Elliott Sadler leads the NASCAR Xfinity Series by a whopping 110 points with four races left in the regular season, but needs to accumulate some playoff points to put him in prime position for the series championship.
The 42-year-old Virginian ranks tied with Ryan Reed for third in playoff points with five. He trails his JR Motorsports teammates William Byron and Justin Allgaier, who have 17 and eight playoff points, respectively.
Sadler will attempt to rack up more playoff points by winning his first race of the season in Sunday’s Johnsonville 180 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (3 p.m. ET on NBC). The contest marks the XFINITY Series’ third and final road course race of the season. Kyle Busch won at Watkins Glen, while Sam Hornish Jr. visited Victory Lane at Mid-Ohio. Neither driver is scheduled to start Sunday’s race, so a new winner is guaranteed.
“Road America is a challenging course with a lot of turns and a few elevation changes — it’s the longest track we race on,” Sadler said.
In six starts at the 4.048-mile track, Sadler has four top-10 finishes, including a high showing of fourth. He enters Sunday’s race coming off a third-place result at Bristol and a finish of sixth at Mid-Ohio.
“We’ve had some good runs at the last two road courses and have room to gamble with the points lead and clinched playoff spot,” Sadler said. “The fans in Wisconsin are great, it’s a fun atmosphere all weekend long.”
Race Weekend Guide
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race: Johnsonville 180
Place: Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)
Date and Time: Sunday, Aug. 27 at 3 p.m. ET
Tune-in: NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 182.16 miles (45 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 10), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 20), Final Stage (Ends on lap 45)
What To Watch For: Road America has had a different winner in all seven of the NASCAR XFINITY Series races it has hosted. The only previous victor in Sunday’s field is Brendan Gaughan (2014). … NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Christopher Bell will make his third NASCAR XFINITY Series start of the season. He placed fourth at Charlotte and finished 16th at Iowa from the Coors Light Pole. … Team Penske driver Austin Cindric makes his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the owner points-leading No. 22 Ford. … Richard Childress Racing goes for its fourth consecutive Road America win. Michael McDowell (2016), Paul Menard (2015) and Brendan Gaughan (2014) have visited Road America Victory Lane the last three seasons for RCR.