Xfinity

Darlington Xfinity starting lineup

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Justin Haley will lead the Xfinity Series field to green Saturday at Darlington Raceway (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

Haley will be joined on the front row by Chase Briscoe. Rookie Harrison Burton starts third and is followed  by Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain.

Haley earned the right to pace the Darlington Xfinity starting lineup after his performance in winning last weekend at Daytona.

Click here for starting lineup

Four races remain in the Xfinity regular season: Darlington, the Richmond doubleheader (Sept. 11-12) and Bristol (Sept. 18).

The Darlington Xfinity starting lineup is set by using a formula based on four statistical categories: owner points position, owner final race position, the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race.

Performance Metrics Qualifying is a total number based on the previous race. The formula is 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the owner points position. Any ties will be broken by the Rule Book.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington 

Race Time: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Darlington Raceway; Darlington, South Carolina (1.366-mile speedway)

Length: 147 laps (200.1 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 45. Stage 2 ends Lap 90

TV coverage: NBC

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Starting lineup at Darlington: Click here for starting lineup

Next Cup race: Sunday at Darlington (367 laps, 501.3 miles), 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Sunday at Darlington (147 laps, 200.1 miles), 2 p.m. ET on FS1

Starting lineup for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega

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Justin Haley will lead the field to the green flag in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway after a random draw.

Haley will be joined on the front row by Michael Annett.

Ryan Sieg will start third and be followed by Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson. Briscoe has won the most series races with three. He claimed the victory last Sunday at Miami.

Click here for Xfinity starting lineup

The starting lineup was determined through a random draw of the following groups:

  • Positions 1-12: The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
  • Positions 13-24: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw.
  • Starting positions 25-36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw.
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

NASCAR Xfinity Series at Talladega

Race Time: 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Talladega Superspeedway; Talladega, Alabama (2.66-mile speedway)

Length: 113 laps, 300.58 miles

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

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Cup race: Sunday at Talladega (188 laps, 500 miles), 3 p.m. ET on Fox

Next Truck Series race: June 27 at Pocono (60 laps, 150 miles), 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1

Xfinity Bristol race to honor employees’ response to pandemic

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Xfinity will honor frontline and military employees from across the company for their efforts in the current COVID-19 pandemic in Monday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Among those who will be recognized are 23 employees serving in the National Guard or military reserves who are responding to the crisis.

Xfinity will replace typical windshield logos with the names of Comcast employees and a patriotic red, white and blue design.

“This global crisis has challenged everyone to step up and prioritize those around us, so we wanted to showcase our pride and salute the selfless efforts of our employees with this unique recognition on all NASCAR Xfinity Series race cars,” said Matt Lederer, Comcast’s Vice President of Brand Partnerships & Activation. “Comcast is proud of our employees nationwide that are coming together to support our customers and communities during this national crisis.”

Among employees being honored are:

* Recently mobilized National Guard soldier Deeva Williams, who is distributing prepackaged meals at mobile food banks in Tacoma, Washington.

* Rachel Cabanting is assisting with National Guard safety programs and procedures at testing centers in Florida, as well as collaborating on key operations to minimize risk during the mission.

* Stephen Rolston, whose National Guard unit is assisting the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

* Third-generation service member Ashley Farmer, who uses her military experience to propel her teammates forward, earning business results and recognition from her co-workers.

“Our company is proud of its military community employees, both veterans and those serving today in the National Guard and reserve, who are on the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic,” said Brigadier General (Ret.) Carol Eggert, Senior Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal. “The dedication of these military employees as they leave an impact in our communities showcases Comcast’s core service values in these difficult times and represents a unique and powerful way our teammates continue to respond to this global crisis.”

There are approximately 50,000 National Guard and reserve service members currently mobilized in response to the pandemic, including more than 2,000 Comcast NBCUniversal employees serving in the National Guard and military reserve.

Monday’s Xfinity race also kicks off the Dash 4 Cash series promotion. Xfinity will make donations in each of the Dash 4 Cash race markets to reaffirm the company’s commitment of connecting families, veterans and seniors to the digital tools necessary for navigating these challenging times.

Throughout the week, Xfinity will recognize these frontline heroes’ stories using #XfinitySalutes and on @XfinityRacing’s Twitter and Instagram outlets. For more information around Xfinity’s crisis response, visit xfinity.com/prepare.

Thursday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Darlington: Start time, lineup and more

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series will resume its season Thursday at Darlington Raceway.

The series was scheduled to race Tuesday (After the starting time was moved up two hours because of rain in the forecast), but rain pushed it to Thursday.  The race is now scheduled for noon ET Thursday.

MORE: 5 storylines in the Xfinity Series

MORE: Ross Chastain, Chip Ganassi Racing sticking to their “plan”

Noah Gragson will start on the pole and be joined on the front row by JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett.

Here are the details for the race:

NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway

(All times are Eastern)

START: First responders from the city of Hartsville, city of Darlington and Darlington County, South Carolina, will give the command to start engines at 12:05 p.m.. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 12:17 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 7 a.m. (teams are assigned specific times). Engine prime and final adjustments at 10 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 11:50 a.m. The invocation will be given at 11:57 a.m. by Dr. Bill Curtis, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Darlington, South Carolina. The National Anthem will be performed at 11:58 a.m. by Senior Master Sergeant Steven David, South Carolina Air National Guard.

DISTANCE: The race is 147 laps (200 miles) around the 1.366-mile oval.

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

PACE LAPS: At the direction of race control, drivers will have the opportunity to run one pace lap down pit road before the green flag for a pit road speed check. If you stop in your box for any reason, pull over or slow down, you will start at the rear of the field.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 15. The field will be frozen at the caution. When pit road is open, only the top 20 cars will be allowed to pit. Each car that pits must beat the pace car off pit road to retain its position. On the next lap, the other 19 cars will pit. Each car that pits must beat the pace car off pit road to retain its position. Then, the top 20 cars will be allowed to pit a second time. On the next lap, the other 19 cars will be allowed to pit again. After the second cycle for each team is completed, the lineup will be set and the race will resume.

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

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for thunderstorms with a high of 74 degrees and 86% chance of rain at the race’s start.

LAST RACE: Brandon Jones won at Phoenix on March 7 in the last Xfinity race before the season was suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Points leader Harrison Burton was second. Kyle Busch placed third.

LAST RACE AT DARLINGTON: Cole Custer won last September after Denny Hamlin‘s winning car failed post-race inspection. Tyler Reddick placed second. Ryan Blaney was third.

LINEUP (set by rule book and random draw): Click here for the starting lineup.

NBC Sports Power Rankings: What were best NASCAR teams overall in 2019?

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As NASCAR Talk continues its post-season Power Rankings, here are the 10 teams we feel performed the best throughout the entire season across all three major series: Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

We made our picks based using a number of variables including which drivers work the best with their crew chiefs, which teams have the strongest pit crews, how a team was run, and assorted other elements that often spell the difference between success and lack thereof.

Note that we are selecting the best TEAMS, not necessarily the best organizations overall. But as you will soon find out, several of those best teams also came from within the same organization, as well.

Here’s how we picked them:

1. Kyle Busch and No. 18 Cup team (30 points): Sure, this team slumped a bit in the second half of the season, going winless in 21 of the final 22 races (although they still were able to win the regular season championship), but when everything was on the line in the championship-deciding race at Miami, Busch and crew chief Adam Stevens proved why they are the best … and why they are the champions.

2. Martin Truex Jr. and No. 19 Cup team (27 points): From an overall consistency standpoint, there are few teams like the one spearheaded by Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn. Truex won the championship in 2017 and finished second in 2018 and 2019. The No. 19 also had a combined 19 wins in those three seasons. No other team matched that kind of performance (although Busch came close with 18 wins and finishes of 2nd, 4th and 1st during that same period). Truex will have a new crew chief in 2020 after Pearn unexpectedly announced he was leaving his position with Joe Gibbs Racing on Monday.

3. Kevin Harvick and No. 4 Cup team (23 points): Even though most other teams would welcome the opportunity to have the kind of performance the No. 4 team has enjoyed, the No. 4 team is seemingly stuck in a loop of sorts. Even though Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers have a team that has won 14 races in the last three seasons and have one of the best pit crews in the business, they’ve finished third in each of those last three seasons. This is a team that has made a few mistakes over that same time period, and it can be argued that may be one of the reasons why it finished third so frequently.

4. Denny Hamlin and No. 11 Cup team (22 points): The combination of Hamlin and crew chief Chris Gabehart together for the first time in 2019 paid big dividends, particularly with six wins (including the Daytona 500). Not only was that the second-most number of wins in a single season for Hamlin – and the most races he’s won in a decade – but also was a big bounceback after Hamlin failed to win even one race in 2018 with former crew chief Mike Wheeler. Sadly, the season did not end the way Hamlin and company had hoped. And given he is now 39 years old, it may very well have been the last strong bid Hamlin will have to win that elusive Cup championship.

5. Christopher Bell and No. 20 Xfinity team (15 points): There’s domination, then there’s what this team did from 2018-19. No titles, but 15 wins, 38 top fives and 41 top 10s in 66 races. Bell now advances to the Cup Series for 2020 and he’s taking crew chief Jason Ratcliff with him, which is a no-brainer.

(tie) 6. Chase Elliott and No. 9 Cup team (7 points): Valiant comeback to advance past the second round was wasted when everything went wrong in the next round. Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson have become a strong team, winning a combined six races in the last two years, but there is still the issue of performing well under pressure. Elliott appeared a lock to advance to the Championship 4 round until he reached the third round and finished 36th, 32nd and 39th, ending his title hopes with a definitive thud.

(tie) 6. Ross Chastain and No. 45 Truck team (7 points): A team that opened the season not planning to run a full season with one driver, switched to a championship hunt after eight races, bounced back from having a win disqualified to win the next race and made it to the Championship 4.

(tie) 6. Cole Custer and No. 00 Xfinity team (7 points): Upgraded at crew chief with Mike Shiplett and went from a one-win-per-season team for the previous two seasons to finishing with seven wins in 2019, one less win than Christopher Bell. Not surprisingly, Custer and Shiplett will remain together when Custer jumps to the Cup series and the No. 41 in 2020.

(tie) 9. Joey Logano and No. 22 Cup team (6 points): It was a similar season to 2018 for Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon in 2019, but the end results were diametrically opposite. Whereas Logano went from underdog to champ in 2018, he fell short of running for a second career title in 2019, ultimately finishing fifth in the standings. Still, this duo works very well together. One thing that needs to be looked at if Logano wants to improve in 2020 is to cut down on the number of mistakes both he and his pit crew make.

(tie) 9. Tyler Reddick and No. 2 Xfinity team (6 points): This was an outstanding season for Reddick despite some challenges. Not only did Reddick move to Richard Childress Racing after he won the 2018 Xfinity championship for JR Motorsports, Reddick and crew chief Randall Burnett worked seamlessly throughout the season, winning five times and failing to finish in the top 10 just six times in 33 races. No surprise, they’ll stay together when Reddick drives the No. 8 for Richard Childress Racing in 2020, with Burnett going with him.

Others receiving votes: Brad Keselowski and No. 2 Cup team (5 points), Austin Hill and No. 16 Truck team (5 points), Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 Truck team (2 points), Kyle Larson and No. 42 Cup team (3 points) and Ryan Newman and No. 6 Cup team (1 point).

Follow @JerryBonkowski