Race Weekend Central

Eyes on Xfinity: Also the ‘Best Season Ever’?

If you have paid much attention during NASCAR Cup Series broadcasts this season, odds are good that you have seen the “Best Season Ever” ad campaign by Fox Sports, a brilliant messaging plan by all accounts.

Somebody apparently forgot to tell the drivers of the NASCAR Xfinity Series that it did not exactly include them.

Two races into a season is a small sample size, for sure. But based on the racing in two entirely different disciplines, the NASCAR Xfinity Series could have a “best season ever” of its own.

It really stacks up close to what we saw in 2003 from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when the perfect blend of veterans going against young drivers provided an unparalleled level of excitement with grizzled veterans Bobby Hamiton Sr. and Ted Musgrave going against Brendan Gaughan and Carl Edwards.

Something very similar may very well be coming together in the Xfinity Series.

You saw a small taste of if this past Saturday on the Daytona International Speedway road course at the end of stage one. It did not matter how smart of a play taking it easy would have been. In the end, there was no waiting around between Austin Cindric, looking to further cement his status near the top of the standings, and AJ Allmendinger, a guy who has raced in NASCAR’s top level and now wants to make a big statement of what Kaulig Racing can do with him behind the wheel.

Much like Ted Musgrave and Bobby Hamilton’s experience vs. Carl Edwards and Brendan Gaughan’s youthful enthusiasm in 2003 along with Travis Kvapil and Dennis Setzer, it sent shockwaves along that are still remembered … including one of the most legendary post-race quotes of all time.

In short, the race for that championship was heavily peppered by the perfect balance of eager youthfulness against veterans dead set on not being upstaged.

You have the same building up in the Xfinity Series, but it hardly stops there. Ty Gibbs? As we saw last week, he knows how to win. Detractors can toss out cracks about the equipment, but it’s one thing to have a great ride, it is a whole other to be able to take advantage of.

As eager as the Jeb Burtons of the series are to prove themselves, you have plenty of Justin Allgaiers that have proven they can win and would likely love nothing more than to show their class of drivers can still get it done against those such as Noah Gragson.

You have young drivers like Harrison Burton in good rides that want to show that their worthy of the chances they are given. There are seasoned drivers out to show that they may not get as much glitz and headlines, but they can also contend to wins. An “old guys” vs. “young guys” rivalry? That’s something every race fan should sign up to follow this year.

Who knows? This could also be the “Best Season Ever” in another top NASCAR series.

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