Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch 2-Minute Drill: Ally 400 at Nashville

Sunday (June 20) marks the third of five tracks that the NASCAR Cup Series will visit for the first time in 2021. Bristol Dirt and Circuit of the Americas have passed while Road America and the Indianapolis road course lie ahead, but this weekend features a trip to the Music City for a 400-mile race at Nashville Superspeedway.

Aric Almirola sped to the pole, his third of his career, during qualifying Sunday morning. Kyle Busch rolls off second, followed by Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott in the top five.

See also
Aric Almirola Snags Cup Pole at Nashville Superspeedway

Cole Custer and Matt DiBenedetto will also start in the top 10.

William Byron, Erik Jones and Quin Houff will all start at the rear. Jones smacked the wall in qualifying and needed repairs for his No. 43, while Byron qualified fourth but unapproved adjustments relegated him to the back for the green flag.

NASCAR’s Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series raced at the 1.333-mile oval from 2001 to 2011, but a 10-year absence ended with the June 2021 weekend’s races. Logano (April 2009, Xfinity), Brad Keselowski (June 2008 & June 2010, Xfinity), Kevin Harvick (April 2006 & April 2010, Xfinity), Kyle Busch (June 2009, Xfinity; April 2010 & April 2011, truck) and Austin Dillon (July 2011, truck) were the only drivers with victories at the track heading into the weekend.

The truck and Xfinity drivers took to the superspeedway on Friday (June 18) and Saturday (June 19), respectively. Ryan Preece made his maiden truck start on Friday and scored his first win in his debut, driving for David Gilliland Racing.

See also
Ryan Preece Wins Nashville Truck Race in 1st Start

Saturday featured Kyle Busch continuing his dominance in the Xfinity Series this year: driving the M&M’s scheme that normally graces his Cup Series car, Busch scored his 100th career Xfinity triumph as he led 122 laps and secured another Gibson Les Paul trophy in victory lane.

See also
Sweet Sound of Victory: Kyle Busch Bags 100th Xfinity Win

He didn’t smash the axe this time, though, as he did in 2009. That celebration was evocative of The Clash bassist Paul Simonon’s smash in 1979, which eventually became the cover photo for their iconic album London Calling.

Elsewhere, Alex Palou won his second NTT IndyCar Series event of 2021 as the tour took to Road America, while Max Verstappen took his third victory of the year in Formula 1. That triumph came at Sunday’s French Grand Prix and marked Red Bull’s third straight win as a team.

See also
Max Verstappen Plays 2-Stop Strategy to Win French Grand Prix

Crank up the first NBC race of the season at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Green flag is set for 3:55 p.m. ET; the start was pushed back 10 minutes due to traffic issues for fans.

About the author

Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

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