The NASCAR Xfinity Series kicks off the race weekend at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, August 26. Big Machine Racing will use the event to bring back a superspeedway winner in Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The NASCAR Roster Portal provided the news. The entry list named Stenhouse as the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro for the second time in the 2022 season. He also suited up for the team at Pocono Raceway and started 10th overall. However, a multi-car wreck ended Stenhouse’s day early and led to Jeb Burton flipping upside down by pit road.
Stenhouse will now make his second start of the 2022 season for Big Machine Racing, and he will do so at a track where he hasn’t yet won in the Xfinity Series. He has made six starts at Daytona (2010-2012), and he has posted two top-five finishes. Stenhouse secured a third-place finish in 2010 and then a runner-up in 2012.
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Stenhouse Has Big Plans for the Race Weekend
The trip to Daytona International Speedway will provide Stenhouse with multiple opportunities. He can first fight for the win in the Xfinity Series race, which would potentially mark the ninth trip to Victory Lane of his career.
More importantly, Stenhouse will pursue his second Cup Series win at the superspeedway, third overall in the series. He previously won the 2017 Coke Zero Sugar 400 after starting sixth overall in the No. 17 Ford.
Stenhouse has two career superspeedway wins in the Cup Series, both from the 2017 season. He will strive to add a third on Saturday, August 27. This win would punch his ticket to the playoffs and majorly shake up a leaderboard that has focused on Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. battling for the final transfer spot.
Achieving this goal will not be easy. Stenhouse is one of 15 drivers that can potentially capture the final spot in the 16-driver playoff field. Blaney sits in the best position by virtue of points, but any new winners would knock him out of the playoffs.
Stenhouse Will Join Other Drivers Pulling Double-Duty
There will be multiple drivers pulling double-duty during the race weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Daniel Hemric will start both races for Kaulig Racing as part of a previously-announced schedule. One of his teammates will also make his return to the Xfinity Series.
Justin Haley will make his first Xfinity Series start of the year. He will return to Daytona as the defending Wawa 250 winner, and he will try to add another trophy to his collection while preparing for the Cup Series regular-season finale. Haley will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet Camaro while partnering with crew chief Justin Cox, who guided AJ Allmendinger to two wins in 2020.
Three full-time Kaulig Racing drivers will actually compete in both races. Landon Cassill will pursue a spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs on Friday night before returning to the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet the following night.
The list continues with Noah Gragson. The JR Motorsports driver will make his return to the Cup Series, but it will not be with Kaulig Racing. Instead, he will make his third start of the year for Beard Motorsports.
Ty Gibbs will join the list of drivers pulling double-duty, albeit for a different reason. He will make his sixth start of the Cup Series season while serving as a replacement for Kurt Busch, who announced he would miss the remainder of the regular season.
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