Column By: HOLLY CAIN / NASCAR – PLYMOUTH, WI – The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the Midwest for Saturday afternoon’s Road America 180 (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at the historic Elkhart Lake, Wisc. road course where there has never been a repeat winner to date – 13 race winners in as many Xfinity Series races.
It’s the longest active streak among series’ tracks to go without a repeat champ, but there are three drivers that could change that this weekend. Allmendinger (2012), Jeremy Clements (2017) and Justin Allgaier (2018) are all former Road America winners competing this weekend.
Allgaier, who will be making his 450th NASCAR Xfinity series start this weekend, currently boasts the best road course record of the season among series regulars with four finishes of seventh or better, including a runner-up showing at Portland, Ore. and a third place at the Chicago Street Course.
Fans – and competitors – can typically expect excitement on the series’ road course venues and it comes after a dramatic weekend in Pocono, Pa. where Austin Hill took the lead on an overtime restart to beat the day’s most dominant driver JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry for the victory. Hill is now tied with his closest championship rival, John Hunter Nemechek, with four wins each.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver Nemechek holds a 13-point advantage over Richard Childress Racing’s Hill atop the championship standings – the pair having separated themselves from the field. Allgaier is 55 points behind Nemechek.
It’s reasonable to expect some movement in the championship standings with seven regular season races remaining and only seven race winners with a lock on a Playoff berth.
Currently challenging for that 12th and final Playoff transfer position, 13th ranked Parker Kligerman is only 26 points behind 12th place Riley Herbst. Kligerman is 2-for-2 in Top-10s at Road America scoring a third place (2013) and a 10th place (2017) in his only starts there. Herbst also has a pair of Top-10s at Elkhart Lake, including back-to-back seventh place finishes in the past two seasons.
Practice (5 p.m. ET) followed by qualifying for the Road America 180 is set for Friday and will be televised on USA Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App.