While the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series are in Michigan, the NASCAR Xfinity Series rolls into Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to Road America for the Road America 180 presented by Johnsonville. This is the third and final road course event for the Xfinity Series in 2016. 40 drivers have entered into the event.
Michael McDowell is the sole NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who will be pulling off the Michigan and Road America
Road America is situated between Green Bay and Milwaukee near the Kettle Moraine. The track is 4.048 mile road-course. Drivers will have to master 14 turns over 45 laps. Adding to the challenge of Road America, drivers may have to battle some rain during the event.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series has only raced at Road America since 2010. There have been five different pole winners in six events. Michael McDowell currently holds the record of being the youngest to win a pole, while Alex Tagliani is the oldest. All the races held at Road America have seen different winners. Reed Sorenson is the youngest winner, while Brendan Gaughan is the oldest. Only three races have been won from the pole position. In 2013, AJ Allmendinger was the last driver to win from the pole position in Xfinity Series competition at Road America. In 2012, Nelson Piquet Jr set the qualifying record with a speed of 85.171 mph; He also set the race record that year at a speed of 109.516 mph.
Drivers talk about the challenges at Road America in weekly press releases.
"Road America is a really cool track. It's packed with NASCAR fans and it's just a lot of fun to drive. It's very technical. It has a lot of elevation changes and it's very long. We had a lot of speed at Mid-Ohio when it wasn't raining so all I'm really hoping for this weekend is a dry track,” said current Xfinity Series point leader, Elliott Sadler.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to some road course racing this weekend. We were really strong a few weeks ago at Mid-Ohio and we had a solid run here last season. So hopefully we can have that same speed again this weekend with our LoudMouth Exhaust Mustang and see what we can do on Saturday,” said Bubba Wallace Jr.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend at Road America and our last road course of the year. This has definitely been a learning year for me when it comes to the road courses and trying to figure out how to get around each one and the unique challenges of each track. All year we’ve had fast Camrys and I know this weekend at Road America will be no different. We’ll use the practice sessions to get up to speed and for me to figure out my way around the track. We’ve got a big group from Reser’s with us this weekend and I’d love to get them another trip to victory lane,” said Erik Jones, the top seed in the Xfinity chase.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series has already had two practice sessions at Road America. In the first practice session, Michael McDowell paced the field with a speed of 108.847 mph, with Owen Kelly in second at a speed of 108.839 mph, Alex Tagliani was third at a speed of 108.687 mph, Justin Marks was fourth at a speed of 134.586 mph), and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top-five with a speed of 107.780 mph. In the second and final practice, Justin Marks paced the field at 108.946 mph, Michael McDowell in second at a speed of 108.907, Alex Tagliani with a speed of 108.571 mph, Owen Kelly with a speed of 108.378 mph, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five in final practice at a speed of 108.194 mph. No drivers ran 10 consecutive laps in both of the practice session.
NASCAR Xfinity drivers will qualify for the race at Road America on August 26th at 6:30PM EST on NBCSN. Coverage from Road America will be on Motor Racing Network and NBCSN beginning at 2:30PM EST.