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The NASCAR Xfinity Series Heads to the ‘Paperclip’ of Short Tracks

After a week off, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will be back in action this Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for some short track beatin’ and bangin’ in the Before You Dig. 250 at Martinsville Speedway – the eighth race of 2023 season.

In total, there have been 39 NASCAR Xfinity Series races held at Martinsville Speedway, producing 25 different race winners and 20 different pole winners. Sam Ard won the inaugural race in 1982 and went on to win four more times (1982 sweep, 1983 sweep), making him the record holder for the most Xfinity Series wins at the Martinsville track with five. Brett Bodine holds the Xfinity Series record for the most poles at Martinsville with five (1985, 1986, 1987 sweep).

Other drivers that have etched their names in the Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Xfinity Series record books are NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett with the most top fives (11), Jimmy Hensley and Tommy Houston are tied for the most top 10s (17) and Tommy Ellis leads the series with the most laps led (713).

Six races have been won from the pole or first starting position, but the last time it was done was in 1987 by driver Jimmy Hensley. Sam Ard leads the series in wins from the pole at Martinsville with three of his five track wins coming from the first starting position.

The first of the NASCAR Xfinity Series on-track activity will take place at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, April 14 with practice followed by qualifying at 5:35 p.m. ET on FS1.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Before You Dig. 250

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, April 15

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,403,623

TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 131.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)

Allgaier, Berry, Smith and Nemechek are set to Dash 4 Cash at Martinsville

Four drivers competed in the first segment of the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash at Richmond Raceway two weeks ago (Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric and Sammy Smith), and it was JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier who dashed his way to the first $100,000 bonus check. With the Dash 4 Cash win, Allgaier has secured his spot in the second segment of the Dash 4 Cash this weekend at Martinsville Speedway and will be joined by his JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry, Kaulig Racing’s Chandler Smith and Joe Gibbs Racing’s John Hunter Nemechek.

Justin Allgaier has five starts under his belt at Martinsville, posting three top fives and four top 10s. His most recent finish at the track was fifth last Fall.

Josh Berry, who has been extra busy this season filling in for an injured Chase Elliott in the NASCAR Cup Series, is the only driver in the competition that has posted a Xfinity Series win at Martinsville (2021). In his four career starts on the half-mile, he has managed one win, one top five, one top 10 and has led 135 laps. His most recent finish at the track was 20th last October.

Both Smith and Nemechek will be making their NASCAR Xfinity Series career debuts at the 0.526-mile Martinsville short track this weekend.

Eyes on the prize: Martinsville Edition

Two previous winners are entered in this weekend’s Before You Dig 250 at Martinsville Speedway (Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) – JR Motorsports teammates Josh Berry and Brandon Jones.

Berry raced his way to the checkered flag at Martinsville in 2021 after starting from the 29th position. He led for 95 of the 250 laps.

Jones snagged his win last season (2022), then driving a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. In his five starts, he’s posted one win, one pole, two top fives, four top 10s and has led 142 laps.

While these drivers will be sure to push for a second win, other drivers will be putting up a fight to post their first on the Martinsville track.

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill only has two stints on the short track (2022) but has put up some good numbers. He posted a fourth-place finish at the spring race and a ninth-place finish in the fall race, an impressive finish considering he navigated his way to the front from the 36th position.

JRM’s Sam Mayer has posted a top-10 finish in all three of his Martinsville starts – fourth (2021), fifth and sixth, respectively (2022). The 20-year-old driver has yet to post a Xfinity Series win so he will be sure to try to land his No. 1 Chevrolet in Victory Lane.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle continues

The 2023 Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders have seven races under their belts as they head to Martinsville Speedway for some short track racing.

Currently leading the pack is the Xfinity Series’ most recent winner, Chandler Smith. The Kaulig Racing driver has secured his spot in the Playoffs with his one win (Richmond), four top fives four top 10s. He sits with 253 points.

Sliding in next is Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sammy Smith, who also secured his spot in the Playoffs with his first Xfinity Series career win at Phoenix Raceway earlier this season. He has racked up 203 points with his one win, two top fives and two top 10s.

Jordan Anderson Racing’s Parker Retzlaff is third in the rookie class with 121 points. He has posted one top five and one top 10 in his seven starts this season.

Closing out the competition is Blaine Perkins with 37 points.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Kaden Honeycutt to join CHK Racing at Martinsville – Kaden Honeycutt will be attempting to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 74 Chevrolet with CHK Racing.

Honeycutt races in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and part time in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. His debut in the Truck Series was also at Martinsville Speedway last season.

“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to run for Mike Harmon and Gary Keller at Martinsville,” said Honeycutt. “It is one of the best tracks on the schedule and it is definitely one that we can really make something happen for sure.”

Corey Heim to make Xfinity Series debut at Dover– NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series regular Corey Heim will be getting behind the wheel of the No. 24 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota at Dover Motor Speedway to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut.

The 20-year-old driver won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the Truck Series last season and posted two wins (Atlanta, Gateway).

“It means so much to get a start in the Xfinity Series,” said Heim. “I’ve watched all three national series of NASCAR for as long as I can remember, and to be able to make the next step up is a dream come true.”

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