Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Up to Speed: Iowa 250 Preview

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

It’s the 14th race of the season and only three full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars has scored a victory. The Xfinity Series returns to Iowa Speedway for the Iowa 250 presented by Enogen. The return to the traditional aero package, drivers making their Series debut, no Cup drivers, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the 14th race of the season.

Coverage for the American Ethanol E15 250 is scheduled to start Sunday at 5:00 p.m. ET. Iowa has been on the schedule since the 2009 season and has hosted the 14th race of the season since 2016. In 16 races at the 0.875-mile Tri- Oval, 11 drivers have visited victory lane. The last seven races at Iowa have produced seven different winners.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Iowa, Ryan Preece took the victory in dramatic fashion. Preece edged his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Benjamin in a photo finish, winning by 0.054 seconds. Only nine drivers that finished in the top-20 that day are entered in Sunday’s field.

By the Numbers

What: Iowa 250, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race 14

Where: Iowa Speedway – Newton, Iowa (Opened: 2006)

TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1, 5:00 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90

Track Size: 0.875-mile Tri Oval

Banking: 12-14 degrees in the turns, 10 degrees on the frontstretch, and 4 degrees on the backstretch.

Race Length: 250 Laps, 219 Miles (Three Stages, 60/120/250)

2017 Race Winner:William Byron – No. 9 Axalta / Windsor Windows & Doors Chevrolet Camaro SS (Started sixth, 78 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Austin Dillon (136.737 mph – 2013).

Storylines Heading into the Iowa 250:

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

  • Shane Lee returns to the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Blake Jones will make his first Xfinity Series start since 2016 in the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro SS for BJ McLeod Motorsports.
  • Riley Herbst will make his Series debut the No. 18 Advance Auto Parts Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Austin Cindric will be in the No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Justin Haley will make his Series debut in the No. 23 ISM Connect Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing
  • John Hunter Nemechek returns to the No. 42 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Chase Briscoe returns to the No. 60 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Ty Majeski will be in the No. 60 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Kaz Grala will be in the No. 61 NETTTS Ford Mustang for Fury Race Cars LLC. This is his last scheduled race with the team unless more sponsorship can be found.
  • Stan Mullis will make his first start since this race last season in the No. 66 OCR Gaz Bar Dodge Challenger for MBM Motorsports.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Saturday, June 16

  • NXS Practice 1 (2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m., on Fox Sports 2)
  • NXS Practice 2 (4:40 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., on Fox Sports 1)

Sunday, June 17

  • NXS Qualifying (2:35 p.m., on Fox Sports 2)
  • NXS Iowa 250 (5:00 p.m. – 250 laps, 219 miles – on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, 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.