The NASCAR Xfinity Series will have the spotlight to itself as it heads to Road America in Eikhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Johnsonville 180 this weekend. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series are off this weekend but the Xfinity Series will continue with one of the most challenging and popular road races on the schedule. Road America presents plenty of challenges for the drivers in this week’s field. With the spotlight on the Xfinity Series, it will mark the perfect opportunity for drivers to showcase their skill sets.
Event: Johnsonville 180
Category: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Sunday August 27th, 2017 – 3:00 PM ET
Venue: Road America, Eickhart Lake, Wisconsin
A total of 42 cars have been listed on the preliminary entry list released for this week’s Johnsonville 180 with plenty of familiar names set to compete. This will be the eighth Xfinity Series race at Road America since the competition first visited there in 2010. The one notable not on the list for this week’s race is Michael McDowell, who won the Johnsonville 180 in 2016. His absence guarantees a new champion will be crowned this weekend at Road America.
Past Five Winners
2016: Michael McDowell
2015: Paul Menard
2014: Brendan Gaughan
2013: A.J. Allmendinger
2012: Nelson Piquet Jr.
What To Know About The Track
Road America is widely considered one of the most difficult tracks on the NASCAR circuit regardless of whether it is the Xfinity Series or the MENCS. The Johnsonville 180 has traditionally been one of the most competitive and unpredictable races in the Xfinity Series and that won’t change this year. Widely considered the best test of road racing in North America, there is bound to be plenty of drama once again at Road America this weekend.
Taking a look at the NASCAR Xfinity standings heading into this race, Elliott Sadler is our leader. In 22 starts, he has yet to register a win but has still been buoyed by 17 Top 10’s – more than any other driver on the Xfinity series – and nine Top 5’s. That’s also the most. In second place in William Byron, who has picked up 697 points so far and is 110 back of Sadler. Byron has in second mostly due to his three wins so far, which is the most of any driver. He’s closely followed by Justin Allgaier, who has picked up just one win in 22 starts this year but has 10 Top 10’s and six Top 5’s. Round out the top five is Brennan Poole with 621 points and Daniel Hemric with 601 points so far this season.
40 of the 42 cars on the preliminary entry list will qualify for the Johnsonville 180 this weekend. While the past two winners will not compete this year in McDowell and Paul Menard, the 2014 winner Brendan Gaughan will compete. There will be plenty of familiar faces on hand including Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Scott Lagasse Jr. The lone driver position that remains to be filled belongs to Team JD Motorsports, which has not named a driver for the No. 15 Chevrolet.
A Good Matchup To Bet: Elliott Sadler over Brennan Poole
Sadler enters this race as the NASCAR Xfinity Series points leader and while he is still looking for his first win of the season he definitely has what it takes to get the job done this weekend. Poole has been pretty good overall this season but we think Sadler should have the edge at a tough road course this weekend. There is also decent value betting Sadler over Poole in the head-to-head sports betting matchup for the Johnsonville 180 so this pick makes a lot of sense.
Top-Five Pick: Brendan Gaughan
Gaughan is considered one of the better road course drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and he should be among the favorites to win again this weekend. The 2015 Johnsonville 180 winner was the runner-up to McDowell last year and should be motivated to get back to Victory Lane after that close call. His consistency and the fact that he has won this race before make Gaughan a smart bet to at least finish in the top-five at the Johnsonville 180 this weekend.
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