Photo: NASCAR Via Getty Images

Up to Speed: Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Preview

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer 

Just one week after a record-setting finish, the NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Rinnai 250. Cup drivers, debuts, series regulars looking to rebound, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the second race of the season.

Coverage for the Rinnai 250 is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET. Atlanta has hosted the second race of the season since the 2015 season. In 26 races at the 1.54-mile D-Shaped Oval, 18 drivers have claimed victory. The last five years, the race has been dominated by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. The last time an Xfinity Series regular won was in 2012 when Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. went to victory lane.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch took the victory in exciting fashion. Busch held off fellow Cup drivers Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, and Kevin Harvick on his way to victory.

By the Numbers

What: Rinnai 250, NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Two

Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton, Georgia (Opened: 1960)

TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1, 2:30 p.m. ET / PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90

Track Size: 1.54-mile D-Shaped Oval

Banking: 24 degrees in turns, five degrees on straightaways

Race Length: 163 Laps, 250 Miles (Three Stages, 40/80/163)

2017 Race Winner: Kyle Busch – No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry (Started on the second, 26 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Greg Biffle (28.830 seconds, 192.300 mph – 10/25/2003).

Storylines Heading Into the Rinnai 250:

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

  • Ty Dillon will be in the No. 3 Red Kap / Alsco Chevrolet Camaro SS for Richard Childress Racing.
  • Austin Cindric will be in the No. 12 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Kyle Benjamin will make his first start of the year in the No. 18 Peak Coolant & Antifreeze Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • Joey Logano will be in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • John Hunter Nemechek will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 42 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet Camaro SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Chase Briscoe will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 60 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • Kevin Harvick will be in the No. 98 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, February 23

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

Saturday, February 24

  • NXS Qualifying (9:10 a.m., on Fox Sports 1)
  • NXS Rinnai 250 (2:30 p.m. – 163 laps, 250 miles – on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Performance 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.