NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway

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The Xfinity Series heads back to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the Credit Karma Money 250 on Saturday, July 10 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for the 18th race of the 2021 season. 

It was once again the Kyle Busch show last weekend at Road America where Busch won his fourth Xfinity Series race in four starts this season bringing career series total to 101 victories. Busch has won in all three series this season claiming eight NASCAR National Series wins (Cup two wins, Xfinity four wins, Trucks two wins).

Following Busch was his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Daniel Hemric, finishing second, Michael Annett finished third and AJ Allmendinger finished fourth with Harrison Burton rounding out the top five. 

This weekend will mark the second time this season that the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway, the 1.54-mile paved track in Hampton, Georgia. 

Justin Allgaier won the race earlier this season, leading 47 laps and beating NASCAR Cup Series regular Martin Truex Jr. by 1.449 seconds. Truex led a race-high 103 laps and swept both stages prior to being beat by Allgaier. The race was an eventful one, that saw seven cautions for 37 laps and six lead changes. The average speed was 115.117 mph, and the race was 2 hours, 10 minutes and 50 seconds.

Saturday’s Atlanta Motor Speedway race will be 251.02 miles and 163 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 40 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 80. This weekend’s race had the starting lineups determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Kyle Busch will start on the pole with his JGR teammate Daniel Hemric joining him on the front row.

4 for 4: Kyle Busch keeps winning

Kyle Busch was once again victorious in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, this time at Road America on the 4th of July weekend. He won last Saturday’s Henry 180 claiming his fourth Xfinity Series win in four starts this season. Now the winningest driver in series history (101 victories), is turning his attention to Atlanta Motor Speedway to see he can make it perfect five-for-five.

Last weekend at Road America on Lap 41 of 45, Busch grabbed the lead from road course ace AJ Allmendinger, whose No. 16 was on old tires. The next four laps helped Busch extend his lead over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Hemric who sped past Allmendinger for the runner-up spot.

Busch won in his Road America debut and for the 101st time in his career, continuing to extend his own series record.  With Busch’s win on Saturday, it also marked 12 different winners in as many races at Road America, keeping the streak alive.

This weekend, Busch is back behind the wheel at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Busch has made 13 starts at the 1.54-mile track posting two wins (2016, 2017), nine top fives and 10 top 10s. 

The skinny on Atlanta Motor Speedway

This weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Credit Karma Money 250 on Saturday, July 10 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will be the 31st running of the event at the historic track.

The previous 30 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway have produced 17 different pole winners and 19 different race winners. Kyle Busch leads the series in poles at Atlanta with six and Kevin Harvick leads the series in wins with five.

Chase Elliott holds the record for the youngest pole winner at 18 years, nine months, two days in 2014 and Dick Trickle holds the record for the oldest pole winner at 57 years, 0 months, 11 days in 1998.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon is the youngest winner in Atlanta Xfinity Series history at 20 years, seven months, 10 days in 1992 and Harry Gant is the oldest winner at 54 years in 1994. 

The last race won from the pole was by Kyle Busch in 2017 and only six times in history did the winner start on the pole or first position.

Jeremy Clements and Kyle Busch have the most starts among active drivers in the Xfinity Series. Clements has 12 and Busch as 13. 

Busch has two wins at Atlanta and Allgaier and AJ Allmendinger each have one win. They are the only three active drivers in the series with wins at the track this weekend. 

Harrison Burton has the third-highest average running position at 5.673 and the highest among active drivers, only behind Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. who have run select races in the series.

Burton also has the fifth-highest driver rating at Atlanta and is the highest ranked full-time Xfinity Series driver at 108.4. Allmendinger is behind him in sixth at 107.1.

Playoff Bubble: NASCAR Xfinity Series chances down to nine
With nine races left in the regular season it is time to take a look at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff clinch scenarios heading into this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Credit Karma Money 250 on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. A win gets you in, but drivers must still clinch their spot on points by accumulating enough points that even with a win they do not fall out of the top 30 and become ineligible for the Playoffs.  

Already Clinched:

The following three drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver Xfinity postseason field: Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier. Allgaier clinched a spot last weekend at Road America.

Can clinch via points at Atlanta:

Jeb Burton has not yet clinched a top-30 spot but could clinch a Playoff spot with a win this weekend. Burton has one win and is 397 points ahead of 31st. 

Clinching for Regular Season Championship:
Austin Cindric cannot clinch the regular season championship this weekend with his four wins and 721 points because second-place has 632 and can still reach 1,172 points.

Outlined below is the current Playoffs standings for the Xfinity Series after Road America and heading to Atlanta this weekend.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Standings Post-Road America:

RankDriverPointsStartsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff
1Austin Cindric558133520In On Wins
2AJ Allmendinger462132313
3Justin Allgaier395132111
4Jeb Burton41913105
5Myatt Snider32113105
6Daniel Hemric43713055128
7Harrison Burton43713011128
8Justin Haley40112*03392
9Brandon Jones3451301136
10Jeremy Clements3341300025
11Michael Annett3261300017
12Noah Gragson3241302215
13Brandon Brown30913000-15
14Riley Herbst27913000-45
15Ryan Sieg24413000-80
16Landon Cassill22313000-101

Sieg and Jones heading home, again

Two drivers from Georgia entered in this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the Credit Karma Money 250 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), are extra revved-up about racing at their home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway and looking to finish better than they did earlier this season – RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg from Tucker and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones from Atlanta.

Jones especially is looking for redemption after finishing 37th at the first Atlanta race. Sieg finished 10th.

The 33-year-old driver, Ryan Sieg, and his family-owned organization, RSS Racing, are based in Tucker, Georgia, Sieg’s hometown. The team is run by Ryan’s father, Rod Sieg, and the duo have competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2013 when they made their series debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last season Sieg had a career-best season, racking up seven top fives and 11 top 10s.

This weekend, Sieg will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the ninth time of his career. He’s completed 1,205 of 1,336 laps attempted, which is 90.2 percent and has an average start of 19.6 and an average finish of 19.9. His best finish is 10th that came earlier this season. Sieg will start 16th on Saturday.

Atlanta, Georgia’s own Brandon Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing has had an up-and-down 2021 season so far. Jones will make his seventh Atlanta start on Saturday. He’s completed 945 laps of 978 attempted, which is 96.6 percent. He has an average start of 15.5 and an average finish of 15.2. He has a best finish of fourth from 2019.

Jones goes into this weekend ninth in the series points standings, 36 points from the Playoff cutline. He will start 12th on Saturday.

Josh Berry holds onto his Sunoco rookie standings lead, Gibbs catching up

Josh Berry held onto the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie driver standings over Joe Gibbs Racing’s rising star Ty Gibbs even though he didn’t compete at Road America on Saturday. Berry, who ran a partial schedule for JR Motorsports, is only 18 points ahead of Gibbs after Road America, where Gibbs did compete but had a transmission issue that made him finish 33rd.

Berry is entered to run this weekend at Atlanta for Jordan Anderson Racing in the No. 31 Chevrolet. Gibbs is currently not entered for the event.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings
RookiesPointsAwards
Josh Berry3485
Ty Gibbs3306
Ryan Vargas1624
Jade Buford901
Sam Mayer210

Manufacturer’s championship up for grabs

Chevrolet is still in the lead in the manufacturer’s championship standings but not by much as Toyota is catching up. With seven wins, Chevrolet has 622 points and with six wins, Toyota has 610. Toyota has won five of the last seven races. Ford has four wins, all coming from Austin Cindric. They are third in the standings with four wins and 573 points.