NASCAR Xfinity Series

Brandon Jones passes Kyle Busch to take Xfinity win at Phoenix

Leave a comment

Brandon Jones passed Kyle Busch with 20 laps to go and held on to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

It was Jones’ second career win in 141 Xfinity starts. His previous win came last October at Kansas.

Busch started from the pole and sought his 12th career Xfinity win at Phoenix. It appeared that he was headed toward that goal, leading a race-high 78 laps, but trailed off in the final 20 laps.

Not only did Jones pass him for the lead, last week’s winner at Fontana, Harrison Burton, also got past Busch and finished runner-up Saturday.

Still, it was some consolation that each of the top three drivers were Toyota drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Brad Keselowski finished fourth, followed by Justin Haley, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain and Riley Herbst.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Noah Gragson

RESULTS

DRIVER STANDINGS

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Harrison Burton is on a roll. After winning last week at Fontana, he roared back for a runner-up finish in Saturday’s race. He has scored a top-five finish in each of the season’s first four races. Burton also is atop the Xfinity driver standings after Saturday’s race.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Joe Nemechek had a scary moment with 72 laps to go when his brakes went out, causing Nemechek to hit the wall and sustain moderate damage to the right side of his car. Nemechek finished 32nd. … NASCAR met with Dillon Bassett, Brandon Brown and their crew chiefs for an altercation on pit road after the race. Bassett went to Brown’s car and reached into the car on pit road. The two had made contact on Lap 137 of the 200-lap race.

NOTABLE: This was the 500th win on the NASCAR national level for Toyota.

WHAT’S NEXT: EchoPark 250, Saturday March 14 at 4 p.m. ET, at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Kyle Busch, Austin Cindric on front row for today’s Xfinity race in Phoenix

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kyle Busch won the pole and will start alongside Austin Cindric on the front row in today’s LS Tractor 200 Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

Busch and the No. 54 Toyota covered the one-mile oval at 133.983 mph, while Cindric knocked Harrison Burton, last week’s winner at Fontana, off the front row with a late run of 133.665 mph.

This will be Busch’s 24th career Xfinity start and 10th pole at Phoenix, where he’s also earned 11 wins in 23 starts. Five of those wins have been from the pole at the one-mile short track. It’s also Busch’s 68th career pole in 353 Xfinity Series races.

Burton will start third, having turned in a speed of 133.496 mph. Brad Keselowski will start forth (133.378 mph), followed by Ross Chastain (133.358 mph), Justin Allgaier (133.348 mph), Noah Gragson (133.333), Brandon Jones (133.279), Chase Briscoe (132.631) and Ryan Sieg (132.631).

A total of 39 cars made qualifying attempts for the 36-car race field. Three drivers failed to qualify: Phoenix native JJ Yeley, Matt Mills and Bayley Currey.

Qualifying results

Today’s race begins at 4 p.m. ET and will air on FS1, as well as on the radio on Motor Racing Network (including MRN.com) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The only other on-track action today at Phoenix Raceway will be NASCAR Cup qualifying at 2:35 p.m. ET for Sunday’s FanShield 500.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

David Starr to race for JD Motorsports in Xfinity Series

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Veteran NASCAR driver David Starr will race fulltime in the Xfinity Series this season for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, the team announced Thursday.

Starr joins the Gaffney, South Carolina-based team after spending the last two seasons driving for Jimmy Means Racing (finished 23rd in 2018 and 22nd in 2019).

The team has switched from the No. 01 car number to No. 6 Chevrolet for this season.

“It’s a new year, a new number, and a new driver all in one, and the team expects to make 2020 one of their best seasons yet,” a team media release stated.

Starr has 196 career Xfinity starts, with a career-best finish of fifth in the 2017 summer race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to drive for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller,” Starr said in the release. “In the last two or three years, I have noticed their vast improvements as a race team on the competition side of things, and now that I will be joining forces with them, I hope to help a strong team become even stronger.

“I want to help grow their program and bring them long run success, and we have all the right pieces together to make it happen.”

Starr joins B.J. McLeod and Garrett Smithley on the team. Starr will make his debut with his new team in the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 Xfinity Series season opener February 15 at Daytona.

@Starr_Racing @JDMotorsports01

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Saturday’s NASCAR schedule at Miami

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s one championship down, two more to go as the NASCAR Championship Weekend continues today at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series title was decided Friday night. This afternoon, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will crown its new champion as Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, defending champ Tyler Reddick (pictured after winning last year’s title) and Justin Allgaier battle it out to be No. 1. Watch at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or the NBC Sports app.).

And of course, the NASCAR Cup championship will be Sunday (watch at 3 p.m. ET on NBC or the NBC Sports app.).

Wunderground.com says today’s forecast calls for a temperature of 77 degrees, sunny skies and a 10% chance of rain for the start of the Xfinity race.

Here’s today’s schedule with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

8 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

12:35 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/one lap (NBCSN)

1:45 p.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. – Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

3 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

3:30 p.m. – Ford EcoBoost 300; 200 laps/300 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Results, points after Xfinity race at ISM Raceway

Leave a comment

There is now one race remaining in the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season — and it’s the biggest one yet, as it will determine who the champion will be.

Let’s look back at Saturday’s penultimate race of the Xfinity playoffs and how the results and standings impacted what will take place a week from now in the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

RESULTS:

Justin Allgaier just supersized the so-called “Big Three.”

With his win Saturday at ISM Raceway, Allgaier joins the Xfinity Series’ Big three – Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and defending series champ Tyler Reddick – in next Saturday’s championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In addition to Allgaier’s win, Custer finished second and Reddick was third in Saturday’s race.

Bell, meanwhile, dominated the first two stages, leading 89 of the first 90 laps, before he was penalized for speeding on pit road, sending him to the back of the lead lap. Then, on Lap 117, Bell suffered a solo spin that brought out the caution. He wound up finishing a distant 16th.

Click here for race results.

POINTS:

As for the reseeded results, the now “Big Four” all head to Miami tied at 4,000 points apiece. They won’t have to worry about stage points in that race. Rather, the game plan is simple: the driver who finishes above the other three will emerge as the champion.

As for the four drivers who failed to advance to the Miami championship-deciding season finale, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe are both tied for fifth place with 2,252 points apiece, while Michael Annett is eighth (2,210 Points) and Noah Gragson is ninth (2,208 points). Sandwiched in-between in seventh place (2,212 points) is John Hunter Nemechek, while Brandon Jones rounds out the top 10 with 2,173 points).

Click here for updated/reseeded standings.

Follow @JerryBonkowski