By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
It’s the 18th race of the season and three full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars have combined to score five victories. The Xfinity Series returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Lakes Region 200. Cup drivers, the use of the Trackbite traction compound, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the 18th race of the season.
Coverage for the Lakes Region 200 is scheduled to start Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET. New Hampshire has been on the Xfinity Series schedule since the track opened in 1990 and has hosted the 18th race of the season five times. In 31 races at the 1.058-mile Oval, 25 drivers have visited victory lane.
The last time a Xfinity Series regular competing exclusively for the Xfinity Series Championship won at New Hampshirewas 2005 when Martin Truex, Jr. went to victory lane. Toyota has dominated at the ‘Magic Mile’ in recent years, winning eight of the last 10 races at NHMS. Chevrolet last won at Loudon in 2007 and Ford in 2014.
The last time the Xfinity Series visited New Hampshire, Kyle Busch took the victory in dominant fashion. Busch beat his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Ryan Preece to the line by 10.425 seconds. Five drivers that finish in the top-10 that day are entered in Friday night’s race.
By the Numbers
What: Lakes Region 200, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race 18
Where: New Hampshire MotorSpeedway – Loudon, New Hampshire(Opened: 1990)
TV/Radio: NBCSN, 4:00 p.m. ET / PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90
Track Size: 1.0-mile Oval
Banking: 2-7 degrees in the turns 1 degree on the straightaways.
Race Length: 200 Laps, 212 Miles (Three Stages, 45/90/200)
2017 Race Winner: Kyle Busch – No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry (Started one the pole, 77 laps led).
Track Qualifying Record: Kyle Busch (28.873 seconds, 131.916 mph – 7/13/2013).
Storylines Heading into the Lakes Region 200:
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Ty Dillon returns to the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops / Cabela’s Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
- Justin Allgaier will have Dove Men + Care as the primary sponsor of his No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro SS for JR Motorsports.
- Angela Ruch will make her first start of the season in the No. 8 JW Transport, LLC Chevrolet Camaro SS for BJ McLeod Motorsports.
- Austin Cindric will be in the No. 12 Lasik Vision Institute Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Ryan Preece returns to the No. 18 Falmouth Ready Mix Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Brad Keselowski will be in the No. 22 Menards / Richmond Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- Johnny Sauter returns to the No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing.
- John Hunter Nemechek returns to the No. 42 D.A.B Constructors., Inc. Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Austin Cindric returns to the No. 60 Pirtek Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
- Kaz Grala returns in the No. 61 IT Coalition / 15-40.org Ford Mustang for Fury Race Cars LLC.
- Donald Theetge will make his Series debut in the No. 90 Mercedes-Benz St-Nicolas / Circuit Acura Chevrolet Camaro SS for DGM Racing.
Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)
Friday, July 20
- NXS Practice 1 (1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m., on NBCSN)
- NXS Practice 2 (3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., on NBCSN)
Saturday, July 21
- NXS Qualifying (11:05 a.m., on NBCSN)
- NXS Lakes Region 200 (4:00 p.m. – 200 laps, 212 miles – on NBCSN, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Performance Racing Network)