By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
28 races into the NASCAR Xfinity Series season, only four of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars (Jeremy Clements, Ryan Reed, Justin Allgaier twice, and William Byron three times) have scored victories during the 2017 season.
This weekend the NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Drive for the Cure 300, the 29th race of the season. After the events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Allgaier leads the points standings with his JR Motorsports teammate Byron three-points behind in second.
The last time the Xfinity Series visited Charlotte, Ryan Blaney took the victory in dominant and thrilling fashion. He beat Kevin Harvick by 0.244 seconds, leading 107 laps after starting from the rear. Austin Dillon, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five that day. Cole Custer was the highest finishing Xfinity Series regular in seventh.
Dillon and Jeff Green are the only former winners at Charlotte in Saturday’s field. The last time a driver competing solely for the Xfinity Series Championship won at Charlotte was Mike Bliss in 2009. Brad Keselowski was competing for both Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Championships when he won in 2010.
Xfinity Series Championship
After the race at Dover International Speedway, Allgaier leads the point standings with 2,107 points. Byron is three back with Sadler 13-points behind. Custer slipped to fourth in points with 2,093 points. Daniel Hemric also slipped in points, falling to fifth with 2,090 points. Brennan Poole is still in sixth with 2,082 points. Matt Tifft has 2,067 points with Reed another 12-points behind him in the cutoff position for the Round of Eight.
Brendan Gaughan is two points behind Reed. Michael Annett is seven behind with Blake Koch another five markers behind. Road America winner Clements slipped to 12th in the standings, 20-points behind the cutoff.
At Charlotte, the first stage ends on lap 45, the second stage on lap 90, and the final stage on lap 200.
What to Watch for in the Drive for the Cure 300
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Austin Dillon returns to the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
- Ty Dillon returns to the No. 3 Advil Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
- Sam Hornish, Jr. will be in the No. 12 PPG Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Daniel Suarez will be in the No. 18 Juniper Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Erik Jones will be in the No. 20 Main Street Bistro Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Daniel Hemric will be without his regular crew chief, Danny Stockman, car chief, Clint Almquist, and engineer Luke Mason for the next four events after ballast (tungsten) was not secured and lost on pit road during practice at Dover.
- Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Corey LaJoie returns in the No. 24 youtheory Toyota Camry for JGL Racing.
- Alex Bowman returns to the series in the No. 42 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Ben Kennedy returns in the No. 96 Chevrolet Camaro for GMS Racing.
Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)
Practice 1: Friday, October 6, at 3:00 p.m., NBCSN
Practice 2: Friday, October 6, at 6:00 p.m., NBCSN
Qualifying: Saturday, October 7, at 12:05 p.m., NBCSN
Race: Saturday, October 7, at 3:00 p.m., NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, and the Performance Racing Network.