Tag Archives: Daniel Suarez

2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule

The 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season is starting. 2016 was the inaugural season of the extension of the Chase format to this series. Daniel Suarez won the Championship. He had three wins and 27 top ten finishes in a 33 race season. He had a super season although on too many occasions he was upstaged by the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch again dominated this Series with 10 wins and 14 top ten finishes in his 17 starts. This has got to stop so that drivers like Suarez can build their fan base and legacy to this sport.

Next year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with five or more years of experience will be limited to ten starts in this Series.

The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry, and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR.

2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
2/25 Daytona International Speedway FS1 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 4 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/18 Phoenix International Raceway FOX 4 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/25 Auto Club Speedway FS1 4 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/8 Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/22 Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 12:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/29 Richmond International Raceway FS1 12:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/6 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 1 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
6/3 Dover International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/10 Pocono Raceway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/17 Michigan International Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/24 Iowa Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/30 Daytona International Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/7 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 4 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/22 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. IMS / SiriusXM
7/29 Iowa Speedway NBC 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/5 Watkins Glen International NBCSN 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/12 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/18 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
8/27 Road America NBC 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/2 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/8 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/16 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/23 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
9/30 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
10/21 Kansas Speedway NBC 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/4 Texas Motor Speedway NBCSN 8:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
11/11 Phoenix International Raceway NBC 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/18 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 322780 Jerry Markland/Getty Images


Kyle Busch Wins the Pole for the Furious 7 300 at Chicagoland Speedway

The NASCAR Xfinity Series is running the Furious 7 300, a companion event with the other three series at Chicagoland Speedway. Kyle Busch will start up front.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who watches the Xfinity Series regularly that Kyle Busch is fast. This is his 46th pole in 305 Xfinity Series starts, his third this year. He has a 12-year streak from 2004 to 2015 of consecutive poles.

Kyle Busch has already won three races this year in this series in spite of missing eleven races due to his injury in the first race at Daytona International Speedway. Eric Jones won the race here in June in this car.

Kyle Busch said, “I’m ready to go back to Chicagoland with the No. 54 team, especially considering their finish there with Erik (Jones) in the spring. JGR has always had good cars there and Chris (Gayle, crew chief) will work hard to dial in our Camry. This Monster Energy No. 54 team can definitely get back to victory lane at Chicago and maybe sweep the year.

It will be an all Joe Gibbs Racing front row as Busch’s teammates Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 and Daniel Suarez in the No. 18 will be starting second and third. Rounding out the top five is Ty Dillon and Ryan Blaney.

If you cannot get to Chicagoland Speedway for the Furious 7 300 it will be broadcast on NBCSN on Saturday September 19th starting at 5:30 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: Brian Berg Jr.

Erik Jones Wins the Rain Delayed XFINITY Race at Chicagoland Speedway

Erik Jones wins the rain delayed NASCAR XFINITY Series Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

On Friday Drew Herring stepped into the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota to fill in for Erik Jones while he was racing the truck at Iowa Speedway. Herring was fast in spite of just being a practice driver. He had the #54 7th in the first practice and 4th in the second practice.

Erik Jones won the Truck race and came to Chicagoland Speedway to qualify the car and race. Jones stepped right into the car making it to all three rounds to start the race in the 11th position. He did not have to start the race from the rear of the field because he qualified the car.

The race had been scheduled to run on Saturday night but a massive storm made that impossible. The race was run on a beautiful day on Sunday. The pole sitter, Austin Dillon led the field to green on his way to leading 28 laps. He finished the race third.

Jones first took the lead on lap 40 and looked like he was the class of the field but Ryan Blaney was also impressive. Blaney had to start at the rear of the field due to going to a backup car because he wrecked in qualifying. He was 7th by lap 20 and fourth, two positions behind Jones by the competition caution on lap 25.

Erik Jones led most of the laps from lap 40 to lap 150, only Ryan Blaney appeared to be the driver who could take it from him and did a few times.

With 50 to go there was a mistake where the drivers were told on the radio that pit road was open yet the pit road light was red signifying pit road was closed. Erik Jones pitted from the led and Ryan Blaney did not. At that point it looked like that mistake would cost the Jones a win.

Jones restarted the race 10th with 41 laps to go and was second, right behind Blaney with 19 to go.  On the final restart with 11 to go Erik Jones went to the lead and didn’t look back.

Erik Jones led 94 laps followed by Ryan Blaney with 43 and the pole sitter Austin Dillon 28.

Daniel Suarez was the highest finishing rookie of the year candidate finishing seventh. Ross Kenseth, also a rookie, finished sixth.

It’s pretty awesome to get this Monster Energy Toyota back to victory lane. It’s two weeks in a row for these guys. That’s three wins this week for me – that’s pretty awesome. It was a rough go for a while, but we came back at it now. It’s just cool to be back here – thanks to Kyle Busch Motorsports for Friday, Joe Gibbs Racing for today and Port City Race Cars for Tuesday, XFINITY for doing this for us, the fans and – man, what a day, what a day.”  Jones added, “Thanks to Drew Herring who shook this thing down for us two days ago and got it right and we took it to victory lane today.

Erik Jones sweeps the NASCAR weekend at two distinctly different race tracks to get his first win of the season in the No. 54 Monster Energy Car.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 309754 Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

Austin Dillon Wins the Pole for the NASCAR XFINITY Race at Chicagoland Speedway

NASCAR XFINITY Series knock out qualifying was held for Saturday nights Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

In the First Session Brian Scott in the #2 Jewel-Osco/Kraft Singles Chevrolet ran a very fast lap and almost hit the wall but he held on to make it into the top 24. Joey Gase driving the #52 did find the wall to bring out a red flag for cleanup. Gase will start the race 32nd.

The top 24 was 22, 31, 62, 54, 20, 60, 33, 2, 42, 7, 18, 9, 43, and 28.

In the Second Session Ross Kenseth in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, went out earl and posted a very fast lap to let everyone know that even though this is his first XFINITY Series start he has arrived and they should take note. We have as well.

Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 Hertz Penske Ford was a favorite for the pole. He was driving like he was going to get it but hit the wall hard in turn 2. He is going to a backup car and will start the race from the back of the field.

The top 12 moving on to the final round were 20, 1, 33, 62, 3, 60, 79, 43, 54, 18 and 6.

Third Session is only 5 minutes which rarely leaves and time for multiple runs or shots at the pole. This held true today as every car only made one lap.

Ross Kenseth improved his time from the second round and looked like he would carry that through to get the Coors Light Pole Award. Austin Dillon in the No. 33 Rheem Chevy beat him by 12 hundredths of a second. Dillon will lead the field to green.

Elliott Sadler actually tied Ross Kenseth’s time but will start third because the No. 1 One Main Financial Ford is lower in owner points. Daniel Suarez will start the race seventh, he is the fastest qualifying rookie of the year candidate.

The top 12 will be 33, 20, 1, 7, 62, 9, 18, 3, 60, 6, 54 and 43.

If you cannot get to the Chicagoland Speedway for the Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 it will be broadcast live on Saturday June 20th at 9:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: Brian Berg Jr.

Brian Vickers will Miss the Beginning of the Season, Who should be in?

It was announced by Michael Waltrip Racing that Brian Vickers had surgery to replace a patch in his heart and will miss the beginning of the 2015 NASCAR season. It is not known how many races or how deep into the season he will be out. It also has not been announced who will temporarily replace him.

It only makes sense that the boss, Michael Waltrip, drive the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the Daytona 500 and race at Talladega but what about after that?  Why not take a very sad story and make it into a happy one? How about rotating some new talented drivers and stars of the Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series. This would help those drivers and the sport in general by providing some additional exposure.

The first race after Daytona is Atlanta Motor Speedway. The reigning Camping World Truck Series Champion, Matt Crafton would be a great addition to run with the Sprint Cup regulars at the fast, tire eating, 1.5 mile speedway.

The next three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California would be a great place to show off Daniel Suarez, a young development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing who is driving his first full season in the Xfinity Series.

The short Paper Clip track, Martinsville Speedway shares the next weekend with the Truck Series. Erik Jones driving his first full season in the Truck Series would be a great story. He has three top ten finishes in three starts in the Xfinity Series but more impressive he has four wins in 22 starts in the Truck Series. It would be great to see what he could do with those Cup guys.

That takes the team deep into the Sprint Cup Season. Other drivers to consider if Brian Vickers misses more races would be Jeb Burton who currently doesn’t have a full time ride. If he misses races into June then John Hunter Nemechek, winner of the recently run Snowball Derby, can run after his 18th birthday.

We can’t wait to have Brian Vickers back. No one wants to see a drive have to miss out racing due to injury or health issues but it would be great to see it as an opportunity to showcase up and coming talent and veterans of the other Series.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 302427 Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images