Monday, Oct 25

NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Texas Motor Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, October 17

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 501 miles (334 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 105),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 210), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 334)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Andy’s Frozen Custard 335

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 16

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 2:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: United Rentals 200

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 30

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Dust off your Cowboy hats, the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are headed to Texas

They say it’s always bigger in Texas and this weekend we agree as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway on October 17 at 2 p.m. ET (on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 the first race in the Playoffs’ Round of 8.

 

The inception of the Playoffs in the NASCAR Cup Series was in 2004 and Texas Motor Speedway was added to the postseason schedule in 2005 – at the time replacing Darlington Raceway – and the famous facility has been hosting Playoff events ever since. Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) is a 1.5-mile paved oval located in Fort Worth, Texas and is equipped with 20 degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2 and 24 degrees of banking in Turns 3 and 4. 

 

The 2021 season will mark the first time since joining the Playoff schedule in 2005 that Texas Motor Speedway will not host the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2005-2020) but instead will host the seventh race of the postseason. This weekend, Texas Motor Speedway will become the fifth different track to host the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Atlanta Motor Speedway (2004-2008), Talladega Superspeedway (2009-2010), Martinsville Speedway (2011-2019) and Kansas Speedway (2020).

 

Eight different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with five victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with three Texas Playoff wins (2017-2019).

 

Texas Motor Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Texas

Kurt Busch

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Texas

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 25, 2020

 

Three times the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race has gone on to win the title later that same season: 

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the eighth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. The Playoff win at Texas was his third of four consecutive victories in the 2007 Playoffs – the only driver to win four straight in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix).

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fifth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Stewart’s fourth of his record setting five NASCAR Cup Series Playoff wins in a single postseason run in 2011 (Chicago, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas, Homestead-Miami).

 

  • In 2013, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Johnson’s second postseason victory (Dover, Texas) in 2013.

 

Three times a non-Playoff driver has won the Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway:

 

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in the point standings at the time of his Texas Playoff race win.

 

  • In 2014, Jimmie Johnson was 11th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

  • In 2015, Jimmie Johnson was 12th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 16.

 

A total of 10 different drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson with four victories (2004 Atlanta, 2007 Atlanta, 2012 Martinsville and 2016 Martinsville). Joey Logano leads all active drivers in victories in the seventh race of the postseason with two (2018 Martinsville, 2020 Kansas).

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 7 Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Atlanta

Carl Edwards

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Atlanta

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Atlanta

Carl Edwards

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Talladega

Jamie McMurray

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Talladega

Clint Bowyer

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Martinsville

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Martinsville

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Martinsville

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Martinsville

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2020

 

Four times the winner of the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race has gone on to win the championship later that same season: 

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the sixth starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2018, Joey Logano won from the 10th starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

 

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he was 11th in points at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2009, Jamie McMurray won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was ranked 22nd in the points at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2010, Clint Bowyer won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was 12th in the points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish by a driver in the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race that later went on to win the title that same season was a 42nd-place finish by Kurt Busch in 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The finish was due to engine failure.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway that later went on to win the title that same season was a 38th-place finish by Jimmie Johnson in 2009. The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, finished third in the 2018 Texas Playoff race and in 2019, series champ Kyle Busch finished seventh in the Texas Playoff race. Last season’s champion, Chase Elliott, finished 20th at Texas in the Playoff race. 

 

Eight drivers advanced to the third round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and will battle it out this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway: Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Expect the competition intensity to keep bubbling over in this round as five former series champions make up the elite eight.

 

Cup Series expects to be Texas two-stepping on Sunday 

The stage is set for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway for another great weekend of racing action on the 1.5-mile high-speed oval. 

 

In total, Texas Motor Speedway has hosted the NASCAR Cup Series 40 times producing 25 different pole winners and 20 different race winners. The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was on April 6, 1997 and the race was won by Jeff Burton driving for Roush Fenway Racing (Ford). Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kurt Busch leads the series in poles at Texas with three (2015, 2017, 2018) and Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Texas with seven victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 sweep and 2017) in 34 starts. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Texas with four victories (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020).

 

This weekend’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be 334 laps (501 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 105 laps each and the final stage will be 124 laps.

 

The starting lineups for this weekend’s Playoff race at Texas were set by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson will start from the pole and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will join him on the front row. Four of the 40 NASCAR Cup Series races (10%) at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the pole or first starting position: Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012), Kyle Busch (2013) and Kevin Harvick (2019).  And seven of the 40 series races (17.5%) at Texas have been won from the front row.

 

Clinch Scenarios in the Lone Star state

Following an intense Round of 12, Texas Motor Speedway is set to kick off the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 and much like every first race of a new round in the postseason the clinch scenarios are simple – ‘Win and You’re In’.  But only four drivers will advance to the next round and heading into this weekend the drivers straddling the Championship 4 Round cutoff are separated by only one point.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following the Charlotte Road Course

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Kyle Larson (P)

4,065

7

15

65

42

2

Denny Hamlin (P)

4,030

2

10

30

7

3

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

4,029

4

5

29

6

4

Ryan Blaney (P)

4,024

3

4

24

1

5

Kyle Busch (P)

4,023

2

6

23

-1

6

Chase Elliott (P)

4,022

2

4

22

-2

7

Joey Logano (P)

4,013

1

5

13

-11

8

Brad Keselowski (P)

4,008

1

2

8

-16

 

Kyle Larson gets seventh win this season, joins rare company

Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson has several nicknames, but the one heard most frequently this season in the NASCAR Cup Series is winner. Larson overcame several obstacles last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course to clutch his seventh win of 2021 season – series-most. Now the 29-year-old is looking to make it the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career.

 

Larson’s most recent victory makes him the 21st different driver in the NASCAR Cup Series Modern Era (1972-Present) to win seven or more races in a single season and just the sixth different active driver to accomplish the feat joining Denny Hamlin (2010, 2020), Kevin Harvick (2018, 2020), Kyle Busch (2008, 2018), Martin Truex Jr. (2017, 2019) and Ryan Newman (2003).

 

The record in the Modern Era for the most wins in a single Cup season is 13 by NASCAR Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon (1998) and Richard Petty (1975). Petty also holds the all-time record for most Cup wins in a single season at 27 in 48 starts in 1967.

 

Larson returns to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend as the most recent winner at the track, taking the NASCAR All-Star Race victory back in June. In total, Larson has made 13 series starts at Texas posting three top fives and four top 10s.

 

Playoff Bubble: The Elite Eight at Texas

Since the NASCAR Cup Series introduced the elimination-style format in 2014, Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race winner has advanced to the Championship 4 Round in four of the seven races (2014-2020) – Carl Edwards in 2016 and Kevin Harvick in 2017-2019. Eight Playoff drivers are vying for four spots in the next round and four of the eight are former series winners at Texas.

Kyle Larson continues to be red hot this season grabbing his seventh win of 2021 and his second of the Playoffs last weekend at the Charlotte Road Course. Larson is currently the Playoff standings leader with 4,065 points, 42 points up on the Championship 4 Round cutoff. He is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career. Larson has made 13 series starts at Texas posting three top fives and four top 10s. His average finish at Texas is 19.7.

 

Denny Hamlin remains one of the top performers this season having put up two wins, 17 top fives and 23 top 10s. He is currently ranked second in the Playoff standings with 4,030 points just seven points ahead of the Championship 4 Round cutline. Hamlin is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the fourth time in his career (2014, 2019, 2020). Hamlin has made 30 series starts at Texas amassing three wins (2010 sweep, 2019), seven top fives and 13 top 10s. His average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 13.8.

 

Martin Truex Jr. was the final driver to advance on points into the Round of 8 last weekend at the Charlotte Road Course, but 2017 series champion is no stranger to postseason adversity. To this point in the season, he has posted four wins, 11 top fives and 17 top 10s. Truex is currently third in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings a mere six points ahead of the Championship 4 Round cutoff and is looking to make the final round for the fifth time in his career (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). He has made 31 series starts at Texas putting up five top fives and 17 top 10s. His average finish at Texas is 13.6. 

 

Ryan Blaney leads the Team Penske brigade into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8. Blaney has collected three wins, 10 top fives and 18 top 10s this season. The 27-year-old is currently fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings – the final transfer spot to the Championship 4 Round – and only one point ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch in fifth. Blaney is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his series career. He has made 12 series starts at Texas posting three top fives and six top 10s. His average finish on the 1.5-mile track is 17.2. 

 

Kyle Busch, the only active multiple series champion (2015, 2019), enters the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 for the sixth time in his career (2015, '16, '17, '18, '19, '21). In 2021, Busch has put up two wins, 13 top fives and 19 top 10s. The Las Vegas native find himself one point back from Ryan Blaney in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round. Busch has qualified for the Championship 4 Round in five of the last six seasons. His five Championship 4 Round (2015-2019) appearances are tied with Kevin Harvick for the NASCAR Cup Series most and if he makes the final around again this season, he will break that tie and become the NASCAR Cup Series sole leader in Championship 4 Round appearances at six. Busch has made 30 series starts at Texas Motor Speedway and leads all active drivers in wins with four (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020). He has also put up 14 top fives, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 10.9 at Texas.

 

Chase Elliott managed to overcome an on-track feud with Kevin Harvick to barely scrape into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 last weekend at the Charlotte Road Course, and now the 2020 series champion finds himself sixth in the Playoff standings just two points back from Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney in the fourth and final Championship 4 Round transfer spot. This season, Elliott has been superb, collecting two wins, 13 top fives and 18 top 10s. The 25-year-old, Elliott, is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the second time in his career (2020). He has made 10 series starts at Texas posting two top fives and five top 10s. His average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 12.0.

 

Joey Logano advanced to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 this last weekend at Charlotte; It was the seventh time in his career has advanced out of the second round (2014, '15, '16, '18, '19, '20, '21). Logano has been impressive this season grabbing one win, 10 top fives and 17 top 10s. Now the 31-year-old is ranked seventh in the Playoff standings 11 points behind his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney in the fourth and final Championship 4 Round transfer spot. Logano is looking to make the final round for the fifth time in his career (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020). The 2018 Cup champion has made 25 series starts at Texas posting one win, 11 top fives and 14 top 10s. His average finish at Texas is 13.4.

 

Brad Keselowski currently occupies the eighth and final position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 and is 16 points behind his teammate Ryan Blaney in the final Championship 4 Round transfer spot. Keselowski has put up one win, eight top fives and 14 top 10s this season. The Michigan native advanced to the Round of 8 for the fifth time in his career (2014, '15, '17, '20, '21) and now is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the third time in his Cup career (2017, 2020). Keselowski has made 25 series starts at Texas posting five top fives and 10 top 10s. His average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 16.8.

 

For the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 Playoff driver bios, Playoff and championship specific statistics, and eliminations grids visit the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Content Hub at the following link on NASCARMedia.com.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

Three-way tie for most Cup wins at Texas – Heading into to this Playoff weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing are all tied for the most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine victories each; boding the question, who will break the tie?  Joe Gibbs Racing is the most recent points-paying race winner at the track with Kyle Busch taking the checkered flag in last season’s Playoff race, but it was Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson who won the NASCAR All-Star race held at Texas Motor Speedway back in June. Below is a breakdown of Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series victories at Texas:

 

Roush Fenway Racing – Jeff Burton (Spring 1997), Mark Martin (1998), Matt Kenseth (Spring 2002, Spring 2011), Greg Biffle (2005, 2012), Carl Edwards (Playoffs 2005, 2008 sweep).

 

Hendrick Motorsports - Terry Labonte (Spring 1999), Jeff Gordon (Spring 2009), Jimmie Johnson (Playoffs 2007, Playoffs 2012, Playoffs 2013, Playoffs 2014, Spring 2015, Playoffs 2015, Spring 2017).

 

Joe Gibbs Racing – Tony Stewart (Playoffs 2006), Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep, Spring 2019), Kyle Busch (Spring 2010, Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Playoffs 2020), Carl Edwards (Playoffs 2016).

 

Next Gen Test at the Charlotte Road Course – The NASCAR Cup Series conducted and Next Gen car test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course on Monday and Tuesday of this week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. A total of 21 teams participated with 25 drivers sharing seat time during the test. 

 

For photos and audio from the press conferences during the test sessions please visit the Next Gen Car Content Hub at the following link on NASCARMedia.com: Next Gen Car Content Hub

 

And for unofficial speeds from the two days of testing please visit this link at NASCAR.com

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

AJ Allmendinger Remains Undefeated at Charlotte Road Course; Xfinity Playoffs Round of 8 Confirmed

AJ Allmendinger has made three starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, including on Saturday for the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and he has won all three of the races.

 

He won his third straight race at the 2.32-mile, 17-turn road course and clinched his spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. The win was his fifth of the season and 10th of his career. Winning for the sixth time on a road course, Allmendinger is now the winningest Xfinity Series driver on road courses in the series.

 

Saturday’s race was also the final chance for drivers to make their way into the Round of 8. Four drivers – Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements, and Riley Herbst – were eliminated from the Playoffs.

 

This weekend, the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 on Saturday, October 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). The race marks the first of the Round of 8. The series heads to Kansas Speedway after Texas and then to Martinsville Speedway to decide the Championship 4.

 

The race will be 300 miles and 200 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 45 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 90.

 

Metric Qualifying set the field for this weekend and AJ Allmendinger will lead the field to green with Austin Cindric joining him on the front row. Hemric, Haley, Gragson, Allgaier, Jones and Harrison Burton will make up the top eight starting positions.

 

Xfinity Facts and Figures: Texas Motor Speedway Edition

There is not time to cool off for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs this weekend in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 on Saturday, October 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio as the Round of 8 is about to get underway.

 

There have been 41 Xfinity Series races at Texas Motor Speedway. The first Xfinity Series race took place on April 5, 1997 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin.

 

There have been 24 different pole winners and 21 different race winners in the 41 Xfinity races at Texas Motor Speedway. Erik Jones holds the record for the youngest pole winner at 18 years, nine months, 11 days in 2015. Mark Martin holds the record as the oldest pole winner at 47 years, nine months, 26 days in 2006.

 

Only six races in history have been won from the pole or first starting position and most recently, Ryan Blaney won from the pole in 2018.

 

Kyle Busch holds the race record at Texas Motor Speedway from April 5, 2008, at 151.707 mph. Jeff Green holds the qualifying record from April 6, 2002 at 193.493 mph.

 

In the most recent race at the Fort Worth, Texas track in June, there were 40 cars in the field with 14 lead changes and eight different leaders. There were 10 cautions for 52 laps and 26 cars finished on the lead lap. Thirty-two cars were running at the finish and 94 laps were led by the race winner, Kyle Busch.

 

The Margin of Victory was 0.433 seconds. The largest Margin of Victory in track history was 5.561 seconds in 2019 and the smallest was in 2007 at 0.128 seconds.

 

Kyle Busch leads the Xfinity Series in most stat categories at Texas. He has the most poles (four), most wins (10), most top fives (17), most top 10s (18), most lead lap finishes (20), most laps completed (4,463) and most laps led (1,795).

 

Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones all got their first Xfinity Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway. Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin and David Ragan all got their first pole at the track, too.

 

Scouting the 2021 Round of 8 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at Texas
This weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway will kick off the Round of 8 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. All eight drivers will be fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round – with only three chances to do so at Texas, Kansas, and Martinsville. Currently, there are no drivers locked into the Championship 4 but let’s take a look at the Playoff drivers stats at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has made seven starts at Texas, with his first start coming in 2018. In his seven career starts, he has one win (2020), five top fives, six top 10s and has led 106 laps. He has an average start of 8.7 and an average finish of 4.9. Most recently, he finished third earlier this season at the track after starting fourth. In this race last season, he started seventh and finished fourth.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet and the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Champion will make only his second Xfinity Series start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. In his first start earlier this season, he started on the pole and ended up finishing sixth. He led eight of 171 laps.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will make his 23rd career start at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. His first start at the track was in 2008. In his 22 starts, he has three top fives and 11 top 10s. He has led 193 laps and has an average start of 12.5 and an average finish of 12.4. Most recently, he started 16th at the track earlier this season and finished runner-up.

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has made five starts at Texas. He has one top five and two top 10s in those starts. Most recently, he started 30th and finished seventh earlier in 2021. He has a best finish of runner-up in this exact race in 2020. He has led 56 laps and has an average start of 14.8 and an average finish of 16.4.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his sixth Xfinity start at Texas on Saturday. In his five starts, he has two top fives and three top 10s. Most recently, he started fifth earlier this season and finished fourth. He has led laps (94 total) in his last three starts. He has a best finish of third from 2018.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his fifth start this weekend at Texas. Burton won this race in 2020 after starting from the 12th position. Earlier this season, he started 18th but was involved in a wreck that forced him to finish 30th. He has one win, two top fives and three top 10s in his four starts at the track. He’s also led 43 laps. 

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has 11 starts to his name at Texas. He made his first start in 2016 and started ninth and finished ninth. Most recently, he started third and finished ninth in early 2021. He has two top fives and five top 10s in his 11 starts. He has a best finish of fourth in 2019. He’s led 47 laps and has an average start of 7.6 and an average finish of 17.4.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his sixth start at Texas on Saturday. He has four top 10s in those five starts. Most recently, he started second and finished ninth earlier this season. He has a beset finish of seventh (2019 and 2020) at the track. He has an average start of 12.8 and an average finish of 12.6.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Reset After the Road Course

The Round of 8 begins this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway where eight drivers will be fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round. Currently none of the eight drivers have clinched a spot in the final round.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones.

 

Heading into this weekend, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson are the four drivers above the cutline while Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones are the four below.

 

But, when it comes down to these final races in the season, those numbers can be shaken up fairly easy. If a driver has one bad race, they can find themselves going from above the cutline to below.

 

Allmendinger is 34 points above the cutline and has 50 Playoff points after his fifth win of the season at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course last weekend. He has the most comfortable points buffer of all the drivers as he’s ranked first in the standings. Cindric is 28 points above the cutline. But, from there, Allgaier is only five points above and Gragson is one point above.

 

Hemric is only one point below the cutline. Jones has the biggest deficit to fight back from as he is 14 points below the cutline in eighth, but as we know, anything can happen in the Playoffs.

 

All it takes is a win and you’re in – for all eight Playoff drivers.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Standings Post-Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course:

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

AJ Allmendinger

3,050

5

10

50

34

2

Austin Cindric

3,044

5

9

44

28

3

Justin Allgaier

3,021

2

3

21

5

4

Noah Gragson

3,017

2

3

17

1

5

Daniel Hemric

3,016

0

9

16

-1

6

Justin Haley

3,015

1

5

15

-2

7

Harrison Burton

3,008

0

2

8

-9

8

Brandon Jones

3,003

0

1

3

-14

9

Jeb Burton

2,082

1

1

9

Eliminated From The Playoffs

10

Myatt Snider

2,075

1

0

5

11

Jeremy Clements

2,046

0

0

0

12

Riley Herbst

2,037

0

0

1

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Big Machine Racing partnering with RCR in ’22: Big Machine Racing announced that it will return to the Xfinity Series in 2022 with Jade Buford as its driver and the team will also work with Richard Childress Racing in an enhanced partnership. Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta said, “To be able to join Richard Childress and the iconic RCR means we just put a turbocharger on our Big Machine Racing program. As a racer and fan, I’ve always looked up to Richard, all of his accomplishments and his organization. He’s a winner in the truest sense and I look forward to the day that we can share our first victory together.”

 

Michael Annett retiring from fulltime competition after ’21 season: Michael Annett announced that he will retire from full-time driving duties at the end of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Annett’s NASCAR career spans over 16 years, spending 11 of them in the Xfinity Series and three of them in the Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series. Annett’s first and only Xfinity Series career win, so far, came at Daytona International Speedway in the season-opener in 2019. He also won at Kentucky Speedway in 2008 in the Truck Series. Annett suffered from an injury in 2021, forcing him to miss a handful of races for JR Motorsports. Annett, 35, has competed in more than 430 races across all of NASCAR’s national series.

 

Creed announced ’22 sponsorship: Sheldon Creed and Richard Childress Racing announced earlier this season that Creed would pilot the No. 2 Chevrolet for the team in 2022. RCR and Creed also announced that Whelen Engineering, Inc., a global leader in the emergency warning industry, will be the primary partner for Creed’s rookie year in the No. 2 for the full season.

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Martinsville Speedway awaits penultimate Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race

After a wild NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway that granted Tate Fogleman his first career victory, the series has three weekends to regroup before heading to Martinsville Speedway for the penultimate race of the season, the United Rentals 200 (Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASDCAR Radio) to decide who advances to the Championship 4 Round. 

 

With the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 being won by non-Playoff drivers – Christian Eckes at Las Vegas and Tate Fogleman at Talladega – none of the eight postseason contenders have secured a spot in the Championship 4 Round – which is the second-time since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016 none of the Championship 4 drivers are locked-in heading into the Round of 8 elimination race; joining 2019.

 

Martinsville Speedway had participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016. Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different spots on the postseason schedule. From 2016-2018 Martinsville hosted the fourth race of the Playoffs, in 2019 it hosted the fifth race and last season it hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs – the same event as this year.

 

The 2021 season marks just the second-time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2020-2021). Martinsville Speedway is the second track to host the Round of 8 elimination race in Playoffs joining Phoenix Raceway (2016-2019).

 

The sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has produced five different winners in as many races (2016-2020). Only once has a non-Playoff driver won the sixth race in the seven-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and that was Daniel Suarez in 2016, who had elected to run for the title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that season. The last four winners in the sixth race of the Truck Playoffs catapulted them into the Championship 4 Round.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Race No. 6 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Phoenix

Stewart Friesen

Friday, November 8, 2019

22

Phoenix

Brett Moffitt

Friday, November 9, 2018

22

Phoenix

Johnny Sauter

Friday, November 10, 2017

22

Phoenix

Daniel Suarez

Friday, November 11, 2016

22

 

 

The five Playoff races Martinsville Speedway has hosted have produced four different winners, led by ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter with two postseason victories at the half-mile track (2016, 2018).

 

Martinsville Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

21

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 27, 2018

20

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

20

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 29, 2016

20

 

Of the Playoff contenders this season, Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is the only former series winner that has won the sixth race in the Playoffs to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round. He accomplished the feat in 2019 with a win at Phoenix.

 

The winner of the sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once – Brett Moffitt accomplished the feat in 2018. Moffitt won at Phoenix Raceway in the penultimate event and then won again in Homestead-Miami for the championship finale to secure the title.

 

The winner of the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once as well – Johnny Sauter accomplished the feat in 2016. Sauter won at Martinsville Speedway, then the fourth race in the postseason, and then went on to win the championship later that season.

 

This year’s Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race will be 200 laps (105.2 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 50 laps each and the final stage will be 100 laps. ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of this event. 

 

Clinch Scenarios: Wide open for the Championship 4 Round

With non-Playoff drivers taking the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8, the race for the Championship 4 Round is wide open and all eight drivers still have a shot at the coveted four spots.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 5th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton or Sheldon Creed.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 21 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 4th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All eight drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Talladega Superspeedway

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

John H. Nemechek (P)

3,105

5

11

50

36

2

Ben Rhodes (P)

3,104

2

2

19

35

3

Matt Crafton (P)

3,079

0

0

4

10

4

Sheldon Creed (P)

3,074

3

7

26

5

5

Stewart Friesen (P)

3,069

0

0

1

-5

6

Chandler Smith # (P)

3,040

1

1

6

-34

7

Carson Hocevar # (P)

3,037

0

0

2

-37

8

Zane Smith (P)

3,034

0

3

9

-40

9

Todd Gilliland

2,187

1

4

15

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Austin Hill

2,147

2

1

21

 

First-time winners a trend in Camping World Truck Series

Young’s Motorsports’ Tate Fogleman was the fifth different first-time winner this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his surprising win two weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Martin Truex Jr. (Bristol Dirt), Ryan Preece (Nashville), Chandler Smith (Bristol) and Christian Eckes (Las Vegas).

 

With Fogleman’s victory, the 2021 season becomes the third consecutive season and 14th overall (since 1995-Present) the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has produced five or more first-time winners in a single season. Every season since the inception of the series in 1995 has it produced at least one first-time winner. The 2012 season hold the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record for the most first-time winners in the series in a single season at nine.

 

Martinsville Speedway has been home to 11 different first-time winners in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the most recent was Todd Gilliland’s win in 2019.

 

First-Time Camping World Truck Winners at Martinsville Speedway

Track

First-Time Winners

Date

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Martinsville

Bubba Wallace

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martinsville

Timothy Peters

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martinsville

Bobby Labonte

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Martinsville

Ricky Craven

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Martinsville

Jamie McMurray

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Martinsville

Scott Riggs

Saturday, April 7, 2001

Martinsville

Bobby Hamilton

Monday, April 10, 2000

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8 contenders at Martinsville

When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Martinsville Speedway expect a lot of beaten and banging on the race track as a lot will be on the line. Below is a quick look at the Round of 8 challengers at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Rank

Driver

Races

Poles

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

DNFs

Average Finish

Driver Rating

1

John H. Nemechek

12

0

1

4

5

3

14.3

86.3

2

Ben Rhodes

10

2

0

3

5

0

10.8

93.2

3

Matt Crafton

37

1

2

10

21

2

10.8

98.3

4

Sheldon Creed

4

0

0

0

1

0

13.8

83.9

5

Stewart Friesen

7

1

0

1

4

0

11.3

86.5

7

Carson Hocevar

1

0

0

0

0

0

13.0

74.3

8

Zane Smith

1

0

0

1

1

0

3.0

124.9

NASCAR PR

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