By Holly Cain
NASCAR Wire Service
Published: 21 Apr, 2022
2 Minute Read
The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns after a week off to compete in the Ag-Pro 300 Saturday, April 23 at Talladega Superspeedway (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Jeb Burton earned his first career Xfinity Series victory in this race last year, leading the final nine laps and ultimately holding off Austin Cindric, current series points leader A.J. Allmendinger, Riley Herbst, Ryan Sieg and Noah Gragson.
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Kaulig Racing’s Allmendinger is in the midst of a stellar season start, earning his first victory of the year at Circuit of The Americas. He is the only driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with top-10 finishes in all eight races. Last year’s third-place effort at Talladega is his best showing in four Xfinity Series starts there.
Nineteen-year-old Ty Gibbs, who will be making his series Talladega debut, is currently second in the driver standings and trails Allmendinger by 20 points with a series-best three victories. His only Xfinity Series superspeedway experience to date, however, is an 11th-place finish in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has a series-best 325 laps led on the season and has won pole position for the last three races.
Noah Gragson sits just behind Gibbs in the standings and the driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has been good on the Talladega high banks earning top-10 finishes in four of his six starts there with a best showing of third-place in 2020. Gragson was third in the first superspeedway race of 2022 at Daytona.
Brandon Brown, Sieg and the most recent race winner Brandon Jones (Martinsville Speedway) all have good cases as race favorites, too. Brown won the series’ last race at Talladega in October of 2021 – his only win in the series. He’s finished top-10 in the last three races at the track.
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Sieg, who has five top-10 finishes in 2022, has finished 11th-place or better in the last three Talladega races, including a runner-up finish in 2020. Jones, driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, has three top-five finishes and was runner-up to Brown in the fall race last year.
Saturday’s race marks the third round of the Dash 4 Cash incentive with $100,000 on the line to the top finishing driver Saturday among these four: Brandon Jones, Landon Cassill, Allmendinger and Austin Hill.
The top-four finishing eligible drivers at Talladega will then race for the final $100,000 courtesy of Xfinity – when the series competes at the “Monster Mile,” Dover Motor Speedway next week. Allmendinger and Jones each pocketed one of the two $100,000 bonuses already awarded this season.