In nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Road America, there has not been a repeat winner. Will the 2019 CTECH Manufacturing 180 end that streak?
The NASCAR Xfintiy Series heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the 2019 CTECH Manufacturing 180. This race at Road America will be the 10th installment of the annual race around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile (6.515-kilometer) road course.
In nine races thus far at Road America, the Xfinity Series has not seen a repeat winner. Three of the nine race winners at Road America are entered in Saturday afternoon’s. A.J. Allmendinger won the 2013 edition and is set to drive the #10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.
Two full-time Xfinity Series drivers are also entered in the CTECH Manufacturing 180. Jeremy Clements won his first Xfinity Series race there in 2017, and he must win this season in order to make the Xfinity Series playoffs.
Finally, Justin Allgaier won there last year. While he most assuredly will make the playoffs, he wants a win to bolster his odds of making a deep playoff run with what would be his first victory of the 2019 season.
Combined, those three drivers have led 58 laps at Road America.
In addition to those three drivers, there are 36 other drivers entered, all whom would love to win the CTECH Manufacturing 180. But who among these drivers is a contender for the race win?
Every race for the rest of this Xfinity Series season should include the “Big 3” of Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick as favorites. Of those three drivers, only Custer has at least one top 10 finish at Road America, and he has two. Nonetheless, with the way these three drivers have dominated the Xfinity Series this season, I expect all three to be factors during this Saturday’s race.
Although Matt DiBenedetto has competed at Road America three times with an average finish of 27.00, this time around should be different. He is set to drive the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and he is riding momentum leading into this race. He also earned his first career Cup Series top 5 finish at Sonoma Raceway earlier this season.
Austin Cindric has won back-to-back races at road courses this season entering this race, and he will be a threat. Chase Briscoe won the inaugural Xfinity Series race at the Charlotte roval. While he has never competed at Road America before, he will have a fast #98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford underneath him.
Kaz Grala is only racing part-time this season, but he should be considered a dark horse candidate to win. He competed at Road America last season and started in 18th place before finishing in 11th.
He can wheel a vehicle on road courses. He was in line for the Truck Series win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2017 only to be dumped by Austin Cindric on the race’s final lap. After gaining some experience at the track in 2018, Grala could breakthrough for his first Xfinity Series win at Road America driving a competitive #21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
In summation, while the three drivers who have won at Road America before will be contenders, there are several other drivers who will challenge for the victory as well.
Plus, every year, there is a driver who surprises with a good finish. Katherine Legge finished in 14th place there last year. It is hard to predict who will surprise at the track this year. Will the surprise driver end up in victory lane? We will find out on Saturday, August 24..
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The NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 24. This race, the CTECH Manufacturing 180, is set to consist of 45 laps, with the first stage ending at lap 10 and the second stage ending at lap 20. Live TV coverage is set to be provided by NBC Sports Network and begin at 3:00 p.m. ET.