NXS: What to watch for in the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 at Darlington Raceway

The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to action this weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 on Saturday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m. ET. Fans can catch the excitement on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Darlington Raceway, known as the “Track Too Tough to Tame,” has hosted 67 Xfinity Series races, witnessing 36 different race winners and 32 different pole winners. Notably, 15 races have been won from the pole position, most recently by Denny Hamlin in 2017.

Key statistical leaders at Darlington include NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin, who tops the charts with eight wins, eight poles, 14 top fives, 18 top 10s, and 972 laps led.

The Xfinity Series drivers kick off their weekend with practice on Friday, May 10, at 5:05 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying at 5:35 p.m. ET on FS1.

Darlington: The Track ‘Too Tough to Tame’… for Some

While Darlington poses challenges, a trio of drivers aims to conquer it once again:

  • Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports) boasts two wins, seven top fives, and 13 top 10s in 17 starts.
  • Brandon Jones secured victory in 2020 and aims for more success.
  • Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing) has consistently performed well, including a win in 2019.

Throwin’ Back at Darlington Raceway

This weekend marks NASCAR’s official throwback celebration, and Xfinity Series drivers are eager to showcase their retro paint schemes:

  • Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) pays homage to Johnny Sauter’s 2006 car.
  • Riley Herbst (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) honors family history with Terrible Herbst Motorsports.
  • Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) tributes a 1948 REO truck used by BRANDT.
  • And many more drivers embrace nostalgia with their unique throwback designs.
  • Jeremy Clements’ No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet will pay tribute to Robert Pressley.

As the NASCAR Xfinity Series hits the 10-race mark, the Playoff landscape is taking shape. Among the eight different winners this season, four have secured their 2024 Playoff spots through victories: Austin Hill, Chandler Smith, Sam Mayer, and Jesse Love.

  • Chandler Smith leads the points standings with 394 points, despite not yet claiming a win.
  • Cole Custer trails closely with 393 points.
  • Austin Hill sits third, while rookie Jesse Love follows in fourth.

Veteran driver Justin Allgaier ranks fifth, aiming for a win. Other contenders include Riley Herbst, AJ Allmendinger, and Sheldon Creed.

Meanwhile, Parker Kligerman has impressed with solid finishes, securing ninth place in the standings. Ryan Sieg remains in the Playoff hunt.

JR Motorsports expands Carson Kvapil’s schedule, adding six Xfinity Series races. His journey begins this weekend at Darlington Raceway, followed by races at New Hampshire, Indianapolis, Michigan, and Talladega.

In a double-duty spectacle, Cup Series drivers William Byron and John Hunter Nemechek will vie for victory in the Xfinity Series’ Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 at Darlington. Byron returns for his second start this season, while Nemechek aims for another strong performance after a win in Las Vegas.