NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: NASCAR All-Star Race
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, June 13
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: Six Rounds: Rounds 1-4: 15 laps; Round 5: 30 laps; Round 6: 10-lap shootout
NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: NASCAR Open
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, June 13
The Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 5 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: Three Segments: 20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Alsco Uniforms 250
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, June 12
The Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 250.5 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: SpeedyCash.com 220
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, June 12
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 220.5 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)
NASCAR Cup Series
Get ready for Texas-sized NASCAR All-Star Race weekend
For the first time in the prestigious event’s history, the NASCAR All-Star race and NASCAR Open will take place at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, June 13. The NASCAR Open is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET and the NASCAR All-Star race will follow at 8 p.m. ET (on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with over a million dollars up for grabs.
The NASCAR All-Star Race was introduced in 1985, and the first event was held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and crew chief Jeff Hammond. Waltrip led 27 laps in the 70-lap inaugural All-Star race en route to the win driving the No. 11 Junior Johnson & Associates Buick. It was Waltrip’s only career All-Star win.
This weekend’s NASCAR All-Star Race will be the 37th running of the prized exhibition race and Texas Motor Speedway will become the fourth different track to host the event; joining Charlotte Motor Speedway (34 All-Star races: 1985, 1987-2019), Atlanta Motor Speedway (1986) and Bristol Motor Speedway (2020).
The second NASCAR All-Star Race in 1986, was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the event was dominated by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who set the record for the most laps led in a NASCAR All-Star Race by a driver that won the event, leading 82 of the scheduled 83 laps (98.8%). Elliott started the event in the second starting position. Twice the NASCAR All-Star Race has been led by one driver flag-to-flag both at Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt led all 70 laps in 1990 and Davey Allison led all 70 laps (100%) in 1991.
The next 33 All-Star events would be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway until last season due to the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic the race was rescheduled and moved to Bristol Motor Speedway. For the first time since 2013, the NASCAR All-Star Race winner went on to win the NASCAR Cup Series Championship in the same season when Chae Elliott grabbed his first All-Star win at Bristol and the series title in Phoenix later that year. The feat has occurred 11 times since the inception of the All-Star race in 1985 by six different drivers – Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001), Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013) and Chase Elliott (2020). Elliott’s win gave Hendrick Motorsports their series leading 10th NASCAR All-Star race victory – Jimmie Johnson (four: 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013), Jeff Gordon (three: 1995, 1997, 2001), Terry Labonte (two: 1999, 1988), Chase Elliott (2020).
In total, the 36 NASCAR All-Star Races have produced 25 different winners, led by the recently retired Jimmie Johnson with four All-Star wins (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2013). Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in NASCAR All-Star Race wins with two (2018, 2007). In total, eight former NASCAR All-Star Race winners are entered this weekend – Harvick (two wins), Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Newman (each have one).
The 36 NASCAR All-Star Races have also produced 20 different pole winners; four of the 20 are active this weekend – Kyle Busch (three All-Star poles), Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Larson (each have one prior to this weekend).
By virtue of random draw this week, Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson will start from the pole on Sunday (June 13) at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR All-Star Race. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch will join Larson on the outside front row. The NASCAR All-Star Race has been won from the pole or first starting position five times by four different drivers, the first three came in consecutive years – Dale Earnhardt (1990), Davey Allison (1991, 1992), Kurt Busch (2010) and Denny Hamlin (2015). For the entire NASCAR All-Star Race Stat Package on NASCARMedia click this link.
2021 NASCAR Open and NASCAR All-Star Race Formats:
The NASCAR All-Star Race has become one of the sport’s most innovative exhibition events, where formats and technical elements can be tested on a grand scale and this weekend’s spectacular will be no different.
NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway announced earlier this season the format, technical elements, and pre-race festivities for the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race. The event, which moves to TMS for the first time in its 36-race history, will have a Fort Worth feel as the pre-race festivities will feature an Old Western theme during driver introductions.
The NASCAR All-Star race format is as follows:
- The race will feature six rounds, totaling 100 laps.
- Starting lineup for Round 1 will be determined via random draw.
- Rounds 1 through 4 will be 15 laps each; Round 5 will be 30 laps; the Final Round will feature a 10-lap shootout.
- At the beginning of Round 2, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12) live on FS1.
- The round 2 random draw will also be seen live by fans attending the race on Big Hoss TV.
- Before the start of Round 3, the entire field will be inverted.
- At the beginning of Round 4, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12).
- Starting positions for Round 5 will consist of the cumulative finish from Rounds 1-4. The lowest cumulative finisher starts on the pole, second-lowest starts second, and so forth. All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5.
- The starting positions in the Final Round are set by finishing positions of Round 5.
- Only green flag laps will count in the NASCAR All-Star race.
- The fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop will earn $100,000.
- The race winner will be awarded $1,000,000.
From a technical side, all elements of the car remain the same except for the tapered spacer which will be 57/64ths.
NASCAR Open format is as follows:
- The NASCAR Open will run immediately prior to the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three segments (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps).
- The winner of each segment will earn a spot in the All-Star Race as well as the winner of the Fan Vote. Fans may vote for their favorite driver by visiting www.NASCAR.com for details.
Who’s already locked into the Main Event – the 2021 NASCAR All-Stars
Heading into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, 17 different drivers have earned their spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race on June 13 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
To be eligible for the NASCAR All-Star race this season, a driver must have won a Cup points event in either 2020 or 2021; have won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full-time; or have won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full-time.
|1||1||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Matt McCall||21 Chevrolet|
|2||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Jeremy Bullins||21 Ford|
|3||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Justin Alexander||21 Chevrolet|
|4||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Rodney Childers||21 Ford|
|5||5||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports||Cliff Daniels||21 Chevrolet|
|6||6||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||Scott Graves||21 Ford|
|7||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Alan Gustafson||21 Chevrolet|
|8||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chris Gabehart||21 Toyota|
|9||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Todd Gordon||21 Ford|
|10||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Ben Beshore||21 Toyota|
|11||19||Martin Truex Jr||Joe Gibbs Racing||James Small||21 Toyota|
|12||20||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||Adam Stevens||21 Toyota|
|13||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Paul Wolfe||21 Ford|
|14||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Ryan Fugle||21 Chevrolet|
|15||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Drew Blickensderfer||21 Ford|
|16||41||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Mike Shiplett||21 Ford|
|17||48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Greg Ives||21 Chevrolet|
Of the 17 drivers already entered in the NASCAR All-Star race, eight have scored wins in the yearly exhibition event, led by Kevin Harvick with two All-Star victories (2018, 2007). 2020 series champion, Chase Elliott is the most recent NASCAR All-Star race winner, bringing home the victory from Bristol Motor Speedway last season.
|Active All-Star Winners||Wins||Seasons|
|Kevin Harvick||2||2018, 2007|
In total, 21 drivers will make a start in this season’s NASCAR All-Star race, four additional positions will be added to the NASCAR All-Star Race field following the NASCAR Open – the NASCAR Open Stage 1 Winner, the NASCAR Open Stage 2 Winner, the NASCAR Open Race Winner, and the Fan Vote Winner.
A dive into the NASCAR Open
The NASCAR Open was first introduced into the All-Star format in 1986 at Atlanta Motor Speedway – the first event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Benny Parsons, but it did not grant him entry to the All-Star race; that started the following season.
There have been 38 NASCAR Open events, one per year since 1986; except in 2000, 2001 and 2002 it was held as two events with both winners moving on to the All-Star Race. Starting in 2015, the Open was broken up into segments and then in 2017 it was divided into stages and each winner of the segments, or the stages earned a spot in the All-Star race.
A total of 28 different drivers have won the NASCAR Open from 1986-2020; four are active this weekend and only two are entered in this weekend’s Open – Matt DiBenedetto and Daniel Suarez – the other three former Open winners have already qualified for the All-Star race.
|Rank||Active Open Winners||Wins||Seasons|
|1||Kyle Larson||2||2019, 2016|
|2||Martin Truex Jr||2||2010, 2007|
Sterling Marlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in NASCAR Open wins with four victories (1988, 1989, 1993 and 2004).
Eight of the 28 NASCAR Open winners have multiple wins – Sterling Marlin (four wins), AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Jeremy Mayfield, Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip, Kyle Larson, and Todd Bodine each have two Open victories. And three drivers have won consecutive NASCAR Opens – Sterling Marlin (1988-89), Michael Waltrip (1991-92) and Clint Bowyer (2014-15).
Ryan Newman (2002) and Kyle Larson (2019) are the only two drivers to win the NASCAR Open and the All-Star Race in the same weekend.
Among the 22 drivers vying for the coveted wins in this weekend’s NASCAR Open to move on to the All-Star race, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has the best average finish in points-paying races at Texas Motor Speedway, with a series leading 8.5 in two starts. Right behind him is Richard Petty Motorsport’s Erik Jones with an average finish of 10.3 in points-paying races at Texas.
Fan Vote is still underway
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race is Sunday, and the Fan Vote is still going strong for the big event at Texas Motor Speedway. Voting will be open until Friday at noon ET, so here’s a roundup of the top five drivers as June 9.
The top vote-getters, in alphabetical order: Chase Briscoe, Matt DiBenedetto, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace.
Fans can vote here for one eligible driver once a day per unique email address. Votes shared on Facebook and Twitter will count as bonus entries, for a total of four votes per day.
To compete in the NASCAR All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, Sun., FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), drivers must be a NASCAR Cup Series winner in 2020-21 or be a full-time driver who was a previous All-Star or past Cup Series champion. The stage winners and overall race winner in the NASCAR Open (6 p.m. ET, Sun., FS1, MRN, SiriusXM) and the Fan Vote winner will also be eligible for the race.
The best in the Lone Star state
Since this weekend will be the first time the NASCAR Cup Series has held the NASCAR All-Star Race and Open at Fort Worth’s Texas Motor Speedway the best data to look at heading into Sunday is how drivers have performed in points-paying races at the famed 1.5-mile Texas track.
Seven former NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway winners are entered this weekend and all seven are already in the NASCAR All-Star Race. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch leads the series among active drivers in points-paying race wins at Texas Motor Speedway with four victories; including the series’ most recent visit to the track last season (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020). Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon also grabbed a win at Texas Motor Speedway last season.
Besides Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick are the only other active drivers with multiple wins at Texas.
|Kyle Busch||4||2020, 2018, 2016, 2013|
|Kevin Harvick||3||2019, 2018, 2017|
|Denny Hamlin||3||2019, 2010 sweep|
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
Sammy Hagar to play during pre-race festivities at NASCAR All-Star Race – Sammy Hagar, and fellow guitarist Vic Johnson will play Hagar’s classic guitar rock song “I Can’t Drive 55” as part of the pre-race festivities for the 37th annual NASCAR All-Star Race on June 13 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The two guitarists will perform the 1984 radio and MTV hit from a stage located in the Texas Motor Speedway grandstands at Section PL 102.
Hagar rose to fame in the 1970s with the band Montrose and the now classic “Rock Candy.” He then began a very successful solo career with songs like “There’s Only One Way to Rock”, “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy” and “Bad Motor Scooter.” His success continued as the lead singer for Van Halen from 1985-1996. Since 2014, he has played in the supergroup Sammy Hagar and the Circle with Johnson on guitar, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony on bass and Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, on drums.
Hagar performed previously at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 8, 2015, during pre-race festivities for the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series race.
All-Star Laps For Charity Presented by S.W.A.T. Roofing & Contracting kicks off weekend at Texas – Speedway Children’s Charities – Texas Chapter will provide NASCAR All-Star Race fans with the opportunity to hit the track with their own vehicles mere hours before their heroes compete for the $1 million-to-win prize with the June 13 All-Star Laps for Charity Presented by S.W.A.T. Roofing & Contracting.
Participants will experience the thrill of driving around the 1.5-mile speedway oval from 8-10 a.m. to benefit local children who are in need. A $50 donation provides three laps on track and all proceeds going to Speedway Children’s Charities – Texas Chapter. Pre-registration is required.
“Driving on the track the same day as NASCAR’s greatest drivers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and now we are giving our fans that chance all while raising money to help local children in need,” said Speedway Children’s Charities -Texas Chapter Executive Director Marissa Chaney. “There is no better way to kick-off All-Star race day than that!”
All drivers must be 18 years of age or older, and passengers must be at least six years of age. Safety belts must be worn by all occupants. Electric cars are prohibited. The Texas Motor Speedway pace car will set the speed limit. Visit www.speedwaycharities.org/texas for more information and to register.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is heading to the Lone Star state for some doubleheader action on Saturday, June 12 at 4 p.m. ET for the Alsco Uniforms 250 on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the weekend on Saturday, June 12 at 1 p.m. ET with the SpeedyCash.com 220 prior to the green flag for the Xfinity Series.
The series heads to Texas Motor Speedway coming off an exciting weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, making left and right turns. AJ Allmendinger got his second win of the season on Saturday after an impressive run from the back of the field in the final stage. His win tied him with Marcos Ambrose for the most NASCAR Xfinity Series road course wins all-time. Allmendinger’s first career Xfinity win came at Mid-Ohio in 2013 in the inaugural race at the track.
Last weekend’s race had seven cautions for 23 laps with seven lead changes and a margin of victory of .809 seconds. Kaulig Racing swept the first two positions with Justin Haley coming in second to Allmendinger.
Ty Gibbs finished third, Brandon Jones fourth and Andy Lally rounded out the top five.
It looked like road course ace Austin Cindric was going to pull off the victory after leading 30 of the 78 laps but lost the lead after taking the outside on one of the final restarts and being shuffled off course. He ended up finishing 14th in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
Brandon Brown finished sixth, Michael Annett finished behind him in seventh, Josh Berry in eighth, Ryan Sieg in ninth and Josh Williams rounded out the top 10.
By virtue of Metric Qualifying, AJ Allmendinger will start on the pole this weekend for the Alsco Uniforms 250 at Texas Motor Speedway. His teammate Haley will join him on the front row. Jones, Cindric, Daniel Hemric, Annett, Brown, Jeb Burton, Sieg and Alex Labbe will be starting inside top 10.
Everything’s Bigger and Better in Texas
For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, this weekend will be the 41st race at Texas Motor Speedway. There have been 21 different race winners and 24 different pole winners in the first 40 races at the 1.5-mile track.
Erik Jones holds the Xfinity record for the youngest pole winner at 18 years, 9 months, 11 days in April of 2015. NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin holds the record for the oldest Xfinity pole winner at Texas at 47 years, 9 months, 26 days from November 2006.
Only six races have been won from the pole position or first starting position in Xfinity Series history at Texas and the last driver to accomplish the feat was Ryan Blaney in 2018.
2014 Xfinity Series champion, Chase Elliott, holds the record for the youngest winner in Texas history in the series at 18 years, 4 months, 7 days in 2014 and Jeff Purvis holds the record for the oldest Xfinity Texas winner at 43 years, 1 month, 18 days in 2002.
The race record is held by Kyle Busch at 151.707 mph (April 5, 2008) and Jeff Green holds the qualifying record at 193.493 mph (April 6, 2002).
This race last season was won by Team Penske’s Austin Cindric. He led 44 laps en route to the victory. Chase Briscoe finished behind him in second and Justin Allgaier finished third. Allgaier led a race-high 98 laps and swept the first two stages.
Jeremy Clements will make his 25th Xfinity Series start at Texas on Saturday, the most of any active driver.
Texas has been a place of first for many. Kurt Busch (2006), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998), Chase Elliott (2014) and Erik Jones (2015) all got their first Xfinity Series win at Texas Motor Speedway. Alex Bowman (2013), Denny Hamlin (2006) and David Ragan (2007) all got their first Xfinity pole at Texas.
Joe Gibbs Racing heads to Texas looking for more wins
The Joe Gibbs Racing organization returns to Texas Motor Speedway looking to get their series leading 15th victory at the 1.5-mile track this weekend in the Alsco Uniforms 250. Not only will Gibbs have the normal cast of Xfinity regulars – Brandon Jones, Harrison Burton, and Daniel Hemric – but also winningest driver in series history is slated to run as well – Kyle Busch.
The 36-year-old, Las Vegas, Nevada native, Kyle Busch, has the strongest numbers at Texas Motor Speedway during his time in the Xfinity Series. He has the most poles (4), most wins (9) and most top fives (16). He’s also tied with Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth for the most top 10s (17) and he’s tied with Elliott Sadler for the most lead lap finishes (19). He’s the leader in laps completed at 4,292 and for laps led at 1,701 at Texas as well. Busch will be piloting the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this weekend, looking for his 10th series victory. If Busch wins this weekend, Texas will become the second track in the series Busch has won at in double digits; joining Phoenix Raceway where he has 11 wins.
Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton won the Playoff Xfinity race at Texas last season and is looking to go back-to-back. Harrison Burton has the third-best driver rating at Texas, behind Kyle Busch and Harvick. He has an average finish of 4.3 and a pre-race driver rating of 113.6. Harrison also has the second-best green flag speed with an average of 174.638 mph behind Noah Gragson at 174.792 mph.
Bubble Trouble: Playoff Shakeups Continue
Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger got his second win of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season last weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which means for the drivers without a win, they haven’t lost another spot up for grabs in the post-season.
Currently, there are still only five drivers locked into the postseason with wins – Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider.
That means there are seven spots left in the field to either make it in with a win or on points. Daniel Hemric jumped back up to sixth in the standings and is the highest ranked driver without a win right now. He’s 128 points above the cutline so his points cushion is strong but if bad luck continues to strike for him, he might lose the gap.
Hemric and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton are tied with a 128-point cushion, but Hemric owns the tiebreaker due to best finishes this season.
Their Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones has been improving in the last few weeks. He had been sitting in the final Playoff transfer spot after a couple bad finished but has made his way up to ninth. Justin Haley is still sitting in eighth, the only Kaulig Racing driver without a win so far this season.
Noah Gragson has been up and down all season but is currently in the final Playoff transfer spot, 15 points above the cutline. He has had a handful of bad results, including last weekend at Mid-Ohio where he didn’t even make it one lap around the track, but is hoping he can swing the pendulum back to the positive this weekend at Texas.
Brandon Brown is in 13th in the standings, 15 points below the cutline right now. He’s had a career season and has been above the cutline as well as below. If he stays consistent, he’ll be able to jump back above the cutline. Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg are sitting in 14th and 15th, respectively. The two have been running up front more regularly now and are fighting their way into the top 12.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Mid-Ohio:
|Rank||Driver||Points||Starts||Race Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||Pts From Cutoff|
|1||Austin Cindric||558||13||3||5||20||In On Wins|
Note: The (*) symbol by the number of Starts indicates a driver missed a race but is still eligible for the Playoffs due to receiving a waiver.
Will Rodgers joining Sam Hunt Racing
Sam Hunt Racing announced that Will Rodgers, 26, will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series and pilot the No. 26 GoodRX Toyota beginning at Nashville Superspeedway.
Rodgers is a four-time winner in the ARCA Menards Series and is also a member of the 2018-19 NASCAR Next class. He brings GoodRX on board the Toyota for his debut at Nashville.
In 2019, Rodgers made four Xfinity Series starts at Iowa, Mid-Ohio, Charlotte ROVAL and Homestead-Miami Speedway. He has a best finish of 12th at Mid-Ohio.
Rodgers is the only active driver in NASCAR from Hawaii and was diagnosed with a chronic liver disease, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) at the age of three. Since then, he’s lived a healthy life with PSC and is on a mission to use his platform to help fight liver diseases for himself and others suffering.
He established the Will Rodgers Liver Health Foundation, a 501 (3) organization.
“I’m thrilled to be aligning with Sam Hunt Racing for our multi-race schedule in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year,” said Rodgers in a team press release. “Sam’s program has really exceeded my expectations and with the support from Toyota, has proven to be a great place for development drivers like myself. The tracks we’ve selected should help with my personal growth and also play to my strong suits – including road course racing. Sam is a self-made, hard-working guy doing all he can to succeed in this industry. We understand each other well, and it serves as motivation to perform at our best on and off the track. I’m looking forward to seeing where this relationship takes us in the future.”
Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Update
After another solid run for rookie Ty Gibbs at Mid-Ohio last weekend banking his sixth top-five finish in seven starts this season, he has extended his lead over JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
Gibbs has pocketed two wins this season at the Daytona Road Course and Charlotte Motor Speedway and he’s only run in seven of the 14 Xfinity Series events so far this year.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year
JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry is holding onto second place in the rookie standings with 256 points and four awards to his name. Just 16 points behind Gibbs heading into Texas this weekend.
In 11 starts so far this year, he has one win at Martinsville Speedway and three top fives and six top 10s. He’s led 151 laps and has an average start of 16.6.
JD Motorsport’s Ryan Vargas is still sitting in third in the rookie standings with 129 points. In 12 starts so far this season for JD Motorsports, Vargas got his best finish of 16th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Jade Buford joined the rookie party two weeks ago in the standings with 20 points and now he has 44 points after Mid-Ohio. In 12 starts so far this season, Buford has a best finish of 13th from last weekend.
He still sits ahead of Jordan Anderson and Sam Mayer who have both not yet made a start in the series in 2021.
Chevrolet is leading the charge in the Xfinity Series with seven wins so far this season and 484 points in the manufacturers standings.
Chevrolet’s wins came at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Darlington Raceway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Toyota is in second in the standings with 455 points and three victories. Toyota’s wins came at the Daytona Road Course, COTA, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Lastly, Ford is in third with three wins and 441 points. Their wins came at the season-opener in Daytona, Phoenix Raceway and Dover International Speedway.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Camping World Truck Series back in action in Texas
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took last weekend off but returns to action this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the SpeedyCash.com 220 on Saturday, June 12th (1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The race will be the first in a double-header that day, with the NASCAR Xfinity Series wrapping up the day at 4 p.m. ET.
Former series champion and current FOX Sports NASCAR analyst Todd Bodine leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with six victories (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter leads all active NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers in wins at Texas with five victories (2012 sweep, 2016, 2017, 2018). Sauter’s ThorSport Racing teammate, Matt Crafton, is the only other active driver with multiple wins there with two (2014, 2015). In fact, only one other entered driver has a win in the Trucks on the 1.5-mile track – Sheldon Creed, who won the most recent Texas race last fall.
The series has raced 47 times at Texas Motor Speedway with the first race being run in 1997. There have been 24 different drivers to visit Victory Lane over the years. Todd Bodine is the all-time wins leader on the circuit with six wins. Brendan Gaughan has four wins, Ron Hornaday Jr. has recorded three, and Greg Biffle, Dennis Setzer and Jack Sprague have two apiece.
Of note, nine times a Texas race winner has gone on to win the Camping World Truck Series championship that season. The first to do it was Greg Biffle in 2000. The most recent was Creed last year. In fact, in five of the past seven years, a Texas race winner has won the title.
2020 – Sheldon Creed
2017 – Christopher Bell
2016 – Johnny Sauter
2015 – Erik Jones
2014 – Matt Crafton
2010 – Todd Bodine
2006 – Todd Bodine
2001 – Jack Sprague
2000 – Greg Biffle
How they will line up
By virtue of Metric Qualifying, the most recent race winner, Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek, will start from the pole in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race the SpeedyCash.com 220. And he’ll be joined by another Toyota on the front row in ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes.
Niece Motorsport’s Carson Hocevar’s impressive runner-up performance at Charlotte netted him a spot on the second row, as he’ll start third. Todd Gilliland starts alongside him in fourth.
Austin Hill, Stewart Friesen, Zane Smith, Chandler Smith, Derek Kraus, and Drew Dollar will complete the top 10.
None of the drivers starting in the top 10 for Saturday’s race have a win at Texas Motor Speedway. But Austin Hill (2020) Stewart Friesen (2019) and Ben Rhodes (2018) have come the closest of the 10 drivers with all three posting runner-up finishes at Texas recently.
John Hunter Nemechek puts Toyota back in Victory Lane
After Toyota dominated the opening portion of the season by winning the first seven races, Chevrolet and Ford took their turns in Victory Lane at Darlington and the Circuit of the Americas. But at Charlotte two weekends ago, Toyota came roaring back into the winner’s circle with Kyle Busch Motorsports driver John Hunter Nemechek behind the wheel.
The win was Nemechek’s third of the year and the sixth for KBM. It gives him a solid 44-point advantage over Ben Rhodes for the points lead and a shot at the regular season championship (and the spoil of 15 additional Playoff points that come with the title).
Now the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway, where Nemechek has yet to net a top five – but he also hasn’t raced there in a truck since 2017. His best finish came in his second start there (summer of 2016), when he was seventh. Overall, he has an average finish of 15.2 in five starts there between 2015 and 2017.
Ten down, five to go in regular season
With five races remaining in the regular season, not too much has changed from three weeks ago. John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Sheldon Creed and Todd Gilliland are still the only drivers to have secured spots in the Playoffs by virtue of wins. That currently leaves six spots to be filled by points, guaranteeing at least one will be transferring to the Playoffs on points.
Five-time Texas winner Johnny Sauter still holds the 10th and final spot based on points, now just two points ahead of Austin Wayne Self, who is the first driver on the outside looking in.
Another previous Texas winner, Matt Crafton, dropped to seventh on the Playoff grid, but is still comfortably in position to advance to the postseason.
The remainder of the field currently in the Playoff picture (Austin Hill – moved up to third in points, Zane Smith – sixth, Stewart Friesen – eighth, Carson Hocevar – ninth on the Playoff grid) are all looking for their first win at Texas Motor Speedway.
Although Grant Enfinger is currently ninth overall in points, he’s not eligible for the Playoffs after missing the race at the Daytona Road Course early in the season.
Hill has nine starts at Texas with a pair of top-five finishes, including a runner-up result last year. Smith has two starts, both last season, and finished third in his second race. Friesen has a trio of top-five and four top-10 results, including a best of second in the first race there in 2018. Sunoco Rookie points leader Hocevar will be making his track debut this weekend.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Etc.
Brennan Poole making 2021 NASCAR national series debut – On Point Motorsports has tapped Brennan Poole to drive the No. 30 Toyota for the team this weekend at Texas, marking the 2021 season debut. Poole, who grew up near Houston, Texas, spent the beginning of the year recovering from an injury that was a result of a snowboarding accident. Poole’s best finish in a Camping World Truck was a runner-up result at Charlotte in 2019.
Sunoco Rookie Update – Coming out of his second-place showing Charlotte, Carson Hocevar continued to extend his lead over Chandler Smith to stay atop the Sunoco Rookie standings, now holding a 53-point advantage (264 to 211). Smith had a very respectable showing himself, finishing sixth – but only Hocevar scored stage points between the two. Hailie Deegan is in third with 179 points after finishing 13th in Charlotte, while Chase Purdy has 106 points in fourth (he finished 34th at COTA) and Kris Wright is in fifth with 58 points. Wright has only competed in six of the 10 races this season, most recently at Charlotte where he was 23rd at the conclusion of the race.
— NASCAR —