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Ross Chastain wins Xfinity pole for today’s race

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DARLINGTON, S.C. – Ross Chastain won the pole for today’s Xfinity race (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC). Chastain is driving this weekend for Chip Ganassi Racing. It is Chastain’s first career Xfinity pole.

Chastain won the pole with a lap of 169.531 mph.

Christopher Bell (169.263 mph) will start second and Tyler Reddick (169.048) will start third. Daniel Hemric (168.839) is fourth and Denny Hamlin (168.106) will start fifth.

The first round was stopped when Vinnie Miller stopped on the track after his car was smoking.

Brandon Jones did not make a qualifying attempt after his car failed pre-qualifying inspection four times. He will start 39th in the 40-car field.

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JD Motorsports completes Xfinity driver lineup with Garrett Smithley

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Garrett Smithley will return to JD Motorsports with Gary Keller for a third season, the Xfinity Series team announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old Smithley will again drive the No. 0 car.

He completes JD Motorsports’ driver roster for 2018. Smithley’s teammates will be Ross Chastain, Vinnie Miller and Matt Mills.

“I’m so excited to be back with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller this season,” Smithley said in a statement from the team. “We’ve had two very successful seasons together and to be given the opportunity to continue to build on that is something I do not take for granted.

“Each and every year JD Motorsports with Gary Keller grows and improves. This offseason has been an extremely strong one for this organization, and I knew that if the opportunity presented itself to return, I wouldn’t pass it up. I can’t thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunities they have given me and this entire team for all that they do. We’re a family, and we’re in this together. It will be awesome to work with Ross once again, as well as Vinnie and Matt this season.”

Smithley finished 21st in the points last season. He finished a season-best eighth in the season opener last year at Daytona International Speedway.

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JD Motorsports names Vinnie Miller to drive No. 01 Chevy in 2018 Xfinity Series

Photo courtesy Vinnie Miller official Twitter page
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JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced Tuesday that former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Vinnie Miller will drive the team’s No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro full-time in the 2018 Xfinity Series.

Miller, 20, is a native of Ortonville, Michigan, and began his racing career on local short tracks before moving up to both the K&N Series and ARCA Racing Series.

Miller made his Xfinity Series debut for JD Motorsports Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway, finishing 29th. He also made his Truck Series debut at Talladega on Oct. 14, finishing seventh for the Gaffney, South Carolina-based team.

Vinnie Miller to make Xfinity debut this weekend at Chicagoland

Photo courtesy Vinnie Miller Racing
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Up-and-coming NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA racer Vinnie Miller will make his Xfinity Series debut this weekend in the Chicagoland 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The 20-year-old driver will drive the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller.

Miller has combined for one top-five, six top 10s and has led six laps in 10 races this season in both the K&N and ARCA series.

“It is a dream come true to be able to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” Miller said in a media release. “Chicagoland is a challenging track and I have a lot to learn this weekend. The goal is to finish the race and gain experience and respect from other drivers.”