Xfinity Series practice report at Watkins Glen

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Kyle Busch was fastest in both Xfinity Series practices Friday at Watkins Glen International.

Busch followed up his field-leading first practice effort with a 121.862 mph effort in the second and final practice in preparation for Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen.

Busch was followed in the final session by Justin Haley (121.374 mph), Austin Cindric (121.280 mph), NASCAR on NBC analyst and former Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger (121.207 mph), and Ryan Blaney (120.752 mph). Blaney was second-fastest to Busch in the first practice, while Allmendinger was third-fastest in the opening practice.

Sixth through 10th in the final practice were Christopher Bell (120.520 mph), Jeremy Clements (120.155 mph), Justin Allgaier (120.113), Noah Gragson (120.087) and Tyler Reddick (119.962).

There were no major incidents in the second practice. A total of 31 cars took to the track during the session.

Cole Custer, who destroyed his primary car in a single-car incident in the first practice session, finally emerged in a backup car with about 15 minutes remaining in the final practice. Custer managed to finish the session 12th in speed (119.814 mph).

Click here for the second practice speed chart.

FIRST PRACTICE

NASCAR Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney and former Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger were fastest in the first of two Xfinity Series practices Friday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.

Busch covered the twisting road course at a top speed of 121.259 mph. Blaney was second-fastest at 120.804 mph, followed by Allmendinger, now a NASCAR on NBC analyst, who was third at 120.272 mph.

Austin Cindric was fourth (120.155 mph), followed by Tyler Reddick (120.026), Christopher Bell (119.938), Cole Custer (119.918), Justin Haley (119.843), Josh Bilicki (119.545) and Justin Allgaier (119.401).

Cole Custer’s car suffered extensive front-end and left side damage, forcing his team to go to a backup car. Photo: Dustin Long, NBC Sports.

There was one significant incident of note in the first practice when Custer got loose and wrecked hard.

Custer’s team immediately began transitioning to use a backup car for the final Xfinity practice session, but it’s uncertain how many laps they’ll be able to get in, given that the session is coming up shortly and runs from 2:05 – 3:25 p.m. ET.

Saturday marks the Zippo 200 at The Glen Xfinity Series race, which will air live on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.

Click here for the first practice speed chart.

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Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.

 

Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter