Music executive Scott Borchetta forms Xfinity Series team

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Big Machine Label Group president/CEO and racing aficionado Scott Borchetta is now starting his own NASCAR Xfinity Series team.

On Tuesday, Borchetta announced the formation of Big Machine Racing Team, which plans to compete full-time this season in the Xfinity Series.

The team’s No. 48 Chevrolet will be driven primarily by Jade Buford, who made his first four career Xfinity starts last season, all on road courses. His best finish was eighth in rainy conditions at the Charlotte Motor Speedway roval.

Longtime NASCAR crew chief Patrick Donahue will oversee the Mooresville, N.C.-based operation. He served as a crew chief for fellow Xfinity team SS Green Light Racing over the past two seasons.

Donahue confirmed Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that Buford is not yet approved to compete on the oval at Daytona International Speedway, which hosts the Xfinity season opener on Feb. 13. Buford is approved for the second race of the season on Feb. 20 at the Daytona road course, as well as the rest of the 2021 Xfinity schedule.

“I’ve always been involved in racing, it’s a part of my DNA,” Borchetta said in a release. “Whether as a competitor, a fan or a sponsor, racing is a constant in my life and is a part of our Big Machine culture.

“The formation of the Big Machine Racing team only broadens the integration opportunities for our recording artists and the sport.”

Buford has an established road racing background with stints in various sports car series like GRAND-AM, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, British GT Championship, and the series now known as GT World Challenge America.

Over those years, he collected wins at historic circuits like Watkins Glen International and Sebring International Raceway.

“I’ve dreamed of being in the NASCAR series and I intend to make the absolute most of this opportunity,” Buford said in the same release. “I know it’s a steep learning curve, and we face great challenges, but I have the utmost confidence in what we’re building and I just can’t wait to get to Daytona.”

Through his Big Machine brand, Borchetta has paired his twin passions of music and motorsports on numerous occasions over the years with pre-race ceremonies and sponsorships of races and race cars.

The 58-year-old has long been a racer himself. After competing in motocross and quarter-midgets as a child, Borchetta came back to the sport during the 1990s at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

There, he won a Legends division championship in 1998 and three consecutive NASCAR SuperTrucks division championships from 2003-2005. He was inducted into the track’s Hall of Fame last year.

Additionally, Borchetta drove a 1972 Chevrolet Corvette to a national championship win last year in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Group 6 division.

Saturday NASCAR schedule at Talladega Superspeedway

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Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Saturday: Sunny. High of 78.

Saturday, Oct. 1

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole

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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

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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

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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.