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NASCAR Truck: clinch scenarios for Phoenix International Raceway

Christopher Bell (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Christopher Bell (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Johnny Sauter heads into Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway already certain that he’ll be racing for a second-straight series championship Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He’s the only driver, though, already with a spot in the Championship Four clinched heading into Friday night’s race.

“Now, we look to Homestead to try and win another championship,” Sauter said after his win a week ago at Texas Motor Speedway.

Five drivers — Christopher Bell, Matt Crafton, Austin Cindric, Ben Rhodes and Johnson Hunter Nemechek — will race for the three other Championship Four spots at PIR. Bell, Crafton and Cindric head into Phoenix in the provisional advancing spots, while Rhodes and Nemechek find themselves on the outside looking in.

Any of the five drivers would, of course, claim a final-four position with a win at Phoenix, but three of the five could clinch without winning and without help in the form of poor performances by one or more of their fellow-playoff drivers.

Bell is close to a Championship Four clinch. All he has to do at Phoenix to clinch, regardless of the outcome for the other playoff drivers, is earn at least six points Friday night, so it would be possible for Bell to clinch his Championship Four berth as early as the end of the first stage of the race. Should Sauter or a non-playoff driver win Friday night, Bell would only need to earn a single point to advance.

Aside from winning the race, another option for Crafton to clinch would be earning 37 points. If Sauter or a non-playoff driver wins, Crafton would clinch with 32 points earned, regardless of how the other playoff drivers fare.

If Sauter or a non-playoff driver wins Friday, Cindric would be able to clinch a Championship Four spot by earning 50 points, but if one of the other playoff drivers, other than Sauter, wins, Cindric would have to rely on poor outcomes for one or more of his fellow-playoff drivers.

As the drivers on the outside looking in, the only way Rhodes or Nemechek controls his own destiny is with a race win. Otherwise, they each need help. Rhodes needs the least help of the two, as he’s only five points out, compared to Nemechek’s 39 points.

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Posted by on November 10, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Camping World Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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