The NASCAR Xfinity heads back home to Charlotte Motor Speedway to finish off the “Round of 12” in the Xfinity Series Chase for the Drive for the Cure 300. This is the final voyage to the Charlotte area for 2016.
43 drivers are scheduled to compete in the Drive for the Cure 300 for only 40 spots. Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will be competing in the event including Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile asphalt speedway located in Concord, North Carolina. The front stretch is 1980 feet long with the backstretch at 1500 feet. The first and second turns are 2400 feet in length with turns three and four at 2040 feet. The turns are banked at 24 degrees with the straightaways at five degrees.
This is the 35th annual October return for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. There have been 45 different pole winners with Chase Elliott as the youngest and Harry Gant as the oldest. 33 drivers have won at Charlotte with Kyle Busch as the youngest and Harry Gant as the oldest.11 races have been won from the pole with A. Dillion being the last one to do so back in 2015.
In 1996, the race record was set by Mark Martin at a speed of 155.799 mph. Jimmie Johnson holds the qualifying record set back in in 2005 at a speed of 187.735 mph.
This is an elimination race for the Xfinity Series in the Chase. Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez have the wins to advance. The bottom four drivers are Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, Ryan Sieg, and Brandon Jones. Drivers who are near the cut-off line, but are safe include Brennan Poole, Blake Koch, and Darrell Wallace Jr.
Drivers are excited to be racing “back home” at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“I absolutely can’t wait to get back on the track this weekend at Charlotte and race under the lights in front of our family and friends. Last weekend was really special for our whole team and I’m really excited that we were able to get a win and lock ourselves into the ‘Round of 8.’ We had an amazing Interstate Batteries Camry in Dover with a lot of speed, so hopefully we can duplicate that effort on Friday night. Scott (Graves, crew chief) and the guys continue to work hard and bring the best Camrys to the track each week. Charlotte is a really good track for us and our mile-and-half program has been strong all year, so I’m really excited to get on the track and see how our Juniper Networks Toyota performs,” said Suarez.
“We ran pretty well in the May Xfinity Series race at Charlotte, and I thought we ran better than we finished (13th) in the Truck Series race there as well. I’m looking forward to getting back in the Haas Automation Chevrolet Camaro this week and running as well or better than we did then. As a team, JR Motorsports has been very good on 1.5-mile tracks lately, and I hope to add to that success this weekend,” said Cole Custer, driver of the No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
"Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been a pretty good track for me. It is a place where you will typically get long green flag runs. If we can get the Nexteer Automotive Chevrolet handling well and turning the corner the way we need it to, we'll be just fine out there. I feel like Charlotte is one of the strongest mile-and-a-half tracks we go to,” said Br. Jones.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will have two practice sessions at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Qualifying will be at 4:45 p.m. on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network and NBCSN will have race coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m.