The second race of the first round of the Xfinity playoffs takes the riders to Talladega Superspeedway.
Noah Gragson secured his place in the next round by winning last weekend in Texas. Ryan Sieg occupies the last position. Riley Autumn is the first driver below the cut line, one point behind Zig. Also below the cut line are the current champions of the series. Daniel Hemrick (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).
Details of Saturday’s Xfinity Race at Talladega Superspeedway
(All time Eastern)
START: The command to start the engines will be given at 16:09 … The green flag should be raised at 16:21.
PRERACE: Xfinity Garage opens at 1:00 pm… Drivers introduction at 3:30 pm… Call will be given at 4:00 pm… Brookwood High School Choir will play the anthem at 4:02 pm.
DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on a 2.66 mile race track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on the 25th lap. Stage 2 ends on lap 50.
TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 16:00. The countdown to green starts at 3:30 p.m. on the US network. … Motor Racing Network coverage starts at 3:30 p.m. and will also air on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast MRN.
FORECAST: Weather Metro – Sunny with a temperature of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.
TALLADEGA, Alabama. — Austin Hill will lead the green flag field at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, taking his first Xfinity Series career pole.
Hill won pole position Friday at 182.036 mph. He will be joined in the front row by another playoff contender. Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).
MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup
Playoff riders will start with seven of the eight first places. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who starts third after a 181.870 mph lap. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing first and third starting places.
Justin Algayer (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragsonwinning four races in a row starts sixth after a 181.134 mph lap, followed by the playoff drivers. Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).
The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4:00 pm ET Saturday on the USA Network.
TALLADEGA, Alabama. — John Hunter Nemechek starts from pole position in Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series.
Nemecek took 178.767 mph on pole.
Nemecek is one of only four playoff drivers to start in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph) Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and You Maeski (sixth, 176.744). Maeski secured a spot in next month’s championship race in Phoenix thanks to his win at Bristol.
MORE: Talladega Truck Starting Lineup
Talladega Superspeedway is known for high speeds, huge draft packs, sensational crashes and difficult finishes.
On Sunday (2:00 pm ET on NBC), this could be the site of a surprise entry.
Nineteen different drivers have won cup races this season, setting the record. If a new winner appears on the victory track at Talladega on Sunday, it will be the first time in the history of the sport that 20 drivers have won races in a single season.
One of the great things about this opportunity is that the rider with the undisputed best Talladega record among active riders is in a group that is still looking for victory in 2022. This is Brad Keselowski, who won six times at the biggest NASCAR track. . No other active driver has more than three. (Keselowski is tied for second on Talladega’s all-time win list with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. Dale Earnhardt tops this list with 10).
Talladega and Daytona tend to forfeit repeat winners. The last nine races on the two tracks have been won by nine different riders.
Other seasonal non-winners who could make it to Talladega:
Ryan Blaney “Blaney’s only win this year is in the All-Star race, so he’s still looking for his first points victory as he continues to chase the championship. He won at Talladega in 2019 and 2020.
Martin Truex Jr. Superfast tracks have become a hindrance to Truex’s career. In 70 races at Talladega and Dayton, he failed to win.
Arik Almirola – In a disappointing season, Almirola’s best result – fifth place – twice. He won at Talladega in 2018 but hasn’t made the top 10 in his last four runs.
Michael McDowell – McDowell’s best run in Talladega is third overall, but he is usually very competitive in the drafts in Talladega and Dayton, winning the 2021 Daytona 500.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse won at Talladega in 2017 and is usually drafted.
Harrison Burton “Burton had a tough rookie season, but Talladega’s drafting quirks should work in his favor. The next win for team number 21 will be the 100th.
Justin Hailey Haley hasn’t hit the top 10 in Talladega’s five starts, but he showed potential last week with a third-place finish in Texas.
Corey Lajoie Lajoie started nine races in the Talladega Cup and led exactly one lap. His best result is seventh.
Noah Gragson – Gragson, the star of this season’s Xfinity, is 48th in Hendrick Motorsports and Alex Bowman is out due to concussion symptoms. He could be a threat in the Talladega draft.