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|What||Cheddar’s 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Where||Bristol Motor Speedway|
|When||Monday, June 1, 7 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
The Cheddar’s 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway is the third Xfinity Series race since NASCAR’s reopening of the 2020 season on May 17.
For logistical reasons, the event was rescheduled from Saturday, May 30, after the arrival of Tropical Depression Bertha forced postponement of the Alsco Uniforms 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte from Wednesday to Thursday.
Announced during the week as the first qualifying race for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash program, the Cheddar’s 300 will be contested in stages of 85, 85, and 130 laps for a total of 159.9 miles at the .533 high-banked concrete short track. Last year’s winner of the spring race at Bristol, Christopher Bell, has graduated to the Cup Series and is not in the field for Monday’s race.
The odds for the Cheddar’s 300 are provided by DraftKings
|Any Other Driver||+2500|
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
There are huge incentives for NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars to win any race, not the least of which is a ticket into the Playoffs at the end of the season. But when drivers take to the track in Monday night’s Cheddar’s 300, there will be major motivation simply to finish in the top four.
The first four full-time Xfinity drivers in the finishing order will qualify for the first of four Dash 4 Cash races next Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where the highest finisher among those four drivers will take home a $100,000 bonus. Originally, the Cheddar’s 300 was supposed to be one of the Dash 4 Cash events, but the revisions of the NASCAR schedule necessitated a change in its status to the qualifying race.
After Atlanta, the Dash 4 Cash races will take place June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and June 20 at Talladega Superspeedway. The final event in the program will be the next race on the schedule after Talladega, likely a June 28 race at Pocono Raceway.
A decade ago, Justin Allgaier won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, driving for team owner Roger Penske. Since then, the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has claimed 10 more victories on NASCAR’s Triple-A tour, but none at Bristol.
There’s a reason for that. Kyle Busch has won nine times in 27 starts at the .533-mile concrete bullring, and eight of those victories have come since Allgaier’s first win in 2010, leaving little room for anyone else. But after eight consecutive national-series races, starting with the Cup event at Darlington on May 17, Busch has the night off, and that opens the door for the Xfinity regulars.
Throughout his career, Allgaier has demonstrated the ability to win on a wide variety of speedways, from short tracks to road courses to flat one-milers to intermediate tracks. From his dirt-track background, Allgaier has developed excellent car control, and that’s a necessity at Bristol, where quick reaction time is paramount.
Since Allgaier’s 2010 victory in a Dodge, only two Ford drivers have found Victory Lane at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Ryan Blaney won the fall race in 2014, and Joey Logano followed with a win in the spring race of 2015. Since then, Toyotas and Chevrolets have had a monopoly on victories at Bristol.
Brad Keselowski broke a 17-year Ford drought in the Coca-Cola 600 with his May 24 victory in that race. Chase Briscoe, who beat Kyle Busch in an intense Xfinity duel at Darlington on May 21, has a chance to do end Ford’s nine-event winless streak at Bristol.
At +350, Briscoe is favored to win on Monday night. He’s the only multiple winner on the Xfinity tour this season, which has all the makings of a breakout year for the 25-year-old driver. And he won’t have to beat Kyle Busch.
Justin Allgaier (+400)—For this pick, we’re going with experience. Allgaier has twice as many top-five finishes at Bristol (8) as betting favorite Chase Briscoe has starts at the vaunted short track.
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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]More info on Reid Spencer
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