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Previewing the NASCAR Xfinity Series Mid-Ohio Challenge

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer

20 races into the NASCAR Xfinity Series season, only three of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars (Justin Allgaier, Ryan Reed, and William Byron three times) have scored victories during the 2017 season.

This weekend the NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Mid-Ohio Challenge, the 21st race of the season. Sadler continues to lead the Championship Point standings, despite not scoring a win. He leads with 62 points over his JR Motorsports teammate, Byron.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Mid-Ohio, Justin Marks took the victory in thrilling fashion. Marks earned his first career victory in the rain, leading 43 of the 75 laps. He finished 3.707 seconds ahead of Sam Hornish, Jr. Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon, and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five that day.

Marks is the only former winner in Saturday’s field. In the four NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Mid-Ohio, there have been four different winners.

Xfinity Series Championship

Only seven NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars that have Playoff points. Byron leads the series with 17 Playoff Points. Allgaier has eight Playoff points, Reed has five, while Sadler has five Playoff points. Brendan Gaughan, Daniel Hemric, and Blake Koch have a single Playoff point each.

The race for the Playoffs is only getting tighter with six races left as Koch, who is 10th in points, only has a cushion of 57 points over Ryan Sieg. Michael Annett, 11th, has 55 over Sieg. Gaughan is just 46 points ahead of Sieg. J.J. Yeley, 14th, is just 53 points behind Gaughan, still within range.

At Mid-Ohio, the first stage ends on lap 20, the second stage on lap 40, and the final stage on lap 75.

What to Watch for in the Mid-Ohio Challenge

There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:

  • Sheldon Creed will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports.
  • Andy Lally will be in the No. 07 Chevrolet Camaro for SS Green Light Racing.
  • Ben Kennedy returns to the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Scott Lagasse, Jr. returns to the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Regan Smith will be in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • J.D. Davison will be in the No. 20 SportClips Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Sam Hornish, Jr. returns to the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Justin Marks returns to the No. 42 Katerra Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Anthony Kumpen returns in the No. 46 LeasePlan Chevrolet Camaro for Precision Performance Motorsports.

Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)

Practice 1: Friday, August 11, at 2:00 p.m., not televised.

Practice 2: Friday, August 11, at 4:00 p.m., not televised.

Qualifying: Saturday, August 12, at 12:00 p.m. on CNBC

Race: Saturday, August 12, at 3:30 p.m. on NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, and the Motor Racing Network.

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.