Photo by Sajorden Miller | Kickin’ The Tires
For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, this weekend is truly unique. First, Saturday afternoon’s race marks the first non-November Xfinity Series race in the history of Homestead-Miami Speedway. Also, Xfinity drivers will have an opportunity to race in consecutive days as there will also be a race Sunday morning. Lastly, retired Cup Series driver and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return and race on Saturday.
Since his retirement in 2017, Earnhardt Jr. has made a one-race appearance in the Xfinity Series each season. In 2018, he finished fourth at Richmond Raceway and he finished fifth at Darlington Raceway in 2019. This season, he will appear in Homestead, which will be his first race there since 2017. Earnhardt Jr. will race in the No. 8 car for his own team and will start in the 12th position.
In the last race at Homestead, Tyler Reddick won his second consecutive Xfinity Series championship as he held off Cole Custer to claim victory. Three of those championship drivers, Reddick, Custer and Christopher Bell, who competed at Homestead last November, moved on up to the Cup Series. The one that did not, Justin Allgaier, finished 14th in that race and is still searching for his first victory this season. He has encountered a string of bad luck, technical issues and poor decision-making this season. He will start Saturday’s race in the 11th position.
The drivers starting in the first three positions are Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain respectively.
Burton has been the most consistent driver this season. He has finished in the top 10 in all eight races this season with six of those being top-five finishes. Despite this, he is only third in overall points as he has only won one race (Auto Club) this season.
Gragson is second in points behind Chase Briscoe with two victories (Daytona and Bristol) on the season. He has accumulated five top-five finishes on the season including a runner-up finish last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway .
Chastain is fifth in points although he has not won a race this season. He has had flashes of brilliance but cannot seem to put together a good enough finish to win. He finished seventh last week at Atlanta, picking up his sixth top-10 finish this season.
This will be the first of two races in the Xfinity Series this weekend. Saturday’s race will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET at Homestead. You can catch the race on FOX and the Motor Racing Network.
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/06/11/goodyear-fast-facts-homestead-3/