Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images

Previewing the Xfinity Series US Cellular 250 at Iowa

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer

The last time the NASCAR Xfinity Series visited Iowa Speedway, Sam Hornish Jr. took home an emotional win on Father’s Day while substituting for Matt Tifft. Hornish beat out Ty Dillon by over a second.

The last time a contender for the Xfinity Series Championship won at Iowa was Chris Buescher in 2015. Brad Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr., and Elliott Sadler are the only former winners in the field. Keselowski is also the only Cup driver entered in this weekend’s race.

Xfinity Series Chase

18 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 eight 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 19 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 14 point lead even further over Elliott Sadler.
  • Sam Hornish Jr. will make his first appearance in the No. 2 Chervolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing. Can Hornish sweep the Iowa races?
  • Dakoda Armstrong will be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, filling in for Matt Tifft.
  • Brandon McGreynolds returns with the No. 24 JGL Racing Toyota Camry.
  • Drew Herring will be in the No. 28 Winfield Toyota Camry for JGL Racing in place of Dakoda Armstrong.
  • Josh Berry makes his first appearance of the season 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 19 point lead over Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole, and the other rookie of the year contenders.
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular that will be in the field for this weekend’s race is Brad Keselowski.

Where and When to Watch

Practice 1: Friday, July 29th at 5:00pm Eastern on NBCSN

Practice 2: Friday, July 29th, at 7:00pm Eastern on NBCSN

Qualifying: Saturday, July 30th, at 4:15pm Eastern on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

Race: Saturday, July 30th, at 8:00pm Eastern 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.

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