NASCAR Xfinity: chase field cut to eight
By AMANDA VINCENT
Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway near Kansas City will mark the first race of the three-race second round of the first-ever chase for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. With the first round concluding Oct. 9 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the chase field was whittled from 12 down to eight drivers.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano was victorious in last weekend’s Drive for the Cure 300 Xfinity race at Charlotte, opening up an additional position for an Xfinity Series regular to advance in the chase by virtue of points. Meanwhile, series regulars Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez each won one of the first two races of the first round of the chase, securing advancement to round two.
Aside from Suarez and Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Reed, Darrell Wallace Jr., Blake Koch and Brennan Poole were in provisional chase advance positions heading into the Charlotte race, but by the checkered flag, Erik Jones replaced Poole among the eight drivers advancing to round two after finishing the race in the top-five. Poole suffered a power issue during the race, resulting in a 18th-place finish.
Ty Dillon, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones joined Poole as driver eliminated from the chase after the first round. Dillon barely missed advancement, sitting a single point out of the top-eight after an 11th-place race finish.
With the Xfinity Series moving from round one two round two, the points standings have been reset for the remaining eight chase drivers. Those drivers will take the green flag at Kansas on Saturday on even ground, all with 3000 championship points.
With several top Xfinity Series teams putting multiple drivers and/or Sprint Cup Series drivers not eligible for the Xfinity Series championship behind the wheels of their cars, the identity of the eight teams advancing to the round of eight in the Xfinity owner chase doesn’t mirror the line-up of drivers in the Xfinity driver chase. The eight teams advancing to round two of the series owner chase include the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Daniel Suarez), the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet (Elliott Sadler), the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet (Justin Allgaier), the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
Here’s a look at the Xfinity Series driver chase standings, heading into Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway: