Xfinity Series 2021 season in review
Champion: Daniel Hemric
Champion crew chief: Dave Rogers
Wins leaders: Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Busch (5)
Most prime fives: Austin Cindric (22)
Most prime 10s: Austin Cindric (26)
Laps-led chief: Austin Cindric (1,150)
How 2021 ended:
The top of the 2021 season couldn‘t have been much better, as it came down to the final set of corners to determine the series‘ champion. Daniel Hemric, who entered the season finale at Phoenix Raceway having never won a race, executed an old school bump-and-run to move Austin Cindric out of the lead and catapult Hemric to the championship stage.
After a solid regular season, Hemric got hot in the playoffs, earning six top fives in the seven-race postseason. AJ Allmendinger and Noah Gragson both had wins in the playoffs, propelling them to the Championship 4, and they will return to their respective teams in 2022.
RELATED: Gragson back with JR Motorsports in 2022 | Keep track of Silly Season’s different key gamers
It‘s Bristol, child. The Xfinity Collection and brief tracks go hand-in-hand, however the regular-season finale at Bristol Motor Speedway had all of it. Getting into the race, Allmendinger held a five-point lead over Cindric within the regular-season championship standings. And the enjoyable was simply starting.
Incomes the identical quantity of stage factors within the first two levels, the duo had been separated by 5 factors heading into the ultimate stage. And when Cindric answerable for the race, a late warning got here out when Justin Allgaier spun Sam Mayer. On the restart, Allmendinger and Cindric swapped paint and slid throughout the end line earlier than pounding the within wall. The benefit went to the No. 16 staff.
The Xfinity Collection additionally at all times places on a present at street programs. This, too, was the case at Watkins Glen Worldwide.
Street-course specialists Cindric and Allmendinger swapped the lead forwards and backwards earlier than rookie Ty Gibbs took management of the race, main 25 of the ultimate 27 circuits. Extra spectacular was Gibbs‘ late-race tenacity after shedding the result in each Cindric and Allmendinger on separate restarts, solely to get it again. That marked the then 18-year-old‘s third victory of the season. And talking of Gibbs.
Further season highlights:
Working simply 18 of 33 races, Gibbs was spectacular virtually each time he strapped right into a JGR Toyota. By successful in his sequence debut on the Daytona Worldwide Speedway Street Course in February, he grew to become simply the sixth driver in sequence historical past to win his first day out and the primary to do it with out ever making a Cup Collection begin.
In a part-time function with JR Motorsports, Josh Berry gained at a well-recognized place again in April — Martinsville Speedway. That win led to extra alternatives throughout the sport for Berry, together with his first begin for Jordan Anderson Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports activities Automobile Course. He went on to win his second race of the season within the playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, changing an injured Michael Annett, who retired at season‘s finish.
Kyle Busch went five-for-five in Xfinity Collection competitors, main 57.4% of the laps. Included in that handful of victories was his one hundredth sequence victory, coming at Nashville Superspeedway. Busch, who could also be achieved racing within the Xfinity Collection, now has 102 wins, choosing up extra triumphs at Street America and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
KYLE BUSCH: Comcast celebrates milestone one hundredth win
Stats to know:
• 1,150 laps led by Cindric is essentially the most laps led by a Group Penske driver in a single season. Brad Keselowski beforehand held the file at 1,147, coming in his 2010 championship-winning season.
• Competing in simply 18 races, Gibbs gained the Rookie of the Yr. It‘s the fewest variety of races a ROY has competed in since David Stremme (additionally 18) in 2003. That 12 months, Ty‘s father, Coy, was additionally one of many ROY rivals.
• Making the playoffs for the second time in his profession, Jeremy Clements posted a career-high eight top-10 finishes in the course of the 33-race schedule. The No. 51 staff led the sequence with only one DNF (Las Vegas fall race).
Coming off the 2021 championship, Hemric will transfer over to Kaulig Racing to pilot the No. 11 Chevrolet. He replaces Justin Haley, who will transition full-time to the Cup Collection, alongside with Cindric and Harrison Burton.
Allmendinger will return for a second full season with Kaulig, whereas Berry will drive the No. 8 automotive for JR Motorsports. Gragson, Allgaier and Mayer will spherical out the four-car staff at JRM. Although it hasn‘t been formally introduced, Gibbs will run for the Xfinity Collection title for JGR, becoming a member of Brandon Jones as full-time rivals for the reigning championship group.
RELATED: 2022 race schedule | Xfinity Collection breaks into Pacific Northwest with Portland add
For the primary time ever, the Xfinity Collection will go to Portland Worldwide Raceway in early June, which replaces Mid-Ohio on the schedule. The playoff tracks may have a little bit of a unique look in 2022, with Texas Motor Speedway and Las Vegas switching dates, and Homestead-Miami Speedway being added to the Spherical of 8, changing Kansas Speedway. The season will conclude at Phoenix on Nov. 5.
Jobber Wiki writer Frank Lengthy added to this report.