Rising Star Lands Spot on Front Row for Xfinity Series Race

Ty Gibbs

Getty Ty Gibbs races Noah Gragson at Charlotte.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series season continues on Saturday, June 5, with a trip to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The drivers will take on the road course while a rising star joins them. ARCA Menards Series driver Ty Gibbs will take part and strive for his second consecutive victory while joining pole-sitter Austin Cindric on the front row.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver captured the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway Memorial Day Weekend, making history in the process. He became the youngest driver to win a race at Charlotte in one of the top three series. Now he will look to capitalize on his prime starting position to win another road course race.

Gibbs started out his part-time Xfinity Series career in wild fashion. He took part in the Daytona Road Course race and reached Victory Lane. Cindric, the defending Xfinity Series champion, finished second. Now they will head to another road course together while Harrison Burton and Jeb Burton line up together on the second row.

A Championship Contender Will Start Near the Front of the Pack

Justin Allgaier

GettyJustin Allgaier prepares for a race at Charlotte.

JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier will enter the race weekend at Mid-Ohio as one of the favorites to win. He has a previous victory at the road course (2018), and he is a championship contender with a history of consistent performances.

In five starts at Mid-Ohio, Allgaier has only finished outside the top-10 one time. He finished eighth in 2013 while driving for Turner Scott Motorsports. Allgaier returned to the road course in 2016 as a member of JRM, securing fifth place. He crashed in 2017, won in 2018, and finished sixth in 2019. Now he will return to Mid-Ohio in 2021 with the goal of winning and moving up the points standings.

Allgaier is fifth in points after winning two races and leading 198 laps. Though only two other drivers ahead of him have wins in 2021. Cindric has a series-high three wins while AJ Allmendinger has one win and seven top-five finishes.

A Playoff Hopeful Will Aim to Improve His Stats at Mid-Ohio

Brandon Jones

GettyBrandon Jones races at a road course.

Entering the race weekend, there are several drivers with a legitimate chance to take the checkered flag. Daniel Hemric, Cindric, Allmendinger, and Allgaier are all among this group. However, there is another playoff-hopeful driver with a history of struggles at Mid-Ohio.

Brandon Jones, the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, has made five starts at the road course during his Xfinity Series career. Three were with Richard Childress Racing while two were with JGR. Jones failed to contend for top-five finishes during his first three races, finishing 29th, 19th, and 14th.

Once Jones joined JGR, he made some strides in the right direction. He started near the front of the pack after qualifying sessions. Although he ended the day 23rd in 2018. Jones then registered his first top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio in 2019, placing 10th overall.

Jones’ 2021 season has featured strong performances at the Daytona Road Course, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Darlington. However, he has also crashed four times and finished outside the top-30 five times. Despite the struggles, Jones feels that the car is good enough to get him to the playoffs.

“There have been past seasons where we get in a rut like this, but we’ve never had the speed during the race that offsets it,” Jones told Jayski. “In the past, when we’ve had these kinds of instances, we’re kind of in the back the entire day and that’s what led to it and could never get up to the front group of cars.

“I feel like now, we show up and we’re the winning car. I think that’s the way you have to think in these events is that you’re showing up to win the race and everybody else is going to be behind you. We’ve been showing the speed to do that. I’ve never had a season that I’ve been so fast and gotten into so many incidents.”

Jones will now head to Mid-Ohio to test out his car’s speed on another road course. The race will take place on Saturday, June 5, at 1 p.m. ET. FS1 will provide coverage while MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio broadcasts the audio call. Jones will start the day on the fourth row next to Jeremy Clements.

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