The NASCAR Xfinity Series teams start the playoffs Friday with a night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Twelve drivers are eligible for the championship, and they will try to secure a spot in the Round of 8 with a win under the lights. Four of these drivers — Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Josh Berry — have previously made the Championship 4.
John Hunter Nemechek (+49) enters the playoffs as the top seed after winning a series-high six races. Regular-season champion Austin Hill (+39) is the second seed. Sammy Smith (-2), Jeb Burton (-2), Hemric (-5) and Parker Kligerman (-6) are the four drivers below the cutline.
The entry list on Friday will also feature two high-profile guest drivers. Trevor Bayne will return to Joe Gibbs Racing for his second start of the season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his first Xfinity start at Bristol since 2017. In 2004, he became the first driver to sweep the Xfinity and Cup races at Bristol in the same weekend.
Chevrolet drivers have won five of the last seven races at Bristol. Toyota and Ford have each won once in this span of time. Though Toyota drivers have won 13 of the last 23 races, including four straight in 2012-2014.
Details for Friday’s Xfinity race at Bristol
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given by Piper and Kevin Harvick at 7:39 p.m. ... The green flag is scheduled to wave at 7:48 p.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 9:30 a.m. ... Driver introductions begin at 7 p.m. ... The invocation will be given by Mike Rife of Vansant Church of Christ at 7:31 p.m. ... the national anthem will be performed by Food City Marketing Department Representative Christina Cooper at 7:32 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 300 laps (159.9 miles) on the .533-mile short track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 85. Stage 2 ends at Lap 170.
STARTING LINEUP: Xfinity qualifying is set for Friday at 3:10 p.m. on USA and the NBC Sports App.
TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 7:30 p.m. ... Streaming coverage is on NBC Sports App. ... Coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 7 p.m. on USA … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 7 p.m. … SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.
FORECAST: Weather Underground: High of 70 degrees and a 1% chance of precipitation at the start of the Xfinity Series race.
LAST TIME: Ty Gibbs started from the pole and won stage 1. He led 89 laps but finished 36th after a bump from Noah Gragson turned him into Sheldon Creed. Justin Allgaier led 148 laps and won stage 2 before finishing ninth after late contact with JJ Yeley. Gragson led 25 laps and won his third race in a row after a late battle with runner-up Brandon Jones.