Wrecking at the ROVAL

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series takes to the ROVAL Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Drive for the Cure 200. Prior to the race the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers participated in 2 practice sessions.

Predictions that the weekend’s races are going to be tests of survival look very accurate. More trouble on the ROVAL greeted drivers in today’s prep sessions. Bubba Wallace(43) nailed the tire wall in the backstretch chicane. His car got airborne going over the blue rumble strips on exit.

Erik Jones(20) followed suit in the same section of the track. He out-jumped Bubba clearly catching more air than the 43 car. For Jones, the wreck did more than damage his race car. He will start from the rear of the pack tomorrow needing a victory to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

In the 2nd practice session of the day, driver’s seemed more reserved. Few pushed their cars to the limit. Until just before practice concluded. Brad Keselowski exited the front chicane with too much speed, lost control and hit the front stretch wall just under the starter stand. Keselowski, who was set to start 25th, will only lose 15 positions. However, he will likely go to a backup car with no practice time on it.

Everyone will be watching the Xfinity race to see if the carnage continues.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 200

Can you race side by side through the infield portion of the ROVAL? Yes, you can. Austin Cindric(X22) and Daniel Hemric(X21) gave the fans a show on the first lap of the Xfinity race. They battle door-to-door through the first 7 turns until Cindric pulled into the lead exiting Turn 8. Out of the infield, the cars climb the banks of what would be Turn 1 on the conventional oval. The cars seem to line up single file on the banking. Restarts should be exciting today and tomorrow for the Cup cars.

Austin Cindric / Lasco Press Photo

Stages for the Xfinity cars on the Roval are 15, 15, and 25 laps. The track is 2.28 miles long. The 55 laps are equal to 125.4 miles or 201.8 kilometers. Passing is possible at a number of points around the track. Especially when everyone is playing nice. Tire dropoff is the main complaint from drivers at the end of Stage 1. Hemric won the first Stage.

Daniel Hemric / Lasco Press Photo

Two Stages and No Cautions for Accidents

A couple of spinouts, some detours through the grass, but nothing serious enough to throw a caution. Remarkably the Drive for the Cure 200 was pretty calm through the first two Stages. Christopher Bell(X20) won Stage 2 and picked up the playoff point that accompanies a Stage win.

The driver give and take went out the window at the start of the Final Stage. Pushing and shoving their way into Turn 1 the first big incident of the day occurred. Two wide works when you dive off the oval into the infield portion of the course. But, 4-wide is a problem.

The race is on for real at this point, expect the aggression to ratchet up from here. Chase Briscoe(X98) took the lead off of pit road after the pit stops at the end of Stage 2.

Chase Briscoe / Lasco Press Photo

The First ROVAL Winner

Chase Briscoe had never won in the Xfinity Series. Until today. To become the first winner at the ROVAL is a huge feather in the cap for this young man. He never let anyone get close enough to challenge him over the last half of the race.

Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images

Will the Cup drivers show the same amount of control in the Bank of America Roval 400 tomorrow? Can’t wait to find out.

 

 

 

Results of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 200

Position Car Driver Behind Laps
1 98 Chase Briscoe 55
2 42 Justin Marks 1.478 55
3 22 Austin Cindric 5.559 55
4 18 Ryan Preece 7.352 55
5 20 Christopher Bell 7.798 55
6 2 Matt Tifft 12.855 55
7 0 Cole Custer 13.014 55
8 61 Kaz Grala 17.509 55
9 9 Tyler Reddick 18.878 55
10 21 Daniel Hemric 19.137 55
11 16 Ryan Reed 21.039 55
12 4 Ross Chastain 22.687 55
13 36 Alex Labbe 22.861 55
14 1 Elliott Sadler 25.754 55
15 7 Justin Allgaier 30.601 55
16 11 Ryan Truex 30.729 55
17 3 Brendan Gaughan 31.190 55
18 51 Jeremy Clements 31.403 55
19 23 Spencer Gallagher 31.814 55
20 5 Michael Annett 32.093 55
21 1 Lawson Aschenbach 34.707 55
22 19 Brandon Jones 38.021 55
23 35 Joey Gase 41.963 55
24 45 Josh Bilicki 42.648 55
25 0 Garrett Smithley 44.653 55
26 74 Ray Black II 46.731 55
27 52 David Starr 63.739 55
28 40 Chad Finchum 66.644 55
29 76 Spencer Boyd 66.826 55
30 8 Dylan Murcott 70.720 55
31 78 Vinnie Miller -3 52
32 66 Timmy Hill -5 50
33 15 Katherine Legge -5 50
34 60 Ty Majeski -6 49
35 55 Bayley Currey -18 37
36 39 Ryan Sieg -18 37
37 90 Andy Lally -21 34
38 13 Landon Cassill -25 30
39 93 Jeff Green -35 20
40 38 JJ Yeley -49 6

 

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.