could break through at Talladega:

Ryan BlaneyBlaney’s only win this year is in the All-Star Race, so he’s still looking for his first points win while continuing to chase the championship. He won at Talladega in 2019 and 2020.

Martin Truex Jr. — Superspeedways have been a pox on Truex’s career. In 70 races at Talladega and Daytona, he has failed to win.

Aric Almirola — In what has been a disappointing season, Almirola’s best finish is a fifth — twice. He won at Talladega in 2018 but hasn’t had a top 10 in his last four runs there.

Michael McDowell — McDowell’s best finish at Talladega is a third, but he is usually very competitive in the Talladega and Daytona drafts, winning the 2021 Daytona 500.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Stenhouse won at Talladega in 2017 and usually is a factor in the draft.

Harrison Burton — Burton has had a tough rookie season, but the peculiarities of the Talladega draft should play in his favor. The No. 21 team’s next win will be its 100th.

Justin Haley — Haley has no top-10 runs in five Talladega starts, but he showed potential last week with a third-place finish at Texas.

Corey LaJoie — LaJoie has started nine Cup races at Talladega and has led exactly one lap. His best finish is a seventh.

Noah Gragson — Gragson, the star of this Xfinity season, is in the No. 48 for Hendrick Motorsports with Alex Bowman out because of concussion-like symptoms. In the Talladega draft he could be a threat.