Xfinity Series set for a dance with “The Lady in Black”

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series leads off the weekend at Darlington Raceway with a midday affair on Saturday with the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at 12:30 p.m. ET (NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). This weekend’s race marks the first time since 2004 that the Xfinity Series has raced twice in a season at Darlington Raceway.

After the stoppage in racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR realigned the NASCAR Xfinity Series race from Chicagoland Speedway to Darlington Raceway in May – the first week the sport returned to action. That made the regularly scheduled Labor Day weekend event the second Darlington race of the season for the series.

Chase Briscoe won the first event of the season at Darlington in the series’ return to racing for the first time after the two-month halt in action. The win was Briscoe’s second victory of the season after winning at Las Vegas. He then went on to win the second of the two Miami races in a double-header, at Pocono, on the Indianapolis Road Course and, most recently, in the second race of the Dover double-header weekend.

Briscoe and Denny Hamlin (five wins) are the only drivers in the field this weekend with wins at Darlington in the Xfinity Series.

Three different drivers have swept a season’s races for a total of four times at Darlington (1984 – Ron Bouchard, 1994 – Mark Martin, 2000 – Mark Martin, 2002 – Jeff Burton).

Martin is the all-time wins leader at Darlington with eight visits to Victory Lane. Denny Hamlin is second with five wins, while Jeff Burton and Harry Gant have four apiece.

Justin Allgaier and Jeremy Clements lead entered drivers with 10 starts apiece at the South Carolina track. Allgaier has three top-five and seven top-10 finishes, including a third-place result here earlier this season. Clements has one top 10 (eighth place in 2016) and finished 12th at Darlington in May.

Justin Haley will start on the pole for Saturday afternoon’s race, with Briscoe alongside him on the front row.

The pole winner (or first starting position) has won the race at Darlington 15 times – most recently by Denny Hamlin in 2017.

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