Last weekend was a little offbeat for the Xfinity Series, as there would be back to back races at Homestead-Miami. After finishing in seventh place on Saturday, Chase Briscoe would wrap up the doubleheader with a nail-biting victory at the Contender Boats 250. Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, and A J Allmendinger would round out the top four. In order to win, Briscoe would need to do it with a completely new man on the pit box.
Greg Zipadelli would in fact make his return to NASCAR after 13 seasons, filling in for a suspended Richard Boswell. Boswell was put on a four-race suspension due to a ballast violation. Zipadelli is known for winning two Sprint Cup championships with Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005. It had been seven years since his last job in NASCAR as a crew chief.
We now move on from Homestead-Miami and travel to Talladega, Alabama for the Unhinged 300. Looking at Talladega Speedway, it is a tri-oval track that is 2.5 miles in length. It was constructed in 1968 and had its first race in 1969. It was last season at Talladega, that defending Xfinity champion Tyler Reddick took his beat up No. 2 Chevy to a race victory after throwing a last lap block on Briscoe.
So without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for this upcoming Xfinity series event. I’ve broken down the selections between dominator, and value plays. Best of luck to everyone.
Chase Briscoe (10,100 DK)
Briscoe comes off a great weekend, having wrapped up Homestead-Miami with his third victory of the season. Throughout the season, Briscoe has continued to push himself to very respectable heights. Consider in the past seven races, Briscoe has recorded at least a top-nine or better in all but one race, which was a 20th place result five races ago at Charlotte. He currently holds down second place in the Xfinity standings, just 18 points back of Noah Gragson.
Briscoe has raced twice here at Talladega in the Xfinity series. Last year he would finish fourth, with nine laps led and a 98.2 driver rating. His only other finish here at Dega would result in a 16th place outcome, which was back in 2018. Briscoe is hungry right now and will continue to push for strong results, in fact, his three victories are tops among series drivers this season.
Austin Cindric (9,600 DK)
In the first race of the doubleheader on Saturday, Cindric would finish second after losing out to Harrison Burton by .379-seconds in a tight three-wide dash to the checkered. He would then return the following afternoon and produce an admirable 10th place result to close out the weekend. Cindric has a very mixed bag when it comes to his experience at Talladega as an Xfinity racer. It was back last April he would record a fifth-place finish and a driver rating of 103.1. However, the season previously Cindric would finish 30th place.
Penske Ford has in fact been the dominant force at Talladega over the last number of years, having won seven of the last 11 races at the track. So I would feel confident with Cindric having a Ford car with the speed to help him stay upfront and challenge. He should help you gain points through fastest laps and possible laps led.
Brandon Brown (7,000 DK)
I’ve used Brown on a couple of separate occasions as a value play, and he has not managed to let me down as of yet. Granted, Brown did have the 36th place last week, however, before that recorded at least a top 13 or better in the past five of six events. He has raced once at Talladega as an Xfinity driver, where he finished 15th overall last season.
Brown does have some strong recent success as a restrictor plate racer, having finished top seven at Daytona both in 2019 and 2020. As of now, he is locked into 13th place in the Xfinity standings, within striking distance of Daniel Hemric. Brown is slated to start the race 15th and could pick up a couple of positions by races end. Not a bad deal for a driver this affordable.
Brett Moffitt (8,000 DK)
Moffitt comes off a 36th place result, following an on-track collision with Vinnie Miller. It would end up ruining what was a string of two top-eight finishes, at both Charlotte and Atlanta respectively. Regardless of a very limited Xfinity schedule this season, Moffit has been able to get his cars into a position in which to give himself a chance. Moffitt will start off the line in the 20th position and should be able to work himself in among the top 11.
This will be Moffit’s first Talladega race in an Xfinity car, however, that’s not to say he hasn’t had some experience at the restrictor-plate track. Moffitt has raced the past two NASCAR Truck events here at the Superspeedway. Just last October, Moffitt would finish fourth here with seven total laps led.
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