Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
After Sunday’s wild Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Xfinity Series will get to close out the show Monday evening at “Thunder Valley” with a 300 lap event.
The Xfinity Series got off to a blazing start in 2020 with four different drivers winning the first four races of the season. The streak would come to an end at Darlington Raceway back on May 19 when Chase Briscoe would outrace Kyle Busch to score his second win. Busch would redeem himself six days later at Charlotte Motor Speedway on a final-lap pass to score his 97th career Xfinity Series win.
With no Busch or any Cup Series regulars competing Monday evening, the odds are high that a driver will become a first-time winner at Bristol as only two drivers in the field (Justin Allgaier, Jeff Green) have wins in the series at the track, and only four drivers have ever won at Bristol(Allgaier, Green, Harrison Burton, Chad Finchum).
Burton was rewarded the pole during a draw last week. His Bristol win came in the ARCA Menards Series East (formerly K&N) back in 2017. He finished 10th in his lone start in the Xfinity Series at Bristol.
His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones joins him on the front row. In nine Xfinity races at Bristol, Jones has only finished in the top 10 twice and has an average finish of 14.8.
Of the drivers with more than five starts at Bristol, JR Motorsports teammates Michael Annett and Allgaier have the best average finishes. Allgaier (18 races) comes in with a 11.9 average finish, and Annett (15 races) has a 12.9 average finish.
Austin Cindric has the best average finish of all active Xfinity drivers at 9.2 in four starts. He has one top five and two top 10s. He will start third Monday evening.
Daniel Hemric rolls off eighth and has three top-10 finishes in his four Xfinity starts at Bristol.
2020 wins leader, Briscoe, has had hit-or-miss races at Bristol, but did have a strong 2019. He finished 23rd and 34th in the 2018 races, but rallied back the next season to score top-five finishes in both races. He starts 11th.
Monday’s race will give Xfinity drivers a good taste for what will come in the Fall when the Bristol night race kicks off the playoffs for the series. Cup drivers watching Monday’s race will also be able to learn as their Bristol night race will be the cutoff race to set the Round of 12 field.
Throughout Sunday’s Cup race, both the low line and high line served well for drivers, but they may change as the track will cool down and be fully under the lights before Monday’s Xfinity race ends.
You can watch the Bristol Xfinity race on Fox Sports 1. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. EST.