2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Mid-Ohio

12 races into the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season and there hasn’t been much of a story of who is going to make the playoffs this year, but rather who is the superstar of the series. 

18-year-old Ty Gibbs has been sensational through his first six starts in the Xfinity Series. He’s earned two wins and five top-five finishes. He is the most recent winner as he stunned the field at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend. 

Gibbs will join points leader and three-time winner this season Austin Cindric on the front row in what could be a battle of who is the true showman in NASCAR’s secondary series. 

Cindric is blistering through the season as he’s led 21.7% of laps he’s ran this year, along with nine top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes. Currently, he holds an 84-point lead over second place Harrison Burton. Cindric should be able to extend that points lead as he won the last race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2019 after leading 46 of the 75 laps. 

Look for AJ Allmendinger to bring the fight to both Gibbs and Cindric. Allmendinger is also known as a dominant road-course driver, but will have some work to do starting from the 12th position. He put on a masterclass in the inaugural 2013 Mid-Ohio event as he led 73 of 94 laps. The Kaulig Racing product sits third in points at -108 behind Cindric. 

Jeremy Clements isn’t the first name mentioned when discussing potential winners, but the No. 51 family-owned Chevrolet is having a stellar season running eighth in points and well above the playoff cutline. According to MyBookie, Clements enters Saturday afternoon as a +10000, so you have the potential to net some big bank by taking the upset. His lone career victory came at Road America in 2017. 

Other road-course ringers returning to the field today include Andy Lally (Our Motorsports) and Miguel Paludo (JR Motorsports). 

After some solid runs from Tyler Reddick, Jordan Anderson Racing locked themselves into this weekend after missing a majority of the season due to no qualifying at the Daytona opener. Josh Berry will pilot the No. 31 Chevy and will start 31st. This is Berry’s debut in the top three NASCAR series on a road course. 

Pit-road procedures will look much different Saturday and will be controlled. The biggest changes will be that drivers cannot take fuel and tires on the same stop under yellow and only fuel can be taken on green-flag stops. 

Here’s a rundown of the rules:

Stages for the B&L Transport 170 will end on lap 25, lap 50 and lap 75. No competition caution is scheduled for the race. Fox Sports 1 will carry TV coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Starting Lineup:

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