NASCAR Xfinity Series: Indianapolis Predictions and How To Watch

A spin and win in Michigan leaves a tie atop the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings as the series heads to the Indianapolis road course.

Entering this season John Hunter Nemechek was one of the favorites to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. Austin Hill joined him in that conversation after winning three of the first six races.

Now the two are tied for the lead of the points standings with five races remaining in the regular season. The winner will receive fifteen playoff points toward a run to the championship.

Each driver had had a stretch of dominance to match their consistency. Nemechek has won three of the last five races to rival Hill’s hot start to the year.

Other drivers have shown quicker speed at times but failed to convert that into the same results. In the last two oval races, Josh Berry has qualified on the pole by over a quarter of a second.

Austin Hill and John Hunter Nemechek still found a way to split those race victories. With third in the standings behind by almost a full race’s worth of points, these two have separated themselves in the race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

Spin and Win

John Hunter Nemechek’s fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season did not come without any adversity. On lap 11 Nemechek and both of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates were involved in a crash on the backstretch.

The three drivers were racing nose to tail when Nemechek made contact with Ty Gibbs sending them spinning along with Sammy Smith.

Although Nemechek recovered to win and Gibbs finished fourth, neither driver was happy with the incident. Gibbs showed his displeasure on the track while Nemechek was apologetic in his post-race interview.

The teammates have had run-ins previously including earlier this season at Richmond. This budding rivalry will be interesting to follow as both drivers continue their careers beyond the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The Track

This will be the fourth race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series on the road course since moving away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s oval. Turn one is a hot spot for chaos on restarts.

Similar to Portland, drivers are tempted to dive-bomb each other into the hard braking zone. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most historic racetracks in the world and a trip to victory lane would be a significant moment for any Xfinity Series driver.


Road course races have been wildly entertaining in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season.

Drivers have been aggressive and the overall lack of experience in the field gives newer drivers the opportunity to race at the front. Road America featured a wild finish with Sam Mayer, Parker Kligerman, and Sage Karam all fighting for their first victory.

This weekend’s race in Indianapolis could produce a similarly chaotic finish. A late restart could give any driver an opportunity to win if they can navigate through cleanly.

Riley Herbst is my pick to be the surprise driver in victory lane. Herbst has been steadily improving all season long and is in his best form yet.

Stewart-Haas Racing cars have won three road course races this year and their fourth will give Riley Herbst the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race of his career.

How To Watch – Pennzoil 150 (All times ET)

  • Practice/Qualifying: Saturday, August 12, 9:35 on NBC Sports App
  • Pennzoil 150: Saturday, August 12, 5:30 on USA
Featured image credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images


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