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Josh Bilicki to compete full-time in Xfinity Series for Ryan Sieg Racing

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Josh Bilicki has joined Ryan Sieg Racing to compete full-time in the Xfinity Series this season.

Bilicki will drive the No. 38 Chevrolet and be sponsored by Dr. Squatch Soap Co. for the Feb. 16 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Bilicki has 38 Xfinity starts since 2016 but has never competed in every race in a season. He competed in 29 of 33 races last year.

“I’m very thankful to R.S.S. Racing for this opportunity,” Bilicki said in a press release. “Last year was a learning year for me, especially seeing and driving fifteen of the tracks for the first time. I feel comfortable at every track now, and R.S.S. has cars and equipment capable of finishing upfront, which excites me. I’ve been around the team a handful of times and I think that this is a natural fit. I’m equally just as excited to be bringing a brand-new partner into NASCAR, Dr. Squatch Soap Co.! One hundred percent of the company’s products are made right here in the United States, and I feel that’s a very important stat for the NASCAR community.”

Bilicki joins a driver roster that includes Ryan Sieg and 2000 Xfinity champion Jeff Green.

One Cup, six Xfinity teams docked practice time Friday

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Chase Elliott is the only Cup driver who will be penalized practice time Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while six Xfinity teams, including one title contender will miss practice time.

Elliott will miss 15 minutes for being late to inspection last weekend at Phoenix. Cup practice is from 1 – 2:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Xfinity title contender Christopher Bell will miss 30 minutes of opening practice for failing inspection three times last week at Phoenix. The cars of Josh Bilicki and Chase Briscoe also will miss 30 minutes for the same infraction.

David Starr will be docked 15 minutes of practice for being late to inspection last week at Phoenix. The cars of Vinnie Miller and Stephen Leicht will miss 15 minutes for failing inspection twice.

Opening Xfinity practice is from 2:35 – 3:25 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

John Hunter Nemechek wins Xfinity pole at Phoenix; Christopher Bell to start from rear

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John Hunter Nemechek won the pole for today’s Xfinity Series playoff race at ISM Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC) with a top speed of 133.482 mph.

It is Nemechek’s first Xfinity Series pole.

“It feels good,” Nemechek told NBCSN. “We came here with the mindset to try and qualify on the pole. … We unloaded not really good yesterday so we only got to do one mock (qualifying) run and it wasn’t that great.”

The pole comes a day after Chip Ganassi Racing announced Ross Chastain will drive its No. 42 Xfinity car full-time next season.

The top five is completed by Cole Custer (playoffs), Austin Cindric (playoffs), Justin Allgaier (playoffs) and Ryan Preece.

Playoff drivers Elliott Sadler (sixth), Daniel Hemric (eighth) and Matt Tifft (10th) also qualified within in the top 12.

Tyler Reddick (14th) was the only playoff driver who made a qualifying attempt to not advance to final round.

Playoff contender Christopher Bell did not make a qualifying attempt in Round 1 after his No. 20 Toyota did not make it through inspection in time to make a lap. Bell’s car failed inspection three times, resulting in the ejection of car chief Chris Sherwood.

Bell enters the elimination race 34 points out of the final transfer spot and in essentially a must-win situation to advance to Miami.

“Well the good thing is (Miami) doesn’t decide on where we start, it decides on where we finish,” Bell told NBCSN. “We got 200 laps, which is an eternity, especially from what I grew up doing in sprint car racing. Got a bunch of pit stops in there and a fast car to make it up. We’ll be fine.”

Bell said the car is the same one he took to Victory Lane in both Richmond races this season.

“This is probably the fastest car we’ve brought to the race track all year-long compared to the field,” Bell said.

Ty Majeski and Josh Bilicki also did not make attempts. Majeski’s car also failed inspection three times.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Today’s Xfinity race at Texas: Start time, lineup and more

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After a wild Kansas race two weeks ago, the Xfinity Series is back in action today with the second race in the Round of 8.

Here is all the info for today’s race at Texas Motor Speedway:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Michael Polzin, Associate Manager of Procurement, Group 1 Automotive, will give the command to start engines at 4:37 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:46 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

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

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10 a.m. Qualifying is at 1:40 p.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 2:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 4 p.m.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: Will be held at 4:30 p.m. for Mary Hulman George, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Hulman & Company, which owns and operates Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Dr. Kat Strus, Lt. Col., USAF retired, will perform the anthem at 4:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 4:30 p.m. Coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Countdown to Green on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 4 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 72 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Erik Jones won this race last year, finishing ahead of Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson. Drivers earning Cup points are not allowed to drive in the 2018 Xfinity playoffs.

MORE: Josh Bilicki will not be competing in the race.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here

Xfinity practice report at Texas

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Ryan Truex swept Friday with the fastest lap (187.780 mph) in final practice on the heels of his fastest lap in the first session.

He beat Brandon Jones (187.689) by .014 seconds.

Shane Lee (187.676), Cole Custer (187.474) and Christopher Bell (187.454) rounded out the top five.

Josh Bilicki, Joey Gase and David Starr hit the wall in separate incidents. Bilicki does not have a backup available, but reported that he was looking for a car to borrow.

Elliott Sadler had the quickest 10-lap average at 186.190 mph.

Fellow playoff contenders Justin Allgaier (185.862) and Daniel Hemric (185.622) lined up behind him.

Click here for the practice report.

First Practice

Ryan Truex posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Xfinity race at Texas with a speed of 187.162 mph.

He beat Daniel Hemric (186.832 mph) by .051 seconds.

Elliott Sadler (186.580), Cole Custer (186.387) and Matt Tifft (186.130) rounded out the top five.

Ryan Reed, Morgan Shepherd and Austin Cindric all hit the wall in separate incidents during the session. Reed and Cindric will go to backup cars. Shepherd does not have a backup available.

Brandon Brown (177.024) and Quin Houff (171.124) were the only drivers who made at least 10 consecutive laps.

Click here for the practice report.