Noah Gragson

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Xfinity practice report from New Hampshire

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Justin Haley had the fastest lap in the final Xfinity practice session Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Haley had a lap of 128.511 mph. He was followed by Christopher Bell (128.346 mph), Cole Custer (127.812), Ryan Truex (127.414) and Justin Allgaier (127.402).

Click here for final practice results

Allgaier had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 126.794 mph. He was followed by Noah Gragson (126.009 mph) and Tyler Reddick (125.965).

Camden Murphy, driving for Mike Harmon Racing, had his car smoke and he slapped the wall during the session.

Qualifying and the race will both be Saturday on NBCSN. The race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

FIRST PRACTICE

Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in the first of two practices Friday for the Xfinity Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Bell led the way with a lap of 128.087 mph. He was followed by Cole Custer (127.376), Justin Allgaier (127.253), Harrison Burton (127.096) and Paul Menard (127.096).

Custer was limited to 20 minutes of practice. He was penalized the final 30 minutes of the session because his car failed inspection three times last weekend at Kentucky.

Click here for full results

Custer had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 126.378 mph. He was followed by Menard (126.004 mph) and Chase Briscoe (125.528).

There were no incidents in Friday’s session.

Final Xfinity practice will take place from 3:35 – 4:25 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Austin Cindric wins pole for Xfinity race at Kentucky

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SPARTA, Ky. – Austin Cindric, whose crew chief was ejected by NASCAR on Thursday for a body modification to the team’s car, will start on the pole for Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

“This is an awesome start,” Cindric told NBCSN. “Starting from the right spot. Hopefully finish in the right spot.”

Cindric won his first pole of the season with a lap of 180.030 mph. Christopher Bell, who won this race last year, starts second after a lap of 179.623 mph.

They are followed by JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson (179.551 mph) and Justin Allgaier (179.342). Cole Custer starts fifth after a lap of 179.277 mph.

Click here for qualifying results

Also, the car chief for Custer’s team was ejected after Custer’s car failed inspection three times before qualifying.

NBCSN’s coverage of the Xfinity Series race begins at 7 p.m. ET. The wunderground.com forecast calls for sunny skies with a high of 84 degrees and no chance of rain.

 

Xfinity, Truck Series practice holds at Kentucky Speedway

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NASCAR announced eight practice holds for the Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series today at Kentucky Speedway.

All the holds will be served at the end of each series’ final practice session.

Xfinity Series

15 minute holds

Joey Gase and Mike Harmon – out of garage late

Noah Gragson, Jeremy Clements and Jeff Green – failed inspection twice at Daytona

30 minute hold

Chad Finchum – failed inspection three times at Daytona

Gander Outdoors Truck Series

15 minute holds

Tyler Ankrum and Jeb Burton – failed inspection twice at Chicago

Cole Custer dominates for fourth Xfinity win of season

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JOLIET, Illinois – Cole Custer had one of the most dominant performances of his career, leading 151 of 200 laps to win Saturday’s Camping World 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Having previously won this season at Fontana, Richmond and Pocono, Custer joins Christopher Bell as the only two drivers to earn four NASCAR Xfinity Series victories apiece thus far this season.

Awesome car, I don’t know how it could have been any better,” Custer told crew chief Mike Shiplett over the team radio after grabbing the checkered flag.

The 21-year-old Custer held off a strong challenge in the closing laps from pole sitter Joey Logano – making his first Xfinity start of the year – and Bell to earn the sixth win of his Xfinity Series career (in 86 starts).

“This is a great track, I’ve wanted to win here for a long time,” Custer said. “You can see we’ve been getting better and better over the year. … It means a lot.”

Bell, who finished third, was disqualified about an hour after the checkered flag fell when his car was found to be too low in post-race inspection. He becomes the second driver to be disqualified in a NASCAR race in the last 13 days (Ross Chastain was DQ’d after winning the Trucks race at Iowa on June 16, also for the front end of his truck being too low).

Before Bell’s disqualification, Custer was asked about beating his two top challengers in the series, Bell and Tyler Reddick. “The three of us are racing for wins every weekend,” Custer said. “I think we will continue to get better throughout this summer stretch and have something to look out for.”

Logano finished second, followed by Michael Annett, Brandon Jones and Austin Cidric. Sixth through 10th were Noah Gragson (highest-finishing rookie), Justin Haley, Ross Chastain, Reddick and Riley Herbst.

Race results: Click here

Xfinity standings: Click here

Logano paid Custer a big compliment, saying, “He did good. It’s funny when you come down to the next level down and see the next up-and-coming talent, he’s ready for it (NASCAR Cup), I can say that much.”

BJ McLeod hit the wall on Lap 173, bringing out the caution, leading several drivers to pit for tires and a final tank of gas. On the ensuing restart on Lap 179, Custer dove to the bottom of the track and easily went from fourth to first and set sail the remainder of the way for the victory.

Several drivers were penalized prior to the race and dropped to the back of the field for the green flag: The No. 98 (Chase Briscoe) and No. 78 (Vinnie Miller) for unapproved adjustments, the No. 28 (Shane Lee) for an engine change, the No. 17 (Josh Bilicki) for a driver change (the team had not listed a driver name on the original entry list), the No. 38 (Jeff Green) for missing the driver/crew chief meeting and the No. 42 (Chad Finchum) for crew chief (Brian Keselowski) missing the driver/crew chief meeting.

Stage 1 winner: Cole Custer (6th stage win of season)

Stage 2 winner: Joey Logano

Who had a good race: Cole Custer put on a driving clinic with his performance. He went high when he needed to and also dropped low, essentially using virtually every inch of the track he needed. While so much has been said about Christopher Bell this season, if Saturday’s performance is a good indicator, keep your eyes on Custer as a potential Xfinity champion.

Who had a bad race: Illinois native Justin Allgaier had a rough day. He had a solo spin on Lap 11 while running third, was forced into the wall on Lap 116 after Jeffrey Earnhardt got loose and washed up the racetrack in front of Allgaier, and then hit the wall hard on Lap 129. He immediately took his car to the garage, his day over. “Just bummed to be here,” Allgaier told NBCSN after being checked at the infield care center. “It was a rough day … a very disappointing day.”

Notable: Joey Logano drove like he’s been competing all season in the Xfinity Series, even though this was his first start of the season in NASCAR’s junior league. Logano started from the pole and had the second-best car on track, but didn’t have quite enough to overtake Custer.

Next race: Circle K Firecracker 250; Friday July 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET; Daytona International Speedway (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Practice report for Friday’s Xfinity sessions at Chicagoland

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Defending NASCAR Cup champion Joey Logano was fastest in Friday’s second and final NASCAR Xfinity Series practice at Chicagoland Speedway.

Driving the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang, Logano paced the field around the 1.5-mile oval at 174.554 mph. This is Logano’s first appearance in an Xfinity Series race field this season.

Tyler Reddick was second-fastest at 173.896 mph.

Cole Custer was third-fastest (173.879 mph), followed by Austin Cindric (173.874), Justin Allgaier (173.745), Noah Gragson (173.734), Ross Chastain (173.533), Brandon Jones (172.855), Zane Smith (172.706) and Ryan Sieg (172.315).

The start of the session was delayed by more than 30 minutes due to a lightning strike that occurred near the track, as well as a severe thunderstorm warning that was issued for the area due east of the track.

NASCAR held off on sending cars back on-track before the abbreviated 30-minute session began.

Click here for the speed chart from the second practice.

FIRST PRACTICE:

Tyler Reddick was fastest (174.916 mph) in Friday’s first Xfinity Series practice at Chicagoland Speedway. Reddick was nearly 2 mph faster than Cole Custer (173.182 mph), followed by Christopher Bell (173.044), Joey Logano (172.927) and Michael Annett (172.822).

Sixth through 10th were Ross Chastain (172.535 mph), Justin Haley (172.177), Chase Briscoe (171.985), Zane Smith (171.832) and John Hunter Nemechek (171.478).

With about eight minutes to go in the session, Chastain skimmed the outside wall but damage was very minor.

Overconfidence by the driver,” Chastain told NBC Sports. “Just a little too confident trying to run the top. So I have to learn and be a little bit better.”

Four drivers were penalized for various violations:

* The No. 28 of Shane Lee – 15 minutes for being late to inspection.

* The No. 42 of Chad Finchum – 15 minutes for being late to inspection.

* The No. 90 of Ronnie Bassett Jr. – 15 minutes for failing inspection twice.

* The No. 81 of Jeffrey Earnhardt – 30 minutes for being late to inspection and failing inspection twice.

Click here for the full practice speed chart.

Follow @JerryBonkowski