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Xfinity Review: Food City 300


As the 2020 regular season for the NASCAR Xfinity Series drew to a close, we were treated with a solid race at the Last Great Colosseum. The young Xfinity drivers never cease to put on a show, and Friday Night was no exception. This is one of the few times this season fans have been in attendance at an Xfinity event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These fans were definitely treated to a Bristol classic and were certainly not disappointed. While 11 of the 12 playoff drivers came into the race having already clinched a spot into the playoffs, the playoff drama did indeed add some excitement to the short track racing. NASCAR decided to add in the PJ1 Traction Compound to the track which did enhance the racing product. Fans have been extremely critical of the PJ1 at other tracks, but Bristol has seemed to be the exception. The compound helped to provide multiple grooves of racing while still keeping that old school Bristol feel to the race.

Justin Allgaier led the field to the green flag and got an exceptional jump at the start of the race. It wasn't long, though, until Ross Chastain took the lead from Allgaier. The battle wasn't over. Chastain and his aggressive driving style proved to wear out the tires pretty quickly in the run, which combined with lap traffic allowed Allgaier to get back by Chastain for the lead. Stage 1 treated us to a classic Bristol wreck as well. The #0 of Jeffrey Earnhardt made contact with his teammate, the #6 of BJ McLeod, sending McLeod into the wall and back down into the #99 of Vinnie Miller. The #44 of Tommy Joe Martins also got involved trying to avoid the wreck. This incident proved not to matter much in terms of the leaders or the playoff picture, but it gave fans that classic Bristol feel. The race stayed under green through the end of stage 1. Allgaier carried his momentum from Richmond to grab his 11th stage win of the season. Haley, Briscoe, Cindric, Chastain, Gragson, Jones, Annett, J. Burton, and H. Burton rounded out the Top 10 in Stage 1.

Stage 2 proved to be a two man show up front as Allgaier fought off the hard charging Austin Cindric to grab his 2nd stage win of the night and his 12th of the season. There was one caution for incident in stage 2 when Brandon Jones got together with Joe Graf Jr. on lap 121 which, in turn, sent Graf into Michael Annett who was on the outside of him. Annett was starting to figure his car out on the high side move through the field, but ultimately he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Later in the stage, we saw the two aggressive natures of Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson tangle. The two got together fighting for position. The contact didn't result in a caution, or change the outcome of either driver's race. The contact did show just how hard these two drivers were willing to fight for every position on track which could translate well to the playoffs. The battle for the lead was clearly between the #7 and the #22. It seemed like nobody was going to catch them in the second stage, and that ended up being true. Allgaier grabbed the green and white checkered flag with Cindric, Briscoe, Chastain, Gragson, J. Burton, H. Burton, Herbst, Alfredo, and Sieg all getting stage points at the end of Stage 2.

While the first two stages proved to be Allg