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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Nashville Superspeedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Ally 400

The Place: Nashville Superspeedway

The Date: Sunday, June 20

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 2:45 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 399 miles (300 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 90),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 185), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 300)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Tennessee Lottery 250

The Place: Nashville Superspeedway

The Date: Saturday, June 19

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250.04 miles (188 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 188)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Rackley Roofing 200

The Place: Nashville Superspeedway

The Date: Friday, June 18

The Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 199.5 miles (150 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 150)

NASCAR Cup Series

Father’s Day Spectacular: Nashville Superspeedway sets the stage for the NASCAR Cup Series

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race, the Ally 400 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, will mark the first time in series history that Nashville Superspeedway will host a Cup event.

Nashville Superspeedway hosted its first NASCAR national series races back in April of 2001. Through 2011, the 1.33-mile D-shaped oval with 14 degrees of banking in the turns was home to 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events.

In 2021, Nashville is scheduled to host its first NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 20 (Father’s Day). The Father’s Day event will be the first NASCAR Cup Series race in the Nashville area since 1984; when the series last competed at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, 0.549-mile paved oval, on July 14, 1984. The race was won by Geoff Bodine driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

Nashville Superspeedway is the largest concrete-only track in NASCAR, and the 1.33-mile speedway is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc., which also owns Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

This weekend’s Ally 400 will be the 44th different race the NASCAR Cup Series has hosted on Father’s Day in the Modern Era (1972-Present) and the first time since 2017 the series has competed on the special holiday. Racing on Father’s Day has been a staple in the NASCAR Cup Series with only six seasons since 1972 not having a Father’s Day race: 2000 (June 19, 2000, Pocono race was scheduled for Father’s Day but postponed due to weather to next day), 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 (no race scheduled on Father’s Day). Nashville Superspeedway will become the fifth different track to host a NASCAR Cup Series race on Father’s Day joining Michigan International Speedway (30 races), Pocono Raceway (eight races), Riverside International Raceway (three races) and Sonoma Raceway (two races).

In the Modern Era (1972-Present), no driver has won more times on Father’s Day than NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough, who won four times at Michigan International Speedway on observed holiday (1977, 1978, 1982, 1983).

In total, four active NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won on Father’s Day – Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch.

Race Winner Father’s Day Date Track
Kyle Larson Sunday, June 18, 2017 Michigan International Speedway
Denny Hamlin Sunday, June 19, 2011 Michigan International Speedway
Ryan Newman Sunday, June 20, 2004 Michigan International Speedway
Kurt Busch Sunday, June 15, 2003 Michigan International Speedway

The most recent driver to win on Father’s Day in the NASCAR Cup Series was Kyle Larson on June 18, 2017 at Michigan International Speedway. Larson is red hot this season, winning three points-paying races (Las Vegas, Charlotte and Sonoma) the NASCAR All-Star Race, and posting nine top fives and 11 top 10s.

Previous experience at Nashville could be advantageous this weekend

Experience is always key in high level competition and this weekend will be no different for the NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville Superspeedway. With this weekend being the track’s debut on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and with no NASCAR national series competition at the track since 2011, that experience is few and far between amongst current competitors.

Looking through the preliminary NASCAR Cup Series entry list for this Sunday’s Ally 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), and of the 39 competitors entered only 14 have made at least one start in a NASCAR national series event at Nashville Superspeedway.

Of those 14 drivers with starts at Nashville, only five have previous won a NASCAR national series race at the 1.33-mile track, led by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch with three NASCAR national series victories:

Kyle Busch (NXS one win: 2009; NCWTS two wins: 2010, 2011)

Kevin Harvick (NXS two wins: 2006, 2010)

Brad Keselowski (NXS two wins: 2008, 2010)

Austin Dillon (NCWTS one win: 2011)

Joey Logano (NXS one win: 2009)

The remaining drivers that are entered this weekend with previous NASCAR national series starts at Nashville without a win are Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Denny Hamlin, 2021 Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell, David Starr, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and JJ Yeley.

Larson looks for third straight points-paying Cup race win

Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson has been performing lights out lately winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway three weeks ago, then conquering the hilly road course of Sonoma Raceway two weeks ago and finally capturing his second career NASCAR All-Star Race win at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. Now the 28-year-old is looking to get his third straight points-paying race win this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway to become just the fifth different active driver to accomplish the feat; joining Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

NASCAR Cup Series Consecutive Wins – Three or More (Active Drivers)
Driver No. From To
Kyle Busch 3 7/11/2015 7/26/2015
Kyle Busch 3 4/8/2018 4/21/2018
Kevin Harvick 3 2/25/2018 3/11/2018
Brad Keselowski 3 9/2/2018 9/18/2018
Joey Logano 3 10/11/2015 10/25/2015

This weekend will be Larson’s NASCAR national series debut at Nashville Superspeedway.

Playoff Bubble: 10 races to go in regular season

Time is running short for the drivers not already locked into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with just 10 races remaining in the regular season. Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher in the 16th and final transfer position to the postseason has opened up a sizeable points cushion (+60 points) over Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto in 17th.

With such a large points deficit between drivers in the top 16 and not, a win might be the only way a driver on the outside looking in can make the Playoffs with so few races left in the regular season.

Of the drivers outside the current top 16 driver Playoff outlook, six are former NASCAR Cup Series winners – Kurt Busch (18th in points), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (19th), Ryan Newman (23rd), Erik Jones (25th), Cole Custer (27th) and Aric Almirola (28th).

Kurt Busch, with 32 career NASCAR Cup Series wins, is currently 18th in the Playoff outlook 63 points back from Chris Buescher in 16th – the final Playoff transfer position. Among the nine upcoming tracks that make up the rest of the regular season, Busch has won at five of them (Daytona, Michigan, Pocono, New Hampshire, Atlanta). This will be his NASCAR national series debut at Nashville this weekend.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., with two career NASCAR Cup Series wins, is currently 19th in the Playoff outlook 82 points behind the postseason cutline.  Among the nine upcoming tracks that make up the rest of the Cup Series regular season, Stenhouse has won at just Daytona International Speedway (2017 July). Stenhouse has made five NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Nashville posting a best finish of runner-up in 2011.

Ryan Newman, with 18 career NASCAR Cup Series wins, is currently 23rd in the Playoff outlook 104 points back from Chris Buescher in the final postseason transfer position. Among the nine tracks left on the regular season Cup schedule, Newman has won at four of them (Daytona, Michigan, Pocono and New Hampshire). This weekend will be Newman’s NASCAR national series track debut at Nashville Superspeedway.

Erik Jones, with two career NASCAR Cup Series wins, is currently 25th in the Playoff outlook 119 points behind the postseason cutline.  Among the nine upcoming tracks that make up the rest of the regular season, Jones has won at just Daytona International Speedway (2018 July). This weekend will be Jones’ NASCAR national series track debut at Nashville Superspeedway.

Cole Custer, with one career NASCAR Cup Series win (Kentucky 2020), is currently 27th in the Playoff outlook 138 points behind Chris Buescher in 16th – the final transfer position.  This weekend will be Custer’s NASCAR national series track debut at Nashville Superspeedway.

Aric Almirola, with two career NASCAR Cup Series wins, is currently 28th in the Playoff outlook 186 points back from Chris Buescher in the final postseason transfer position. Among the nine tracks left on the regular season Cup schedule, Almirola has won at just Daytona International Speedway (2014 July). Almirola has made four starts at Nashville Superspeedway in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Almirola’s best finish in Xfinity at Nashville was fifth in 2011 and his best finish in the Truck Series at Nashville was third in 2010.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Etc.

Gibson partners with Nashville Superspeedway for its June 18-20 NASCAR tripleheader weekend – Gibson, the world’s most famous guitar manufacturer and a staple of Nashville’s music scene for generations, is partnering with Nashville Superspeedway to create a one-of-a-kind Victory Lane prize for America’s best drivers.

Nashville Superspeedway’s Victory Lane celebration became one of the most talked about in NASCAR during the track’s early days from 2001-11, with the ultimate reward of a Sam Bass-designed Gibson guitar presented to winning drivers.

With NASCAR returning to Middle Tennessee on June 18-20, including the inaugural “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series race on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 20, that tradition will continue, with a special Gibson Guitar among the prizes and honors awaiting all of the Superspeedway’s race winners in Victory Lane.

“Without question it’s important to maintain the tradition of a Music City-made Gibson guitar for our race winners,” said Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway’s president. “While everyone misses Sam and we could never recreate what he offered to our track champions, we are thrilled to rekindle our partnership with Gibson and to award their timeless guitars to our race winners.”

Chris Janson to perform pre-race concert prior to “Ally 400” on Father’s Day – Country music star Chris Janson, a Grand Ole Opry member and platinum-selling recording artist, will perform a pre-race concert on track at Nashville Superspeedway prior to the “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 20.

Janson will display his high-octane, multi-instrumental talents on a stage near the start-finish line between the morning Cup Series qualifying session (10:05 a.m.) and the afternoon “Ally 400” (2:30 p.m., NBCSN), the first Cup Series race in Middle Tennessee in 37 years. Grandstand gates open at 9 a.m. on Father’s Day.

The 35-year-old Missouri native had his first hit single with “Buy Me A Boat,” which topped the charts, reached double-platinum status and earned the iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year Award after its release in 2015. Janson’s latest album “Real Friends,” includes the singles “Good Vibes” and “Done,” both which reached No. 1 on the U.S. country airplay charts.

“I’m super thrilled to be performing at the NASCAR Cup Series pre-race concert at Nashville Superspeedway on June 20th,” says Janson. “I’m pumped to have NASCAR back in Nashville for the first time in 10 years with a SOLD-OUT crowd. I can’t think of a better combination than racing fans & country music fans. It will be a glorious day!”

CeCe Winans, Luke Combs, and Priscilla Block, among Nashville Superspeedway’s special guests – Twelve-time Grammy winner CeCe Winans, multi-platinum award winning country superstar Luke Combs, and Music City rising stars Priscilla Block and Brandon Lay will be featured as part of Nashville Superspeedway’s dignitaries and entertainment during the upcoming June 18-20 NASCAR tripleheader weekend, track officials announced this week.

CeCe Winans, a lauded gospel singer with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and more than 5 million records sold, will deliver the invocation on Sunday, June 20, representing Nashville Life Church, prior to the inaugural, sold out “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series race (2:30 p.m. CT, NBCSN.)

Luke Combs, who The New York Times calls, “the most promising and influential new country start of the last five years,” will serve as the grand marshal for the “Ally 400,” the first NASCAR Cup Series race in Nashville Superspeedway’s history and the first in Middle Tennessee in 37 years. The Asheville, N.C., native is a multi-platinum, ACM, CMA, CMT and Billboard Music Award-winning artist who continues to top the charts with 11 consecutive No. 1 singles, including his most recent, the Platinum-certified “Forever After All.” The reigning 2019 and 2020 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year will return to the stage this fall for his massive headline arena tour, featuring a special new in-the-round stage design, and will perform his first headline stadium show at Boone, N.C.’s Kidd Brewer Stadium on Sept. 4.

Priscilla Block, a 25-year-old social media sensation, will sing the national anthem before the “Ally 400.” Block’s debut single, “Just About Over You,” has reached the top 40 in country airplay charts after it was crowd-funded by thousands of her fans on TikTok. After the song’s success, Block was signed by Universal Music Group Nashville’s Mercury Division in September 2020.

Brandon Lay, a Jackson, Tenn., native and EMI Records Nashville singer/songwriter, will perform the national anthem prior to the “Tennessee Lottery 250” NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, June 19 (2:30 p.m. CT, NBCSN). Lay’s top singles include “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers,” “Yada, Yada, Yada,” and “For My Money.” He has toured with acts such as Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell and Old Dominion.

Brenna Bone won the recent “NASHCAR Superstar” Sweepstakes fan vote and will sing the national anthem prior to the “Rackley Roofing 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, June 18 (7p.m. CT, FS1). This singer/songwriter, made her way to Nashville from her hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania, and has just released her newest single “Want It Like That” across all streaming platforms.

RACE WEEKEND DIGNITARIES

FRIDAY, JUNE 18 – “Rackley Roofing 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Welcoming Remarks: Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway President; Curtis Sutton, Rackley Roofing Company President/CEO; Michelle Boykin, COO, Rackley Roofing Company

Invocation: Pastor Allen Jackson, World Outreach Church, Murfreesboro, TN

Honor Guard: Lebanon High School Jr. ROTC

National Anthem: Brenna Bone, NASHCAR Superstar Winner

Grand Marshal: Randall Hutto, Wilson County Mayor

Honorary Starter: David Blair, Rackley Roofing Representative

Post-Race Fireworks Display: Pyrotecnico

SATURDAY, JUNE 19 – “Tennessee Lottery 250” NASCAR Xfinity Series

Welcoming Remarks: Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway President; Rebecca Hargrove, Tennessee Lottery President & CEO

Invocation: Pastor Chris Nichols, Cross Point Church, Nashville, TN

Honor Guard: National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

National Anthem: Brandon Lay, EMI Records Nashville singer/songwriter

Grand Marshal: Rebecca Hargrove, Tennessee Lottery President & CEO

Honorary Starter: Shea Ralph, a seven-time national champion as a player and coach and current Vanderbilt University Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Evening Fireworks Show: Pyrotecnico

SUNDAY, JUNE 20 – “Ally 400” NASCAR Cup Series

Pre-Race Concert: Chris Janson, country music artist, Grand Ole Opry member; John Anderson, country music legend

Welcoming Remarks: Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway President; Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee; Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Ally Financial.

Invocation: CeCe Winans, Nashville Life Church

Honor Guard: 101st Airborne Division Honor Guard, Fort Campbell, Ky., U.S. Army base

National Anthem: Priscilla Block, country music artist

Grand Marshal: Luke Combs, country music superstar

Flyover: Bandit Flight Team, a nonprofit dedicated to saluting our military men and women.

Honorary Starter: Bernard Pollard, nine-year NFL veteran, former Tennessee Titan (2013-14)

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Heading to Music City!

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend for the Tennessee Lottery 250 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio the 15th race of the season.

The last time the Xfinity Series raced at Nashville Superspeedway was in 2011 and a few of the drivers entered to run in this weekend’s race competed at Nashville back then.

Those drivers are Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, Jeremy Clements, Timmy Hill, JJ Yeley, David Starr, Landon Cassill and NASCAR Cup Series two-time champion Kyle Busch. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Busch is the only driver entered this weekend that has previously won at Nashville (2009).

Nashville Superspeedway has hosted 21 Xfinity Series races total. The first Xfinity Series event at Nashville was on April 14, 2001, when Greg Biffle took home the victory.

Most recently, Carl Edwards won both races at Nashville in 2011 and Brad Keselowski won in 2010.

In total, there have been 15 different pole winners and 14 different race winners at the 1.33-mile track. The youngest Xfinity Nashville winner is Joey Logano in 2009 at 18 years, 10 months, 18 days. The oldest winner is former series champion David Green in 2003 at 45 years, 2 months, 15 days.

Only two races in history have been won from the pole or first starting position. In 2005, Reed Sorenson won from the pole and in 2009 Kyle Busch won from the pole.

Clint Bowyer’s first Xfinity Series victory was at Nashville in 2005 and Brad Keselowski’s first victory in the series was in 2008.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made his first ever Xfinity Series start in 2009 at Nashville.

Of active drivers in the series, Allgaier will make his seventh start at the Tennessee track along with his JR Motorsports teammate Annett doing the same. Kyle Busch will make his 10th start and Clements will make his sixth. Landon Cassill will make his third start as well as Timmy Hill. David Starr will make his second career start at Nashville and JJ Yeley will make his ninth.

There are 42 cars entered in this weekend’s Tennessee Lottery 250. The race will be 250.04 miles (188 laps) and the event will be broken up in to three stages – Stage 1 will end on Lap 45 and Stage 2 will end on Lap 90.

Who has the upper hand at Nashville?

With some drivers having made previous starts in the Xfinity Series at Nashville Superspeedway, those drivers might feel a little more confident heading into this weekend’s race than others.

Especially for someone like Kyle Busch who has won here before and is coming off of his 99th career Xfinity Series win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch will make his 11th career start this weekend at Nashville in the Xfinity Series. He has one win (2009) from the pole position and four top fives and five top 10s in his 10 starts. He has an average start of 8.9 and an average finish of 12.8. He’s led 490 laps and completed 2,197 laps of 2,250 attempted.

In six starts, Justin Allgaier has three top fives, three top 10s and one pole award. He led 58 laps and has an average start of 11.2 and an average finish of 10.8. Allgaier has finished fourth three times – both races in 2010 and most recently in 2011.

Michael Annett’s best finish in six starts at Nashville is ninth in 2010. He has an average start of 18.0 and an average finish of 17.0.

In five starts for Jeremy Clements, he has a best finish of 19th that came in 2010 and in only two starts, Landon Cassill has a best finish of ninth that came in 2008.

JJ Yeley will make his ninth start on Saturday at Nashville. He has a best finish of fourth from 2006. In total, he has one top five and three top 10s with an average finish of 15.4.

In two Xfinity Nashville starts, Timmy Hill finished 33rd and 22nd and in David Starr’s one start at the track, he finished 29th.

100 on the horizon for Kyle Busch
On top of the fact that he has experience and a Xfinity Series race win at Nashville Superspeedway already to his name, Kyle Busch has even more incentive to take home another win this weekend.

Busch is going for his 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series victory after grabbing his 99th last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

If Busch wins this weekend, he will become just the third driver in NASCAR national series history to win 100 or more races in a single series.

He’ll be joining elite company in NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (200 NASCAR Cup Series wins) and David Pearson (105 NASCAR Cup Series wins).

Busch is competing in his 19th Xfinity Series season. He has 359 starts, 99 wins, 222 top fives, 260 top 10s and 69 poles.

His first start was at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2003, where he started fifth and finished second for Hendrick Motorsports.

He competed in seven races that season, and in 2004 he competed fulltime for Rick Hendrick. He got his first win that year at Richmond Raceway and went on to win four more times that season. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2004, the year Martin Truex Jr., his now Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, won the championship.

In 2008, Busch joined Joe Gibbs Racing where 88 of his 99 wins came. In 2009, Busch won the Xfinity Series Championship.

Of note, 2010 was a career best season for Busch, winning a series record 13 races in a single year.

Busch has also scored victories at Nashville in the Truck Series in 2010 and 2011. Those were his first and only two starts at the track in the series. He led 131 laps in 2010 and led 140 laps in 2011.

Home of first-timers: Nashville

When it comes to Nashville Superspeedway and the Xfinity Series, it’s known for being a track that drivers get their first career win on.

Seven of the 14 race winners were first-time winners when the series competed at the track from 2001-2011. That half of the winners (50%).

This weekend we might see our eighth new winner at the track with 30 of the 42 Xfinity Series drivers entered still looking for their first win.

Series Track First-Time Winners Date
1 Xfinity Nashville Greg Biffle Saturday, April 14, 2001
2 Xfinity Nashville Scott Riggs Saturday, April 13, 2002
3 Xfinity Nashville Jack Sprague Saturday, June 8, 2002
4 Xfinity Nashville Jason Leffler Saturday, June 12, 2004
5 Xfinity Nashville Reed Sorenson Saturday, March 26, 2005
6 Xfinity Nashville Clint Bowyer Sunday, June 12, 2005
7 Xfinity Nashville Brad Keselowski Saturday, June 7, 2008

There are quite a few Xfinity Series drivers that have come close to their first career win this season. Brandon Brown had a best finish of third at Phoenix Raceway and has been hovering on the Playoff cutline for the majority of the season. He’s looking for his first Xfinity win.

Daniel Hemric has finished second or third in four races so far this season, coming so close at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to his first Xfinity Series victory. Nashville Superspeedway could be the place that he gets it done. After a few tough breaks in the last four races, Hemric finished fourth last weekend at Texas, which is what he and his No. 18 team needed.

Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Noah Gragson and Brandon Jones are all drivers with previous wins but remain winless this season. They could also be ones to watch this weekend at Nashville as none of them have more experience than the other at the track.

Bubble Trouble: Playoff shakeups continue

Kyle Busch was victorious once again in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, this time at Texas Motor Speedway. With Busch’s win, there are still seven spots left in the field for a driver to make it into the Playoffs with a win or on points.

The five Xfinity drivers locked into the postseason on wins are Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider.

Daniel Hemric holds the sixth spot in the standings and is the highest ranked driver without a win so far in 2021. He is 155 points above the cutline currently. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton is behind him in seventh, 120 points from the cutline. Both of these drivers have a good cushion right now, but a win would be preferred to make sure they’re in the post-season.

Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley is sitting in eighth in the driver standings Playoff outlook, he’s 102 points above the cutline and the only Kaulig Racing driver not in the Playoffs on wins yet.

Once we get to ninth in the standings, the points tighten up. Brandon Jones is in ninth (+51), Noah Gragson 10th (+28), Michael Annett is in 12th (+24) and Jeremy Clements is holding the final Playoff transfer spot just 24 points up on Brandon Brown in 13th – the first spot outside the cutoff.

Of the drivers vying for the final spots in the Playoffs that are above the cutline in points, Annett and Clements are the only two that have previous experience at Nashville. Annett has made six start at Nashville posting one top 10, and Clements has made five starts at the 1.33-mile track posting a best finish of 19th.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Texas-1:

Rank Driver Points Starts Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Austin Cindric 610 14 3 6 21 In On Wins
2 AJ Allmendinger 502 14 2 3 13
3 Justin Allgaier 439 14 2 1 11
4 Jeb Burton 424 14 1 0 5
5 Myatt Snider 325 14 1 0 5
6 Daniel Hemric 488 14 0 5 5 155
7 Harrison Burton 453 14 0 1 1 120
8 Justin Haley 435 13* 0 3 3 102
9 Brandon Jones 384 14 0 1 1 51
10 Noah Gragson 361 14 0 2 2 28
11 Michael Annett 357 14 0 0 0 24
12 Jeremy Clements 357 14 0 0 0 24
13 Brandon Brown 333 14 0 0 0 -24
14 Riley Herbst 306 14 0 0 0 -51
15 Ryan Sieg 270 14 0 0 0 -87
16 Landon Cassill 245 14 0 0 0 -112
17 Alex Labbe 225 14 0 0 0 -132

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.

Austin Hill running six Xfinity events for HRE

Hattori Racing Enterprises announced that the team will once again compete in select Xfinity Series events this season beginning with this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway.

Austin Hill will pilot the No. 61 Toyota in all six of those scheduled races. AISIN, a longtime partner of HRE, will be on the car for four events, including this weekend. Toyota Tsusho will continue their partnership for two Xfinity Series events as well and the Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway at the end of June.

The HRE No. 61 Toyota will also run at Pocono, Indianapolis, Michigan, Charlotte ROVAL and Texas.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Joe Gibbs Racing Adds John Hunter Nemechek to Xfinity Series Driver Lineup Joe Gibbs Racing announced this week that John Hunter Nemechek will drive the team’s No. 54 Toyota in three NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season. Nemechek will make his JGR debut at Bristol Motor Speedway (September 17) and follow up with races at Texas Motor Speedway (October 16) and Phoenix Raceway (November 6).

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Nemechek. “Just like I’ve said all year on the trucks side, I’m here to win races. I have a lot of confidence going into these races that we’re going to have a shot to win every time out. Chris (Gayle, crew chief) and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing have shown that they are capable of winning any given week and I expect to do the same.”

Berry bounces to top of Sunoco rookie standings – After making his 12th start of the season last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, JR Motorsport’s driver Josh Berry retook the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie driver standings from Joe Gibbs Racing’s rising star Ty Gibbs. Berry is a scant five points up on Gibbs following Texas.

Berry is entered to make his series track debut at Nashville Superspeedway his weekend. This season Berry has put up one win (Martinsville), three top fives and six top 10s.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year
Rookies Points Awards
Josh Berry 277 4
Ty Gibbs 272 4
Ryan Vargas 142 4
Jade Buford 65 1
Sam Mayer 0 0

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Camping World Trucks head back to Music City, U.S.A.

For the first time in almost a decade the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to Music City, U.S.A. for the Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway this Friday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Nashville Superspeedway is a 1.33-mile, D-shaped, all concrete oval located just outside Nashville, Tennessee. The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway was on August 10, 2001, and the race was won by Scott Riggs driving a Dodge for team owner Jim Smith. Riggs dominated the event leading 131 of the 150 laps (87.3%). In total, Nashville Superspeedway has hosted the Camping World Truck Series 13 times producing 10 different pole winners and 11 different race winners from 2001 to 2011. ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton is the only series driver to make starts in all 13 previous Truck races at Nashville.

At 5:05 p.m. ET on Friday, June 18 Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying will be held at Nashville Superspeedway to determine the starting lineup for the Rackley Roofing 200. Nashville has produced 10 different Truck Series pole winners all-time, led by Mike Skinner (2005, 2007), Kyle Busch (2010, 2011), and Todd Bodine (2008, 2010) with two poles each.

Johnny Benson (2006, 2008) and Kyle Busch (2010, 2011) lead the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins at Nashville Superspeedway with two victories each. The fans are guaranteed to see a new Truck winner at Nashville this weekend, as none of the former winners are entered in the event.

John Hunter Nemechek is after his third straight win this weekend

Like a shooting star, Kyle Busch Motorsports’ driver John Hunter Nemechek has shot across the wins column in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season. In 11 races Nemechek has scored a series leading four victories this season; including the last two and now in Friday night’s Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway he looks to become just the eighth different driver in series history to win three consecutive races; joining Ron Hornaday Jr., Kyle Busch, Johnny Benson, Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Kevin Harvick, and Mike Skinner.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in consecutive wins with five straight back in 2009. 11 times in the Truck Series has a driver won three or more consecutive races. Nemechek’s truck owner Kyle Busch was the most recent driver to accomplish the feat in the series in 2019 winning four straight.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Three or More Consecutive Victories
Rank Driver No. From To
1 Ron Hornaday Jr 5 06/20/2009 08/01/2009
2 Kyle Busch 4 02/23/2019 03/29/2019
3 Johnny Benson 3 07/19/2008 08/09/2008
  Greg Biffle 3 06/09/2000 06/24/2000
Todd Bodine 3 11/04/2005 11/19/2005
  Kyle Busch 3 04/22/2011 05/20/2011
Kyle Busch 3 05/09/2014 05/30/2014
  Kevin Harvick 3 08/07/2011 08/24/2011
Ron Hornaday Jr 3 07/05/1997 07/19/1997
  Mike Skinner 3 05/25/1996 06/09/1996
Mike Skinner 3 02/23/2007 03/31/2007

Nemechek is currently atop the series driver standings with a 78 points lead over second place Ben Rhodes. The 24-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., will be making his series track debut this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway.

Six Pack: Only six drivers entered this weekend have competed at Nashville before

Since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hasn’t competed at Nashville Superspeedway in nearly a decade, having experience at the 1.33-mile track is at premium. This weekend of the 43 drivers entered to compete in the Rackley Roofing 200, only six have previous series experience at the concrete facility just outside Music City, U.S.A.

ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton has the most experience of any Camping World Truck Series driver at Nashville having made all 13 previous series starts at the track. In his 13 starts, he has collected one top five, seven top 10s and an average finish of 10.7.

The driver with the next most starts at Nashville is Norm Benning with six career starts at the track. Benning has put up an average finish of 27.6 in his six starts and has posted a best finish of 22nd twice, most recently 2010.

Next in line in terms of Nashville experience is Crafton’s ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter, who has made five series starts at the 1.33-mile track posting two top fives, four top 10s and a series leading average finish of 6.2. In his last start at Nashville (2011), he finished runner-up to Austin Dillon.

Jennifer Jo Cobb has the next most series starts at Nashville among active drivers with three. In Cobb’s three starts she posted a best finish of 19th in 2010. Her average finish at the track is 22.1. Tina Gordon holds the series record for best finish by a female competitor at Nashville with a 13th-place finish in 2003.

Parker Kligerman has also made two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Nashville posting one top five and two top 10s. His average finish at 1.33-mile track is 7.5.

Lastly, Clay Greenfield has made two series starts at Nashville posting a best finish of 23rd in 2010.

Playoffs are approaching and points are tight along the postseason cutoff

Just four races left in the regular season for drivers to lock themselves into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, including this weekend’s Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Four drivers have secured spots in the postseason on wins – John Hunter Nemechek (four wins), Ben Rhodes (two wins), Todd Gilliland (one win) and 2020 series champion Sheldon Creed (one win). That leaves six spots still up for grabs by virtue of a win or on points.

Kyle Busch Motorsport’s rookie driver Chandler Smith is currently 10th in the Truck Series Playoff outlook – the final postseason transfer position – and holds an eight-point advantage over veteran ThorSport Racing driver Johnny Sauter in 11th – the first spot outside cutoff. Austin Wayne Self is in 12th only nine points back from Smith in 10th.

Of the drivers along the Playoff cutline this season, Johnny Sauter has the most experience at Nashville Superspeedway having made five starts posting two top fives and four top 10s. Self and Smith will be making their series track debuts this weekend at Nashville.

The next four race weekends to wrap up the regular season will be a challenging stretch for those drivers still looking for a spot in the Playoffs. This weekend the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Nashville Superspeedway for the first time in nearly a decade. Nashville Superspeedway is a 1.33-mile, D-shaped, concrete oval. The following race is at Pocono Raceway (6/26) and that track is a one-of-kind three-turn, triangle shaped, paved 2.5-mile track. After Pocono, the series will make its debut at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, for the second dirt race of the season (Bristol Dirt, Knoxville). Knoxville Raceway is located at the Marion County Fairgrounds, 30 miles southeast of Des Moines, Iowa, and is a 0.5-mile dirt track with eight degrees of banking. Then to set the Playoff field the Trucks will battle it out at the high-speed Watkins Glen International. The famously historic, 2.45-mile, seven turn road course located just outside Watkins Glen, NY.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Rackley W.A.R. brings heavy hitters William Byron and Josh Berry to Nashville – For the first time in their short history, the Rackley W.A.R. organization will field two teams this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway for the Rackley Roofing 200. Rackley W.A.R. tapped two of the hottest drivers in NASCAR to field their trucks this weekend, in NASCAR Cup Series star William Byron and NASCAR Xfinity Series standout Josh Berry. Byron alongside crew chief Willie Allen will pilot the No. 27 Rackley W.A.R. Chevrolet Friday night and Berry with crew chief Chad Kendrick will be making his second start for the organization. Berry made his debut with the team last weekend at Texas posting the team’s first top-10 finish. Both Byron and Berry will be making their series track debuts this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway.

“I am excited for the opportunity to get behind-the-wheel in the Camping World Truck Series again,” Byron said. “I haven’t been in a truck for a while, so the opportunity to do so with Rackley W.A.R. allows me to get back and accustomed again. I have never raced at Nashville Superspeedway before either. While I think that the NASCAR Cup Series entries will handle differently compared to the trucks, the Rackley Roofing 200 will give me a chance to learn a few things on my end that I may not be able to try. Plus, this gives me a chance to get more acclimated to the track overall – I can learn the braking zones, pit road entrance and exit, and the overall characteristics of Nashville Superspeedway.” 

Action Packed Friday for Trucks at Nashville – Nashville Superspeedway is one of six tracks this season that will host both practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This Friday, June 18 the series is scheduled to practice at 11:05 a.m. ET to 11:55 a.m. and then qualify at 5:05 p.m. ET and race at 8 p.m. ET later that evening. All on-track activity by the Truck Series can be viewed on FS1.

Ryan Preece to make NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with Team DGR – JTG Daugherty Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece will be making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway driving the No. 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing (Team DGR). Preece will be pulling double duty this weekend racing in both the Trucks and NASCAR Cup Series races.

Preece has made 93 NASCAR Cup Series starts in his career and 59 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. This weekend will be his NASCAR national series debut at Nashville Speedway.

Truck Sunoco Rookie Standings Update – With the first 11 races of the 2021 season in the books, Niece Motorsport’s Carson Hocevar continues to hold on to the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by a solid 36 points over Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Chandler Smith in second. Smith rallied last weekend to grab his fifth Sunoco Rookie of the Race award of the season last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway with his fifth-place finish. His second top five and fourth top 10 of the year.

But Hocevar continues to be the man to beat in the rookie class this season. In 11 starts this year, the 18-year-old from Portage, Michigan has put up three top fives and four top 10s; including a best finish of runner-up at Charlotte Motor Speedway a few weeks ago.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year
Rookies Points Awards
Carson Hocevar 290 5
Chandler Smith 254 5
Halie Deegan 192 0
Chase Purdy 126 1
Kris Wright 73 0
Tim Viens 0 0

Team DGR’s Hailie Deegan is sitting in third in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings 98 points back from Hocevar. Deegan has posted three top-15 finishes this season.

Toyota is screaming past the competition – Toyota drivers have won nine of the first 11 races on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2021 season; including the first seven races consecutively. Chevrolet and Ford each only have one victory this season.

Now the series heads to Nashville Superspeedway for the first time in nearly a decade, and it’s a place Toyota has relished in success as well. Toyota leads the series in wins at Nashville Superspeedway with six of the 13 races going to the Japanese automaker. The most recent Toyota winner at Nashville was Kyle Busch on April 22, 2011.

— NASCAR —