2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Talladega 2

After a trip to “Sin City” last weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the Ag-Pro 300 on Saturday. This is the second of three races in the round of 12 as the last race will take place at the Charlotte Roval next weekend.

As is typical for superspeedway races, this race will be action-packed with “The Big One” always a wrong maneuver away due to the nature of the packed racing. Talladega races are unpredictable, leaving the outcome in serious doubt across the board for the competing playoff drivers.

The one driver that does not need to worry for this race, points-wise, is Chase Briscoe, who won last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He has picked up eight wins this season, his latest locking him into the round of 8. He will start on the pole at Talladega.

Two of Briscoe’s strongest competitors for the potential final four are the regular-season champion, Austin Cindric, and Noah Gragson. Cindric has been the most consistent driver, leading the Xfinity Series in top-five finishes with 17, along with five victories. Gragson has a superspeedway win in 2020 as we won the opener at Daytona International Speedway. He also has 20 top-10 finishes with 12 top-five finishes. He will start second while Cindric will start third.

Justin Allgaier, who has the most stage wins in 2020 (12), will start fourth.

No one in the Xfinity Series has enjoyed superspeedway racing in 2020 more than Justin Haley, who not only won at Daytona in late August but also won the last race at Talladega. He sits in the top five in points, but his Kaulig Racing teammate, Ross Chastain, has not been so fortunate as despite his Xfinity Series-leading 23 top-10 finishes, he is without a victory this season. After a disappointing finish at Las Vegas last weekend, Chastain needs to have a good performance to give him a cushion heading into Charlotte Roval as he sits two points below the cutline. Haley will start eighth, while Chastain will start 13th.

The last three drivers above the cutline are Brandon Jones, Ryan Sieg, who finished fifth at Las Vegas last weekend, and Harrison Burton. They will start 10th, seventh and 11th respectively.  

The three drivers below the cutline beside Chastain are Michael Annett (-10), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20). They will start ninth, 12th and 14th respectively.

Coverage for the Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega will start at 4:30 p.m. EST. The stages end on lap 25, lap 50 and the finish on lap 113. 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/2020/09/29/goodyear-fast-facts-talladega-5/

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