The NASCAR Xfinity Series heats up in Thunder Valley at the .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300. SaturdayAfternoon’s race will be the first installment of the Dash 4 Cash, and will introduce the new heat race format announced by NASCAR in January. 42 drivers will be competing for the 40 available spots.

 

Bristol Motor Speedway is a .533-mile concrete oval, located in northern Tennessee. The corners feature variable banking ranging from 24 to 28 degrees. The straights also feature variable banking, and ranges from six to 10 degrees. The straights are only 650 feet long. The racing surface is 40 feet wide.

 

Bristol Motor Speedway will be home to the start of the run for the Dash 4 Cash. Heat races will be the format used for these events. Dash 4 Cash will only be held at Bristol, Richmond, Dover, and Indianapolis. Teams will qualify like normal for the Coors Light Pole Award. Drivers who qualified in odd-numbered positions will race in the first heat race, and even-numbered position qualifiers will race in the second heat race. The winners of the heat races will start on the front row for the main event. Lane choice for the start of the main event will go to the driver who had the faster speed in qualifying. The rest of the field will be set by the finishing order of the heat races. Heat races will go their scheduled distances without NASCAR overtime. If a driver wrecks in their respective heat, they can only work on their car until the checkered flag waves for that heat. For the main event, teams can change tires, take fuel, and make any adjustments before the main event. Wayne Auton, NASCAR Xfinity Series director told NASCAR.com, "You have to start the heat on the tires you qualified on and you have to start the heat on the fuel (from qualifying). No one should run out of fuel with the amount of laps we're running.” If a driver wins multiple Dash 4 Cash bonuses, they will be eligible for the new Chase format, if they remain eligible per NASCAR rulebook.

 

67 races have been held at Bristol Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 47 drivers have won a pole at Bristol. There have been 42 different race winners. There have been nine races where a driver as won from the pole position. In 2012, Elliott Sadler sat a race record with a speed of 94.74 mph. In 2004, Greg Biffle set a record pole speed at 127.132 mph. Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will be competing in Saturday’s race.

 

Drivers are excited for Bristol.

 

In a release, Ryan Reed, driver of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, talks about the heat race factor on Saturday. “I think all of us drivers are really anxious, but excited about how the heat races will play out at Bristol this weekend. Adding this new element into the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program is huge and could have major points implications if we do well, or not-so-well. We have really been working on our short-track program and I think we have a shot at qualifying for the Dash 4 Cash and having a good points day. I’m also excited to hang out with fans as we kick off the Lilly Diabetes #IDriveMyHealth Show Car Tour and hear how fans are taking care of their health to manage or prevent diabetes.”

 

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevy, explains why he loves going to Bristol. “I love coming to Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s one of my favorite tracks and provides a very unique atmosphere. The heat races are going to be interesting, so we will see how that all plays out. Bristol is a place we know we have a chance to win.”

 

Kyle Busch, last week’s winner at Texas Motor Speedway, explains the challenges of Bristol.  “I think the most challenging aspect of Bristol is just how difficult it is to transition through from the straightaways to the corners, back to the straightaways, and have your car set up in order to do all that. Sometimes you can be really loose getting in, or you can be really tight in the middle – you just seem to never be able to get a good-flowing car that works well there. Drivers have to do a lot of manipulation on the racetrack with their car in order to try to make the best of it.”

 

The NASCAR Xfinity hits the track at 12:30 pm eastern on Friday, April 15, for their first practice session, only on Fox Sports 1. The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 will begin at 12:30 pm eastern on Saturday, April 16, on Fox Sports 1 and Performance Racing Network.

 

TV Schedule

Friday, April 15
12:30 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series practice, FS1
3 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series final practice, FS1


Saturday, April 16
9:30 a.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
Noon, NASCAR RaceDay: Xfinity, FS1
12:30 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.  FS1

The Duck Commander 500 from the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway was one of the better spring races seen at the speedway. Here are five takeaways from this weekends festivities in the Lone Star State:
 
·      Kyle Busch: He is definitely in the prime of his career as a racer. After his injury from the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway in 2015, fans have started to turn a new leaf with Busch. When he was doing his celebratory burnout at the end of the race, fans were cheering louder than the occasional boo’s heard when he wins. 
 
·      Joe Gibbs Racing: Just a couple years ago, fans and media were asking “What is going on at Joe Gibbs Racing?” Well, that has turned into “Who can stop them?” In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, JGR teams have qualified 1-2-3 in all but one event in the 2016 season. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, JGR teams are towards the front of the field throughout the race. Joe Gibbs Racing has found something that the other teams have not found yet. Will JGR have all four cars, including the affiliate, Furniture Row Racing, in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in September?
 
·      Texas Motor Speedway: It is time to shorten the spring race at Texas to 400 miles and/or switch this race to the daytime. The race was over 3.5 hours long this weekend. This is not okay for the “millennial generation” that NASCAR is trying so desperately to reach. The fans were not packed this weekend at the track. Are fans not buying tickets to this race so they could go to the Chase race in November? Eddie Gossage does a great job promoting his events, but is there anything else he can do to wrangle in more spectators? 
 
·      Green/Yellow Situations: The Duck Commander 500 started under a Green/Yellow situation to help NASCAR dry the track, after late afternoon showers. Jet Dryers and Air Titans were doing yeoman’s work on drying the track. Personally, NASCAR should go away from these type of situations. Fans pay and want to see the race start on the first lap. If the track was not ready to race, then do not put the cars on the track. Luckily, weepers were not an issue this go-around at Texas Motor Speedway, but NASCAR needs to look at this policy.
 
·      Cup Drivers in the Xfinity Series: LET IT GO! Xfinity Series regulars enjoy having the Sprint Cup drivers racing with them. Having Cup drivers in this series allows for fans to see what these up and coming drivers are made of. “Names are made here” is the slogan for the Xfinity Series. Wouldn’t you love to actually see what these drivers are made of?  Cup drivers in this series allows for people who are unable to see their favorite Cup drivers race on Sunday, due to whatever circumstances, see them race. If Xfinity drivers are okay with this dilemma, then why aren’t the fans?
 
What are your takeaways from Texas Motor Speedway?

Richard Childress was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver. Currently, Childress is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series Team Owner. His career in NASCAR started in 1969 and continues to succeed in NASCAR’s premier divisions.

Childress started his racing career with limited means. At the age of 17, he purchased his first car for only $20. Childress was well-respected as a racer, and was a consummate self-made racer. Childress has six top-five finishes, 76 top 10’s, all within 285 starts. Childress finished fifth in the points standings in 1975. Ultimately, he retired in 1982.

In 1972, Childress formed Richard Childress Racing. And the rest is history from there. Much of his team’s success came with NASCAR Hall of Famer, Dale Earnhardt. Under Earnhardt’s career at RCR, Childress won six championships and 67 races from 1984 to 2000. Drivers who have driven for Childress have received five additional championships. Childress became the first team owner to win championships in all three of NASCAR’s premier divisions. Childress is ranked second on the championship list with 11.

“Once you've raced, you never forget it...and you never get over it,” said Richard Childress.

Childress is still active in the community of Welcome and Lexington, North Carolina. Childress started his own vineyard located in Lexington, North Carolina. He and his wife started the Childress Institute for Pediatric Research in 2008. 

Austin Dillon wins the TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway after spoiling the Joe Gibbs Racing party in an exciting fuel mileage race.  Dillon edges out Kyle Busch, who ran out of fuel and had a tire go down, to win in a wild finish that only Hollywood could have scripted.  Darrell Wallace Jr. finished third, followed by Daniel Suarez, and Elliott Sadler. This is Dillon’s seventh career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

 

The final lap had a lot of twists and turns for some drivers. Kyle Busch blew a tire as Daniel Suarez took over the lead on the backstretch. Busch would later retake the lead once again after Suarez ran out of fuel. However, Austin Dillon caught Busch coming off of turn four to win the race.

 

Kyle Busch declined talking to the media after the race. However, Kyle expressed his displeasure for NASCAR on the last lap on his radio.

 

Dillon was excited for this win. “Sometimes things just go your way, today it definitely did. Fun race. I hope the fans liked that last lap. That was exciting.”

 

Richard Childress was happy to be back in Victory Lane. “This is a perfect example of what you would call luck. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. These guys were prepared today, and the opportunity was there. They capitalized, and that is what it takes to win.”

 

Daniel Suarez maintained his ten-point lead over Elliott Sadler in the Driver’s Standings.

 

The car of Darrell Wallace Jr. failed post-race inspection with post-race heights. The cars of Austin Dillon, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Blaney will be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further evaluation.

 

The TreatMyClot.com 300 was plagued with four cautions for a total of 16 laps. The race had 12 lead changes among eight different drivers. Kyle Busch led the most laps with a total of 133 laps led. The average speed was 143.008 mph. The time of the race was 2 hours, 5 minutes, and 52 seconds. The margin of victory was .741 seconds.

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will take a two-week hiatus before returning to the Texas Motor Speedway on April 8 for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300.

A cool speedway covered in the morning fog was a major factor in NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying for the TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Daniel Suarez wins the pole with a speed of 179.955 mph.

 

Single-Car runs were used during the qualifying session. This is mandated by NASCAR so drivers do not wait until the last minute to get the draft. For the Xfinity Series, single-car runs will be used at tracks two miles and over. 

 

 As the first round of qualifying went green, the fog began to lift. Kyle Busch was P1 in this round with a speed of  180.158 mph. Joe Gibbs Racing continued to show their dominance in the Xfinity Series by qualifying 1-2-3. Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, and Austin Dillon round out the top-five. Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace Jr., and Brendan Gaughan were some of the notable drivers who did not advance to the second round. Carl Long and Morgan Shepard were sent home packing after the first round of qualifying. 

 

In the second round of qualifying, the fog was burned off, and drivers were battling a warming track. The track was losing grip, but came no match for Joe Gibbs Racing. For the fourth consecutive week, Joe Gibbs Racing has qualified 1-2-3. Jones, Busch, Larson, and Sadler round out the top-five. 

 

Can Joe Gibbs continue their dominance in the Xfinity Series? Find out at 4 pm Eastern time, only on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.