The NASCAR Xfinity Series kicked off their 2020 season opener at Daytona International Speedway on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon in central Florida. It was the first race of the season and it sure didn’t disappoint. Xfinity Series regular, Noah Gragson was finally able to pick up the first win of his Xfinity Series career, which more than likely will be the biggest of his young career. Though there were some other drivers who also had great runs.
Here is the first installment of this week’s Power Rankings for the NASCAR Xfinity Series following the NASCAR Racing Experience 300.
- Noah Gragson – No surprise here as Gragson dominated the last 20 laps after the final pit stops. He lost the lead briefly to Chase Briscoe for five laps, but was able to take the lead back with two to go before a caution ended the race. The JR Motorsports driver started 12th, finished fourth and ninth in both stages respectively, en route to victory. He led just 15 laps but they were the most important 15 laps of his career.
- Chase Briscoe – Despite not having a teammate to work with, Briscoe was strong throughout the whole race, finishing 10th in both stages. The Indiana native only led five laps but remained consistent in the top five or 10. Briscoe had no issues and had a flawless race. Sure, he probably wished he could have finished second or won the race as he was in the lead but a top-five finish is still a solid day, especially at a place like Daytona where a big crash can take you out of a good finish late.
- Harrison Burton – While it’s not his first rodeo in the Xfinity Series, rookie Harrison Burton had a strong first outing at Daytona finishing second. There was a lot of hype with the Burton name having a presence Saturday afternoon and certainly, high expectations in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Burton was able to finish eighth in Stage 1 before missing out on some points in the second stage. He also led nine laps before the race ended. Had the race not ended under caution or if he had a teammate to work with, we most likely would have been talking about a different story right now. Still, not a bad finish for Burton in his first race at Daytona. It will be interesting to watch how Burton progresses throughout the year.
- Myatt Snider- New year, new ride for Myatt Snider who is racing part-time in the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Even though Snider is a rookie in the Xfinity Series, this was not his first Daytona race as he has had previous starts in the Truck Series. The Charlotte, North Carolina racer looked like a seasoned veteran in this race. Snider started on the pole, led the first 13 laps and laps 15 to 23 before Jeb Burton took the stage win. Unfortunately, it would be the only laps led of the day as Snider was caught up in a Lap 61 accident which took him out of contention. The Richard Childress Racing driver wound up a disappointing 33rd place finish after a strong run early on.
- Timmy Hill – The underdog Timmy Hill came out of nowhere on the last lap, similar to what Jordan Anderson did on Friday night in the Truck Series race. The Maryland native finished third, earning his best career finish with the Carl Long owned No. 66 Toyota. Hill didn’t place in the top-10 in either stage but had the caution not ended and tandem drafting was allowed, Hill could have been the upset winner and a story we could have been talking about for ages.