By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
23 races into the NASCAR Xfinity Series season, only four of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars (Jeremy Clements, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Reed, and William Byron three times) have scored victories during the 2017 season.
This weekend the NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Darlington Raceway for the VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200, the 24th race of the season. Sadler continues to lead the Championship Point standings, despite not scoring a win. He leads with 107-points over his JR Motorsports teammate, Byron.
The last time the Xfinity Series visited Darlington, Sadler took the victory in exciting fashion. He held off a late charge from Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin. He finished 0.454 seconds ahead of Hamlin. Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, and Brennan Poole rounded out the top five that day.
Hamlin, Jeff Green, Joey Logano, Sadler are the only former winners at Darlington in Saturday’s field. Hamlin has four wins at Darlington while Green, Logano, and Sadler each have one win.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Saturday’s field include Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Hamlin, Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Ty Dillon.
As part of NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend, many NASCAR Xfinity Series teams are running throwback paint schemes for the third year in a row.
Xfinity Series Championship
Only eight NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars that have Playoff points. Byron leads the series with 17 Playoff Points. Allgaier has eight Playoff points, Clements and Reed have five, while Sadler has five Playoff points and Blake Koch has two. Brendan Gaughan and Daniel Hemric have a single Playoff point each.
The race for the Playoffs is only getting tighter with three races left as Koch, who sits eighth in points only has a cushion of 26-points over Dakota Armstrong. Michael Annett who sits ninth in points, has a cushion of 11-points over Armstrong. Gaughan, 11th, has just four points over Armstrong. J.J. Yeley, 13th, is just 48 points behind Armstrong with Chastain 50-points back.
At Darlington, the first stage ends on lap 45, the second stage on lap 90, and the final stage on lap 147.
What to Watch for in the VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200
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 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
- Denny Hamlin will be in the No. 18 Sports Clips Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Erik Jones will be in the No. 20 Reser’s Main Street Bistro Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Joey Logano will be in the No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Dylan Lupton returns to the No. 24 Nut Up Toyota Camry for JGL Racing.
- Kevin Harvick will be in the No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart Haas Racing.
- Tyler Reddick returns to the No. 42 Broken Bow Records Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Ben Kennedy will be in the No. 96 Chevrolet Camaro for GMS Racing.
Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)
Practice 1: Friday, September 1, at 12:00 p.m., NBCSN
Practice 2: Friday, September 1, at 2:30 p.m., NBCSN
Qualifying: Saturday, September 2, at 12:15 p.m., NBCSN
Race: Saturday, September 2, at 3:30 p.m. on NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, and the Motor Racing Network.