The top three series in NASCAR head to Nashville Superspeedway on Father’s Day weekend for a stacked slate of races. The 1.33-mile concrete oval has been the site of several big victories, including the first for multiple drivers. This history bodes well for playoff-hopeful Xfinity Series stars.
According to NASCAR, several drivers scored their career-first wins at Nashville Superspeedway between 2001 and 2008. Greg Biffle took the checkered flag in 2001, Scott Riggs and Jack Sprague both reached Victory Lane in 2002, and Jason Leffler scored the win in 2004. The list of first-time winners at Nashville also includes Reed Sorenson, Clint Bowyer, and Brad Keselowski.
There are multiple Xfinity Series drivers with the opportunity to score their career-first wins after coming close in previous races. Brandon Brown finished third at Phoenix and fourth at Charlotte. He needs a win to lock up a playoff spot. Similarly, Daniel Hemric has six top-five finishes in 2021 and nearly captured his first win at Las Vegas, finishing second behind AJ Allmendinger.
Several 2020 Playoff Drivers Need to Lock Up Wins in 2021
The trip to Nashville Superspeedway serves as a can’t-miss opportunity for a large number of drivers, regardless of whether they have Xfinity Series wins in past seasons. Multiple sit near the cutoff line in desperate need of a trip to Victory Lane in order to punch their ticket to the playoffs.
One example is Joe Gibbs Racing driver Brandon Jones. The 24-year-old had three wins in 2020, taking the checkered flags at Phoenix, Kansas, and Darlington. He reached the playoffs and contended for the championship trophy, finishing sixth in the regular-season standings.
The 2021 season has played out very differently for Jones. The JGR driver has crashed in four different races and finished outside of the top 30 five separate times. Though Jones has made positive strides in recent weeks, posting top-10 finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway (eighth), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (fourth), and Texas Motor Speedway (fifth). The trip to Nashville could serve as the site of Jones’s first 2021 win.
The Nashville Race Could Shake Up the Xfinity Playoff Picture
There are 12 races remaining in the Xfinity Series regular season, and time is running out for multiple drivers. Only five have officially punched their tickets to the playoffs by winning races. Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider make up the group of championship contenders.
According to NASCAR, Hemric currently holds the sixth spot as the highest-ranked driver without a win. He has 488 points and sits 155 above the playoff cutoff line. Harrison Burton is seventh with 453 points while Justin Haley is eighth with 435 points.
Jones is in ninth place despite dealing with several issues in the 2021 season. Similarly, Noah Gragson is 10th despite posting six DNFs and failing to win a race. Michael Annett and Jeremy Clements round out the drivers currently sitting in playoff spots. Brown sits just below the cutoff line with 333 points, 24 below Clements.
The winless Xfinity Series drivers will have the opportunity to turn their seasons around on Saturday, June 19, when they head to Nashville Superspeedway. The Tennessee Lottery 250 takes place at 3:30 p.m. ET and airs on NBC Sports Network. Prior to the green flag, they will take part in qualifying sessions to determine the starting order.