Saturday Xfinity Series race at Phoenix: Start time, weather, TV info

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series will close the 2021 season with its championship race Saturday night at Phoenix Raceway.

Reigning series champion Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson are the Championship 4 drivers. The highest finisher among them will win the title.

Since the series adopted its current playoff format in 2016, the championship has been won with a victory in the title race in four of five seasons. Cindric claimed last year’s championship by winning the title race at Phoenix.

Qualifying will precede Saturday night’s race.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity Series championship race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 8:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:46 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Xfinity qualifying takes place at 5:35 p.m. Coverage will be streamed on the NBC Sports App and TrackPass … Driver introductions are at 8:05 p.m. … Introduction of championship drivers at 8:16 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Fr. John Muir, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (Avondale, Ariz.), at 8:30 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by the Phoenix Children’s Chorus at 8:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (200 miles) on the one-mile oval.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 8 p.m., leading into the race … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 8 p.m. and also will stream at MRN.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCSN

FORECAST: Weather Underground’s forecast calls for clear skies, a high of 81 degrees, and dry conditions around the start of the race.

LAST TIME OUT: In March, Austin Cindric earned his second consecutive win at Phoenix. Cindric led the final 54 laps, but had to survive a restart with two laps to go in order to claim his second victory of 2021.