The NASCAR Xfinity Series season schedule may be a little unconventional as the sport responds safely to the world COVID-19 outbreak, but the racing on track remains as competitive and captivating as always.
This year’s championship battle has been especially tight among the sport’s brightest up-and-coming drivers with a steely veteran keeping them all honest.
Chase Briscoe – the only two-time winner of the year – collected his second victory at Darlington Raceway last week and now holds an eight-point edge over Austin Cindric atop the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings. The top six drivers are separated by only 33 points heading into Monday’s Cheddar’s 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Briscoe also boasts the top record in the 2019 Xfinity races at Bristol – finishing runner-up to eventual Xfinity champion Tyler Reddick in the Fall race and fourth in the spring race – just behind the current NASCAR Cup Series rookies Christopher Bell, Reddick and Cole Custer.
Fellow Ford driver Cindric started from pole position last August and finished fifth in the race. The 21-year-old has five top-10 finishes in six races this season and shown himself to be a factor weekly.
Both Briscoe and Cindric have had a lot of early season work to get past 19-year-old series rookie Harrison Burton in the standings who earned his first Xfinity Series trophy at Fontana, California in March. He has top-10 finishes in all six races to date including runner-up showings at Daytona and Darlington to go with his win and trails Briscoe by 17 points. Bristol has been an important track in his young career. He made his first Xfinity Series start in this race last year, starting fifth and finishing 10th in his debut.
Of those top six drivers in the standings, only Justin Allgaier has ever won at Bristol before. In fact, the 34-year old driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet scored his first major NASCAR victory at the half-miler in 2010. The track has been a particularly strong suit on his resume with eight top-10 finishes in the last 10 races. The 11-time Xfinity Series race winner trails Briscoe by 33 points in the driver standings heading into this weekend.
“Bristol is a place that has always been special to me,” said Allgaier, who has earned five of his 11 career victories on tracks one-mile or shorter. “It’s where I got my first win and I’ve always felt comfortable on the track there from the day I turned my first laps. Last year, we nearly won twice there, but bad luck struck us both times. That’s definitely something you don’t forget and I know this Suave Men team is just as eager as I am to get back there and get another shot at ending the day in Victory Lane.”
WDUN will carry live PRN Radio coverage of Monday night's NASCAR Xfinity Series Cheddar's 300 beginning at 6:30 p.m. on 102.9 FM, AM 550 and streaming live on AccessWDUN.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Cheddar’s 300
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway – Bristol, TN
The Date: Monday, June 1
The Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 159.9 miles (300 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 85),Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 300)
2019 Race Winner: Christopher Bell
What To Watch For: Bristol Motor Speedway has been a staple in the NASCAR Xfinity Series hosting two races each season since the series inception in 1982. The very first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol was held on March 13, 1982 and the event was won by Phil Parsons driving a Pontiac owned by Johnny Hayes. … In total the NASCAR Xfinity Series has run 75 races at Bristol Motor Speedway; two races each season. … 485 drivers have made at least one NASCAR Xfinity Series at Bristol Motor Speedway; 337 have competed in more than one. Jeff Green leads the series in Bristol starts with 38. … A total of 49 different drivers have won the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, led by Kyle Busch with six poles. … The 75 Xfinity races have also produced 48 different race winners at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch leads the series in wins at Bristol with nine victories (2006 Spring, 2010 Fall, 2011 sweep, 2013 sweep, 2014 Spring, 2015 Fall and 2017 Fall). … Only two former series Bristol winners are entered this weekend – Jeff Green (2002) and Justin Allgaier (2010). … Six drivers have scored their first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway – Justin Allgaier (3/20/2010), Martin Truex Jr. (2/27/2004), Jeff Fuller (8/23/1996), Bobby Labonte (4/13/1991), Rick Wilson (4/10/1989), Phil Parsons (3/13/1982). … The front row, first and second starting positions, are the two winningest positions on the grid producing 11 winners each – the most recent was Kyle Busch’s win from the pole in 2017. … In total 120 different drivers have led at least on lap in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Bristol, led by Kyle Busch with 2,204 laps led.