The first elimination race of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs takes place Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
The 12-driver playoff field will be cut to eight at the conclusion of the race. Austin Cindric, the reigning series champion, already has advanced to the second round on points.
Cindric will start on pole Saturday. Justin Allgaier will join him on the front row. At 55 points above the cutline, Allgaier has the biggest cushion of the 11 playoff drivers seeking to advance Saturday.
Harrison Burton enters Saturday’s elimination race on the cutline at eight points ahead of Jeb Burton. Myatt Snider (-24), Riley Herbst (-32) and Jeremy Clements (-48) are all effectively in a must-win situation.
Details for Saturday’s Charlotte Roval Xfinity race:
(All times are Eastern)
START: Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina employees Sara Lopez, Victoria Artis and Robin Winter will give the command to start engines at 3:25 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:37 p.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 8:30 a.m. … Drivers report to pre-race at 2:40 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 2:45 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Cup driver Corey LaJoie at 3:17 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Briley Hussey at 3:17 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 67 laps (155.44 miles) on the 17-turn, 2.32-mile road course.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 20. Stage 2 ends at Lap 40.
TV/RADIO: NBC coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 3 p.m., leading into race coverage … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at GoPRN.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.
FORECAST: Weather Underground’s forecast calls for mostly cloudy, a high of 72 degrees, and a 23% chance of rain around the start of the race.
STARTING LINEUP: Charlotte Roval Xfinity starting lineup
LAST YEAR: Last October at the Roval, AJ Allmendinger overcame poor track conditions due to heavy rain and won in overtime. Allmendinger took the lead from Chase Briscoe after the latter spun out during the overtime restart.