Wednesday, Dec 01

NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Kansas Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Hollywood Casino 400

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Sunday, October 24

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $7,972,577

TV: NBCSN, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 400.5 miles (267 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Kansas Lottery 300

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 23

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,638,185

TV: NBC, 2:45 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, 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

The Purse: $674,952

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

 

Kansas Speedway is set for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson became the first 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contender to secure their spot in the Championship 4 Round with his win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Now, the remaining seven Playoff challengers have just two chances left to compete for the final three spots; including this Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Remember, a Playoff driver can advance to Championship 4 Round on a win, but with only three races in the Round of 8, one driver is guaranteed to get in on points.

 

Kansas Speedway is the final 1.5-mile track on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. The paved oval boasts variable degree banking in the turns that fluctuate between 17-20 degrees.

 

Since the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs inception in 2004, Kansas Speedway has participated and played a pivotal role in the postseason occupying six different positions on the Playoff schedule through the years:

  • From 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Kansas Speedway hosted the fourth race in the Playoffs.
  • From 2006-2010 Kansas Speedway hosted the third race in the Playoffs.
  • From 2015 to 2016 Kansas Speedway hosted the fifth race of the postseason.
  • From 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kansas Speedway hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs.
  • In 2020, Kansas Speedway hosted the seventh race of the Playoffs.  

 

The 2021 season marks the first time Kansas Speedway has hosted the eighth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, the second race of the Round of 8. Kansas Speedway is the third different track to host the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (Race No. 34); joining Phoenix Raceway (2004) and Texas Motor Speedway (2005-2020).

 

A total of 12 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Kansas Speedway. Team Penske’s Joey Logano leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff wins at Kansas Speedway with three postseason victories (2014, 2015, 2020).  

 

NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winners

Date

Race No.

Kansas

Joe Nemechek

Sunday, October 10, 2004

30

Kansas

Mark Martin

Sunday, October 9, 2005

30

Kansas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 1, 2006

29

Kansas

Greg Biffle

Sunday, September 30, 2007

29

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 28, 2008

29

Kansas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 4, 2009

29

Kansas

Greg Biffle

Sunday, October 3, 2010

29

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2011

30

Kansas

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, October 21, 2012

32

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 6, 2013

30

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 5, 2014

30

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 16, 2016

31

Kansas

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 22, 2017

32

Kansas

Chase Elliott

Sunday, October 21, 2018

32

Kansas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 20, 2019

32

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2020

33

 

Twice the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway has gone on to win the title that same season: 

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won the Kansas Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from the pole, leading 124 laps, and then went on to win his third consecutive series title later that season. Kansas was the third race of the Playoffs in 2008. The Kansas win was the first of three Playoff wins en route to the 2008 title.

 

  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Kansas Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from the pole, leading 91 laps, and then went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. Kansas was the sixth race of the Playoffs in 2017. The Kansas win was the second of four Playoff victories en route to the championship in 2017.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway:

  • In 2004, Joe Nemechek won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas and was ranked 21st in the points at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2006, NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas and was 11th in points at the time of the victory.

 

  • In 2007, Greg Biffle won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas and was 14th in points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway by a driver that went on to win the championship later that same season was 15th by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart in 2011. Last season’s champion, Chase Elliott, finished sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway.

 

A total of eight different drivers have won the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (Race No. 34). Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff race No. 8 victories with five (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) – all at Texas Motor Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Playoff race No. 8 wins with three (2017, 2018, 2019) – again all at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 8 - Race Winners

Track

Race Winners

Date

Phoenix

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, November 7, 2004

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 eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the title later that same season – all three at Texas Motor Speedway: 

  • 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 of two postseason victories (Dover, Texas) in 2013.

 

The worst finish in the eighth NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race by a driver that went on to win the title:

  • At Texas Motor Speedway it was 38th by Jimmie Johnson in 2009.
  • At Phoenix Raceway it was 10th by Kurt Busch in 2004.

 

Last season’s champion, Chase Elliott, finished 20th in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway, the eighth race of the 2020 postseason. 

 

Four times a non-Playoff driver has won the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, all at Texas Motor Speedway:

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2014, Jimmie Johnson was 11th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the NASCAR Cup Series 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 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 16.

 

  • In 2020, Kyle Busch was ninth in points at the time of the win. Busch had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2020 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

Kansas Speedway’s NASCAR Cup Series Quick Facts

Groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999. The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA Menards Series race and an ARCA Menards Series West race on the same day – June 2.

 

The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway was on September 30, 2001 and the race was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet).

 

During the 2012 season, between the April and October events, the 1.5-mile track underwent a repave, adding variable banking in the corners (17 to 20 degrees).

 

In total, there have been 31 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011.

 

The 31 NASCAR Cup Series races have produced 16 different pole winners and Six of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway pole winners are active this weekend, led by Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick with five poles.

 

Active Kansas Pole Winners

Poles

Seasons

Kevin Harvick

5

2013, '14 sweep, '18, '19

Martin Truex Jr

2

2016, '17

Joey Logano

2

2015, '18

Ryan Blaney

1

2017

Brad Keselowski

1

2015

Kurt Busch

1

2011

 

This weekend’s starting lineup was decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result, Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson will start from the pole and Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney will join him on the front row. Six of the 31 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway (19.35%) have been won from the pole or first starting position; the most proficient starting spot in the field: Joe Nemechek (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2008), Matt Kenseth (spring 2013), Kevin Harvick (Playoffs 2013), Martin Truex Jr. (Playoffs 2017), Kevin Harvick (spring 2018).  Plus, eight of the 31 NASCAR Cup Series races have been won from the front row (25.8%). The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kansas Speedway is 25th, by Brad Keselowski in the spring of 2011.

 

Eight of the 15 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway winners are active this weekend.

 

Active Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Denny Hamlin

3

2012, '19, '20

Joey Logano

3

2014, '15, '20

Kevin Harvick

3

2013, '16, '18

Brad Keselowski

2

2011, '19

Kyle Busch

2

2016, '21

Martin Truex Jr

2

2017 sweep

Chase Elliott

1

2018

Ryan Newman

1

2003

 

Five drivers are tied for the all-time lead in wins in the NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway with three victories each: Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015), Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020) and Joey Logano (2014, 2015, 2020)

 

Team Penske’s Joey Logano is the most recent Playoff race winner at Kansas grabbing the victory last season. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch the most recent winner at Kansas collecting the win back in May.

 

Kyle Larson is the first of the 2021 Championship 4

With the most wins (eight) this season and his Championship 4 Round bid locked-up already, Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson is no surprise the frontrunner for the NASCAR Cup Series title this season.

 

It’s the first time the Californian has qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Championship 4 Round which will guarantee his best career finish in the final standings; which until this year was sixth in 2019.

 

Plus, with three races left in the season Larson has the opportunity to etch his name alongside some of the greatest to ever compete in the series if he can reach double digit wins in a single season. Currently with eight victories this year, if Larson reaches 10 or more wins this season, he will become just the 11th different NASCAR Cup Series driver in the Modern Era (1972-Present) to accomplish the feat. He would also become just the second driver alongside Jimmie Johnson (10 wins, 2007) since 2000 to do it and the only active driver to achieve it scrubbing Kevin Harvick’s current record of most wins in a Cup season among active drivers at nine wins in 2020.

 

Larson has made 13 series starts at this weekend’s track Kansas Speedway posting three top fives and five top 10s. He finished 19th after starting 32nd at Kansas earlier this season.

 

Clinch Scenarios at Kansas Speedway

Looking to this weekend at Kansas Speedway, seven drivers are vying for three spots as Kyle Larson’s win last weekend at Texas has secured him one of the four positions in the Championship 4 Round. Interestingly, six of the seven Playoff contenders looking for Championship 4 spot are former NASCAR Cup Series Kanas Speedway winners.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round: Kyle Larson.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 3rd winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ryan Blaney or Denny Hamlin.

  • Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help
  • Denny Hamlin: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Kyle Busch or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 2nd winless driver in the standings.

  • Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Via Win

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

 

Playoff Bubble: Seven drivers fighting for three spots

Only two races left in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8; including this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Below is a look at the seven Playoff drivers not locked into the Championship 4 Round at Kansas Speedway.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Texas Motor Speedway

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Kyle Larson (P)

4,123

8

16

65

In On Wins

2

Ryan Blaney (P)

4,072

3

4

24

17

3

Denny Hamlin (P)

4,064

2

10

30

9

4

Kyle Busch (P)

4,063

2

7

23

8

5

Chase Elliott (P)

4,055

2

4

22

-8

6

Brad Keselowski (P)

4,048

1

2

8

-15

7

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

4,041

4

5

29

-22

8

Joey Logano (P)

4,020

1

5

13

-43

9

Kevin Harvick

2,248

0

0

2

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Christopher Bell

2,198

1

0

5

11

Kurt Busch

2,196

1

3

8

12

Tyler Reddick

2,192

0

3

3

13

William Byron

2,183

1

3

14

14

Aric Almirola

2,136

1

0

5

15

Alex Bowman

2,135

3

0

15

16

Michael McDowell

2,107

1

0

5

 

Ryan Blaney has made 13 series starts at Kansas posting three top fives and six top 10s.

 

Denny Hamlin has made 26 series starts at Kansas posting three wins, eight top fives and nine top 10s.

 

Kyle Busch has made 27 series starts at Kansas posting two wins, nine top fives, and 13 top 10s.

 

Chase Elliott has made 11 series starts at Kansas posting one win, five top fives and seven top 10s.

 

Brad Keselowski has made 23 series starts at Kansas posting two wins, seven top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

Martin Truex Jr. has made 26 series starts at Kansas posting two wins, nine top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

“It’s obviously not the position you want to be in, but we’re not out of it,” said Truex. “We have two shots to win at tracks we’ve had success in the past. There’s an outside chance of making it on points, but you can’t count on that with how strong the teams we are racing are. At the end of the day, I’m not going to give up and our team isn’t going to give up, so we’re going to do all that we can these next two weeks and see what happens.”

 

Joey Logano has made 24 series starts at Kansas posting three wins, eight top fives and nine top 10s.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Parker Kligerman to make first Cup start since 2019 – NBC Sports pit reporter and part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Parker Kligerman will be piloting the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota this weekend in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway for the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2019. Kligerman made his series track debut at Kansas Speedway in 2019 where he started 32nd and finished 29th. But he does have a win at the 1.5-mile track in the ARCA Menards Series in 2009.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 team scores 10th win of the season, Championship 4 still up for grabs

It was another win by a non-Playoff driver last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, when John Hunter Nemechek took the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota to Victory Lane giving the team its series leading 10th win of the season. Nemechek overcame a late-race pit road penalty and charged through the field to hold off the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff drivers fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round.

 

Nemechek currently runs fulltime in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and is currently a Playoff driver in that series but got behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the first time this season. The win marked the second of his Xfinity Series career and he joined Ty Gibbs, Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch as a winner in the No. 54.

 

Nemechek’s JGR teammate, Daniel Hemric finished runner-up in the No. 18 Toyota followed by Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Michael Annett and Brandon Jones. All of the eight Playoff drivers finished in the top-10 at Texas.

 

This weekend, the series heads to Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 23 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This will be the first visit to the track for the series since 2020 when Chase Briscoe was victorious.

 

The starting lineup for this weekend’s Xfinity Series race was set by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hemric will lead the field to green with Cindric joining him on the front row. Allgaier, Gragson, Allmendinger, Haley, Harrison Burton, Annett, Jones and Ty Gibbs will make up the starting 10 positions.

 

The race will be 300 miles (200 laps) and will be broken up into three stages with the first stage ending on Lap 45 and the second stage ending on Lap 90.

 

Xfinity Facts and Figures: Kansas Speedway Edition

Kansas Speedway is up next for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs with the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 23 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Xfinity Series heads to the 1.5-mile track for the first time this season.

 

There have been 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Kansas Speedway producing 16 different race winner and 15 different pole winners. Only two Xfinity races at Kansas have ever been won from the pole or first starting position and the most recent was in 2016 by Kyle Busch.

 

Parker Kligerman holds the record as the youngest pole winner at 19 years, one month and 25 days in 2009. Matt Kenseth is the oldest pole winner in history at 43 years, seven months, seven days in 2015.

 

Joey Logano holds the record as the youngest winner in Kansas Xfinity Series history at 19 years, four months, nine days in 2009 and former series champion David Green is the oldest Kansas winner in history at 45 years, eight months, six days from 2003.

 

Christopher Bell holds the race record from 2017 at 141.158 mph and Kenseth also holds the qualifying record from 2015 at 184.906 mph.

 

Last season, there were 36 cars in the field with 10 lead changes and six different leaders. There were 10 cautions for 45 laps. There were 14 cars running on the lead lap and only 29 cars were running at the finish. Race winner Chase Briscoe led 159 laps and the Margin of Victory was 1.199 seconds.

 

Kyle Busch’s name is at the top of a lot of lists at Kansas Speedway for the Xfinity Series. He has the most wins (4), most top fives (8), most top 10s (10), most lead lap finishes (10), most laps completed (2,344) and most laps led (544).

 

Brandon Jones is the only active driver with a win in the last five races at Kansas. He won in 2019 and in 2020. His win in 2019 was the first of his career.

 

Exploring the 2021 Round of 8 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at Kansas
This weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway will be the second race of the Round of 8 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. All eight drivers are still fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round – with only three chances to do so beginning last weekend at Texas, Kansas this weekend, and Martinsville on Halloween weekend. Currently, there are no drivers locked into the Championship 4 Round so let’s take a look at the driver performances at Kansas Speedway.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has made four starts at Kansas Speedway in his Xfinity Series career. His first start was in 2019 and he started fourth and finished 39h due a to a crash on the opening lap of the race. Most recently, the series visited Kansas in 2020 and Cindric started second but finished 28th after being involved in another incident. He has a best finish of runner-up from the spring Kansas race in 2020. He has an average start of 3.3 and an average finish of 23.5.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will visit Kansas Speedway for the second time of his Xfinity Series career and the first time since 2007. He made his first and only start at Kansas in 2007 and started eighth but finished 25th.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will make his 12th Kansas Speedway start on Saturday. His first start at the track came in 2009 when he started 18th and finished sixth. He has three top fives and eight top 10s in his 11 starts at the track. He has an average start and finish of 10.7. Most recently, he finished 10th in this race last season. 

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has made three Xfinity Series starts at Kansas Speedway. In those three starts, he has a best finish of 13th from his first start in 2019. Most recently, he started on the pole in 2020 and finished 36th after being involved in an incident. He has an average start of 7.0 and an average finish of 21.3.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his fifth start at Kansas on Saturday. He has two top fives and three top 10s in his previous four starts and has led 128 total laps. He has an average start of 5.8 and an average finish of 7.3. Most recently, he started third and finished runner-up at this race in 2020.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has made three Xfinity Series starts at Kansas Speedway. He has one top five and one top 10 in those three starts with a best finish of third in the spring Kansas race in 2020. Most recently, he started 18th in this race in 2020 and finished 11th. 

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his seventh Xfinity Series start at Kansas on Saturday. His first came in 2016. Kansas has been good to Jones in the past as he has two wins, two top fives and four top 10s. He won this race in 2019 and he won the spring race at Kansas in 2020. Most recently, he started fifth and finished ninth in this race in the 2020 season. He has an average start of 6.7 and an average finish of 11.0. He’s led 20 total laps at Kansas.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his fourth start at Kansas this weekend. He has one top five and three top 10s at the track, meaning he has never finished outside of the top-10 in all three of his starts. He has an average start of 11.0 and an average finish of 5.7. His best finish came last season in this race when he started ninth and finished fourth.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Following the Yellow Brick Road

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Round of 8 began last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway but with a non-Playoff driver winning the event, all eight drivers in the Playoffs are still fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round this weekend at Kansas Speedway. 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 Points

If a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fourth winless driver in the standings. The same points requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric or Justin Allgaier.

 

  • AJ Allmendinger: Could only clinch with help
  • Austin Cindric: Could only clinch with help
  • Justin Allgaier: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Noah Gragson or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the third winless driver in the standings.

 

  • AJ Allmendinger: Could only clinch with help
  • Austin Cindric: Could only clinch with help

 

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.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Standings Post-Kansas:

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

AJ Allmendinger

3,090

5

10

50

30

2

Austin Cindric

3,086

5

10

44

26

3

Justin Allgaier

3,064

2

3

21

4

4

Noah Gragson

3,062

2

3

17

2

5

Daniel Hemric

3,060

0

9

16

-2

6

Justin Haley

3,056

1

5

15

-6

7

Harrison Burton

3,041

0

2

8

-21

8

Brandon Jones

3,030

0

1

3

-32

9

Jeb Burton

2,115

1

1

9

Eliminated From The Playoffs

10

Myatt Snider

2,091

1

0

5

11

Riley Herbst

2,067

0

0

1

12

Jeremy Clements

2,057

0

0

0

 

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. When the series was heading to Texas last weekend, the standings looked very similar to the way they do now.

 

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 30 points above the cutline and has 50 Playoff points and five wins this season. He has the most comfortable points buffer of all the drivers as he’s ranked first in the standings. Cindric is 26 points above the cutline. But, from there, Allgaier is only four points above and Gragson is two points above.

 

Hemric is only two points below the cutline and Jones has the biggest deficit to fight back from as he is now 32 points below the cutline in eighth, but as we know, anything can happen in the Playoffs, especially as we head to a track that Jones is very good at and has two wins at.

 

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

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: Gibbs leading the way

It’s been a back-and-forth between rookies Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry for the entire 2021 season in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

 

Currently, Gibbs leads the standings with nine awards and 589 points. So far this season, Gibbs has competed in 16 of 31 events and has three wins, eight top fives, nine top 10s and one pole award, impressive numbers for a rookie who also won in his first ever Xfinity Series start at the Daytona Road Course in February.

 

Josh Berry has competed in 21 of 31 events this season and has two wins, six top five and 14 top 10s. Berry was running a part-time schedule for JR Motorsports but has filled in for an injured Michael Annett for a few races as well as. He is second in the rookie standings right now with eight awards and 525 points, 64 points behind Gibbs.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Rookie

Points

Awards

Ty Gibbs

589

9

Josh Berry

525

8

Jade Buford

284

3

Ryan Vargas

272

4

Sam Mayer

250

5

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Nick Sanchez to make Xfinity Series debut with BHMM in ’22: BJ McLeod Motorsports announced that ARCA Menards Series driver Nick Sanchez will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with team owner BJ McLeod for several races in 2022. Sanchez, a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, is coming up from a full-time season in the ARCA Menards Series where he’s earned eight top fives and 12 top 10s in 2021. Additional details including partners and a schedule for Sanchez will be announced at a later date.

 

Brandon Jones returning to JGR in ’22: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Brandon Jones will return to the team full-time in 2022 behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota Supra. Jeff Meendering will also return as his crew chief. Menards will also return as the primary sponsor and will expand its longtime support of Jones with a full season of sponsorship for all 33 races in 2022.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Martinsville Speedway awaits penultimate Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race

After a crazy NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway that granted Tate Fogleman his first career victory, the series has just one weekend left 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 NASCAR 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 as it all comes down to final race of the round at Martinsville Speedway.

 

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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