The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers headed onto Nashville Superspeedway on Friday, June 18, for their first practice sessions. They spent nearly an hour running laps around the 1.33-mile concrete oval, but none could surpass Kyle Busch on the leaderboard. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver showcased his experience while posting the best lap of 155.728 mph.
Busch took 44 laps during the Friday session, showcasing top speed in the No. 54 M&Ms Toyota Supra. He held off teammate Harrison Burton, who posted a speed of 154.561 mph during his session. Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger had the third-fastest lap at 154.462 mph. JGR’s Daniel Hemric (154.287 mph) and defending Xfinity champion Austin Cindric (154.267 mph) rounded out the top five.
“[The track] was really similar, for as much as I can remember anyway,” Busch said during a press conference that Heavy attended. “It’s a lot more similar than I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be way rougher, just the track’s age. They go through seasons, they get bumpier, they get rougher. … [It’s] pretty cool. It looks good. They’ve done a lot of work here, and I’m ready for a good weekend.”
Busch Has Considerable Experience at Nashville Superspeedway
Unlike the overwhelming majority of Xfinity Series drivers, Busch has spent a lot of time racing around the Middle Tennessee track. He has made 12 combined starts at the 1.33-mile concrete oval outside of Nashville — 10 in the Busch Series and two in the Truck Series.
Busch’s first trip to Victory Lane took place in a 2009 Xfinity Series race. He held off Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards to capture the checkered flag and the custom Gibson guitar trophy. Busch went on to win the 2009 Xfinity Series championship.
The JGR driver won two more times at Nashville Superspeedway before NASCAR stopped racing at the concrete oval. He won two Truck Series races (2010, 2011) and added two more guitars to his collection. Now he will contend for a fourth trophy while simultaneously pursuing win No. 100 in the Xfinity Series.
Busch Continues to Pull Double-Duty During the 2021 Season
A two-time Cup Series champion, Busch remains one of the busiest NASCAR drivers. He has made 22 combined starts across the top three series, posting three wins in the process and sweeping a weekend at Kansas.
Busch captured his first Cup checkered flag of the season on May 2. He held off Kevin Harvick at Kansas Speedway and headed to Victory Lane while celebrating his birthday. Busch also locked up a spot in the playoffs and guaranteed that he will be in contention for the championship trophy.
In addition to winning a Cup Series race, Busch has headed to Victory Lane twice in the Truck Series and twice in the Xfinity Series. He won the first-ever Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas on May 22, his 98th win in the series. Busch then started and won at Texas Motor Speedway on June 12.
Considering that Busch has won both Xfinity Races that he has started in 2021, he will enter the weekend as the favorite to take the checkered flag once again. He already displayed impressive speed during the practice laps. Now he will head out onto the track on Saturday, June 19, for his qualifying lap. If he posts one of the best times, he will only increase the belief that he will capture the win in the Tennessee Lottery 250.