No current NASCAR Xfinity Series driver has attained mastery over superspeedways to the extent achieved by Kaulig Racing‘s Justin Haley, who will try for his third straight Talladega Superspeedway win in Saturday‘s Ag-Pro 300 (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Haley, who will start fifth, swept both Talladega races last year. His only other Xfinity Series win came at Daytona International Speedway, where the driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet also scored an unlikely NASCAR Cup Series win in the rain-shortened 2019 summer race.
Haley should have plenty of help at Talladega from teammates AJ Allmendinger and Jeb Burton. As a unit, the Kaulig Racing cars have been the dominant force in Xfinity Series superspeedway racing over the past two years.
“I‘m hoping to have the speed at Talladega that we‘ve had in the past,” Haley said. “It‘s always been one of my favorites, and I‘m excited to get back on track with my teammates and working together again to get (team owner) Matt Kaulig more trophies.”
Chevrolets, which have massive strength in numbers (28 of the 40 cars in the field), boast a four-race winning streak at Talladega.
Though Austin Cindric is starting on the pole due to metric qualifying, that‘s not necessarily an advantage. In 30 Xfinity Series races at the 2.66-mile track, the No. 1 spot on the grid has produced only three winners: Joe Nemechek in 1998, Tony Stewart in 2008 and Haley in last year‘s first race at the superspeedway.
And unlike Haley, Cindric has no teammates — a distinct liability in the draft.
The Ag-Pro 300 is the second Xfinity Dash 4 Cash races of the season. Noah Gragson won the first $100,000 bonus at Martinsville Speedway and will try for two straight at Talladega. The other three eligible Dash 4 Cash drivers are Martinsville winner Josh Berry (Gragson‘s JR Motorsports teammate) and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones.
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