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NASCAR Xfinity: playoff second-round cast set

No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ryan Reed (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ryan Reed (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Saturday night’s rain-delayed Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., was the elimination race for the first round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs. With non-series regulars winning all three races of the first three-race round, most recently Alex Bowman winning at Charlotte, the eight-driver second-round field was determined, solely, on points.

The eight drivers provisionally in advancing positions heading into the Charlotte race were the same eight drivers that officially advanced after Charlotte’s checkered flag. Those drivers include William Byron, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Brennan Poole, Matt Tifft and Ryan Reed.

Reed headed into Saturday’s race with a scant two-point lead over Brendan Gaughan, the first driver outside advancement territory. Gaughan made up one of those points with an 11th-place race finish to Reed’s 12th. Had Gaughan finished one position higher in the race, he would’ve tied Reed in points and taken the last advancing spot by virtue of a tie-breaker.

“We were getting the 1 (Sadler), but we need Brandon (Jones) to get in front of (Reed), but a good run,” Gaughan said. “We had a decent season, but I wouldn’t say great. We’re going to go on and try to see if we can win a couple of races.”

Other drivers failing to advance include Michael Annett, Blake Koch and Jeremy Clements.

Playoff Justin Allgaier struggled at Charlotte, blowing his engine in the second half of the race after sustaining early-race front-end damage. Allgaier, though, headed into the race as the points leader and clinched a second-round berth with a fourth-place finish in the first 45-lap stage of the race.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates and Monster Energy Cup Series regulars, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez, won the two 45-lap stages on Saturday night, and with Bowman’s win, no Xfinity Series championship-eligible drivers received playoff points at Charlotte to carry into round two.

Here’s a look at the reset standings among the remaining eight playoff drivers:
1. William Byron — 3026 points
2. Justin Allgaier — 3023 points
3. Elliott Sadler — 3020 points
4. Daniel Hemric — 3009 points
5. Cole Custer — 3007 points
6. Brennan Poole — 3006 points
7. Ryan Reed — 3005 points
8. Matt Tifft — 3004 points

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter (AutoRacingDaily) or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on October 8, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. 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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