Xfinity Race Preview: Indianapolis

Indianapolis

A new competition package highlights the return of the NASCAR XFINITY Series to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Entry List | Schedule of Events

NASCAR XFINITY Series news, notes and fast facts in advance of Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Radio: IMS Radio Network
TV: NBCSN, 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Race Distance: 250 miles (100 laps)
Stage Lengths: Stage 1 Ends - Lap 30; Stage 2 Ends - Lap 60; Final Stage Ends - Lap 100

Races: 5
Pole Winners: 2
Youngest Pole Winner: Kyle Busch (7/27/2013 - 28 years, 2 months, 25 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Kasey Kahne (7/28/2012 - 32 years, 3 months, 18 days)
Race Winners: 3
Youngest Race Winner: Ty Dillon (7/26/2014 - 22 years, 4 months, 29 days)
Oldest Race Winner: Kyle Busch (7/23/2016 - 31 years, 2 months, 21 days)
Races Won from Pole: 3
Last Race Won from Pole: Kyle Busch (7/23/2016)
Race Record: Ty Dillon - 137.153 mph (7/26/2014)
Qualifying Record: Kyle Busch - 181.939 mph (7/23/2016)

  Last Race Most/Largest Fewest/Smallest
Cars: 40 43 (7/28/2012) 40 - 4 Times
Lead Changes: 2 9 - Twice 2 (7/23/2016)
Leaders: 2 6 - 3 Times 2 (7/23/2016)
Cautions: 2 5 (7/28/2012) 2 (7/23/2016)
Caution Laps: 10 24 (7/28/2012) 10 (7/23/2016)
Lead Lap Finish: 12 24 (7/28/2012) 12 (7/23/2016)
Running at the Finish: 32 34 - Twice 31 (7/28/2012)
Laps Led (Winner): 62 92 (7/27/2013) 24 (7/26/2014)
Margin of Victory*: 0.411 3.304 (7/28/2012) 0.411 (7/23/2016

*Since 1993 (advent of digital timing and scoring); does not include races completed under caution

New Competition Package Highlights The Return To Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the sixth annual running of the Lily Diabetes 250 this Saturday, July 22 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), but this time the teams and competitors will be working with a new competition package specific for this event.
Designed specifically for the 100-lap race at Indianapolis the modifications are as follows:

The 2016 spoiler and splitter will be reimplemented (teams must run the ear flaps on both sides)
New aero ducts will be supplied by NASCAR at the track, and will be attached to the front bumper
A 7/8-inch restrictor plate will be used.  

The new package is designed to create close racing and passing opportunities for competitors. The key to the package are the aero ducts, which will move air out of the front wheel wells and create a larger wake (punch a bigger hole in the air behind the vehicle). This will increase the draft envelope by approximately 25%, which will allow the trailing car to race closer to the leading car.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Is A Record Breaking Playground For Kyle Busch
The list of accolades that follow Kyle Busch’s name in the NASCAR XFINITY Series is quite long, and this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the Las Vegas, Nevada, native looks to add a couple more records to the list.  First off, he will attempt to become the first driver in series history to win five consecutive poles (he has four: 2013-2016) at a single track. Then, if he accomplishes that feat, he will try his hand at becoming the first driver in series history to win three consecutive races from the pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch already leads the series in wins at Indianapolis with three (2013, ’15 and ’16); Brad Keselowski (2012) and Ty Dillon (2014) are the only drivers to win in the series at IMS.

Busch has been dominant at IMS in his five starts. He leads the series in poles (four), wins (three), top fives (four), average starting position (1.2), average finishing position (5.4) and laps led (268).
Keep in mind, Busch became the first driver to sweep both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at IMS from the pole last season.

Playoff Bubble: Who Is In And Who Is Out Following New Hampshire
With just nine races left until the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, time is running out for drivers and teams to lock themselves into the post-season.

Three drivers are locked in on wins (William Byron, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed), leaving nine spots up for grabs.

Five of the nine winless championship contending drivers currently in on points have built such large point leads over the 13th-place driver in the standings it would take a major collapse for them not to make it into the post-season – Elliott Sadler (+331 points ahead of 13th), Brennan Poole (+139), Daniel Hemric (+132), Cole Custer (+107) and Matt Tifft (+98). 

The next two drivers, Michael Annett (+66) and Dakoda Armstrong (+62) have also put a sizable difference between themselves and 13th place, but are not out of the woods yet.

The two drivers sitting right on top of the playoff bubble following New Hampshire are Blake Koch (+35) and Brendan Gaughan (+9) as both are currently in on points but a poor finish could change that. 

Ryan Sieg is sitting in the first spot outside of the playoffs in 13th, just nine points back from Gaughan. JJ Yeley is also in the hunt for the final playoff spot as he is just 15 points behind Gaughan.

Of the nine drivers currently in the playoffs on points but without a win, three will be making their series track debut at Indianapolis this weekend – Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Matt Tifft.

Of the aforementioned drivers, who has the best chance to break through and get their first win of the season this weekend? Here are their average finishing positions at IMS – Michael Annett (7.5), Elliott Sadler (10.8), Brennan Poole (11.0), Brendan Gaughan (16.0), Ryan Sieg (18.0), Dakoda Armstrong (18.7), JJ Yeley (24.5) and Blake Koch (30.7).

 

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