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AJ Allmendinger to win the race at +1000
Noah Gragson to beat Ty Gibbs head-to-head (-110)
Friday night’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will decide the final two berths in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, and realistically, the race for the postseason is down to four drivers.
Defending Series champion Daniel Hemric is 11th in the standings, with a comfortable 37-point edge over 13th-place Ryan Sieg in the competition to qualify for the 12-driver Playoff field.
Hemric’s Kaulig Racing teammate, Landon Cassill, is 19 points clear of Sieg. Sheldon Creed in 14th is 32 points behind Cassill. The bottom line is that Hemric simply needs to avoid an early exit, and Cassill should advance with a run of 15th or better in Friday’s race.
Of course, any of the four could advance by winning, but none of them will. Sieg, for example, doesn’t have a top 10 in 15 starts at the track. Creed has never raced an Xfinity car on Bristol’s concrete surface.
So don’t waste your money on a Hail Mary.
AJ Allmendinger can claim the Xfinity Series regular-season championship by scoring 23 points in Friday night’s race. That’s the equivalent of a 14th-place finish, if he scores no stage points.
Just because there are 15 extra Playoff points on the line for the regular-season winner, don’t expect Allmendinger to race conservatively. He loves winning too much.
Not only that. He’s the defending winner of this race. Bristol, Dover and Martinsville are three of his best oval tracks, and they share something in common—all or part of the racing surfaces are concrete.
OK, we’ll stick to our guns and assert that reigning Xfinity champion Daniel Hemric won’t win the Food City 300, but at a price of +4000, if you’re tempted, go ahead.
But Hemric has a better-than-respectable record at the track. In six starts at Bristol, Hemric has recorded five top 10s and two top fives, with a best finish of third in 2018.
With a Playoff spot on the line, we expect Hemric to perform well, and we expect the Kaulig Chevrolets to be fast as a group.
|Food City 300 Information|
|Race||Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Location||Bristol Motor Speedway|
|Time||Friday, September 16, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||USA|
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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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