Saturday’s UNOH 188 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCR Radio) will mark the third road course race of the season so far for the Xfinity Series.
The first road course race this season was also a historic one as the series ran on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for the first time in history. Chase Briscoe won the race after leading 30 laps and starting in 12th. Briscoe has competed in GT races at the road course prior to the start of this year’s Rolex 24, giving him some experience on the track.
Austin Cindric won the second road course race last weekend at Road America for the series. He started second and led 19 laps en route to the win. Cindric has three starts in the Rolex 24 (2017-2019).
It is no secret that Briscoe and Cindric are two of the best road course racers that run fulltime in the Xfinity Series. Both drivers got their first career wins on a road course and also happen to be the two drivers dominating the 2020 season.
But, other familiar names such as AJ Allmendinger, who will return to Kaulig Racing again this weekend to run the No. 16, and his teammate Justin Haley, show strength on road courses. Allmendinger is a past overall winner in the Rolex24 in 2012 and was the runner-up in 2006 while finishing third in 2013.
“The Daytona road course – it’s happening. I’m ready! Road America was a great day, and we almost got the win. I’m so proud of everyone at Kaulig racing. We’re making such great progress. I can’t wait to get to Daytona. I think I’ve done 15 Rolex 24 hour races now. This will be the first time in a Xfinity car on the road course. With the added chicane off of Turn 4, it’s going to make for some good action. Overall, I’m so proud of this race team. We’re getting so close. I’m ready to go win and pull into victory lane at Daytona for the second time with Kaulig Racing there. I have to try to match Ross (Chastain) from last year there on the oval,” Allmendinger said in a team release.
Then there are some drivers that we do not see every week in the Xfinity Series but will hit the road course and compete on Saturday for various teams.
Andy Lally will be making his second Xfinity Series start this season at the Daytona Road Course for Our Motorsports. His first race of the season was at Road America and he finished fifth, rallying from a 23rd-place starting position. This will be his 13th career Xfinity start in a span of eight years. He has two best finishes of fifth at Mid-Ohio in 2017 and Road America last weekend. Lally is the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year and a four-time Rolex 24 at Daytona class champion.
Jade Buford is back behind the wheel of the No. 07 for SS Green Light Racing. This will be his third Xfinity start in 2020 and all on road courses. He finished in 14th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and finished ninth last weekend at Road America for JD Motorsports.
Earl Bamber, two-time Le Mans 24 race winner, will make his Xfinity Series debut this weekend for Richard Childress Racing at the Daytona Road Course. Bamber also won the GTLM championship in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship last year.
Brandon Gdovic is back behind the wheel of the No. 26 for Sam Hunt Racing for the second time this season. He made a start for the team at the Indy Road Course and finished 12th after starting last at 38th.
Preston Pardus will pilot the No. 36 for DGM Racing for the second week in a row and the third time this season. The Daytona Beach-area native finished 10th at the Indy Road course and eighth last weekend at Road America. This weekend will mark his fifth Xfinity Series career start.
CARS Super Late Model driver Harold Crooms is set to make his Xfinity Series debut on Saturday in the No. 66 for MBM Motorsports. MBM has brought a variety of drivers on board this season and Crooms is the only one with no previous NASCAR national series experience. He did participate in ARCA Menards Series testing at Daytona in January.
Lastly, Scott Heckert will make his 10th Xfinity Series career start at the Daytona Road Course for B.J. McLeod in the No. 78. Saturday will also be his second start of the season. Last weekend he finished 33rd at Road America.