NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will be kicking off the Fourth of July weekend at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Saturday, July 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET for the Henry 180 on the USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
The track has hosted 12 Xfinity Series races producing 12 different winners and seven different pole winners with Carl Edwards winning the inaugural race on June 19, 2010.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs currently sits as the youngest pole winner, having snagged the pole last year at 18 years, eight months and 29 days old. Current Cup Series rookie Austin Cindric became the youngest winner at the road course in 2020, accomplishing the feat at 21 years, 11 months and six days old.
Fans last saw veteran Kyle Busch take the lead in the last five laps of the race to find himself in Victory Lane in last season’s Xfinity Series event at Road America. Although Busch will not be competing this weekend in the Xfinity Series, other Cup Series regulars will be taking to the track on Saturday for the Henry 180, such as Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, Ty Dillon and Cole Custer. Also, three former Xfinity Series Road America winners are entered as well – Justin Allgaier (2018), AJ Allmendinger (2013) and Jeremy Clements (2017).
The on-track action will begin on Friday, July 1 with practice at 5:30 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 6 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
Next Race: Henry 180
The Place: Road America
The Date: Saturday, July 2
The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV: USA, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 182.16 miles (45 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 10),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 20), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 45)
Will we have a different Road America winner once again?
The NASCAR Xfinity Series has been making its way to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to race at Road America since 2010 and there has yet to be a repeat winner.
Road America currently holds the longest active Xfinity Series different winners streak at 12. The record for the most consecutive different winners at a single track is 23, set at New Hampshire Motor Speedway between the 1990-2009 seasons.
Of the 12 drivers that have made their way to Victory Lane in the Xfinity Series, only three are entered in the Henry 180 to have the opportunity to add a second Road America win to their resume – AJ Allmendinger (2013), Jeremy Clements (2017) and Justin Allgaier (2018).
Allmendinger has four starts at the Wisconsin road course and has done quite well, posting one win, three top fives, three top 10s and even adding two poles (2013, 2019) to the mix. Road America is particularly special for him as it marks his first ever Xfinity Series win. In 2020, he put on quite the show as he raced his way up to a runner-up finish after starting in the 33rd position. With his success at Road America and being the series’ winningest driver on road courses, the veteran could very well become the track’s first-ever repeat winner as his two wins this season have come at COTA and Portland.
In his 413 Xfinity Series career starts, Clements has posted one win – Road America (2017). The win came as a surprise for all as he was in a nine-year-old car with his small family-owned team. On top of that, he wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to continue his NASCAR career after a 2004 race nearly cost him his hand. This season hasn’t gone quite as planned for the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet driver as he’s only posted one top 10 in his 15 starts this season but perhaps, he’ll surprise fans once again and find himself in Victory Lane for the second time. He is currently 20th in the Playoff outlook, the last eligible
Allgaier is looking to keep his momentum alive after coming off a win last weekend in Nashville. He has 10 starts at Road America posting one win, two top fives and five top 10s. (He is tied for most top 10s with Elliott Sadler at five). Although he didn’t have a great finish at the road course at COTA earlier this season (33rd), he redeemed himself at the 1.97-mile road course in Portland with a fifth-place finish.
Playoff Bubble: Five spots still remain
With Justin Allgaier snagging his second win of the season last weekend in Nashville, five spots are still up for grabs in the remaining 11 races of the regular season.
Seven drivers have secured their spots on wins – AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones and Austin Hill. The remaining spots are currently held by drivers who are sitting comfortably on points – Sam Mayer sits in sixth with 466 points (+162), Riley Herbst sits in ninth with 413 points (+109) and 2021 Xfinity Series Champ Daniel Hemric sits in 10th with 409 points (+105).
Taking up the last two slots are Landon Cassill in 11th (+81) and Ryan Sieg in the 12th and final Playoff transfer spot on points. Sieg has built up a hefty points cushion (+69 points) over Anthony Alfredo, who sits just outside of the Playoff window in 13th. To keep the points cushion, Sieg will have to bring his A-game as his eight starts at Road America have only produced one top-10 finish (2020).
On the other hand, Our Motorsports’ Anthony Alfredo will be making his series track debut at Road America this weekend.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Sammy Smith to make his Xfinity Series debut at Road America – Sammy Smith, the reigning ARCA Menards East champion with Joe Gibbs Racing will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 JGR Toyota for his Xfinity Series debut this Saturday, July 2 in the Henry 180 at Road America.
Smith will also run in Xfinity races at Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Kansas Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway later this season.
“Sammy has impressed at every level of his racing career,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President/Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. “We believe Sammy will continue to excel and look forward to supporting him as he expands his 2022 schedule to include eight races in the Xfinity Series with the Joe Gibbs Racing No.18 team led by crew chief Jason Ratcliff.”
Hendrick Motorsports No. 17 makes debut with Kyle Larson at Road America – Hendrick Motorsports returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series marking the first time in more than a decade that the 14-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning team has competed on the circuit.
Hendrick Motorsports will field its No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro on July 2 at Road America with Kyle Larson, July 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course with Alex Bowman, and Aug. 20 at Watkins Glen International with William Byron.
“Our drivers are always looking for more opportunities to compete,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “We believe the additional road-course experience on Saturdays (in the Xfinity Series) will translate well to Sundays (in the Cup Series). It will be exciting to see the No. 17 return to the racetrack for Hendrick Motorsports, and we’ll do everything we can to take it back to Victory Lane.”