Haley primed for 100th Xfinity career start at Martinsville

Competing in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Justin Haley is set to achieve a milestone start. By taking the green flag in this weekend’s Playoff event at Martinsville Speedway, the driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro will reach 200 career starts in the Xfinity circuit.

A native from Winamac, Indiana, Haley made his Xfinity Series debut at Iowa Speedway in June. By then, he was competing in his second full-time season in the NASCAR Truck Series for GMS Racing. Driving the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro for GMS, Haley started 13th and finished 12th in his Xfinity debut. 

During his second series start at Daytona International Speedway in July, Haley completed a three-wide pass on Kyle Larson and Elliott Sadler on the final straightaway on the final lap to cross the finish line in first place and score what would have been his first Xfinity career victory. Upon review of the finish, however, Haley was disqualified from the victory after he completed his winning pass below the double yellow lines, an out of bounds zone in superspeedway racing. The move dropped Haley to 18th place, the final car on the lead lap, while Larson was awarded the victory. 

Haley’s third and final Xfinity start of 2018 occurred at Watkins Glen International August, where he finished 38th after being involved in an early accident with former NASCAR competitor Matt Tifft.

Following a third-place result in the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series drivers’ standings, Haley joined Kaulig Racing as a full-time driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2019 Xfinity Series season. In his first start with Kaulig Racing, which was the season-opening event at Daytona, Haley won the first stage and led a total of three laps before settling in 17th place. Since then, Haley went on to record four top-five results, 20 top-10 results and an average result of 12.3 throughout the 33-race schedule. He made the 2019 Xfinity Playoffs, but was eliminated from title contention following the first round as he settled in 12th place in the final standings. 

Photo by Tim Jarrold for SpeedwayMedia.com.

Commencing the 2020 Xfinity season with a sixth-place result at Daytona, Haley achieved his first Xfinity Series career win at Talladega Superspeedway in June after receiving a push from teammates Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger to overtake future teammate Jeb Burton on the final lap. He went on to claim his second series career victory at Daytona in August after dodging a final lap accident involving teammates Allmendinger and Chastain. Qualifying for the Playoffs, Haley earned his third career victory at Talladega in October and joined Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the late Dale Earnhardt as the only competitors to achieve three consecutive superspeedway victories in the Xfinity Series. Along with his victories, Haley earned enough consistent results to earn a spot in the Championship Round at Phoenix Raceway in November with an opportunity to contend for his first NASCAR Xfinity title. During the finale, however, Haley finished eighth on the track and third in the final standings. Despite falling short on the title, the 2020 season was a superb season for Haley, who achieved his first three career victories along with 10 top-five results, 21 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 10.3. His third-place result in the final standings is the best to date for Kaulig Racing.

Through the first 22 events of the 2021 Xfinity season, Haley and the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet team earned three top-five results and 14 top-10 results. Despite being absent at Dover International Speedway in May due to COVID-19 protocols, the Indiana native remained in contention to make the Playoffs. Soon after, Haley solidified his spot in the Playoffs after edging teammate Allmendinger by 0.023 seconds to grab his fourth Xfinity career win at Daytona in August and first of the 2021 season.

Since winning at Daytona and competing in the Playoffs, Haley has notched seven consecutive results in the top 10 and is one of eight competitors still vying for the 2021 Xfinity title in the Round of 8. With a fourth-place result in his most recent series start at Kansas Speedway in October, Haley is ranked in fifth place in the Playoff standings and is seven points below the top-four cutline to make the Championship 4 finale at Phoenix Raceway in November and contend for his first NASCAR national touring series title.

Through 99 previous Xfinity starts, Haley has notched four career victories, 22 top-five results, 64 top-10 results, 190 laps led, an average-finishing result of 11.3 and three Playoff appearances.

Haley is set to make his 100th Xfinity Series career start at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 30, with the event scheduled to occur at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Andrew Kim
An avid motorsports enthusiast from California with aspirations of working in any form of communications, PR or digital/social media in motorsports.

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