2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Bristol 2

It’s time to set the playoff field in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a Friday evening short-track showcase at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Justin Allgaier has been on a tear over the last month, winning three of the last six races. He swept the doubleheader last weekend at Richmond Raceway. However, he has had an up-and-down roller coaster at Bristol in his last three races at the track. He crashed out in the spring race of 2019, scored a top-10 finish in the fall 2019 race, and would be taken out by his JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson in the spring race earlier this year. Allgaier will look for his third-straight win as he starts on the pole Friday night.

Austin Cindric clinched the regular season championship last Saturday, which will come with an added 15 points heading into the playoffs. He has not won since the Daytona road course last month and had an early exit in the spring Bristol race after crashing on lap eight. Cindric will start fourth.

Ross Chastain joins Allgaier on the front row and is still seeking his first Xfinity win of 2020. Aside from a winless season so far, Chastain has had a near-perfect season — leading the series in top 10’s (22). He has finished inside the top five in five of the last six races and since Atlanta back in June, he has only failed to finish outside of the top 10 once (Daytona road course).

It will be a must-win for drivers outside of the playoff picture. Jeremy Clements is the closest to 12th-place Brandon Brown, trailing by 49 points. While one may not see Clements as a threat for the win, he has two-straight top-10 finishes at Bristol, which includes a fourth-place run in last year’s summer race. He will have work to do as he starts 16th, while Brown starts 12th.

Also throwing a “Hail Mary” on Friday night will be Myatt Snider (starts 29th, -88), Alex Labbe (starts 13th, -99) and Josh Williams (starts 18th, -102). Williams scored his best finish of 2020 in the first Bristol race of the season with a ninth-place finish. He would go on to tie it at Daytona in August.

Stages for the race end on lap 85, lap 170 and the finish on lap 300. Coverage for the Food City 300 begins at 7:00 p.m. EST. NBC Sports Network will carry TV coverage and the Motor Racing Network will provide radio coverage.

Starting lineup:

Pit stall assignments:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/09/16/goodyear-fast-facts-bristol-4/

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