A.J. Allmendinger

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Xfinity practice report from Indy road course

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Austin Cindric posted the best lap in the last of two Xfinity Series practice sessions Friday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Team Penske driver posted a top speed of 97.850 mph around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course. Cindric recorded 19 laps.

The top five was completed by A.J. Allmendinger (97.344 mph), Justin Haley (96.753), Chase Briscoe (96.534) and Justin Allgaier (96.530).

Anthony Alfredo had his right-rear tire go down with about 40 minutes left in the session. A few minutes later, Joe Graf Jr. spun going into Turn 1.

Jeremy Clements overdrove Turn 7 and went off course 20 minutes into the session. Michael Annett spun off course with 15 minutes left in the session. Both Allmendinger and Allgaier went off course in Turn 7 late in the session.

Click here for final practice report

First practice

Allmendinger posted the best lap with a top speed of 97.392 mph around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course. Allmendinger recorded five laps during the 55-minute session.

The top five was completed by Austin Cindric (96.804 mph), Chase Briscoe (96.471), Justin Haley (96.213) and Justin Allgaier (95.976).

Michael Annett, who was 18th fastest, recorded the most laps with 19.

Ryan Sieg and Josh Williams went off course in Turn 12 during the early portion of the session. Turn 12 is where the circuit transitions from the oval short chute between Turns 1 and 2 back into road course.

Sieg then went off course a second time in Turn 13. He and Williams were both able to continue.

Allgaier locked up his brakes and missed Turn 12 with about 26 minutes left in the session.

Mike Wallace briefly went off course in Turn 1 late in the session and Brett Moffitt suffered a cut left rear tire with two minutes left.

The second practice session is scheduled for 3 – 3:55 p.m. ET and can be watched on the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the practice report.

Defining moments of the Xfinity Series season

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It took five months, but the Xfinity Series has reached the halfway point in its regular season following last Sunday’s event at Pocono Raceway.

The series has completed 12 races ahead of Saturday’s inaugural race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (3 p.m. ET on NBC).

A year after it was dominated by the “Big 3” of Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer, the series is not lacking dominant drivers, controversy and excitement.

Here’s a look back the season so far through key quotes, moments and stats.

Key quotes

“I’m speechless right now, I didn’t think this would come. … I spent a lot of time with (team owner) Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. this week, talking for about two hours. Wanted to be a better speedway race. He told me ‘Go have fun. Wreckers or checkers, you got to manage your gaps, be there at the end and just go lead the damn the thing.’ That’s what we did.” – Noah Gragson after winning his first career Xfinity Series race in February at Daytona.

“I’m the kind of guy that believes in racing people how you’re raced. I’m not going to take any kind of stuff like that. If (Gragson) wants to send that kind of message early, then game on.” – Myatt Snider a few days after he was spun by Gragson during the Xfinity race at Las Vegas.

“This is more than a race win, it’s the biggest day of my life after the toughest day of my life. To beat the best there is just so satisfying.” – Briscoe after his emotional win over Kyle Busch at Darlington.

“When you’re a man and you throw a punch, you better be able to take a punch.” – Gragson following his contact with Allgaier and win at Bristol.

“Oh my God, oh my God, I won on an oval. Do you like that? Whoo!” – Allmendinger after his victory at Atlanta.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Key Moments

– Gragson held off Burton and Timmy Hill in a two-lap shootout to win the season-opener at Daytona for his first career Xfinity victory. His celebration included sliding across the hood of his car like Bo and Luke Duke from “The Dukes of Hazzard” and performing a burnout until he caught the track on fire.

– Burton kept teammate Riley Herbst at bay in the closing laps to win at Auto Club Speedway for his first career Xfinity victory. He joined his uncle Ward Burton in earning his first Xfinity win on Leap Day (Feb. 29).

Brandon Jones passed teammate Kyle Busch with 20 laps to go at Phoenix and went on to secure his second career Xfinity win.

– In one of the most memorable and emotional finishes in recent memory, Chase Briscoe engaged in a duel with Busch over the last few laps at Darlington, making contact multiple times before Briscoe took the checkered flag. The win came days after Briscoe and his wife learned she had experienced a miscarriage.

– While battling for the lead with five laps to go in the scheduled distance at Bristol, teammates Gragson and Allgaier made contact, causing Allgaier to lose control and crash, eliminating him. In overtime, Gragson beat Briscoe and Jones for his second win of the year.

A.J. Allmendinger led the final 37 laps and won at Atlanta, scoring his first ever motorsports victory on an oval track.

– During the four races that made up the Dash 4 Cash program, Kaulig Racing claimed three of the four $100,000 bonuses, as Ross Chastain claimed $200,000 and Allmendinger claimed $100,000. It scored two wins (Allmendinger at Atlanta and Justin Haley at Talladega) and seven top fives.

– Briscoe used his front bumper to get Chastain loose on the first lap of the overtime finish for Sunday’s race at Pocono, passed him in Turn 2 and went on to a series-leading fourth victory.

Key Stats

– Through 12 races, there have been three first-time Xfinity winners. Noah Gragson opened the year with his win at Daytona and has been followed by Harrison Burton (Auto Club Speedway) and Justin Haley (Talladega).

Chase Briscoe in victory lane after his win at Pocono. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

– Through 12 races, there have been seven different winners, with Chase Briscoe leading with four wins. Last year, there were five different winners at this point. Busch, Bell and Custer were tied with three wins each at that point.

– Briscoe’s four wins put him in a five-way tie for second all-time among Xfinity regulars for most wins through 12 races. Sam Ard is the leader with five (1984).

– Burton and Ross Chastain are tied with 10 top-10 finishes each. Burton set a series rookie record by opening the season with 10 consecutive top 10s. He’s crashed and finished 32nd in the last two races.

– The final lead change came with less than 10 laps to go in seven of the last eight races and with two laps to go or less in five of the last eight races.

– Lead changes in the last eight races are up 23% compared to the prior eight races.

Brickyard 400 entry lists: Cup and Xfinity Series for the weekend, plus TV and live stream info

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This weekend will be a historic one for NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Cup Series will hold the Brickyard 400 on the July 4 weekend for the first time as part of a doubleheader with IndyCar. Be sure you know who’s running after reading the Brickyard 400 entry lists.

On Saturday, the Xfinity Series will hold its first race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which follows the IndyCar race.

All three races will be broadcast on NBC. You can stream the Xinfity race here. You can stream the Cup race here.

Here are the Brickyard 400 entry lists for the NASCAR races.

Cup – Brickyard 400 (start time 4 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC and the NBC Sports app)

Forty cars are entered.

Justin Allgaier is in the No. 48 car for Jimmie Johnson, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ross Chastain is entered in his third start in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet this season. His previous starts, in the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600, were in a car prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing.

J.J. Yeley is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 27 Ford.

Josh Bilicki is entered in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 7 Chevrolet.

Click here for updated entry list

Xfinity – Pennzoil 150 (watch at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC and the NBC Sports app)

Thirty-eight cars are entered.

Mike Wallace is entered in JD Motorsports’ No. 0. Chevrolet. This is his first NASCAR start since the 2015 Daytona 500.

Brett Moffitt is entered in Our Motorsports’ No. 02 Chevrolet.

Jade Buford, a Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car driver, is entered in SS Green Light Racing’s No. 07 Chevrolet for his first career NASCAR start.

Jeb Burton is entered in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger is entered in Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Chevrolet.

Click here for the Brickyard 400 entry lists.

Chase Briscoe passes Ross Chastain in OT for fourth Xfinity win of 2020

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Chase Briscoe passed Ross Chastain with two laps to go and held on for his fourth Xfinity win of the season at Pocono Raceway.

The race went two extra laps past the scheduled 90 laps due to a late caution that saw Chad Finchum hit the wall with five laps to go.

Briscoe overcame a spin earlier in the race as well as a speeding penalty on pit road. He now has four wins and nine overall top-10 finishes in 12 races thus far this season.

“We were really not that good in the beginning, we struggled and didn’t have the speed I really anticipated to have here,” Briscoe told FS1. “I was a little worried, but a lot of good cars got tore up so it made it a little easier to get up through the field.

“Ross is always one of the hardest guys to race against and pass. … We’re halfway to eight (wins, his preseason goal).”

Briscoe is No. 1 in the Xfinity point standings with a three-point lead over Noah Gragson.

MORE: Results, standings after Sunday’s Xfinity race at Pocono

Chastain took the lead on the final restart, but Briscoe caught him coming out of Turn 2 and went ahead, never to relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Briscoe adds the win at Pocono to earlier victories at Las Vegas, Darlington and Miami.

But Chastain had some consolation: even though he finished runner-up – for the second straight race – he won the final $100,000 prize in the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash race-within-a-race.

“We did everything right, got the push we needed and cleared him going into (turn) one,” Chastain told FS1. “It’s tough to be upset with second, but I am.

“We’re unloading and are in the top two or three every week. I know how lucky I am but man, it’s the memories we take with us, not the money.”

That means Kaulig Racing drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Chastain the last two weeks — won three of the four Dash 4 Cash $100k prizes. JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson won the first Dash race.

Jeremy Clements finished third, followed by Myatt Snider and Michael Annett.

MORE: NASCAR penalizes Justin Haley for aggressive driving

STAGE 1 WINNER: Austin Cindric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

Who had a good race: With his third-place showing, Jeremy Clements earned the second-best finish of his Xfinity career. He earned his sole Xfinity win in 2017 at Road America.

Who had a bad race: Several drivers were involved in Stage 1 incidents that knocked them out of the race including Brandon Jones (who won the Truck Series race earlier in the day), Josh Williams, Joe Graf Jr. and Harrison Burton. Brandon Brown also fell out early due to mechanical issues.

Notable: The race had a record nine cautions for 31 laps under yellow. … Austin Cindric looked like he had the dominant car but was involved in a wreck on Lap 53 that knocked him out of the race. Others involved included Justin Allgaier, Ryan Sieg, Myatt Snider, Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric. … There were no issues in post-race inspection. All cars passed.

What’s next: Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday July 4 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega: Start time, forecast and more

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The Xfinity Series continues its season Saturday with a visit to Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

It marks the second superspeedway race of the year for the series and the third Dash 4 Cash race.

Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain and A.J. Allmendinger will compete for the $100,000 bonus.

Here’s all the info you need for tomorrow’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be at 5:35 p.m by actor Russell Crowe. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:46 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 9 a.m. (teams are assigned specific times). Engine prime and final adjustments are at 3:30 p.m.. Drivers report to their cars at 5:20 p.m. The invocation will be given at 5:27 p.m by Zana Free, an UAB Hospital Interfaith Spiritual Care Provider. The national anthem will be performed at 5:28 p.m. by the 313th United States Army Band out of Birmingham.

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

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

PACE LAPS: At the direction of race control, we will run the entire field down pit road during one of our pace laps for pit road speed verification. If you stop anywhere on pit road for any reason you will start at the rear of the field.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 10

TO THE REAR: Jeb Burton and AJ Allmendinger (failed inspection three times, Mason Massey (unapproved adjustment), No. 47, Tim Viens (driver change after random draw)

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s coverage will begin at 5 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, a high of 86 degrees and a 0% chance of rain predicted at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Chase Briscoe held off Brandon Jones in an overtime finish to win the second race in the weekend doubleheader.

LAST RACE AT TALLADEGA: Tyler Reddick held off a charge from Gray Gaulding to claim the win.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Xfinity starting lineup