DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Daytona International Speedway for the second time of 2017 for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. Stages for the race will be 30, 30, and 40. Defending race winner is Aric Almirola. Almirola was scheduled to race in the event this weekend, but due to his injury sustained at Kansas Speedway, Casey Mears will be driving the car.
40 drivers are on the entry list. All drivers will make the field for Friday night. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the field include Erik Jones, Joey Logano, and Daniel Suarez.
Like Cup, the Xfinity Series will be running a new tire compound at Daytona that provides more grip to increase stability. Teams will have six sets of tires to utilize throughout the weekend.
Drivers are excited about returning to Daytona.
"I'm excited to be back behind the wheel with Fresh From Florida and Biagi DenBeste Racing this weekend in Daytona," Mears said. "I know they won this race last year, as well as Talladega in May, with Aric Almirola, so I'm excited to be getting in a competitive car. We're looking to have a strong run and put the #98 Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang at the front of the field. Our thoughts continue to be with Aric as heals up and we're looking forward to having back in the car,” said Mears.
“I am excited to get back to Daytona. I think we had some good luck there in my first start earlier this year and hopefully we can carry that over and keep being aggressive. I think the best place to be on the superspeedways is up front. Hopefully we can stay up front and really use our teammates to help stay up there, be aggressive and get a good finish,” said last week’s winner, William Byron.
“Daytona is a pretty unique place. There’s not a lot as a driver that you can do to make a difference. I’ve tried to study up on drafting as much as I could to try to become a better superspeedway racer. In both the Cup and XFINITY race in February we were in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t end up with good finishes. I know we’ll have fast cars again this weekend in both series and if we can put ourselves in the right places at the right time and stay out of trouble, we should be able to be around at the end to see how things play out,” said E. Jones
Teams will have two practice sessions on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EDT and 4:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. Qualifying will be held on Friday at 2:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. The Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Motor Racing Network at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday.