Tomorrow, I’ll be at the Portland International Speedway to cover the Xfinity Series’ Pacific Office Automation 147. The Xfinity Series is the series below the Cup Series, which will be just outside of St. Louis this week. This is the third year in a row the Xfinity series has been racing in Portland.

In 2022, AJ Allmendinger won the first race at PIR as the field had to navigate a new track on the schedule and a lot of rain that year. Allmendinger will be back in the field this year and excels at the road courses, with 17 Xfinity Series wins and 11 of those wins have come at road courses. Last year, Cole Custer survived an overtime restart to grab his first win of the season. Custer would go on to win the Xfinity Series Championship with his win in the Championship 4 Round at Phoenix in the Championship Race last fall.

This season, there’s only been one race on a road course, and Kyle Larson won that race at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Larson won’t be in the field this week, however, there are a lot of drivers who are hungry to pick up a valuable win and either clinch a playoff spot or add playoff points to their 2024 campaign.

AJ Allmendinger has experience winning in Portland and would like to pick up his first win of the season with a win tomorrow. Last year, Shane van Gisbergen shocked the world as he won the Chicago Street Race in his Cup Series debut. In the Xfinity Series this year as a full-time driver he’s had a solid year. He ran well at COTA but suffered a penalty on the last lap that dropped him outside the top 20 but he ran inside the top 10 most of the race. Last year’s race winner, Cole Custer could use another win this year as he’s second in points but is yet to get a win this season. Justin Allgaier finished second last year and while he already has a win, he’s looking to add more in a quest to finally get an Xfinity Series Championship. Parker Kligerman has come so close so many times in trying to win a race and maybe this week is his week. He finished 5th at Circuit of the Americas this year and has been very competitive at road courses. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him battling for the win.

Some other names to keep an eye on are Sam Mayer, who won his first race at Road America last season and is always a threat at the road courses. Sheldon Creed, who’s moved to Joe Gibbs racing this year, is in the top 10 in points and is hunting for his first career win. Jesse Love, the rookie who’s been fast at almost every style of track he’s been to, could use his second win of the year as he’s 5th in points and has four stage wins already this season. Austin Hill is the king of the superspeedway but had a successful run at COTA, finishing second in that race. He already has two victories on the year and could use a third to help vault him higher in the points standings and gain momentum during the middle of the season.

WordPress Image Lightbox