2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Texas 1

The NASCAR Xfinity Series hits the halfway point of the 2020 season as they head to Texas Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon.

Texas is a 1.5-mile oval and similar in layout to Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Currently locked into the playoffs are Chase Briscoe (five wins), Noah Gragson (two wins), Harrison Burton (two wins), Justin Haley (one win), Brandon Jones (one win), and most recently, Austin Cindric, who swept last weekend at Kentucky Speedway to pick up two wins on the year.

For these men to further improve their playoff position, they will have to hold off Kyle Busch as he returns to the Xfinity Series for the fourth time in 2020. Busch will have to work his way through the field as he starts 28th, but the winningest driver in series history has a win this year, which came at Charlotte, and is a nine-time Xfinity winner at Texas.

Michael Annett sits eighth in points and will start on the pole Saturday. However, the JR Motorsports driver has not fared well at Texas as he only has two top-10 finishes in 15 starts. While Annett’s season has not been flashy, he is on a four-race, top-10 finish streak and will look to keep the momentum heading into Saturday.

Cindric starts third and currently holds all the momentum heading into Saturday. His two wins at Kentucky last weekend were his first wins on ovals and if those wins were what it took for him to break the funk of not getting the job done at ovals, he could go on a tear in the dog days of summer, which include back-to-back road course races at Road America and Daytona International Speedway in August.

Richard Childress Racing’s Anthony Alfredo is making the most of his rookie season in the Xfinity Series as he boasts six top-10 finishes in nine starts. He will roll off 10th on Saturday.

On the playoff cutline are Brandon Brown (12th), Myatt Snider (13th) and Jeremy Clements (14th). When he is not caught up in an incident, Brown has finished inside the top 15 in every race. He will start 19th on Saturday. Snider will look to rebound from a rough weekend at Kentucky. He currently sits 14 points behind Brown for the final playoff spot. Snider will start 14th. Texas has not been favorable for Clements as he does not have one top 10 in 22 starts. His best finish was 14th back in the Fall of 2018. Clements starts 22nd on Saturday.

TV coverage for the Xfinity Series moves to NBC Sports for the remainder of the season. NBC Sports Network will carry Saturday’s race beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST. Radio coverage will be provided by the Performance Racing Network.

Starting lineup:

Pit stall assignments:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/07/16/goodyear-fast-facts-texas-4/

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