NASCAR Xfinity: making the round of four
Daniel Suarez on pit road at Texas Motor Speedway during the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on Nov, 5, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
The chase round of eight for the NASCAR Xfinity Series winds down Saturday at Phoenix International Speedway. The championship four will be determined with Saturday’s checkered flag. The winners in the first two rounds were Sprint Cup Series regulars, with Kyle Busch winning last month at Kansas Speedway in Kansas Speedway and Kyle Larson winning a week ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, so there is the potential for all four advancing positions to be awarded based on the post-Phoenix points standings.
Any of the eight remaining chasers — Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler, Erik Jones, Blake Koch, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Reed, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Brendan Gaughan — would clinch a round of four slot with a win at Phoenix.
Three of the drivers, three of the four in the provisional advancing spots heading into Saturday’s PIR race, have additional opportunities to clinch final-four positions, regardless of the finishes of their fellow-chasers.
Those clinch scenarios are as follows (provided by NASCAR):
Daniel Suarez (0 Wins, 3075 Points) – Would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 16th and led at least one lap, 16th and led most laps).
Elliott Sadler (0 Wins, 3074 Points) – Would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 16th and led at least one lap, 16th and led most laps).
Erik Jones (0 Wins, 3065 Points) – Would clinch on points with 36 Points (5th and no laps led, 6th and led at least one lap, 7th and led most laps).
Also, Blake Koch could advance on points if the race winner is not one of his fellow round of eight chasers. With such a winner, Koch could clinch an advancing position with a second-place finish.
The other four chasers need additional help to advance to the round of four without winning at Phoenix.