The NASCAR Xfinity Series has yet another off week before coming back to the track for the Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
There are seven drivers who can breathe easy for next weekend’s Nashville race as they’ve already clinched their spot in this season’s Playoffs – Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones and Austin Hill – leaving just five spots up for grabs.
Currently in the eighth position is JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer with a 137-point cushion ahead of the Playoff cutoff. Although he has yet to post a win this season, don’t be surprised if he joins JRM teammates Gragson, Allgaier and Berry on this season’s winners list as he has posted seven top fives and eight top 10s thus far.
Sliding into the ninth-place position is Daniel Hemric with 389 points, one top five and six top 10s. Twenty three points behind Hemric sits Landon Cassill, who is having a career-year, with three top fives and seven top 10s.
Rounding out the last two slots in the current Playoff outlook are Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst (77-point cushion ahead of the cutline) and RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg (58-points above the cutline).
Herbst had rough finishes in the last two Xfinity Series races but was previously riding a streak of six consecutive top-10 finishes, so he still has plenty of time to get back on track. His best finish this season thus far was a third place at Darlington Raceway. Considering that Darlington Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway are almost identical in length, perhaps he’ll finally make his way to Victory Lane and clinch his spot in the Playoffs.
On the cusp of the postseason cutline is Anthony Alfredo in 13th, the first spot outside the Playoffs, but he’s 58 points behind Ryan Sieg in 12th. Alfredo scored his first career pole in Portland and is hoping to run well when he makes his series track debut at Nashville. Alfredo is chasing Sieg in the points, and Sieg made his series track debut at Nashville last season posting a 16th-place finish.
Next Race: Tennessee Lottery 250
The Place: Nashville Superspeedway
The Date: Saturday, June 25
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,319,713
TV: USA, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 250.04 miles (188 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 188)
While most Xfinity Series drivers are enjoying their well-deserved break in the season, Josh Berry and Brandon Jones spent the weekend perfecting their skills and adding wins to their resumes.
Berry, who drives the No.8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, found his way to Victory Lane in the inaugural Jack Ingram Memorial 111 Late Model race at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 11.
With the win, Berry can say that he has victories at every active crown jewel at Hickory, including the Fall Brawl and the Bobby Isaac Memorial.
While Berry was cruising into Victory Lane at Hickory Motor Speedway, Jones was doing the same at Iowa Speedway for the Calypso Lemonade 150 in the ARCA Menards Series.
Jones is two-for-two in ARCA Menards races this season, having also won last month’s Charlotte race. In total, he has posted seven ARCA Menards Series wins since 2014 and plans to take home more trophies as he’s set to make three more starts in the No.81 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Pocono Raceway on July 22, Watkins Glen on August 19 and Bristol Motor Speedway on September 15.
Both drivers have already snagged Xfinity Series wins this season (Berry – Dover and Charlotte & Jones – Martinsville) and they each have had one stint at the Nashville track, both finishing in the top 10.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Sammy Smith set to start eight races in the Xfinity Series – Sammy Smith, the reigning ARCA Menards Series East champion with Joe Gibbs Racing has now been called up to pilot the No. 18 JGR Toyota in select races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
His Xfinity Series career debut will be at Road America on Saturday, July 2. He will also be behind the wheel for the races at Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Kansas Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.
The 18-year-old driver will be the seventh to pilot the No.18 this season after Trevor Bayne, Ryan Truex, Drew Dollar, John Hunter Nemechek, Bubba Wallace and Connor Mosack.
One Xfinity driver entered in Knoxville this weekend – Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 02 Our Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will be starting in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the season for AM Racing in the No. 22 Chevrolet.
This will be the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Moffitt’s 91st start in the series. In addition to his series title, he has posted 12 wins, 39 top fives and 53 top 10s.
This season in the Xfinity Series, he’s started in all 14 races posting three top 10s.
Hendrick Motorsports to join in on Xfinity Series fun – Hendrick Motorsports will be bringing back the No. 17 for three NASCAR Xfinity Series road courses this season with Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman and William Byron each taking their turn behind the wheel.
Hendrick Motorsports has deep ties to the No. 17, fielding it for Darrell Waltrip from 1987-90 and claiming a Daytona 500 victory before running the same number in the Camping World Truck Series for Ricky Hendrick, the late son of team owner Rick Hendrick.
The car will run at Road America on July 2, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on July 30 and Watkins Glen International on Aug. 20.