2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Indianapolis

For only the ninth time, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, aka “The Brickyard.” As Americans celebrate the United States’ birthday, the next generation of Cup Series drivers will race in the Pennzoil 150 road course race at the Brickyard. This will be the first-ever race on the road course at Indy in the Xfinity Series.

Last year at Indy, Kyle Busch edged out Justin Allgaier to win the Indiana 250. While Busch is only racing in the Cup race this season, Allgaier has a huge weekend ahead of him. Allgaier continues to struggle in 2020 with more bad luck and technical issues. He has still yet to win a race this season but is currently seventh in points. He will look to redeem himself at Indy after coming up short last season. He will not have to face Busch in the Xfinity Series, but the Cup Series instead.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday and will have to miss the first race of his long career. Allgaier will fill in for him in the No. 48 car on Sunday. Allgaier will start fifth in the Xfinity Series race as he begins his huge weekend.

Last week was a chaotic mess at Pocono Raceway. There were nine cautions, a Pocono record, called, and only 24 cars finished the race. Chase Briscoe picked up his fourth win of the season despite spinning and picking up a speeding penalty with 21 laps to go as he defeated Ross Chastain in overtime. Briscoe is the overall points leader in the Xfinity Series and will start 12th. Chastain picked up a fourth top-five finish and 10th top-10 finish of the season despite remaining winless. He is third overall in points and will start ninth.

Despite also remaining winless on the season, all eyes will be on Austin Cindric. Team Penske owner Roger Penske bought the track last November and Cindric is the lone Penske driver in the Xfinity Series. Cindric’s specialty is road courses as his two career wins in the Xfinity Series were at road courses last year, Watkins Glen International and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In Friday’s practice, his skill and speed were evident as he finished first and second and had the best 10 consecutive lap averages in both practices. Cindric is fourth overall in points with six top-five finishes and will start 10th as he attempts to win his first race of the season at his owner’s track.

There will be no competition caution and the stages end on lap 20, lap 40, and the finish on lap 62.

Coverage for the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST. You can catch the race on NBC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio.

Starting lineup:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/07/01/goodyear-fast-facts-indianapolis-3/

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