Xfinity starting lineup at Daytona road course

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Austin Cindric, who won last weekend’s race at Road America, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity Series on the Daytona International Speedway road course.

Chase Briscoe will join Cindric on the front row of the Xfinity starting lineup. Noah Gragson starts third and is followed by Ross Chastain and Justin Haley.

Click here for Xfinity starting lineup

The Xfinity starting lineup was set for the first time using a new formula based on three statistical categories: owner points position, the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race.

The three are weighted and averaged to determine the starting order with points position counting 35 percent, finishing position at 50 percent and fastest race lap at 15 percent.

When the playoffs begin, playoff cars will fill the top starting positions, according to how many remain eligible for the championship. In the Round of 12, the top 12 starting positions will be playoff cars; in the Round of 8, the top eight starting positions will be playoff cars, etc..

NASCAR previously had used a random draw to set most of its lineups since returning in May during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has eliminated practice and qualifying on most race weekends.

NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona road course 

Race Time: 3 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Daytona International Speedway road course; Daytona Beach, Florida (14-turn, 3.61-mile layout)

Length: 52 laps (187.72 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 15. Stage 2 ends Lap 30

TV coverage: NBCSN

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

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

Next Cup race: Sunday at Daytona road course (65 laps, 234.65 miles) 3 p.m. ET on NBC

Next Truck race: Sunday at Daytona road course (44 laps, 158.85 miles) 12 p.m. ET on FS1

 

Saturday’s Xfinity race at Kansas: Start time, forecast and more

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Austin Cindric goes for his fourth straight win in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway.

Cindric won both series races at Kentucky earlier this month and followed it by winning last weekend at Texas after Kyle Busch‘s car was disqualified.

Saturday’s race marks the fourth consecutive series event on a 1.5-mile speedway.

Here are the details for the Xfinity race at Kansas (all times ET):

START: Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self will give the command to start engines at 5:08 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:18 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 10 a.m. Engine prime and final adjustments are at 3 p.m. Drivers report to their cars at 4:45 p.m. The invocation will be given at 5 p.m. by Father Daniel Weger of the Parochial Vicar St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish. The national anthem will be performed at 5:01 p.m. by Chris Mann, a contestant on Season 2 of NBC’s “The Voice” and a Kansas native.

DISTANCE: The race is 167 laps (250.5 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 20

PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, the entire field will go down pit road during a pace lap for pit road speed verification. If a driver stops in the pit box for any reason, pulls over or slows down, they will start at the rear of the field.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 40. Stage 2 ends on Lap 80.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. followed by the race broadcast at 5 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast will begin at 4:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App by clicking here.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, a high of 91 degrees and a 15% of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Austin Cindric won his third consecutive race last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway when Kyle Busch’s winning car was disqualified after the race. Chase Briscoe was second. Justin Allgaier placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for lineup

Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick reigns going into All-Star Race

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Kevin Harvick‘s dominance of his Cup competitors continues in this week’s NBC Sports power rankings, as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver is the unanimous No. 1 driver for the second week in a row.

That comes after Harvick placed fourth at Kentucky Speedway in a race won by rookie Cole Custer.

Fourteen drivers earned votes this week following a weekend of four NASCAR races, including two Xfinity Series events.

Here is this week’s top 10:

 1. Kevin Harvick (30 points): Fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five finish. Last week: First.

 2. Aric Almirola (22 points): While Almirola finished eighth, he led a career-best 128 laps, won Stage 1 and earned his sixth consecutive top-10 finish. Last Week: Second.

(Tie) 3. Cole Custer (19 points): Custer became the first rookie of the year candidate to win a Cup race since 2016 and the first 2020 rookie to score consecutive top fives with his win. Last week: Ninth.

(Tie) 3. Matt DiBenedetto (19 points): Earned his second top five of the year and his second top 10 in three races. DiBenedetto has earned points in the last eight stages. Last week: Unranked.

(Tie) 5. Brad Keselowski (16 points): His ninth-place finish was his 10th top 10 in the last 12 races, but he didn’t earn any applause from Jimmie Johnson after contact spun Johnson. Last week: Third.

(Tie) 5. Martin Truex Jr. (16 points): Runner-up finish marked his fifth top 10 in the last eight races. Last week: Unranked.

 7. Austin Cindric (12 points): The Xfinity driver dominated his series’ doubleheader in Kentucky and came away with his first oval track wins in NASCAR. Last Week: Unranked.

 8. Kurt Busch (8 points): Placed fifth for his first top five since the second Charlotte race in May. Last Week: Unranked.

 9. Denny Hamlin (7 points): Forgettable day at Kentucky. On to the All-Star race at Bristol. Last week: Fourth.

 10. Tyler Reddick (6 points): Placed 10th to earn his first consecutive top 10 of his Cup career. Last Week: Unranked

Others receiving votes: Chase Briscoe (3 points), Ryan Blaney (3 points), Christopher Bell (3 points), Sheldon Creed (1 point)

Power Rankings after Indianapolis: Kevin Harvick back to No. 1

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Helped greatly by his win in the Brickyard 400, Kevin Harvick returns to the top spot in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings.

Harvick was a unanimous pick of NBC Sports’ NASCAR writers, knocking Denny Hamlin off last week’s No. 1 perch.

Making the biggest gain this week is Matt Kenseth, who is ranked fifth after being unranked last week. Chase Elliott suffered the biggest drop, from fourth last week to 10th this week.

Here’s how this week’s rankings look:

1. Kevin Harvick (30 points): Among his 53 career wins, he has three Brickyard 400s, two Coke 600s, one Southern 500 and one Daytona 500. Last week: second.

2. Aric Almirola (26 points): Keeps churning out top five finishes; goes for a half dozen in a row this weekend at Kentucky. Last week: third.

3. Brad Keselowski (18 points): Placed fourth at Indy, earning his ninth top 10 finish in the last 11 races this season. Last week: fifth.

4. Denny Hamlin (17 points): If it hadn’t of been for his late tire issue and crash, we likely would be talking about the great run and win Hamlin had at Indy. Last week: first.

5. Matt Kenseth (14 points): He may be the oldest active driver on the NASCAR Cup circuit, but Kenseth showed Sunday he still knows how to wheel a race car. Nearly secured a playoff spot at Indy with a win but had to settle for his fourth career runner-up finish there. Last week: unranked.

6. Kyle Busch (13 points): Climbs back into the rankings but remains one of the biggest mysteries of the season, namely, how can the defending Cup champion still be winless? Can he finally break through this Sunday at Kentucky? Last week: unranked.

7. Chase Briscoe (12 points): Heck of a finish in the Xfinity race on the Indy road course. All he does is win, win, win. Is now only three wins away from reaching his preseason prediction of eight wins in 2020. Last week: eighth.

8. Michael McDowell (10 points): Two top 10 finishes in the last three races for the Front Row Motorsports driver. Last week: unranked.

9. Cole Custer (8 points): Finished fifth and gave teammate Kevin Harvick the key push on the final restart at Indy. Last week: unranked.

10. Chase Elliott (5 points): Four top 10s in the last seven races. Last week: fourth.

Others receiving votes: Matt DiBenedetto (4 points), Bubba Wallace (3 points), Kurt Busch (2 points), Tyler Reddick (2 points), Austin Dillon (1 point).

Winners and losers at Indy

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WINNERS

Kevin HarvickWins Indy for the second year in a row and third time overall. He’s only one Indy victory behind his hero, Rick Mears, who won the Indianapolis 500 four times.

Stewart-Haas Racing — Placed three cars in the top five for the first time this season and fourth time in team history. Kevin Harvick won, Aric Almirola finished third and rookie Cole Custer was fifth. For Almirola, it was his fifth consecutive top-five finish. For Custer, it was his best Cup finish. Don’t forget about Chase Briscoe. He won the Xfinity race for the organization the day before on Indy’s road course.

Matt KensethWhile he had to settle for his fourth career runner-up finish at Indy, it was his best result since returning to the series and driving the No. 42 car for Chip Ganassi Racing. Also of note, the two oldest drivers in the field finished 1-2.

Brad Keselowski — Finished fourth for his third top-four finish at Indy in the last four years. 

Michael McDowellHis seventh-place finish was his best Indy finish and his second top-10 in the last three Cup races this season.

 

 

LOSERS

All those involved in the pit road crash — Brennan  Poole, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier, Martin Truex Jr., Corey LaJoie and Ryan Preece were all eventually eliminated because of damage they suffered in a crash on pit road early in the race. Poole’s car hit Zach Price, a rear tire changer for Ryan Blaney’s team. The team stated that Price was treated and released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis but did not disclose any injuries.

Those who suffered tire problems — Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, William Byron, Ryan Newman and Alex Bowman all hit the wall after tires went down. Hamlin crashed while leading with eight laps to go.