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Xfinity practice report from Fontana

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Justin Allgaier wrapped up the second and final Xfinity Series practice session Friday at Auto Club Speedway with the top speed (178.059 mph).

Tyler Reddick was second fastest (177.139), followed by Christopher Bell (176.956), Kyle Busch (176.670) and Noah Gragson (176.432).

Sixth through 10th were Ryan Preece (176.280), Cole Custer (176.061), Chase Briscoe (175.794), John Hunter Nemechek (175.640) and Brandon Jones (175.200).

A total of 34 drivers took to the track in the session.

Qualifying will take place Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET.

A few hours later, the Production Alliance Group 300 race (150 laps/300 miles) will take the green flag at 5 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Click here for the full second practice speed chart.

FIRST PRACTICE:

Cole Custer was fastest in the first of two Xfinity Series practices Friday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

The Stewart Haas Racing driver roared around the 2-mile high speed oval in his Ford Mustang at 177.039 mph, the only driver to exceed 177 mph.

Christopher Bell was second fastest (176.882 mph), followed by the man who is getting the most attention this weekend, Kyle Busch (176.350 mph), who is seeking to become only the second driver in NASCAR history to reach 200 wins in a career.

Busch comes into this weekend with 199 career NASCAR wins: 52 in Cup, 53 in Trucks and 94 in Xfinity. He can reach 200 with a win in Saturday’s Xfinity race or in Sunday’s Cup event.

Tyler Reddick was fourth fastest in the session (175.970 mph), leading a surge of five Chevy drivers in a row, followed by Justin Allgaier in fifth (175.833), Noah Gragson (175.653), Jeremy Clements (174.834) and John Hunter Nemechek (174.478).

Rounding out the top 10 were Austin Cindric (174.338 mph) and Ryan Preece (174.350).

The final Xfinity practice will take place later this afternoon from 4:35 to 5:25 p.m. ET.

Click here for the full Xfinity practice speed chart.

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Christopher Bell wins Xfinity pole in Phoenix

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Christopher Bell will start first in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway after he won the pole with a speed of 133.973 mph.

It is Bell’s seventh career pole and his first of 2019.

Bell, who won the playoff race at ISM Raceway last fall, will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick (133.973 mph).

“I don’t know if I really would have pictured that after yesterday’s practice sessions,” Bell told Fox Sports 1. “But the thing is really, really fast. It’s really comfortable to drive. The 2 car (Reddick) snuck up on us there a little bit closer than we wanted, but that’s alright.”

The top five is completed by Kyle Busch, Cole Custer and Michael Annett.

Ryan Truex, who is making his first start of the year in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevy, will start ninth.

The green flag for the race is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET on FS1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Today’s Xfinity race at Phoenix: Start time, lineup and more

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The fourth race of the Xfinity Series season takes place today with the iK9 Service Dog 200 at ISM Raceway.

Here’s all the information for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Nadav Raviv, VP of Marketing & Sponsorship for Xtreme Concepts, will give the command to start engines at 4:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

PRERACE: Qualifying is at 12:40 p.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1:45 p.m. Driver introductions begin at 3:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. by ISM Raceway Chaplain Ken Bowers. Michelle Moyer will perform the National Anthem at 4:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (200 miles) around the 1-mile track.

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

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 3:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 66 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Christopher Bell won the race at Phoenix last November. Daniel Hemric was second. Cole Custer was third. Brad Keselowski won this race a year ago. Justin Allgaier was second. Kyle Busch was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

NBC Sports Power Rankings heading to Phoenix

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In much the same way we saw considerable shuffling at Las Vegas on pit road during qualifying and then in Sunday’s race, this week’s NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings have a number of changes heading into Sunday’s race in Phoenix.

Kyle Busch remains at the top for the second straight week, but this time he’s tied with Brad Keselowski, who was No. 2 last week.

Las Vegas winner Joey Logano and Las Vegas native Kurt Busch made the biggest jumps in this week’s rankings. Logano jumped from a tie for eighth last week to sole possession of third this week, while the elder Busch brother, who has been the highest-finishing Chevrolet driver in each of the last two races, goes from being part of “others receiving votes” last week to fifth this week.

On the flip side, Kyle Larson dropped from No. 4 last week to No. 10 this week. And dropping out of this week’s rankings are Christopher Bell, Clint Bowyer and Chris Buescher.

Here are this week’s Power Rankings:

(tie) 1. Kyle Busch (37 points): For the second straight weekend he overcame a misfortune – last week a cut tire, this week a speeding penalty – and the challenges of the new rules package. He finished sixth in Atlanta and third in Vegas. He’s the only driver with three top 10s.

(tie) 1. Brad Keselowski (37 points): Had there been another lap at Las Vegas, he might be heading to Phoenix on a two-race win streak. With a win at Atlanta and second-place at Vegas, is off to his best start since 2014 when he finished in the top three in first three races.

3. Joey Logano (31 points): Las Vegas marked the fifth time Logano and Keselowski have finished 1-2 in a race. Logano has won three of those times. Has led 119 laps through the first three races, with two top fives with his win Sunday.

4. Kevin Harvick (29 points): Led 133 laps in the last two races and finished fourth in both. Heads to his favorite playground in Phoenix where he won last spring (and has nine Cup wins overall there). When his team gets the handling right for the entirety of a race, the wins will come.

5. Kurt Busch (21 points): Two top fives in a row, first time he’s had two in the first three races since 2005 when he had three. Perhaps the most underrated driver going. The move to Ganassi is obviously agreeing with him.

6. Denny Hamlin (13 points): Daytona win and no finish lower than 11th in next two races. Being paired with new crew chief Chris Gabehart is definitely working.

(tie) 7. Martin Truex Jr. (12 points): Needed Penn & Teller in his pits to help make his car better in traffic at Vegas. If he can finally find a way around lapped traffic with the new aero package – he’s criticized it in each of the last two races – he has several wins awaiting him in 2019.

(tie) 7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (12 points): Qualified eighth and stayed in the top 10 most of the race. Finished sixth for his first top 10 since placing third at Talladega last fall. No one seems to be doing more with less than Stenhouse, whose verve deserves plaudits.

9. Aric Almirola (10 points): Is definitely coming into his own with two top-10 finishes thus far. A win at Phoenix or Fontana would not be surprising.

10. Kyle Larson (8 points): Back-to-back mistakes weren’t as costly as they could have been, showing the No. 42’s mettle. Even with struggles and penalties, is still sixth in points. Imagine where he’d be if it wasn’t for the issues he’s had.

Others receiving votes: Erik Jones (4 points), Chase Elliott (3 points), Ross Chastain (2 points) and William Byron (1 point).

Kyle Busch wins Las Vegas Xfinity race in overtime

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Kyle Busch won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in overtime, keeping his attempt at a weekend sweep alive.

It took two restart attempts in overtime for the race to be decided, with Busch beating John Hunter Nemechek in the final two-lap shootout.

The top five was completed by Noah Gragson, Austin Dillon and Michael Annett.

Busch’s win comes the day after his victory in the Truck Series race. He had an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 14 for a loose wheel that sent him a lap down. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver returned to the lead lap after taking the wave around at the end of Stage 1. He then took the lead a few laps into the final stage and led 98 of 213 laps.

“I didn’t keep myself in the game, I just knew to keep fighting and just keep working,” said Busch. “Wasn’t sure how we were going to be able to do it being short a set of tires but we got lucky with that caution in the second stage (Austin Cindric spin) that kind of got us back on cycle. We were able to put our first set back on with a fresh wheel so we didn’t have any more issues there.”

The win is Busch’s 197th overall national NASCAR win.

The first overtime attempt was setup by a hard wreck involving Brandon Jones with two laps left in the scheduled distance when Cole Custer made contact with his left rear.

The final attempt was caused by a wreck that involved Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric and Zane Smith, who was making his first start.

After placing second at Daytona and third at Atlanta, Justin Allgaier‘s day ended early in the final stage with an engine problem. He finished 31st.

Click here for race results

Click here for the point standings.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Cole Custer

Stage 2 WINNER: Tyler Reddick

WHAT’S NEXT: Phoenix 200 at ISM Raceway at 4 p.m. ET on March 9 on Fox Sports 1.