Heading into Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega, JR Motorsports, which currently holds the top three spots in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings, will be looking to make it back-to-back trips to victory lane at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
After expanding to four teams in 2017, some expected the organization to have some growing pains, but through the first eight races of the season, they haven’t missed a beat as they have established themselves as early championship favorites after falling just short last season.
The organization has already scored a win, with Justin Allgaier taking the win at Phoenix, as well as winning the Dash4Cash bonus in two of the three races in the program hosted by Comcast and Xfinity. The team’s other three drivers (Elliott Sadler, William Byron, and Michael Annett) have also finished in the top-five and top-10 in the majority of the races thus far in the season, with Sadler leading the way with seven top-10 finishes through eight races to be the current points leader in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
When it comes to the restrictor plate tracks of Talladega and Daytona, the organization as a whole steps up their game, as shown by the five wins the team has at the two tracks. Three of those wins have come at Daytona, with the other two coming in 2013 and 2016 with Regan Smith and Sadler behind the wheel.
In addition to Sadler’s Talladega win last season, he also won the 2014 race at the track, giving him wins in two of the last three races and making him one of the favorites on Saturday.
“Talladega is a great track and JR Motorsports has a great restrictor-plate racing program,” said Sadler. “After bringing home the win there last season and looking back on our strong run in Daytona earlier this season, I think the No. 1 team has a solid chance at getting our OneMain Financial Chevrolet back to Victory Lane. It would be great to have back-to-back wins, so this weekend’s race is one that I’m really looking forward to.”
Along with the four series regulars, JR Motorsports will also have Kasey Kahne running in the team’s No. 88 “All-Star car”, giving the team five shots at making it to victory lane. Kahne has a restrictor plate win for the team back in 2014 at Daytona, so the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular has shown he can get the job done on the high-banked superspeedways.
“We had a great run at Daytona, and almost won it,” said Kahne. “It was a great debut for Scott Radel (crew chief), and if things had played out a little differently in the closing laps, we might have been celebrating in Victory Lane. JR Motorsports always brings fast superspeedway cars, and I am looking forward to getting the Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years Chevrolet on the track and seeing what it can do.”