5 Storylines For Saturday’s Rock n Roll Tequila 170 (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

One of the most highly entertaining races of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will take place this weekend as the annual stop to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has always produced some thrilling races. Saturday’s Rock n Roll Tequila 170 (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) should be no different.

Here are the top five storylines. 

Talented 1 Offs, IMSA Feel

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers may not be in the field this weekend but there are some talented one offs. Andy Lally, Justin Marks, Brendan Gaughan and Katherine Legge may all be making their first starts of the season, but all four could steal a win on Saturday too.

Marks, won this race in 2016. Lally, has two top seven finishes including a fifth place run last year in three career Mid-Ohio starts. Gaughan, is very talented on road courses too.

Three of these four have made IMSA starts this season too, so this one off list has some rich talent too.

Standalone Weekend

To further the point above, with the Cup Series and Truck Series drivers up at Michigan, this weekend’s race is a true standalone weekend. All the attention is on the XFINITY Series at Mid-Ohio which should produce tons of storylines and content which is great for the series.

Different Winners, 1st Time Winner

There’s been five different races at Mid-Ohio and we’ve seen five different winners in each. AJ Allmendinger won the inaugural visit in 2013 while Chris Buescher won the race a year later in 2014. Regan Smith (2015), Justin Marks (2016) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2017) have all won since. Will we see a sixth straight different winner on Saturday?

Only Marks is on the entry-list as a past winner. So, the odds say, yes.

In the last 10 seasons, road courses in the NASCAR Xfinity Series have also produced nine first-time winners. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course stakes claim to two of those nine – Chris Buescher (2014) and Justin Marks (2016). 

First-Time Winners




Jeremy Clements


Road America


Michael McDowell


Road America


Justin Marks




Chris Buescher




Brendan Gaughan


Road America


AJ Allmendinger


Road America


Nelson Piquet Jr


Road America


Boris Said




Marcos Ambrose


Watkins Glen

 This weekend in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 Presented by Amethyst Beverage on Saturday, August 11 at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), there are 28 drivers entered in the field looking for their first NASCAR Xfinity Series win.

 Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric made his series track debut at Mid-Ohio last season, finishing runner-up to Sam Hornish Jr. This season the youngster from Kannapolis, North Carolina, is still looking for his first career victory. He sits third in the series standings after posting nine top fives and 13 top 10s this season.

2nd Straight Road Course Race

Last week, the series was in Watkins Glen, this week it’s to Mid-Ohio. It’s the second straight week where the drivers are making left and right hand turns. In fact, other than a race at Bristol next weekend, the series is back to a road course a week after for three road races in four weeks. That could shake up the points standings in terms of playoff implications.

Mid-Ohio is another pivotal race.

Thrilling Finishes

Mid-Ohio has produced some thrilling end of the race finishes. From Regan Smith’s win in 2015 to Justin Marks’ victory in the rain in 2016 to Sam Hornish Jr. last year, this race race has given us some incredible moments over the years. We could see another one on Saturday.

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