NASCAR XFINITY Series News and Notes – Friday, May 20, 2016

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NASCAR XFINITY Series teams are taking a break and will return next week for the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 28th. Fans can watch the entire 300 miles in 200 lap event on FOX Sports 1 starting at 2 pm ET with a green flag around 2:30 pm ET. Radio listeners can tune into PRN or SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

 

Gibbs has a Good One in Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing continues to shell out talent in NASCAR and its latest prodigy, Erik Jones, has broken the mold.

In ten starts this season, Jones has two victories at Bristol and Dover, two Dash 4 Cash wins totaling $200,000 of bonus money and six top-fives. Plus, the 19-year-old is virtually locked into the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase due to his multiple wins, provided he stays in the top-30 in points. 

Sadler Inches Ahead in Points with Solid Finishes

For JR Motorsports’ veteran driver Elliott Sadler, the momentum continues.

Ten races through the season, Sadler has inched three points ahead of second-place Daniel Suárez in the XFINITY Series standings.

The 41-year-old continues to produce in 2016. He has one win at Talladega, four top-fives and nine top-tens. His average finish this season is 6.6.

Sadler’s season-to-date loop data supports his recent success as well. He is fifth in driver rating (99.8) and sixth in average running position (9.2).

Sadler also has a ticket for the XFINITY Series Chase this season if he can stay in the top-30 in points. His win at Talladega gives him three bonus points once the Chase starts and the points are reset. 

Suárez Closing in on First Win

With just three points separating him from the XFINITY Series standings lead, Daniel Suárez is on the prowl for his first win.

In ten starts, Suárez has posted four top-fives and nine top-tens. His average finish of 6.6 is tied with points leader Elliott Sadler for the best among series title contenders.

Last weekend at Dover, Suárez started fourth and raced his way up to second before fading in the latter stages of the race and ultimately finishing ninth.

Statistically, Suárez is firing on all cylinders. In season-to-date loop data, Suárez leads the series in average running position (6.7) and is second in driver rating (106.9).

Impressive Sunoco Rookie Class Fuels Next Wave of XFINITY Series Talent

The Sunoco Rookie Class of 2016 continues to impress and impress some more.

Erik Jones sits atop the rookie standings with two wins this season at Bristol and Dover. He is the first rookie since Chase Elliott (2014) to win two races in his rookie season.

Jones’ wins have opened up a 41-point lead in the rookie standings over second place Brandon Jones (-41) and third place Brennan Poole (-41).

Though Jones and Poole are winless, it is a long season and both have shown promise.

Brendan Jones has had six top-ten starts that have resulted in four top-tens and an average finish of 12.2 this season. Poole has piloted the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 48 to four top-ten starts that have produced one top-five and four top-tens.  

JR Motorsports on Top of the XFINITY Series Owner Standings

Two of the top-three teams in the XFINITY Series owner standings are JR Motorsports teams (Nos. 88, 1).

JRM’s No. 88 team continues to lead the owner standings by 13 points over second-place Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 team following another solid performance by Alex Bowman last weekend at Dover where he finished third. The race marked Bowman’s first time in a stock car in seven months.

Bowman joins driver/car owner and two-time series champ Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998,1999), two-time series champ Kevin Harvick (2001, 2006), former series champion Chase Elliott (2014) on the roster of drivers wheeling the No. 88 in 2016. The NASCAR Next alumnus will run the car eight more times this season.

The No. 88 cast has put on quite the show this season with the lead of crew chief David Elenz. In ten starts the No. 88 team has managed a series-best average finish of 5.4.

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