Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
NASCAR re-ignites the 2020 Xfinity Series with a race at Darlington Raceway Thursday afternoon after being postponed due to rain on Tuesday. The Xfinity race is the first for the series since March 7th at Phoenix Raceway. The race also marks the third NASCAR event in an 11-day span of seven.
Xfinity drivers will be looking to not only re-acclimate to the racing environment, but to also claw and gnaw for prime playoff position as races begin to occur on a regular basis once more.
19-year-old Harrison Burton, the No. 20 Toyota driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, looks to continue his hot streak to start the season. The rookie picked up his first Xfinity Series victory of the year and is the only driver to finish in the top five in all four races this season. The 12th starting position will be the lowest on the year for Burton and his first outside the top 10 to start a race this season.
Burton’s fellow teammate in 23-year-old Brandon Jones also looks to continue a scorching start to the season. Jones, in his second season with Joe Gibbs, currently sits in fourth among the entire field in points (148). His two stage wins on the season rank second among the field. After picking up his first Xfinity win of the season at Phoenix, Jones looks to build on the victory with a win at Darlington, where he has two career top 10’s. Jones starts 8th.
The two Ford’s wedged in the point standings between Burton and Jones, Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric, have combined for six top 10’s and 158 laps led. Briscoe sits in second in the entire field in quality passes (239) and is first in fastest laps run (98). The 25-year-old’s sixth-place finish in last year’s race is the highest among active full-time 2020 Xfinity drivers. The Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske products look to build off their top-10 finish in last season’s Darlington race, as both start 11th and 7th, respectively.
The 8th and 9th-place finishers in last year’s Darlington race in Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier start on the pole and in 10th, respectively. The two JR Motorsports drivers look to push the Chevrolet’s into the top four in the standings. Gragson’s 242 quality passes lead the field, along with Allgaier’s laps led (140). Allgaier also leads the field in stage wins with three.
Ross Chastain returns to full-time Xfinity action with Ryan Newman returning to the Cup racing fold. The No. 10 Chevrolet driver of Kaulig Racing starts 9th.
Kyle Busch continues his racing marathon by competing in his second of seven races in 11 days. Busch looks to rebound from his 26th-place finish in the Cup race Sunday. The 35-year-old will race in the No. 54 and starts in 26th.
Coverage for the race begins at 12:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1.
Here is the full starting lineup: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/05/17/2020-05nxs-lineup.pdf