Potential first-time Xfinity winners hope it’s their lucky day in Las Vegas

For the very first time considering that its inaugural 1982 season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series might see a 3rd successive newbie winner Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton might be the leading choice to make it occur, despite the fact that he hasn’t raced at Las Vegas considering that March 2016, when he was driving for Richard Petty Motorsports’ Xfinity program.

Less than 3 months later on, the program was suspended and Burton’s full-time flight was gone. It took him 5 years to discover another with Kaulig, therefore far, he’s running in the lead pack.

He and ruling series champ Austin Cindric are the only chauffeurs to open 2021 with 3 successive top-five surfaces.

For Burton himself, he’s made 4 successive top-five surfaces going back to his last race with JR Motorsports at Martinsville last Halloween.

The run is much more remarkable considering that Burton is still re-acclimating to full-time racing.

“I haven’t been to these places a long time,” he stated in a Thursday teleconference. “I haven’t been in the seat as much as all of my competitors have. So, I’m using that first and second stage to figure out my car and figure out where I need to be, and then I put myself in position at the end.

“I think that’s what’s hurting me a little bit. I’m right there, but if I can run better in those first and second stages, it would put me in better track position when it matters.”

Burton had the ability to do that recently at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He scored points in both phases, completing 5th in Phase 1 and ninth in Phase 2 to establish a fifth-place surface at day’s end.

As stable as he’s been, Burton acknowledges “the urgency is there” to get that very first win as quickly as possible.

“We want to go ahead and knock that (win) out, so we can just keep building momentum,” he stated. “But if we keep knocking out the top fives and put ourselves in position, the win will come.”

Another chauffeur wanting to compete for his very first win on Saturday is Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst, who returns house to Las Vegas.

Chase Briscoe, now a Cup Series novice, swept both Vegas Xfinity races in 2015 in the No. 98 Ford that Herbst now drives. That has actually Herbst thrilled, despite the fact that his season has actually begun with back-to-back DNFs at Daytona and needing to conquer an encounter with Justin Allgaier recently to end up 11th in Miami.

“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Vegas,” he stated in a group release. “I think we’ll be really, really fast and have some good success – at least that’s what we’re planning for. … I just think we kind of need to work through the first four or five races and see where we are, because it’s a new team for me.

“For the first five races, we’re just kind of judging everything and, hopefully, after that and after the first quarter of the season, we can be in contention for wins and be racing up front.”

Other notables in the hunt for win No. 1?

  • Daniel Hemric, Joe Gibbs Racing: Seasonal bridesmaid he might be, Hemric has actually still rattled off 3 top-10 surfaces to begin his period at JGR. In addition, 4 of his 7 profession Xfinity runner-up surfaces have actually begun 1.5-mile tracks. He ended up third at Las Vegas last September for JR Motorsports, which was his finest Xfinity outcome at the track.

  • Brandon Brown, Brandonbilt Motorsports: 2 top-10 surfaces in 3 races have actually put Brown ninth in points going into Las Vegas, where he’s been fine however not terrific (typical surface of 14.8, finest surface of 11th in Feb. 2020).

  • Ryan Sieg, RSS Racing: Sieg ended up 3rd and 5th in both Las Vegas Xfinity races last season. However those outcomes remained in ECR-powered Chevrolets. Over the off-season, Sieg and RSS made the switch to Ford and Roush Yates Engines. They’re coming off their first top-10 finish with Ford last week in Miami (eighth).

  • Brett Moffitt, Our Motorsports: A runner-up in the season opener at Daytona and contending for the win in Miami have put the past Truck Series champion on the radar. Moffitt finished 15th and 14th for Our Motorsports last year at Las Vegas, but the No. 02 team have now proven they’re capable of much more.

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Potential very first-time Xfinity winners hope it’s their fortunate day in Las Vegas initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.