By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The last time the NASCAR Xfinity Series visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Denny Hamlin took home the victory. Hamlin beat out Austin Dillon by just over a half a second. Daniel Suarez was the highest finishing Xfinity Series regular. Suarez finished fifth.
The last time a contender for the Xfinity Series Championship won at New Hampshire was Kyle Busch in 2009. Busch won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship in 2009 while also competing full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The last time a contender for the Xfinity Series Championship, that was not competing for the Cup Series Championship won at New Hampshire was 2005 when Martin Truex Jr. won the race.
Xfinity Series Chase
16 races into the 2016 Xfinity Series Season, there have been 11 different winners, and only three of them, Erik Jones, Elliott Sadler, and Daniel Suarez are currently locked into the Xfinity Series Chase via wins. The reason why these three drivers are the only only ones locked into the Xfinity Series Chase is because they are the only Xfinity Series regulars that are competing in the entire season that have so far reached victory lane. With just 10 races left before the Chase, time may be beginning to run out for other Xfinity Series regulars to score a victory and lock themselves into the Chase.
Currently, the other drivers who would be in the Chase on points are Justin Allgaier, Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ryan Reed, Ryan Sieg, and Blake Koch. Koch currently has a 14 point lead over Ross Chastain, who is 13th in the series standings, and is currently first driver on the outside, looking in. Dillon, Allgaier, Gaughan, and Brandon Jones are all over 100 points ahead of the Chase cut-off.
What to Watch For
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Will a Cup Series regular win again, or will an Xfinity Series regular take the win?
- Many Xfinity Series regulars are looking at scoring their first win of the season and to lock themselves into the Xfinity Series Chase.
- Points leader Daniel Suarez is looking extend his nine point lead even further over Elliott Sadler.
- Kyle Busch is in the No. 18 Toyota Camry in place of Matt Tifft who is recovering from brain surgery.
- Corey LaJoie returns in the No. 24 JGL Racing Toyota Camry.
- Alex Bowman makes another appearance in the JRM ‘All-Star No. 88 Car.’ Justin Marks also returns for another start in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
- Sunoco Rookie points leader Erik Jones looks to extend his 21 point lead over Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole, and the other rookie of the year contenders.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars that will be in the field for this weekend’s race are Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Matt Dibenedetto.
Where and When to Watch
Practice 1: Friday, July 15th at 1:00pm Eastern on NBCSN
Practice 2: Friday, July 15th, at 3:00pm Eastern on NBCSN
Qualifying: Saturday, July 16th, at 11:15am Eastern on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Race: Saturday, July 16th, at 4:00pm Eastern on NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, and the Performance Racing Network.