XFINITY Race Preview: New Hampshire

NASCAR XFINITY

The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Saturday's Overton's 200. (Photo: Getty Images)

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NASCAR XFINITY Series news, notes and fast facts in advance of Saturday's Overton's 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Radio: PRN, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: NBCSN, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Race Distance: 211.6 miles (200 laps)
Stage Lengths: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)

Races: 30
Pole Winners: 18
Youngest Pole Winner: Landon Cassill (6/28/2008 - 18 years, 11 months, 21 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Jimmy Hensley (7/14/1991 - 45 years, 9 months, 3 days)
Race Winners: 25
Youngest Race Winner: Kyle Busch (6/27/2009 - 24 years, 1 month, 25 days)
Oldest Race Winner: David Green (7/19/2003 - 45 years, 5 months, 21 days)
Races Won from Pole: 8
Last Race Won from Pole: Kyle Busch (7/16/2016)
Race Record: Kyle Busch - 111.925 mph (6/27/2009)
Qualifying Record: Kyle Busch - 131.916 mph (7/13/2013)

  Last Race Most/Largest Fewest/Smallest
Cars: 40 46 - 3 Times (10/13/1991) 37 - (5/12/2001)
Lead Changes: 3 18 (10/13/1991) 2 (7/15/2006)
Leaders: 3 12 (7/15/1990) 3 - 4 Times (7/16/2016)
Cautions: 7 17 (7/15/1990) 3 - 2 Times (6/27/2009)
Caution Laps: 37 83 (7/15/1990) 15 (6/27/2009)
Lead Lap Finish: 13 28 (7/16/2005) 2 (7/14/1991)
Running at the Finish: 31 34 - 3 Times (6/30/2007) 21 (5/7/1994)
Laps Led (Winner): 190 202 (7/14/1991) 5 (7/12/1992)
Margin of Victory*: 1.499 2.547 (5/11/2002) 0.106 (5/10/1997)

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

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will set the stage for the Overton’s 200 this Saturday, July 15 (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and offers the chance for NASCAR XFINITY Series competitors to extend the series record of five consecutive wins at the track from the Coors Light Pole to six. 
 
The streak of wins from the pole at New Hampshire began in 2012, when Brad Keselowski pulled into Victory Lane after leading 131 of 200 laps. The next four series races at NHMS followed suit, Kyle Busch won from the pole after leading 141 laps in 2013, then Brad Keselowski won again from the pole in 2014 after leading 152 laps. The third driver to win from the pole at New Hampshire was Denny Hamlin after leading 145 of the 200 laps in 2015. But it was Kyle Busch’s dominant win last season from the Coors Light Pole leading 190 of 200 laps (95%) that set the new series record of five consecutive wins from the pole at one track. 
 
The previous record for consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series wins from the pole at one track was four; held by Rockingham Speedway (1982-1984) – David Pearson (’82), Dale Earnhardt (’83), Sam Ard (Mar. ’84) and Geoff Bodine (Oct. ’84).   
 
Two of three drivers who have contributed to the current streak are entered this weekend. The series leader in poles (four) at New Hampshire, Brad Keselowski, will be in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, and the series wins leader at New Hampshire (five), Kyle Busch, will be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. 
 
Race To The Playoffs: 10 Races Left In The NASCAR XFINITY Series Regular Season
With just 10 races left in the regular season, the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series playoff picture is starting to take shape. 
Three series title contenders have locked themselves into the post-season on wins – William Byron (two victories), Justin Allgaier (one) and Ryan Reed (one), leaving nine spots up for grabs. 
 

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Playoff Points

Pts Back From Cutoff

1

William Byron

533

2

11

In On Wins

2

Justin Allgaier

520

1

7

3

Ryan Reed

354

1

5

4

Elliott Sadler

578

0

4

300

5

Daniel Hemric

396

0

1

118

6

Brennan Poole

395

0

0

117

7

Cole Custer

368

0

0

90

8

Matt Tifft

357

0

0

79

9

Dakoda Armstrong

338

0

0

60

10

Michael Annett

334

0

0

56

11

Darrell Wallace Jr.

321

0

1

43

12

Blake Koch

300

0

1

22

13

Brendan Gaughan

278

0

1

-22


Of the nine drivers currently in the title hunt who have yet to win this season, three will be making their series track debuts at New Hampshire this weekend – Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Tifft. Of the six remaining drivers who have made starts at New Hampshire, here are their average finishes at NHMS: Brennan Poole (8.0), Darrell Wallace Jr. (10.0), Michael Annett (12.2), Elliott Sadler (15.6), Dakoda Armstrong (21.0) and Blake Koch (29.2). 
 
Worth noting, Darrell Wallace Jr. is currently not entered in this weekend’s event, opening the door for Brendan Gaughan (currently 13th and outside the playoffs, 22-points back from 12th) to move up into a playoff spot. Gaughan has made five series starts at New Hampshire, posting two top 10s and an average finish of 13.4. 
 
Four 2017 Sunoco Rookies Have The Playoffs In Their Sites
The playoffs are just around the corner, and four young rising superstars in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year program have put themselves in contention to make the 2017 post-season. This weekend, all four rookies will be making their series track debuts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Overton’s 200.
 
William Byron - Leading the quartet of 2017 rookies currently in playoff contention is JR Motorsports driver William Byron. The 19-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, is starting to look like the prodigy car owner Rick Hendrick professed he would be at the season-opening car owner press conferences in Daytona. He has posted two wins (Iowa and Daytona), five top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 10.4 in 16 starts this season. Oh, and on top of all that, he leads the series in playoff points with 11 and would currently be the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs. 
 
Daniel Hemric - Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric has yet to win this season, but is a comfortably ahead of 13th (+118 points) in the driver standings, and most likely make the post-season. The 26-year-old from Kannapolis, North Carolina, has been improving since the drop of the first green flag. In 16 starts, he has posted a pole, two top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 16.1. 
 
Cole Custer - Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer is currently 90 points ahead of 13th in the driver standings with a good shot to make the playoffs with 10 races to go. Custer has been scaling the driver standings over the last eight races, climbing from 12th to sixth. In 16 starts this season, the 19-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, has posted two top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 17.2.   
 
Matt Tifft – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Tifft is currently the last Sunoco Rookie who is currently in position to make the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs. Tifft is 79 points ahead of 13th-place in the driver standings following Kentucky. The 21-year-old from Hinckley, Ohio, has posted four top 10s and an average finish of 16.0 this season.   
 
New Hampshire And The NASCAR XFINITY Series

The Overton’s 200 will be the 31st time the NASCAR XFINITY Series has competed in the state of New Hampshire – all at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The very first NASCAR XFINITY Series race held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was on July 15, 1990, and the event was won by Tommy Ellis (Buick) after leading 89 laps.

A total of 18 different drivers have won NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light poles at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, led by Brad Keselowski with four.

A total of 25 different drivers have won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, led by Kyle Busch with five victories.

Kyle Busch holds both the series qualifying record (131.916 mph, 07/13/2013) and the race record (111.925 mph 06/27/2009) at NHMS.

A total of 15 drivers who have made at least one start in a NASCAR national series event have their home state recorded as New Hampshire. Of the 15 New Hampshire drivers, 11 made at least one start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series; led by Jamie Aube with 46 series starts. Aube is the only driver from New Hampshire to win a NASCAR national series race. Aube, from Bow, New Hampshire, won at Oxford Plains Speedway on July 12, 1987, in an Oldsmobile.

There are currently no active drivers from the state of New Hampshire competing this weekend.  

NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.

Milestones: Kyle Busch will attempt to record his 175th NASCAR national series victory (MENCS 38, NXS 88, NCWTS 48) this weekend at NHMS.

Double Duty Drivers: Five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are entered in the Overton’s 200 this weekend, and will be pulling double duty – Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Reed Sorenson, Ty Dillon and Kyle Larson. 

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