Alsco Uniforms 300 (Xfinity Series) Predictions & Picks
- Riley Herbst has speed at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he still has to finish.
- Which “Bubble Brandon” do you like to make the Xfinity Playoffs—Jones or Brown?
- Where have all the NASCAR Cup stars gone? They’re not in this Xfinity race.
Bet on Alsco Uniforms 300, Here!
After battling the elements at Circuit of the Americas, the NASCAR Xfinity Series comes to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300, the middle race in a Memorial Day weekend doubleheader.
For only the second time this year on an asphalt oval, Xfinity Series drivers get a chance to practice and qualify, a practice largely abandoned with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Saturday’s race is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles), with stage breaks after 45 and 90 laps. That leaves a long 110-lap run to the finish without a planned caution, guaranteeing at least one pit stop to go the distance.
How to Watch Alsco Uniforms 300
|Alsco Uniforms 300 Information|
|Race||Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|Time||Saturday, May 29, 1 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
Riley Herbst Tops Speed Chart in Practice, But Can He Finish on Saturday
It has been an up-and-down season for Ford driver Riley Herbst—with the “downs” dominating. The driver of the No. 98 Mustang crashed out of three of the first four events of the season.
In the seven races since then, Herbst has finished fourth twice and sixth once, with nothing else inside the top 15. Heading the Charlotte, he’s 14th in the series standings, 41 points below the last Playoff-eligible position.
Throughout the season, Herbst has paled in comparison to the driver of the best Ford in the field, that of series leader and reigning champion Austin Cindric.
But that wasn’t the case on Saturday afternoon when Herbst topped the practice speed chart at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a lap at 178.436 mph (30.263 seconds). Cindric was sixth fastest at 176.864 mph.
Bear in mind that Herbst is winless in 54 Xfinity Series starts. That said, his Stewart-Haas Ford has the speed to win if the driver can ever get a break. This might be the week.
Priced at +4000 according to PointsBet Sportsbook, Herbst is certainly worth a shot.
Bet on Riley Herbst, Here!
There Are Two “Brandons” on the Bubble—Both Fighting for a Playoff Spot
By all rights, Brandon Jones and Brandon Brown should not be separated by a mere 26 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
After all, Jones is driving a No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with all the accouterments of a top-notch team. Brown is driving his No. 68 family-owned Brandonbilt Chevrolet.
Nevertheless, after 11 races, Jones is 12th in the standings—the last Playoff-eligible position—and just 26 points ahead of Brown in 13th.
A Playoff driver last year, Brown has fallen on hard times of late. He was fourth in the standings after a pair of top 10s during Speedweeks at Daytona. From there, it’s been a steady descent to 13th.
Jones, on the other hand, is a proven race winner. He picked up three victories in 33 starts last year and is a threat to take the checkered flag any time he takes to the track. He was fifth fastest in Friday’s Xfinity practice, compared with Brown’s 17th.
Accordingly, Jones is a great long-shot bet at +1200. It’s simply a matter of whether his racing luck runs good or bad. Too often this year, it has been the latter, but the odds will balance eventually.
Bet on Brandon Jones, Here!
Where Have All the Cup Stars Gone? Not to Saturday’s Xfinity Series Race
Historically, the Saturday Xfinity Series race before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 has been dominated by full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
In fact, Tyler Reddick (now a full-time Cup driver) is the only Xfinity regular to win at Charlotte since Mike Bliss accomplished the feat in 2009.
Reddick won the race in 2019 on the way to the second of his back-to-back Xfinity championships.
Interestingly, Reddick is the only marquee Cup regular entered in Saturday’s race, but he’s posted at +1600 because the Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet he’s driving isn’t quite on par with the equipment of the powerhouse teams.
It was good enough to put Reddick on the pole for last Saturday’s race at Circuit of the Americas, but that was a rainy event on a road course, and this is a high-speed oval.
So avoid Reddick, even though he’s a Cup regular, and go with reigning series champion Austin Cindric, who’s a fairly priced favorite at +450.
Bet on Austin Cindric, Here!
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]