Photo: Justin R. Noe/ASP, Inc.

Up to Speed: Johnsonville 180 at Road America Preview

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

It’s the 23rd race of the season and three full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars have combined to score eight victories. The Xfinity Series returns to Road America for the Johnsonville 180. No Cup drivers, road course ringers, the possibility of racing in the rain, the battle to make the Playoffs, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the 23rd race of the season.

Coverage for the Johnsonville 180 is scheduled to start Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET. Road America has hosted the 23rd race of the season since the 2015 season. In eight races at the 4.048-mile road course there has never been a repeat winner. Brendan Gaughan and Jeremy Clements are the only former winners entered in Saturday’s race.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Road America, Jeremy Clements took the victory in dramatic fashion, contacting leader Matt Tifft with three to go. While Tifft recovered to finish third, Clements went on to win by 5.802 seconds over Michael Annett. Six drivers that finish in the top-10 that day are entered in Saturday’s race.

By the Numbers

What: Johnsonville 180, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race 23

Where: Road America– Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (Opened: 1955)

TV/Radio: NBCSN, 3:00 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90

Track Size: 4.048-mile, 14-Turn Road Course

Banking: Varies

Race Length: 45 Laps, 182 Miles (Three Stages, 10/20/45)

2017 Race Winner: Jeremy Clements – No. 51 Chevrolet Camaro SS (Started on the 24th, 10 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Alex Tagliani (2:12.641 seconds, 109.866 mph – 8/27/2016).

Storylines Heading into the Johnsonville 180:

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

  • Brendan Gaughan returns to the No. 3 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Conor Daly will make his NASCAR debut in the No. 6 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Scott Heckert returns in the No. 8 JW Transport Chevrolet Camaro SS for BJ McLeod Motorsports.
  • Katherine Legge returns to the No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro SS for JD Motorsports.
  • James Davison returns to the No. 18 Tilson Forest Hearing Cruz Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Austin Cindric will be in the No. 22 Menards / Richmond Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Bill Elliott will be in the No. 23 ISM Connect Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing.
  • Justin Marks returns to the No. 42 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Ty Majeski returns to the No. 60 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Ryan Ellis will be in the No. 78 Superlite Cars / Audio Visual Specialists Chevrolet Camaro SS for BJ McLeod Motorsports.
  • Andy Lally returns to the No. 90 HENRY Chevrolet Camaro SS for DGM Racing.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, August 24

  • NXS Practice 1 (1:35 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.)
  • NXS Practice 2 (3:35 p.m. – 4:55 p.m.)

Saturday, August 25

  • NXS Qualifying (12:35 p.m. on NBCSN)
  • NXS Johnsonville 180 (3:00 p.m. – 45 laps, 182 miles – on NBCSN, 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.