NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona postponed until Monday

NASCAR Xfinity pre-race introductions took place but not much else happened Saturday. (Photo: Greg Engle)

The United Rentals 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway has been postponed from Saturday to Monday because of rain.

The Xfinity season opener has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. on Monday, February 19 and will be broadcast on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The final NASCAR Cup Series practice before Sunday’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Radio) at Daytona International Speedway, scheduled for Saturday morning, was canceled due to rain in the area.

During a break in the weather on Saturday afternoon, the Xfinity Series cars were able to qualify. Richard Childress Racing teammates Jesse Love (a Sunoco rookie) and Austin Hill ran 1-2 in time trials, with Love securing his first pole position in his first career attempt in the series.

Hill, a four-time winner with RCR last year, is the two-time defending winner of the Xfinity season opener at Daytona. Hill posted a time of 49.705 (181.068 mph) seconds in qualifying, narrowly losing the pole to Love’s 49.702 (181.079 mph).

Veteran AJ Allmendinger, who returns to the Xfinity Series full-time this season, will start third, with Parker Kligerman beside him in the fourth spot.

New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen, winner of last year’s Chicago Street Race in his first NASCAR Cup Series start, had an auspicious beginning to his NASCAR Xfinity Series career with a fifth-place qualifying effort in Kaulig Racing’s No. 97 Chevrolet.

After qualifying, the rain picked up later in the afternoon, forcing the postponement.

On Friday, sensing potential bad weather, NASCAR officials moved The Daytona ARCA 200 in the ARCA Menards Series – originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon before the Xfinity race – to Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET.