NASCAR Xfinity Series News & Notes – Darlington Raceway

After an action-packed race that saw Josh Berry hold off his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier by 0.604 seconds last weekend to win at Dover Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will be back on the track this Saturday, May 7 for the Mahindra ROXOR 200 at Darlington Raceway at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

There have been 63 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Darlington Raceway producing 35 different race winners and 29 different pole winners. Fifteen of the 63 Xfinity races have been won from the pole, the most recent by Denny Hamlin in 2017.

Only three former Xfinity Series Darlington race winners are entered this weekend – Chase Elliot (2014), Brandon Jones (2020) and Justin Allgaier (2021).

NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin holds quite a few records at the 1.366-mile track. In 29 Xfinity Series races, he earned eight poles, eight wins, 14 top fives, 18 top 10s and has led 972 laps – all are series records at Darlington.

On-track action for the Xfinity Series will begin on Friday, May 6 with practice at 5 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 5:30 p.m. ET (both will be on FS1).

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Mahindra ROXOR 200

The Place: Darlington Raceway

The Date: Saturday, May 7

The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,273,583

TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 200.1 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)

Justin Allgaier looking to make his way to Victory Lane

Fans haven’t seen Justin Allgaier in Victory Lane since last year when he won at this very race in Darlington. While his teammate, Josh Berry, was able to cut ahead for the win this past weekend at Dover (leaving Allgaier in second), the roles were reversed in the 2021 Darlington Spring race. It was Allgaier who took the lead from Berry with two laps to go after a back-and-forth battle for the lead in the last 17 laps, leaving Berry in the runner-up position.

Although a hard loss for Allgaier last weekend at Dover, he could very well redeem himself at Darlington Raceway, considering his history at the track “too tough to tame”.

It seems that mile tracks are a sweet spot for the JR Motorsports driver. Many thought he had a great shot at winning in Dover precisely because of his success at the track (now at two wins, 11 top fives and 15 top 10s in 22 starts) and the same can be said about the 1.366-mile track in Darlington. In 13 starts, he has posted one win, four top fives and nine top 10s.

Although Allgaier has the skills and experience to pull off a win in Darlington, he’ll likely have to fight his way to the finish line. His JRM teammate, Noah Gragson, has had a hot start to his 2022 season with two wins, seven top fives and seven top 10s and has a nice track record at Darlington Raceway. In his five series starts at Darlington, he has posted one win (September 2021), three top fives and five top 10s. That’s right, he’s never finished past eighth place.

Another driver who could possibly appear in Victory Lane this weekend is driver of the No. 39 RSS Racing Ford, Ryan Sieg. Although he has yet to post a series win, he has been towards the front of the pack all season long. In his 10 starts this season, he has posted one top five and seven top 10s. In two of the races where he didn’t place in the top 10, he posted 11th-place finishes (Phoenix and Austin). The only race where he didn’t finish in or near the top-10 was in Las Vegas where he fell victim to a crash early on in lap 25. He also has improved consistently at the “track too tough to tame” over the course of his Xfinity Series career. What started as him finishing in the middle of the pack has turned into top-10 finishes in the last four races (with the exception of last year’s September race where he placed 11th). On top of that, he’s been keeping up in the driver standings, currently sitting in eighth place with 287 points.

Xfinity Series goes big on Throwback Weekend paint schemes

This weekend is the highly anticipated Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers are ready to show off their schemes on the track. Check out the throwback schemes that have been announced for this weekend so far:

  • Ty Gibbs’ No. 54 JBR Toyota will resemble Bobby Labonte’s 2002 Interstate Batteries car.
  • Justin Allgaier’s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt’s Wrangler Jeans car.
  • Josh Berry’s No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will resemble Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2002 Looney Tunes/Action Performance car
  • Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 02 Our Motorsports Chevrolet, will be throwing it back to Mark Martin’s rookie season paint scheme
  • Joe Graf Jr. will be modeling his No. 07 SS Green Light racing Chevrolet after Buckshot Jones’ No. 00 Georgia Pacific 2001 scheme
  • JJ Yeley’s No. 66 car will resemble pink Country Time car from 1993
  • David Starr will be paying tribute to team owner and former NASCAR driver Bobby Dotter, who drove the No. 08 Hyde Tools car in 1995.
  • Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will be honoring Rick Mast’s Skoal Cup Series paint scheme from the early 1990s.
  • Ryan Vargas is teaming up with Monarch Roofing to have his No. 6 JD Motorsports Chevrolet resemble Jeff Gordon’s 1999 Xfinity Series paint scheme.
  • Jeb Burton will honor his father’s (Ward Burton) No. 27 Gwaltney’s 1992 paint scheme.
  • Patrick Emerling, driver of the No.35 Emerling-Gase Motorsports Toyota, will throw it back to NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evan’s Modified paint scheme
  • Josh Bilicki’s No. 44 Alpha Prime Racing Ford will honor Bill Elliott’s No. 00
  • Jeremy Clements’ No. 51 Chevrolet will honor Dale Earnhardt’s Wrangler Jeans car

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update – The Class of 2022 Sunoco rookies now have 10 races under their belts heading into this weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway.

Austin Hill has led the pack all season long and has already clinched his Playoff spot with his win in the season opener at Daytona. He currently sits with 274 points, one win, four top fives and four top 10s.

Not far behind is Sheldon Creed with 217 points and five top 10s.

Sitting in third is Kyle Sieg with 94 points, followed by Jesse Iwuji with 24 points.

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