XCI Racing Toyota Driver Earns Best Chicagoland Result Despite Late-Race Loose Wheel
Date: June 29, 2019
Event: Camping World 300 (Round 15 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 21st/17th (Running, completed 199 of 200 laps)
Race Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Started 21st and finished 14th.
● Earnhardt worked his way up to 14th before the first caution of the race occurred on lap 13. He reported his Toyota Supra was free on entry and tight on exit with the team electing not to pit.
● Earnhardt’s XCI Racing Supra continued to get tighter through the remainder of Stage 1 and he completed the first 45 laps in the 14th position.
● The 30-year-old driver visited his team on pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help secure his Toyota on entry and exit.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Started 14th and finished 24th.
● Earnhardt restarted 14th and gained one spot on the lap-51 restart.
● He ran in the 13th position until the third caution of the race on lap 79.
● Earnhardt brought the XCI Racing Supra to pit road on lap 80 for four tires, fuel and additional adjustments to improve his entry.
● Earnhardt restarted 22nd on lap 84 with several cars staying on track. He told the team that he had a vibration with two laps remaining in the second stage and was able to stay on track to finish Stage 2 in 24th.
● With the possibility of a loose wheel, Earnhardt pitted for four tires and fuel and returned to the track in 18th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 90-200):
● Started 18th and finished 17th.
● Earnhardt went straight to work on the restart and entered the top-10 for the first time on lap 101.
● The XCI Racing Supra was running eighth when the fifth caution of the race occurred on lap 112.
● Earnhardt stayed on track under the caution to inherit the second position as the leaders pitted under the caution.
● Earnhardt took the lead on the lap-115 restart, but began to immediately drop back as cars on fresher tires began to catch him.
● The XCI Racing driver settled into the ninth position on lap 120 and maintained his top-10 postion until lap 140 when he fell back to 11th.
● On lap 152, Earnhardt pitted under green for a scheduled stop to get four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. He rejoined the field in the 19th position.
● Earnhardt reported on lap 156 that he once again had a vibration while running in the 14th position.
● After telling the team the vibration was getting worse, Earnhardt pitted under green on lap 163 for four scuffed tires, going down two laps and returning to the track in 22nd.
● When the leaders pitted during the sixth caution on lap 173, the Mooresville native stayed on track to get back one lap and restart just one lap down in 20th with 21 laps to go.
● With the race going green until the final lap, Earnhardt was only able to advance his position to 17th, but picked up his best finish at Chicagoland Speedway.
● Earnhardt’s 17th result was his best in three Xfinity Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway.
● Cole Custer won the Camping World 300 to score his sixth career Xfinity Series victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Chicagoland. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was 2.917 seconds.
● There were sixth cautions for a total of 30 laps.
● Fifteen of the 38 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Reddick continues to lead the championship point standings by 42 points over Christopher Bell.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the No. 81 XCI Racing Toyota Supra:
“Our Xtreme Concepts Racing Supra was really good, we just ended up getting slowed down with a loose wheel late in the race and we didn’t have a chance to get back on the lead lap and recover. The finish doesn’t show how good we were, but I know we did everything we could and we’re in a good position to go into Daytona and fight for the finish we deserved at the start of the year.”
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Circle K Firecracker 250 on Friday, July 5 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.