JR Motorsports, Brennan Poole most consistent in Xfinity standalone races
Who says Kyle Busch wins all the time in the Xfinity Series?
Sure, he wins half the time he enters into races (eight wins in 15 starts in 2016), but the last seven Xfinity races have been won by seven different drivers. Busch was entered in four and won only once (Richmond).
Beginning at Watkins Glen, races have been won by Joey Logano, Justin Marks (Mid-Ohio), Austin Dillon (Bristol), Michael McDowell (Road America), Elliott Sadler (Darlington), Busch and Erik Jones (Chicagoland).
Now entering a standalone race weekend at Kentucky Speedway, the series’ fifth of the season, it’s possible that streak could go to eight races.
Ryan Blaney, the defending winner of the VisitPalmBeach.com 300, is the only Sprint Cup driver in the field. But he’s driving the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, which has been in a funk all season. The No. 22 hasn’t won since the fall 2015 race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jones, the No. 1 seed in the Xfinity Chase, will be the favorite with his four wins. But his Chicagoland victory was his first on a 1.5-mile track this season.
While one of Jones’ wins came in a standalone race at Iowa Speedway, Jones and the rest of Joe Gibbs Racing have not been the most consistent teams in the four standalone weekends this year.
That would be JR Motorsports and Brennan Poole of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Poole are the only drivers to finish in the top 10 in all four standalone races.
While Sam Hornish Jr. won the first Iowa race, Sadler finished sixth, Allgaier seventh and Poole eighth.
In the second visit to Iowa, Sadler finished third, followed by Poole in fourth and Allgaier in seventh. At Mid-Ohio it was: Allgaier (fifth), Sadler (ninth) and Poole (10th). At Road America: Poole (third), Allgaier (sixth) and Sadler (eighth).
But in the first visit to Kentucky, JGR put all three cars in the top five while Sadler finished sixth and Poole came home ninth. Allgaier finished 31st.
While Jones has the most wins among the Xfinity regulars, the title of “Mr. Consistent” in 2016 goes to Sadler, the 41-year-old driver in his first year with JR Motorsports.
Through 26 races, Sadler leads the series with 23 top-10 finishes, two off the all-time mark of 25 set by Sam Ard in 1984. That includes a series high and career best 11 consecutive top 10s entering this weekend.
“We have a lot of momentum on our team right now and we have been running extremely well the last six weeks,” Sadler said in a press release. “We have high expectations for Kentucky. We would love to go there and set the pace and get a win, but I think we are going to be fast enough to be in position to get a lot of points and move on.”
The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 can be seen Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.