After break in action, NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Alabama

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series was off last weekend as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Cup Series took on Richmond Raceway. Prior to that, the NASCAR Xfinity Series was in Martinsville, Virginia for the Cook Out 250. The race was postponed after weather took over during the originally scheduled start on Friday. The race was rescheduled for Sunday, April 11 and the series crowned another first-time winner in JR Motorsport’s driver Josh Berry. 

Berry, who drives part-time this season, took the lead from Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs on Lap 223 of 250 and held onto it the rest of the way in only his 13th series start. 

Berry crossed the finish line 0.590-seconds before his JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson. Gragson had an extra payday of $100,000 as the highest finisher among the four Dash 4 Cash eligible drivers to kick off the initiative. 

Berry led a race-high 95 laps and became the first driver to win a Xfinity race in the No. 8 car since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan back in 2006.

Daniel Hemric finished third while Ty Gibbs held onto fourth. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones finished fifth. Series leader Austin Cindric finished sixth, followed by Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett rounding out the top 10.

All four of the JR Motorsports Chevrolets and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyotas finished in the top 10.

Berry is now eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus at the next event at Talladega Superspeedway along with Gragson, Hemric and Jones.

The Xfinity Series gets back on track this Saturday, April 24 at Talladega Superspeedway at 4 p.m. ET for the Ag-Pro 300 on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The race will be 300 miles and 113 laps.

The starting lineups for this weekend’s race were determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Austin Cindric will start on the pole with Daniel Hemric joining him on the front row. Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley won this event last season from the first starting position; the third driver all-time to accomplish the feat joining Tony Stewart (2008) and Joe Nemechek (1998).

Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley looks to make it three straight wins at Talladega
Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley swept both Talladega Superspeedway race weekends last season in the No. 11 Chevrolet, and this weekend he’s definitely one to keep an eye on as he tries to become just the second driver in series history to win three consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Martin Truex Jr. (2004-2006).

The spring race at Talladega last season was 2 hours, 12 minutes and 22 seconds long with an average speed of 136.249 mph. There were six cautions for 22 laps and 22 lead changes. The Margin of Victory was .299 seconds.

There were 4,184 green flag passes (46 per green flag lap). Ross Chastain finished second in this race last year, making it a Kaulig Racing 1-2 sweep. Jeb Burton, who is now piloting the No. 10 Chevrolet for Kaulig in 2021, finished third then driving for JR Motorsports.

Haley has as a good shot as any this weekend at Talladega, the pre-race Loop Data has him listed with the best driver rating at Talladega at 103.0 and Noah Gragson has the second-best driver rating at 97.1. 

In total, Haley has made three series starts at Talladega posting two wins, three top 10s and an average finish of 3.0 (series-best).

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