NASCAR Xfinity Series – News & Notes – “Lilly Diabetes 250” – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NASCAR Xfinity Series
News & Notes
NASCAR XFINITY Series
Next Race: Lilly Diabetes 250
The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, July 25
The Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: NBC, 3 p.m. (ET)
Radio: IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 250 miles (100 laps)
Indianapolis Is The Next Stop For The Dash 4 Cash
Four talented championship contending drivers will race to win a $100,000 bonus this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in the second round of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash program. Chris Buescher, Regan Smith, Brendan Gaughan and Chase Elliott will compete for the added cash bonus at Indianapolis in the Lilly Diabetes 250 on July 25 (on NBC at 3:30 p.m. ET). The top finisher among the four will win the bonus.
Of the four, Regan Smith has had the most success in the Dash 4 Cash program, having already won two rounds in his career – earlier this season at Dover and last season at New Hampshire.
Series standings leader Chris Buescher and 2014 series champion Chase Elliott have been on another level performance-wise this season and both finished in the top-12 in their series debuts at IMS last season.
Gaughan has an average finish of 14.4 through the first 17 races this season. Gaughan has especially run strong the last eight races, finishing in the top-10 four times. He has run two races at Indy, a 35th-place finish in the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup event and a 19th in last year’s XFINITY Series race.
The top finisher of the four at Indianapolis, plus the highest finishing three NASCAR XFINITY Series championship contending drivers in the Lilly Diabetes 250 will qualify for the third round of the Dash 4 Cash program at Bristol Motor Speedway and a chance at another $100,000 cash bonus.
Sunoco Rookie Update: Suarez Takes Rookie Standings Lead From Wallace
Following his seventh top-10 finish of the season last weekend at New Hampshire, Daniel Suarez has taken the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points lead from Darrell Wallace Jr. by three points as the series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 18th race of the season.
The Drive for Diversity graduates, Suarez and Wallace, have been battling for the rookie points lead for most of the season. The two standouts have risen above the rest of the 2015 rookie class as both drivers are the only rookies in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings top 10.
In 17 starts this season Suarez, a Monterrey, Mexico native, has posted three top fives, seven top 10s and a pole. His average finish is 14.0.
Wallace’s season also has seen success. In 17 starts he has posted one top five, seven top 10s and a pole.
Both Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates will be making their series track debut at Indianapolis this weekend.
Elliott Chipping Away At Buescher’s Standings Lead
Point standing leads can be a tricky thing. One day they are here, the next they vanish. All it takes is one bad finish or one DNF and an insurmountable lead could vanish.
Unfortunately for Chase Elliott, he can’t wait on a bad finish from the consistent standings leader Chris Buescher. So, in all likelihood, he’ll need to win.
Elliott gained five points on Buescher in the standings this past weekend with his ninth-place finish at New Hampshire.
Still waiting on his first victory in 2015, Elliott has posted seven top fives, 13 top 10s (series most), and an average finish of 9.5.
This weekend Elliott will look to better last year’s Indy performance, when he started fifth and finished 12th.
Dillon’s Time To Rebound Is Now
Defending Lilly Diabetes 250 winner, Ty Dillon is rolling into Indianapolis Motor Speedway hoping this weekend can be the spark that can reignite his NASCAR XFINITY Series championship run this season.
After leading the series standings for six races earlier this season Dillon has hit a mid-season skid falling to third in the standings, 38 points behind standings leader Chris Buescher and seven points behind second-place Chase Elliott.
But this weekend could change all that. Dillon’s win at Indianapolis last year was no fluke. In his two starts at the 2.5-mile speedway he has posted an average finish of 2.0. And in last season’s victory he led 24 laps (third-most of the event).
Dillon’s pre-race Loop Data stats point to IMS as the perfect place to rebound from his recent standings slide. He is ranked first among championship contenders in driver rating (119.2) and in average running position (6.295).
Jones and Dillon Have A Busy Week Ahead
Two rising stars in the NASCAR national series ranks will have the opportunity to race on the dirt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night and then again in the NASCAR XFINITY Series on the bricks at one of the most historic facilities in the sport, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Amongst the corn fields of Ohio sits Eldora Speedway where Ty Dillon will compete for GMS Racing in the No. 33 Chevrolet and then climb into the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet at Indianapolis later in the week. Dillon is the defending winner of Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis.
Jones will strap into the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Toyota at Eldora Wednesday night, and then jump in to last weekend’s winning car, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for his 16th NASCAR XFINITY Series start of the season. This will be Jones’ series track debut at IMS.
Jones has made 15 NXS starts this season posting two wins, eight top fives and 10 top 10s.
Stars Line Up For IMS XFINITY Race
Along with the stars of the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship contenders vying for the win this weekend will be five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers looking to deny them the spoils of victory. Those drivers are Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Paul Menard and Aric Almirola.
JR Motorsports welcomes back their most successful driver this season, Kevin Harvick. Harvick will be in the No. 88 Chevrolet with crew chief David Elenz atop the Pit Box. Harvick has made seven starts this season posting two wins, three top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 7.1.
Harvick has made two series starts at IMS posting two top fives and an average finish of 4.5.
For the third week in a row Kyle Busch will be competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 Toyota. Busch has been stout since his return from his injury posting a win at Michigan, a third-place finish at Kentucky and a fourth-place finish at New Hampshire last weekend.
Busch has made three series starts at Indianapolis posting one win (2013), two top fives and an average finish of 8.3.
Kyle Larson returns to HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi’s No. 42 Chevrolet this weekend at Indianapolis for his sixth start of the season. Larson’s previous five have seen one top five and four top 10s.
Larson has made two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at IMS posting an average finish of 9.5 – including his series career best finish of eighth at the 2.5-mile track last season.
Paul Menard, who won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis in 2011, will be back in the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet this weekend with crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. This will be Menard’s fourth race of the season; in his previous three starts he has posted two top fives. Menard finished sixth in this event at IMS last season.
Aric Almirola is back in the No. 98 Ford for car owner Fred Biagi this weekend. Almirola has made seven starts this season, posting three top-10s. This will be Almirola’s series track debut at IMS.
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