Commentary

Memorable Storylines from the NASCAR Xfinity Series Season

By: Ashley McCubbin

Some seasons include a couple moments that will stand the test of time and always be part of fan’s memories for years to come. The same can be said for the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series campaign, with people still discussing highlights.

Here’s a glance back at just a couple that stood out above anything else.

Chase Briscoe’s Highs and Lows

Chase Briscoe will certainly have a lot to discuss from his final full-time campaign before going NASCAR Cup Series in 2021.

The month of May did not begin as he hoped, learning his wife Marissa had suffered a miscarriage. He brought home a memorable gift to lift their spirits though, holding off Kyle Busch in the most thrilling finish of the season at Darlington Raceway.

Even though he came up short in taking the championship trophy, Briscoe had a memorable campaign with eight other victories on the season, proving he’s ready for the big leagues.

Rain at ROVAL

Harold Hinson | Nigel Kinrade Photography

Rain tires had always been discussed, but are rarely utilized in competition. They got their work-out this year in the form of a downpour at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL in October.

While normally used for road courses, fans got to witness their ability on an oval configuration and saw that it may actually be somewhat achievable. It also showed how much of a wild card it can be, with several drivers sliding off the course, including Noah Gragson even spinning out of the lead.

Even though he complained about the conditions and lack of ability to see throughout the event, A.J. Allmendinger was the dominant force, as his road course skills allowed him to capture the victory over the field.

A Team of Friendship

John Harrelson | Nigel Kinrade Photography

Allmendinger’s win at the ROVAL was just one of the highlights for Kaulig Racing this year as they visited victory lane on five occasions, and placed Justin Haley as one of the drivers in the Final Four.

Though a lot of people enjoyed seeing the relationship between each of the drivers, and the bond of that seals them together. Whether it’s Allmendinger, Haley or Chastain, they displayed friendship amongst each other, while having fun with both team owner Matt Kaulig and president Chris Rice.

It came to a head when they had a 1-2 finish at Talladega Superspeedway after having worked together all day long as a group to be at the front and dominate by pacing 40 of the 113 laps. The embrace afterwards between Allmendinger and Haley is certainly a hug etched into minds forever.

Gragson vs. The Field

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

The flip side of that was the feuds the series featured, in namely seeing Noah Gragson’s aggressive nature become the unhappy feelings at times.

Seeing someone willing to lay it all on the line and do whatever it takes brings forth a special bonus entertainment as it makes you watch to wonder what will happen. It also shows how much it means to these young drivers to succeed in knowing what is on the line for the future within the sport.

Gragson’s highlight reel will certainly leave you entertained, whether it’s the contact on two occasions with Riley Herbst and saying he got ‘wrecked by the dip dot in the 18,’ to the punch laid forth on Harrison Burton during a post-race confrontation.

One of the more controversial was the contact at Bristol Motor Speedway which resulted in his teammate Justin Allgaier spinning out of the lead after dominating. Gragson at least sealed the deal, but it left things a little uneasy for awhile at JR Motorsports.

The good news? Everybody will get to witness another year and whether all the hard work pays off for Gragson as he will run for the championship in 2021 with JRM once again.

The Underdog

The headlines were dominated by the big stars of the series, but another competitor is leaving his mark in his own way. Ryan Sieg’s family owned team has been battling against the Cup-affiliated organizations for seven years now, but finally saw their hard work begin to pay off with results.

Sieg clawed his way into the playoffs, and made an impact by placing 10th in the standings with seven top-five’s and 11 top-10’s. As RSS Racing continues to build their equipment, seeing him in victory lane is a very lofty goal for 2021 and beyond.

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