While Chase Elliott’s lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver standings has grown to a hefty 42 points over second-place Regan Smith, the battle between third, fourth and fifth is separated by a mere three points with three races remaining.
Richard Childress Racing’s Brian Scott, currently third in the standings, is just two points ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Elliott Sadler in fourth. Scott’s RCR teammate, Ty Dillon, resides in fifth just one point back from Sadler as the season nears its end.
The series is coming off a 19 consecutive race stretch in the schedule. During that span Brian Scott had the second-best average finish (8.6) behind points leader Chase Elliott (7.0). Scott has posted six top fives and 20 top 10s this season – a NNS career high. His season-to-date Driver Rating of 101.4 and Average Running Position of 7.4 both rank second among series championship contenders.
Just outside of third-place Brian Scott’s quarter panel, sits Elliott Sadler two points back in fourth. Sadler has posted one win (Talladega), six top fives, 22 top 10s and an average finish of 9.7 this season. Sadler moved to fourth in the standings following his ninth-place finish at Charlotte last weekend.
Ty Dillon’s streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes ended this past weekend at Charlotte when he was caught in a multi-car accident relegating him to a 30th-place finish and his first DNF of the season. The uncharacteristic result dropped Dillon from third to fifth in the standings, ultimately extinguishing his championship hopes. Despite the recent misfortune, Dillon’s rookie season has been quite impressive. In 30 starts, he has posted one win (Indianapolis), six top fives, 22 top 10s and an average finish of 9.6.
With so few points separating the three drivers, their performances at the final three races will be pivotal to their success. Dillon (11.5) has the best combined average finish at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead; followed by Sadler (14.7) and then Scott (16.3).