XFINITY Race Preview: Bristol
NASCAR XFINITY Series news, notes and fast facts in advance of Saturday's Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
|Radio: PRN, 12:30 p.m. (ET)|
|TV: FS1, 12 p.m. (ET)|
|Race Distance: 159.9 miles (300 laps)|
|Stage Lengths: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 85), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on lap 300)|
|Youngest Pole Winner:||Erik Jones (4/18/2015 - 18 years, 9 months, 19 days)|
|Oldest Pole Winner:||Harry Gant (8/26/1994 - 54 years, 7 months, 16 days)|
|Youngest Race Winner:||Erik Jones (4/16/2016 - 19 years, 9 months, 17 days)|
|Oldest Race Winner:||Harry Gant (4/4/1992 - 52 years, 2 months, 25 days)|
|Races Won from Pole:||10|
|Last Race Won from Pole:||Erik Jones (4/16/2016)|
|Race Record:||Elliott Sadler - 94.740 mph (3/17/2012)|
|Qualifying Record:||Erik Jones - 127.903 mph (8/19/2016)|
|Cars:||40||43 - 30 Times (8/24/2012)||22 (8/26/1983)|
|Lead Changes:||16||16 - 2 Times (8/19/2016)||1 - 4 Times (4/18/2015)|
|Leaders:||7||10 (3/20/2010)||1 (4/18/2015)|
|Cautions:||8||14 - 5 Times (8/25/2006)||2 (5/21/1983)|
|Caution Laps:||54||103 (3/24/2007)||19 (5/21/1983)|
|Lead Lap Finish:||8||30 - (8/26/2005)||1 (5/21/1983)|
|Running at the Finish:||30||37 (8/26/2005)||13 (8/26/1983)|
|Laps Led (Winner):||4||300 (4/18/2015)||1 (4/9/1994)|
|Margin of Victory*:||0.277||8.6 (8/25/1995)||0.019 (8/26/2011)|
*Since 1993 (advent of digital timing and scoring); does not include races completed under caution
XFINITY Dash 4 Cash Returns With $1 Million Still On The Line
Returning this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway for its second installment of the 2017 season is the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash program. Justin Allgaier took home the first Dash 4 Cash win and the gigantic payload ($100K) earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway. If Allgaier can win the Dash 4 Cash at the next three scheduled events (Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Dover International Speedway) he will not only bring home a total of $400,000 in winnings, but XFINITY will also tack on an additional $600,000 to bring Allgaier’s Dash 4 Cash win total to a cool million dollars.
But, before Allgaier becomes a millionaire, he will need to win the Dash 4 Cash at Bristol this weekend. The Riverton, Illinois native has made 12 starts at Bristol, posting his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series win (2010), five top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 12.7. In his last four starts at Bristol, he has finished in the top-10; including a runner-up finish last fall. Justin Allgaier has won the last two consecutive Dash 4 Cash events dating back to 2016 – Indianapolis last season and Phoenix a few weeks back.
The XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program began in 2009. This weekend will mark the third time Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program. Daniel Suárez won the first Dash 4 Cash check at Bristol in 2015 and Erik Jones won it in 2016.
Quick Reminder of The Dash 4 Cash Race Formats
· Coors Light Pole Qualifying will determine the starting positions for the race.
· The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage.
· Based on the participation guidelines announced last year, drivers with more than five years of full-time experience are restricted from the four races in the Dash 4 Cash program.
Dash 4 Cash Eligibility
The top two finishing NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers who have declared for series points in each of the two stages will make up the four-driver Dash 4 Cash field for the Final Stage. Once Stage 1 is complete, the two drivers who lock into the main field won't have their position counted against other Dash 4 Cash-eligible drivers following Stage 2 to ensure a four-driver field.
The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage. At Bristol Motor Speedway: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 85), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on lap 300)
The highest finisher in the final stage among the four Dash 4 Cash drivers wins the Dash 4 Cash and a $100,000 prize.
Plus, don’t forget if a driver earns two Dash 4 Cash bonus wins over the four Dash 4 Cash races, that qualifies them for the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs.
Six Different Winners Through First Six XFINITY Races
For the 11th time in NASCAR XFINITY Series history (since 1982) the first six races of the season have seen six different winners. Ryan Reed (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Atlanta), Joey Logano (Las Vegas), Justin Allgaier (Phoenix), Kyle Larson (Auto Club) and Erik Jones (Texas) are this season’s six different winners.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series record for largest number of different winners in a single season is 18 – set back in 1988. Last season the NASCAR XFINITY Series had 14 different winners.
A total of 44 different drivers have won in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Bristol, and of the six different winners that have an opportunity to become the first repeat winner of 2017, four of them have wins at Bristol. Just three are entered this weekend - Joey Logano has two BMS victories, Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier each have one.
Even At This Point In The Season Stage Points Are Making The Difference
Not only has the addition of Stage racing added great action on the track, but it also creates a new dynamic in the strategy to accumulate points. Teams that have embraced the new format are starting to see the dividends of their hard work.
Not surprising to see, the NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader, Elliott Sadler, is also the driver with the most Stage points at 62 through the first seven races – 26 from Stage 1 and 36 from Stage 2. Sadler’s 62 Stage points account for 27.5% of his overall driver standings total of 225 points.
Close behind Sadler in Stage point accumulation is his JR Motorsports teammate William Byron, who has the second-most Stage 1 and 2 points at 43 – 25 from Stage 1 and 18 from Stage 2. Byron is currently second in the NASCAR XFINITY Series points just six markers back from Sadler in the standings lead. Byron’s Stage 1 and 2 points make up 19.6% of his overall driver standings total of 219 points.
So why are Stage points so important this season? Consider this: If Stage 1 and Stage 2 points were not in play this season (and points were just awarded for where a driver finishes) Elliott Sadler would not be the current points leader. William Byron would hold that distinction instead. Byron has posted a better average finish (7.7) than Sadler (9.8) and in doing so has accumulated 13 more Final Stage points than Sadler. Sadler’s 19-point advantage over Byron in Stage 1 and Stage 2 point accumulation is the difference in him leading and not leading the standings following Texas. Keep in mind, finishing the regular season as the points leader guarantees the competitor 15 playoff points, which will be an advantage to advance them through the playoff rounds.
Stage points are here and as important as ever.
Five Different Winners In Last Five Races At Bristol
Bristol Motor Speedway has a current streak of five different NASCAR XFINITY Series winners dating back to the fall of 2014; boding the question, will we see a sixth?
While it could happen, it may be tough. Four of the five previous winners in the current streak are entered this weekend – Austin Dillon (2016 Fall winner), Erik Jones (2016 Spring), Joey Logano (2015 Spring) and Ryan Blaney (2014 Fall). The series leader in wins at Bristol, Kyle Busch (eight wins), is the only one not entered.
Bristol has hosted six NXS first-time winners: Justin Allgaier (2010), Martin Truex Jr. (2004), Jeff Fuller (1996), Bobby Labonte (1991), Rick Wilson (1989) and Phil Parsons (1982).
Darrell Wallace Jr. Can Tie Jack Ingram’s Series Record This Weekend
Darrell Wallace Jr. and crew chief Seth Barbour are also on a hot streak, finishing sixth in the last five consecutive races. If Wallace finishes sixth next weekend at Bristol, he will tie Jack Ingram for the series record lead in consecutive single finishing positions inside the top-10. Ingram finished second a series record six times in 1983.
Ingram’s record of six consecutive second-place finishes in 1983 started on June 25, 1983 at South Boston, and carried on to Rougemont (7/2/83), Caraway (7/6/83), Rougemont (7/9/83), South Boston (7/23/83) and Hickory (7/30/83). If Wallace does match Ingram’s feat, he will have done it on six different tracks.
Wallace’s recent success has given him the third-best average finishing positon (10.5) through the first six races this season.
Wallace has made four series starts at BMS, posting an average finish of 14.0; including a seventh-place finish last fall.
“I love racing at Bristol and in Tennessee,” said Wallace. “Growing up a huge Vols fan it’s really cool to be racing in Vol Country. This place is a ton of fun to race on and hopefully we can keep our streak going and get a couple spots better than sixth with our Leidos Mustang. I’m definitely looking forward to getting there this weekend.”
NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.
Additional Milestones & Current Streaks – Elliott Sadler, for the fifth-time in his career, is looking to extend his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes to six straight this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Sadler posted a career-record 16 consecutive top-10 finishes last season, tying Brad Keselowski for the fourth-most all-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. … William Byron is the only driver left in the 2017 season to complete every single lap (1,037 laps completed; 100%) of his scheduled laps this season.
Koch & Rice To Give Command For Speedway Children’s Charities 5k - Friday evening, April 21st, Kaulig Racing’s driver Blake Koch and crew chief Chris Rice will give the command to start the Speedway Children’s Charities Spring Race 5K presented by Agero at Bristol Motor Speedway before participating in the event themselves.
“Speedway Children’s Charities, Agero and BMS have done a great job organizing this event and I’m honored to be a grand marshal, but also look forward to participating in the event with my family,” said Koch. “Fitness is such a huge part of what I do in the race car and it’s awesome to be able to share that with NASCAR fans and raise money to help some great kids along the way.”
Koch will participate in a meet-n-greet with fans at 7:15 p.m. ET before joining Chris Rice and “Ducky” Keller to give the command for the 7:30 p.m. ET start time. The Spring Race 5K will start at BMS’ Orange Bridge, circle the BMS campgrounds and colosseum and end with a lap around the apron of the famed half-mile speedway. At the conclusion, fans are invited to stay for a big party at the end--in true Bristol fashion. Registration is $25 with all proceeds benefitting local children through Speedway Children's Charities.