The NASCAR X-FINITY Series also runs on the three-quarter-mile Fairgrounds oval with tonight’s Virginia529 College Savings 250. Junior Motorsports has won the last two races contested there, with Chase Elliott last fall and Dale Earnhardt Junior earlier this season. Neither driver is entered this weekend, with Elliott concentrating on his Sprint Cup duties and Earnhardt still recovering from a concussion. Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman and regular-season points leader Elliott Sadler make up the Junior Motorsports lineup for this weekend. With just two races remaining in the regular season, Sadler is battling rookie Erik Jones for the top seed in the inaugural X-FINITY Series Chase. He has two victories thus far, one less than Jones … Earlier this season, Sadler finished third at Richmond while Jones was sidelined by an accident and settled for thirty-fourth place in the forty-car field.
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Last Year’s Race: Kyle Busch’s mid-season march toward a post-season berth continued with his third victory in four races. The win lifted him from thirty-fifth to thirty-third in the point standings with seven races left in the regular season that would ultimately lead to a championship for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Busch led ninety-five laps, including the final forty-nine trips around the one-mile oval. The race ended under caution for Alex Bowman’s single-car accident that took place in Turn-2 after Busch took the white flag. Brad Keselowski led a race-high 101 laps and finished second with Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano (Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate) and Dale Earnhardt Junior completing the top five … Pole sitter Carl Edwards led just nineteen laps and finished seventh … Busch was the ninth different winner in the last nine summertime races contested in New Hampshire dating back to 2007 … Denny Hamlin was going for a weekend sweep after winning the X-FINITY Series race twenty-four hours earlier but finished fourteenth on the Cup side. He was one of twenty drivers running on the lead lap with Busch at the checkered flag.
Track Position at Loudon: Twenty-three of the forty-two Sprint Cup Series races run have been won from a starting position of tenth or better. Ten winners have come from a starting position of twentieth or worse … Winning From the Pole in Loudon: Just five of forty-two Cup Series races have been won from the pole position, most recently by Ryan Newman in 2011 … Track Qualifying Record: Keselowski (Ford) … 140.598 miles per hour … 27.090 seconds … September 2014 … Track Record, Race Speed: Jeff Burton (Ford) … 117.134 mph … 2 hours, 42 minutes, 35 seconds … July 1997.
Practice Schedule: Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. (ET) … Saturday from 10 to 10:55 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:25 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: TODAY at 4:45 p.m. (ET).
Junior Motorsports announced Wednesday that Alex Bowman will drive its Number-88 Chevrolet in nine X-FINITY Series races next season – sharing seat time in the car with team owner Dale Earnhardt Junior, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne.
The three-car organization also will feature Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier, who will both run full schedules in pursuit of the X-FINITY Series championship. Bowman’s nine-race slate with J-R-M in 2016 will begin in mid-May at Dover and end in November at Phoenix International Raceway, which he considers his “home track.”
Bowman, 22, is a native of Tucson, Arizona … He’s in his second season of Sprint Cup Series competition and is currently thirty-third in points driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Bowman is among forty-three drivers on the preliminary entry list for Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
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