Saturday’s Indiana 250 Race Preview

Back to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considered one of the most prestigious and historic tracks in American racing history, and this weekend the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to the Brickyard for the Indiana 250 on Saturday, September 7, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The almost rectangular-shaped, four-corner track is 2.5-miles in length, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, with nine degrees of banking in the four turns. This season’s Indiana 250 will be 100 laps (250 miles) with the first stage ending on Lap 30 and the second stage ending on Lap 60.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races, engendering three different pole winners and five different race winners. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch leads the series in poles (four) and wins (three) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis; he is still looking for his first victory of the 2019 season this weekend.  

Regular season championship on the line

With the regular season coming to a close, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has the opportunity to clinch the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Indiana 250 on Saturday, September 7 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Reddick can clinch the regular season title at Indianapolis if he leaves the race with a 61-point lead on second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings. He currently holds a 51-point lead on second-place Christopher Bell.

Reddick has made two series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, posting a best finish of runner-up last season.

Playoff Crunch: To clinch or not to clinch

Just two races remain in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season for drivers to lock themselves into the Playoffs with a win or by points. Noah Gragson clinched a spot in the postseason on points last weekend at Darlington Raceway, joining Tyler Reddick (four wins, standings leader), Christopher Bell (six wins), Cole Custer (six wins), Austin Cindric (two wins), Chase Briscoe (one win), Michael Annett (one win) and Justin Allgaier (one win) as the eight drivers who have now clinched. Four spots remain.

Here are the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff clinch scenarios for Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

The magic number is 56:

  1. If there is a new winner, a clinching driver needs to be 56 points ahead of the fifth-highest winless driver.

  2. If there is a repeat winner (or wins by Allgaier, Gragson, Haley, Nemechek, Jones) (possible: Haley, Nemechek, Jones), a clinching driver needs to be 56 points ahead of the sixth-highest winless driver.

Justin Haley – Would clinch with a win or would clinch on points with 45 points and a new winner.  If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, John Hunter Nemechek or Brandon Jones), he would clinch on points with 23 points. 

Haley will be making his series track debut this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

John Hunter Nemechek – Would clinch with a win or could clinch on points with help.

Nemechek made his series track debut at Indianapolis last season. He started sixth and led two laps, but was caught in an incident that relegated him to a 25th-place finish.

Brandon Jones – Would clinch with a win or could clinch on points with a repeat winner (or a win by Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley or John Hunter Nemechek) and help.

Jones has made three series starts at Indianapolis, posting three top 10s and an average finish of 9.7.

All other drivers can only clinch with a win.

Xfinity’s Big 3 continue to win

The 2019 season has been dominated by three talented drivers – Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer – and their winning ways don’t seem to be slowing. In total they have claimed 18 of the first 24 races of the season – a 75% winning percentage – and this weekend they turn their attention to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indiana 250 on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Cole Custer is the most recent of the “Big 3” to win, clutching his sixth victory this past weekend after Denny Hamlin was disqualified for failing post-race inspection. Custer is now looking for win No. 7 this weekend at Indianapolis, a track where he has made two starts, finishing fifth in 2017 and then 29th last season due to an incident.

Christopher Bell is also looking for his seventh win of the season and his first at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. The JGR standout made his series track debut at Indianapolis last season, starting seventh and finishing seventh.

Xfinity points leader Tyler Reddick has four wins on the season but would gladly add a fifth this weekend at Indianapolis. Reddick has made two series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway posting a best finish of runner-up last season.

Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon to pull double duty in Indianapolis

Two big names in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon – are pulling double duty this weekend and will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race the Indiana 250 on Saturday, September 7 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Kyle Busch will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with crew chief Ben Beshore. Busch will be quite the contender to challenge this weekend at Indianapolis as the Las Vegas native leads the series in poles (four) and wins (three) at the 2.5-mile track. Plus, in 2016, he became the first driver to win both the NASCAR Xfinity and Monster Energy Series races at Indianapolis from the pole.

Austin Dillon will be piloting the No. 10 Kaulig Racing’s Chevrolet with crew chief Lennie Chandler. Dillon has made three Xfinity Series starts at Indianapolis, posting one top five and two top 10s.

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