By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The last time the NASCAR Xfinity Series visited Iowa Speedway Ryan Blaney took home the victory, beating out Regan Smith by just a couple tenths of a second. At the time, Blaney was not running a full season in any of NASCAR’s top three series. The last time a contender for the Xfinity Series Championship won at Iowa was Chris Buescher, just over a year ago.
Even though the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has an off weekend this week, 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski and fellow Cup driver Josh Wise will still be racing. Keselowski and Wise are the only Cup Series regulars entered in this weekend’s Xfinity Series race.
Xfinity Series Chase
13 races into the 2016 Xfinity Series Season, there have been nine different winners, and three of them, Erik Jones, Elliott Sadler, and Daniel Suarez are the only ones that are currently locked into the Xfinity Series Chase via wins. The three drivers have most likely secured their spot in the 2016 Xfinity Series Chase. Currently, the other drivers who would be in the Chase on points are Allgaier, Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Brandon Jones, Poole, Wallace, Reed, Blake Koch, and Ryan Sieg. Sieg currently has a 16 point lead over Ross Chastain, who is 13th in the series standings, and is currently first driver on the outside, looking in.
What to Watch For
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Will Cup Series regular Brad Keselowski win, or will an Xfinity Series regular take the win?
- Many Xfinity Series regulars are looking at scoring their first win of the season and to lock themselves into the Xfinity Series Chase.
- Points leader Daniel Suarez is looking to build on the momentum of winning last weekend at Michigan and extend his championship points lead even further over Elliott Sadler.
- Sunoco Rookie of the Year Points leader Erik Jones looks to increase his nine point lead over fellow rookies Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole, Ryan Preece, and Garrett Smithley.
- Ben Kennedy will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, as he will be behind the wheel of the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing. Also attempting to make their Xfinity Series debut this weekend are sisters Claire Decker and Paige Decker who will be piloting the No. 77 and No. 97 Chervolet Camaros for Obaika Racing.
- Both Brandon Jones and Daniel Suarez are also entered in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this weekend, will the extra seat time pay off?
- Alex Bowman makes his fourth appearance in the JRM ‘All-Star No. 88 Car’ in the field. Justin Marks also returns for another start in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
- Sam Hornish Jr. will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing for the first time this season as he fills in for an injured Matt Tifft.
- Brad Keselowski and Josh Wise are the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers in the field for this weekend’s race. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regulars Ben Kennedy and Tyler Young are also in the field this weekend.