2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Richmond 1

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Richmond Raceway to take part in the first installment of a doubleheader Friday evening. 

The first race will serve as one of the final opportunities to lock in a playoff spot or prepare for the postseason itself. Including Friday’s race, three regular season races remain before the Round of 12 begins Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Ross Chastain will start on the pole for the Friday race. While Chastain leads the field in top-10 finishes this season (20), he has yet to pick up a victory. A win, however, will be tough for Chastain, as in nine career Xfinity starts at Richmond, he has finished inside the top 10 only once (he finished second there on Sep. 21, 2018). His average finish in those nine starts is 19th.

Michael Annett is the second-highest driver among the standings in terms of points (ninth with 698) who has yet to pick up a win this season (Chastain is currently third in points with 911). Dating back to June 20 at Talladega, Annett has finished inside the top 15 in his past 13 races this season. In 15 career starts at Richmond, Annett has finished inside the top 10 four times and inside the top five once. Annett currently sits in 10th among the projected 12-driver playoff field. Annett will start the race in ninth.

Riley Herbst and Brandon Brown are currently the final two drivers inside the projected 12-driver playoff field. The two drivers bring 18 combined top-10 finishes this season (Herbst with 14 and Brown with four). Only Herbst has finished inside the top five this season (four times). Herbst and Brown will start eighth and 13th, respectively. 

Jeremy Clements and Myatt Snider are currently on the outside looking in when discussing the postseason, as both drivers sit 13th and 14th in the project 12-driver playoff, respectively. Both drivers bring 10 combined top-10 finishes and three combined top-five finishes heading into Friday’s race. Snider will start the race in 11th, while Clements will start 19th

While drivers will jockey for playoff position, Kyle Busch will race in his final Xfinity competition of the season. In 22 career Xfinity races at Richmond, Busch has six wins, 16 top-five finishes and 19 top-10 finishes. In four Xfinity races this season, Busch has finished inside the top three in three of them (Phoenix, Darlington and Charlotte). Busch will start the race in 29th.

Stage lengths for the race will end on lap 75, lap 150 and the finish on lap 250. Coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. 

Starting lineup: 

Pit stall assignments:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/09/08/goodyear-fast-facts-richmond-4/

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