2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Daytona 2

The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to Daytona International Speedway for a Friday night race, the second race on the Daytona oval (raced at the Daytona road course two weeks ago). This is only the second Xfinity Series race on a Friday (second race in the doubleheader at Kentucky). After this race, only four remain until the playoffs begin.

The first race at Daytona this season kicked off the 2020 campaign in early February. It was a crash-filled mess as 14 drivers wrecked out of the race — only 10 cars finished on the lead lap. On a late restart after a huge wreck, Noah Gragson passed Chase Briscoe to pick up his first career win.

Gragson is third in overall points behind Austin Cindric and Briscoe with two wins (other at Bristol) and 10 top-five finishes. He has finished at least sixth in each of the last four races after finishing outside the top 10 the previous two races to those four. He will start fourth Friday night.

As for the man Gragson passed in the first Daytona race, Briscoe, he has enjoyed a special season. He leads all Xfinity Series drivers in wins on the season with six, including the second race at Dover last weekend despite starting from the rear.

Despite the success, Briscoe is only second in the points standings as Cindric is the points leader. Cindric has nine stage wins, five race wins and 15 top-five finishes. He has been on an absolute tear since crashing out at Pocono in June, finishing in the top-five the last nine races. This included a stretch where he won five out of six races and finished in the top-three the last eight races. Briscoe will start on the pole while Cindric will start third.

Ross Chastain, the winner of last year’s second Daytona race, will start second. He is still looking for his first win of the season as he has the Xfinity Series’ lead in top-10 finishes with 18.

One driver to watch is Justin Haley, the winner of the second Daytona race in the Cup Series last year and this year’s winner at Talladega. He is seventh in overall points with one win, six top-five finishes and 13 top-10 finishes. He will start ninth.

Coverage for the Wawa 250 will begin at 7:30 p.m. EST. The stages end on laps 30-60-100 with a competition caution on lap 10. You can catch the race on NBC Sports Network and the Motor Racing Network.

Starting lineup:

Pit stall assignments:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/08/25/goodyear-fast-facts-daytona-gateway/

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