NASCAR Xfinity Series News & Notes – Talladega Superspeedway

After an off-week break, the NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action at Talladega Superspeedway for the Ag-Pro 300 at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 23 on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for the ninth race of the 2022 season.

Fans will be back at the 2.66-mile track after last seeing Brandon Brown seal the victory in the last eight laps after racing his way up from the 19th position.

In 32 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, Talladega Superspeedway has produced 26 different winners and 21 different pole winners with Ernie Irvan winning the inaugural race on July 25, 1992.

Martin Truex Jr. has the most Xfinity Series Talladega wins with three (2004, 2005, 2006) but it is Joe Nemechek that holds the most series records at the 2.66-mile track – most races (22), poles (five), top fives (seven), top 10s (nine), lead lap finishes (14), laps completed (2,153) and laps led (202).

Of the 26 different Xfinity Series winners at Talladega, only two are entered this weekend – Jeb Burton (April 2021) and Brandon Brown (Oct. 2021).

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Ag-Pro 300

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Saturday, April 23

The Time: 4 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,475,583

TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 300.58 miles (113 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 113)

Competition sure to heat up at Talladega

The historic 2.66-mile track has seen 26 NASCAR Xfinity Series winners but there are a few entered this weekend that have made a name for themselves in the last few seasons in Alabama.

Brandon Brown’s October Talladega win wasn’t just a one-and-done. He has done progressively better over the past few years and has the stats to show for it. In 2019, he posted a 15th-place finish. In 2020, he crossed the finish line in 11th-place in the spring and ninth place in the fall and last season, he posted top-10 finishes in both Talladega races. His success at Talladega is a testament to his skill on superspeedways in general, as he has also posted top-10 finishes on the 2.5-mile Daytona superspeedway since 2019.

2021 Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric will be looking for his first win of the season after posting a top-five and three top-10 finishes thus far – and Talladega might just be the place to do so. Last season, he posted a 12th-place finish in April and a fourth-place finish in the October Playoff race. In the 2020 season, he posted a top-five finish in the October event.

Jeb Burton, although not having the season he hoped for (currently 16th in points), might turn things around this weekend at Talladega. The iconic superspeedway has been good to the 29-year-old Our Motorsports driver, marking his first and only Xfinity Series career win in last year’s Ag-Pro 300. Like Brown, Burton also seems to have a knack for superspeedways, posting two top-five finishes last season at Daytona.

Dash 4 Cash continues at ‘Dega

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans and reward / recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.

In the first Dash 4 Cash race this season at Richmond Raceway, Sam Mayer beat AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson and Austin Hill with his third-place finish to take home the $100,000 bonus. It was the first time he had won the Dash 4 Cash in his career.

With the Dash 4 Cash win at Richmond, Mayer was once again eligible for the $100,000 at Martinsville Speedway along with Allmendinger, Riley Herbst and Richmond race winner Ty Gibbs. After a wild race that saw 16 cautions at Martinsville, AJ Allmendinger was the highest finishing eligible driver grabbing the $100,000 with his third-place finish.

Going into Talladega, Allmendinger, Landon Cassill, Brandon Jones and Austin Hill will take their shot at the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Allmendinger has had a few Xfinity Series stints in Talladega and while he hasn’t always had the best of luck, he did post a third-place finish last spring and had a runner-up finish in Daytona earlier this year.

Cassill has competed at Talladega in the Xfinity Series a total of six times, posting two top-10 finishes.

Although Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Hill only has one Xfinity Series Talladega race under his belt, his win in Daytona earlier this year and his numerous top-five finishes (Daytona, Atlanta, COTA and Martinsville) are a good indicator of his versatility.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Chandler Smith to make series career debut – Sam Hunt Racing has tapped NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship contender Chandler Smith to drive for three NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2022. Smith is set to make his debut behind the wheel of the No. 26 Charge Me Toyota this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Smith will also race at Dover Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Though this weekend will be Smith’s first in the Xfinity Series, he has made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Talladega posting and average finish of 11.0.

Larry McReynolds to be crew chief for Jeffrey Earnhardt – It was announced last week that Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt, would pilot his grandfather’s No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

Leading Earnhardt and the No. 3 team this weekend will be Larry McReynolds, who finds his way back on top the pit box after nearly 22 years. And this weekend will be his NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut.

Prior to this weekend, McReynolds has worked as a TV Analyst, most recently with FOX Sports, and has served as crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series from 1982 to 2000 working with NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers like Mark Martin, Davey Allison, Dale Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt. He has earned 23 victories in the NASCAR Cup Series in his career and probably the most well-known is his win with Dale Earnhardt in the 1998 Daytona 500 ending a long-standing drought in the big event for the legendary driver.

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