Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Previewing the NASCAR Xfinity Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer

19 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 Watkins Glen International for the Zippo 200, the 20th race of the season. Sadler continues to lead the Championship Point standings, despite not scoring a win. He leads with 54 points over his JR Motorsports teammate, Byron.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Watkins Glen International, Joey Logano took the victory in dominant fashion. Logano led 67 of the 82 laps on his way to a 1.517 second victory over Paul Menard. Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five that day.

Former winners in Saturday’s field include Brad Keselowski, Logano, and Kevin Harvick. Logano has won the last two races at WGI (2015 and 2016), while Keselowski (2013) and Harvick (2007) each have one win. To find the last time a Xfinity Series regular, competing only in the Xfinity Series full-time, won at The Glen, you must go back to the 1999 season when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers entered in this Saturday’s race include Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Harvick, Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Logano, Paul Menard, and Ty Dillon.

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.

With just seven races left until the Playoffs, Sadler can lock himself in should he leave WGI with a lead of 360 points or more over the cutoff. He currently has 368 points over J,J. Yeley who sits 13th in points.

The race for the Playoffs is only getting tighter as Koch, who is 10th in points, only has a cushion of 35 points over Yeley. Michael Annett, 11th, has 32 over Yeley. Gaughan is just 14 points ahead of Yeley. Ryan Sieg, 14th, is just 16 points behind Gaughan, still well within range..

At Watkins Glen, the first stage ends on lap 20, the second stage on lap 40, and the final stage on lap 82.

What to Watch for in the Zippo 200

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

  • Devin Jones will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 07 Veristor Chevrolet Camaro for SS Green Light Racing.
  • Paul Menard returns to the No. 2 Richmond / Menard’s Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Ty Dillon returns to the No. 3 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Joey Logano will be in the No. 12 Snap-On Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Kyle Busch returns in the No. 18 NOS Rowdy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Erik Jones returns to the No. 20 Hisense Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Brad Keselowski returns to the No. 22 REV / Fleetwood Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • PJ Jones returns in the No. 25 Advanced Communications Group Chevrolet Camaro for Jeff Spraker.
  • Kevin Harvick returns in the No. 41 FIELDS Ford Mustang for Stewart Haas Racing.
  • Kyle Larson returns to the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Brian Henderson will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 90 BDL Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro for Mario Gosselin.

Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)

Practice 1: Friday, August 4, at 12:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Live Extra (App)

Practice 2: Friday, August 4, at 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Live Extra (App)

Qualifying: Saturday, August 5, at 11:05 a.m. on NBCSN

Race: Saturday, August 5, at 2:00 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.