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NASCAR Xfinity: clinch scenarios for Phoenix International Raceway

Elliott Sadler (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads into Saturday’s Ticket Galaxy 200, the second-to-last race of the 2017 season, at Phoenix International Raceway without any drivers having spots clinched in the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, scheduled for Nov. 18.

Eight drivers — Elliott Sadler, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Brennan Poole, Matt Tifft, Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric and Ryan Reed —  will be competing for the four championship spots at Phoenix this weekend. JR Motorsports teammates Sadler, Byron and Allgaier and Poole are the drivers who head to Phoenix in the provisional advancing positiions. Meanwhile, Tifft, Custer, Hemric and Reed find themselves on the outside looking in.

Any of the eight aforementioned drivers wins the Phoenix race, he’ll receive a berth in the Championship Four. Aside from winning, the JRM trio have the opportunity to control their own destinies and clinch a championship bert on points, regardless of who wins the race.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team and all of the hard work they’ve put into this season,” Sadler said. “With only one race before Homestead, we’re in a great position leading the points. We still have some work to do to lock ourselves into the Championship 4, but being 29 points above the cutoff gives us some room to be aggressive and race for stage points and ultimately the win.”

If one of the other seven playoff drivers wins at PIR, Sadler would receive a final-four spot with 32 points earned in the race, regardless of how his fellow-playoff drivers fare. If the Phoenix winner isn’t one of the playoff drivers, Sadler would clinch his playoff spot with a 27-point tally at Phoenix.

Byron needs to earn 37 points to clinch a Championship Four spot, regardless of the finishes of his fellow-playoff drivers. If one of the other seven playoff drivers wins at Phoenix, though, Byron would need only 32 points at PIR.

Allgaier, meanwhile, would need 41 points to clinch, regardless of the results of the other playoff drivers, even if one of them wins the race. If one of the other playoff drivers wins, Allgaier would need to rack-up 36 points.

Poole controls his own destiny, aside from winning the race, if someone other than a playoff driver wins. If another playoff driver wins at Phoenix, Poole’s championship status would rely, in part, on the performance of his fellow playoff drivers.

Already in provisional elimination spots, Tifft, Custer, Hemric and Reed only are in complete control of advancing by winning the race. Otherwise, their playoff statuses are determined by their fellow-playoff drivers.

“We’re playing from behind right now, so we don’t have to play defense, so we’re – I’m in a spot where I’m one stage away from possibly being in that fourth position to transfer into the championship next week,” Tifft said.

Tifft is five points out, closest drivers among those in provisional elimination spots. Custer is next in line, 13 points behind bubble driver, Poole. Hemric is 18 points back, while Reed is eighth among the eight remaining playoff drivers, 33 points behind Poole.

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Posted by on November 10, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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