Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Up to Speed: Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Preview

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

It’s the 25th race of the season and three full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars have combined to score nine victories. The Xfinity Series returns to the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Lilly Diabetes 250. This is the final race in which Cup drivers are eligible to compete in the Xfinity Series this year. The return of the restricted aero package, the battle to make the Playoffs, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the 25th race of the season.

Coverage for the Lilly Diabetes 250 is scheduled to start Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET. Indianapolis has been on the Xfinity Series schedule since the 2012 season and has never hosted the 25th race of the schedule before. In six races at the 2.5-Mile Oval, four drivers have visited victory lane. Ty Dillon is the only former winner entered in Saturday’s race.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Indianapolis, William Byron took the victory in dramatic fashion, trading the lead back and forth with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Paul Menard in the final laps. Byron beat Menard to the checkered by 0.108 seconds. Six drivers that finish in the top-10 that day are entered in Saturday’s race.

By the Numbers

What: Lilly Diabetes 250, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race 25

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway– Indianapolis, Indiana (Opened: 1909)

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

Track Size: 2.5-Mile Oval

Banking: 9.2 degrees in the turns.

Race Length: 100 Laps, 250 Miles (Three Stages, 30/60/100)

2017 Race Winner:William Byron – No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro SS (Started third, 26 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Kyle Busch (49.467 seconds, 181.939 mph – 7/23/2016).

Storylines Heading into the Lilly Diabetes 250:

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

  • Ty Dillon returns to the No. 3 Advil Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Ross Chastain returns to the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet Camaro SS for JD Motorsports.
  • Austin Dillon will be in a second entry for Kaulig Racing, the No. 10 Phone Skope / Berry’s Bullets Chevrolet Camaro SS.
  • Austin Cindric will be in the No. 12 Wabash National Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Ryan Preece returns to the No. 18 Rheem Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 22 Menards / Richmond Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Chase Elliott will be in the No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro SS for GMS Racing.
  • John Hunter Nemechek will be in the No. 42 Fire Alarm Services, Inc. Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Chase Briscoe returns to the No. 60 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, September 7

  • NXS Practice 1 (1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. on NBC Sports App)
  • NXS Practice 2 (3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. on NBC Sports App)

Saturday, September 8

  • NXS Qualifying (11:45 a.m. on NBCSN)
  • NXS Lilly Diabetes 250 (3:00 p.m. – 100 laps, 250 miles – on NBCSN, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the IMS Radio 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.