Mechanical issues curtail Katherine Legge’s NASCAR Xfinity Series return
Road America marked Katherine Legge’s first start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in five years. Despite a fuel pump issue on lap 9 which forced her into retirement, Legge will be aiming to build upon the speed shown in practice and qualifying to carry forward into the next races of a 4-round program on road courses.
Katherine Legge returned to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the first time since 2018 at Road America. Driving for SS GreenLight Racing, Katherine showed excellent improvements in practice and qualifying to line up 24th in a highly competitive field. This gave cause for optimism ahead of what was set to be an action-packed 45 laps at Road America, but Legge’s day ended early following a fuel pump issue on lap nine which forced her into retirement.
Road America marked Katherine’s first start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in five years following four starts for JD Motorsports in 2018. Signing a four-race deal with SS GreenLight Racing, Katherine will make further starts at the Indianapolis Road Course, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval. Her road course expertise brings significant knowledge to the team and she will be aiming to build upon the speed shown at Road America to carry forward into future races.
In her first foray into the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Legge’s best result came at Road America with an impressive 14th place finish, giving her good encouragement heading into the weekend. Drivers were given an extended 50-minute practice session due to recent track resurfacing, with the additional practice time also beneficial to Katherine following her break from the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Katherine used the practice session to reacquaint herself with the NASCAR Xfinity Series car and made significant improvements, setting her fastest time on the penultimate lap of the session, running a total of 11 laps to place 28th. Qualifying took place shortly after with Legge and the SS GreenLight team going out in group B. Gaining confidence with every passing lap, Katherine made over 1.5 seconds of time improvements from practice and this translated into a 24th place starting spot.
Lining up on the 12th row of the grid, the initial start of the race was set to be action-packed and Katherine did a great job to keep the car clean and stay out of trouble. Although Legge dropped back several positions in the opening laps, she knew the race would be long and figuring out what she needed from the car, together with any possible changes, would be beneficial as the first stage progressed.
The SS GreenLight driver ran her fastest lap of the race on lap six as she began to close in on the drivers ahead, building up her confidence in a race situation. Her progress was halted on lap nine when a fuel pump issue led to the car stopping on track and a caution being called. Track workers were able to push her car back to the pits, but despite a valiant effort from the team to fix the issue, Katherine was unable to re-join and retired from the race.
Despite the result, Katherine should be encouraged by the speed she showed after being away from the NASCAR Xfinity Series for five years. She was able to lay the foundations for working with a new team and the initial pace will prove vital as Legge will likely need to qualify on speed at her three remaining races on the schedule.
Katherine’s next NASCAR Xfinity Series outing for SS GreenLight Racing will be at the Indianapolis Road Course on the 12th August racing alongside both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NTT IndyCar Series.