Sunday Showdown at Pocono Raceway for the NXS

NASCAR

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will kick off a Sunday doubleheader with the NASCAR Cup Series on June 27 at Pocono Raceway with the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at 12 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Last weekend, the Xfinity Series took on Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2011 and Kyle Busch was victorious for the second week in a row in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The win also gave Busch his 100th career Xfinity victory – making him just the third driver in NASCAR history to win 100 or more races in a single series.

Justin Allgaier finished runner-up to Busch and Harrison Burton finished third. Josh Berry finished fourth, AJ Allmendinger fifth, Brandon Jones sixth, Jeb Burton seventh, Noah Gragson eighth, Austin Hill ninth and Riley Herbst rounded out the top 10. The race saw eight cautions for 46 laps with 12 lead changes and a margin of victory of 1.110 seconds.

This weekend the series prepares for Pocono Raceway and by virtue of Metric Qualifying Harrison Burton will lead the field to the green flag with Justin Allgaier joining him on the front row. 

Winner Streak: Pocono Raceway is riding a streak of five different Xfinity winners

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Pocono Raceway, also known as the Tricky Triangle, for just the sixth time in series history. The previous five Xfinity Series races at Pocono have produced five different winners a streak that most certainly will extend as none of the former winners are entered in this Sunday’s event.

Last season’s Pocono race won by Stewart-Haas Racing’ Chase Briscoe saw 12 lead changes among six different leaders. There were nine cautions for 31 laps and 21 cars finished on the lead-lap. Briscoe, the led 24 laps en route to the win. 

Among those entered this weekend, Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones are the only full-time Xfinity drivers that have made every start at the track and will make their sixth this weekend. 

Ford is the winningest manufacture at Pocono with three Xfinity victories, while Chevrolet and Toyota each have one at the track.

Century mark for Rowdy helps others

Kyle Busch picked up his 100th career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with his overtime victory at Nashville Superspeedway last weekend. This made him the first driver in Xfinity Series history to reach wins in the triple digits and the third driver in NASCAR national series history to earn 100 or more wins in one series. NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (200), David Pearson (105) have also accomplished the achievement. To celebrate Busch’s 100 wins in the Xfinity Series, Comcast donated 100 laptops and a year of free Internet Essentials to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, which is also a Comcast Lift Zone.

Since September 2020, Comcast has been rolling out Life Zones as part of their ongoing effort to provide Wi-Fi to more than 1,000 community center across America by the end of 2021. 

Bubble Trouble: Who is in, out of the Playoffs?

With five drivers locked in on wins so far this season, there are still seven spots left in the field for a driver to make it into the Playoffs by virtue of a win or on points. With 11 races left in the regular season there is still plenty of time for drivers to secure a spot.

The five Xfinity drivers locked into the postseason on wins are Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider.

Daniel Hemric holds the sixth spot in the standings and is the highest ranked driver without a win so far in 2021. He is 193 points above the cutline currently, extending his lead last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton is behind him in seventh, 166 points from the cutline. Both of these drivers have a good cushion right now, but a win would be preferred to make sure they’re locked-in the postseason.

Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley is sitting in eighth in the driver standings Playoff outlook, he’s 120 points above the cutline and the only Kaulig Racing driver not in the Playoffs on wins yet. Kaulig Racing announced this week they have purchased a Charter in the NASCAR Cup Series and plan on Justin Haley moving up next season.

Once we get to ninth in the standings, the points tighten up. Brandon Jones is in ninth (+89), Noah Gragson 10th (+56), Michael Annett is in 11th (+53) and Jeremy Clements is holding the final Playoff transfer spot just 48 points up on Brandon Brown in 13th – the first spot outside the cutoff.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Nashville:

RankDriverPointsStartsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff
1Austin Cindric628153722In On Wins
2AJ Allmendinger538152313
3Justin Allgaier489152111
4Jeb Burton45715105
5Myatt Snider33215105
6Daniel Hemric52815055193
7Harrison Burton50115011166
8Justin Haley45514*033120
9Brandon Jones4241501189
10Noah Gragson3911502256
11Michael Annett3881500053
12Jeremy Clements3831500048
13Brandon Brown33515000-48
14Riley Herbst33315000-50
15Ryan Sieg29115000-92
16Landon Cassill25215000-130
17Alex Labbe24515000-138

Note: The (*) symbol by the number of Starts indicates a driver missed a race but is still eligible for the Playoffs due to receiving a waiver.

Manufacturer, owner update

Team Penske is still leading the way in the NASCAR Xfinity Series owner points standings following the 15th race of the season at Nashville Superspeedway. Team Penske has 628 points and is 82 points ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing in second. Kaulig Racing is in third, 90 points behind the leader.

Chevrolet is leading the manufacturers championship standings with seven wins and 554 points. Toyota has five wins and 535 points and Ford is sitting in third with three wins and 502 points.

Chevrolet’s wins came at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Toyota’s five wins all came from Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch. They were at the Daytona Road Course, Circuit of the Americas, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway. Four of those victories have all come in the last five races.

Ford’s wins were in the season-opener at Daytona, Phoenix Raceway and Dover International Speedway.

Berry back on top of rookie standings; Gibbs competing this weekend

After making his 13th start of the season last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, JR Motorsport’s driver Josh Berry held onto the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie driver standings from Joe Gibbs Racing’s rising star Ty Gibbs. Berry is 19 points ahead of Gibbs after Nashville, where Gibbs didn’t participate.

Berry is entered to run this weekend’s race at Pocono for Jordan Anderson Racing and Gibbs is back behind the wheel of the No. 54 JGR Toyota this weekend. Both rookies will be making their Pocono Raceway debuts. 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year
RookiesPointsAwards
Josh Berry3175
Ty Gibbs2724
Ryan Vargas1614
Jade Buford691
Sam Mayer00

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Loris Hezemans back in NXS at Pocono: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series points leader Loris Hezemans will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Sunday at Pocono Raceway in the No. 90 DGM Chevrolet with support from Reaume Brothers Racing. Hezemans competed at Phoenix Raceway earlier this season and finished 31st after starting 40th. This weekend will represent another step toward obtaining a license to compete on all NASCAR ovals. After Pocono, Hezemans will return to Europe to continue competing for the Whelen Euro Series title. 

Kevin Harvick running NXS race at Indy: Kevin Harvick will run the August 14 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Road Course with Unibet as the primary sponsor. Unibet will debut with Harvick this weekend at Pocono Raceway in the Xfinity Series and be onboard for two Cup races and the Xfinity race at Indy. Unibet has partnered with Harvick to grow its presence in the United States and specifically within motorsports. Harvick has 347 starts in the Xfinity Series with 47 wins, 186 top fives, 260 top 10s and 25 poles.

Austin Dillon running NXS races for Our Motorsports: Our Motorsports announced that Austin Dillon will be added to the driver lineup for the No. 23 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series. Dillon will be behind the wheel at Watkins Glen International on August 7 and at the Indianapolis Road Course on August 14. Dillon, the 2013 Xfinity Series champion, has 146 Xfinity Series starts with nine wins, 65 top fives, 105 top 10s and 17 pole awards.

Gase back in NXS this weekend: Joey Gase will be driving the No. 52 Chevrolet for Jimmy Means Racing at Pocono Raceway this Sunday. Gase is returning to the team for the first time since 2017 and has sponsorship from Gift of Life. Back in 2012, Gase was the primary driver of the 52. Currently, the No. 52 is 39th in owner points. Gray Gaulding, who is the primary driver of the No. 52, drove the team to a best finish of 17th at Mid-Ohio. Gaulding will be back in the No. 52 after Pocono.