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Although the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series left us looking for thrills on Thursday night, the NASCAR XFINITY Series made up for it on Friday.

With the top line coming in nicely as more rubber was laid down through Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, the side-by-side racing that the new configuration was supposed to produce is beginning to showcase it’s form. From the drop of the green flag to the checkered, there were battles throughout the field for position, including late-race between Kyle Larson and Justin Allgaier.

While others looked strong in the beginning stages, Larson became the class of the field through the second half of the first stage, and never looked back from there as he swept the whole night en route to his first Bristol triumph. It shouldn’t be a surprise considering how many times he has come close to winning there, and another victory on Saturday in Cup would shock no one.

Allgaier and Christopher Bell provided strength in competition, though, so it wasn’t a total cake-walk for Larson. Certainly with the regular season nearing conclusion, you have to wonder if these two will be the pair to watch for the series championship as they leave everyone else behind.

There was one key missing to Friday night, and that was Kyle Busch. Larson has come close, but has lost each year as the runner-up in the Kyle vs. Kyle show that usually occurs. It would’ve been interesting to see it play out as both showed speed before Busch got into the wall, ending his night early in the opening stage. Guess we’ll have to wait to Saturday as they both start up front.

With a just average truck race to kick-off the weekend, followed by a solid XFINITY Series event, we can only hope the trend continues with the Cup Series on Saturday. The only worry is rain, and how much falls as it will affect the amount of rubber worked into the surface, and possibly how many laps are ran on Friday night.



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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.