GALLERY: XFINITY Playoff Picture After ROVAL
The NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs may seem like it just got started, but there is only one race remaining before the first round is complete. This weekend’s Bar Habor 200 at Dover International Speedway will eliminate four drivers, shortening the field of 12 to eight.
Here is how everyone stacks up heading into the Monster Mile.
1. Christopher Bell – Locked In
By scoring the victory in the opening race of the Round of 12 at Richmond Raceway, Christopher Bell had nothing to worry about last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, or this week at Dover International Speedway. However, if you’re curious, he scored a fourth-place finish in his lone start at the Monster Mile.
2. Daniel Hemric – +30
Daniel Hemric contended for the victory at Richmond, leading 35 laps en route to finishing third. Combined with his road course expertise and survival to a 10th-place finish at the ROVAL, the Richard Childress Racing driver is looking pretty good heading into this weekend.
In three starts at Dover, he has scored a pair of top-fives, including a third-place finish in May of this year.
3. Tyler Reddick – +21
Consistency is paying for Tyler Reddick with a seventh and ninth to give him a comfortable cushion entering this weekend. It is odd, though, to see him as the highest ranked JR Motorsports driver after being behind both Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier most of the season.
Reddick has ran well at Dover as well, scoring a fifth-place finish in May.
4. Cole Custer – +14
Not a strong as those ahead of him, Cole Custer has finished 15th and seventh in the first races of the Round of 12.
In three starts at Dover, he has no finishes outside of the top-13, with a track best fourth last season.
5. Matt Tifft – +13
Matt Tifft is keeping his efforts alive, thanks to a fifth and sixth the past two weeks.
In four starts at Dover, he has finished in the top-10 each time, with a track best sixth in October 2017.
6. Elliott Sadler – +11
After a strong run at Richmond with a sixth-place finish, Elliott Sadler did not contend like he would’ve hoped at the ROVAL with a 14th-place finish.
In 21 starts at Dover, he has scored four top-fives and 14 top-10’s, including a runner-up in May.
7. Justin Allgaier – +11
The regular season champion Justin Allgaier hasn’t had any luck during the playoffs, finishing 32nd at Richmond after a wreck, followed by a 15th at the ROVAL following a mid-race spin. If it wasn’t for the 15 bonus points along with three for each of his five victories, he would be one of the drivers on the outside looking in.
In 15 starts at Dover, he has scored five top-fives and eight top-10’s, including winning the race in May.
8. Ross Chastain – +9
Ross Chastain took the advantage of the Chip Ganassi Racing equipment to open the playoffs with a second at Richmond, and backed it up with a 12th-place finish with JD Motorsports at the ROVAL. Making the most of opportunities and getting everything ounce he can out of the cars provided to him could keep him alive for another round, which would make a huge accomplishment for a smaller funded team.
In seven starts at Dover, he has failed to post a top-10 finish, with his track best being 12th on two occasions.
9. Austin Cindric – -9
Austin Cindric didn’t open the playoffs well with a 13th at Richmond, but rebounded for a third at the ROVAL. However, having scored no bonus points entering the post-season unlike other competitors who’ve had similar results is showing with his current ranking.
In his first XFINITY Series start at Dover earlier this season, he finished ninth. A performance like that, along with some stage points, could be enough to leap frog his way above the cut-off line.
10. Ryan Truex – -24
Continuing the sub-par results of the season with an 11th and 16th in the first two races is showing with where Ryan Truex currently sits entering this weekend.
In five starts at Dover, he has scored one top-five and two top-10’s.
11. Ryan Reed – -25
With finishes of 10th and 11th, you could say that Ryan Reed hasn’t started off the playoffs too badly. However, a lack of earning stage points during the event or bonus points entering the post-season is showing.
In nine starts at Dover, he has scored one top-five and two top-10’s.
12. Brandon Jones – -28
Compared to his Richard Childress Racing teammates, Brandon Jones isn’t meeting the bar they are setting. He started off the playoffs with an eighth at Richmond, but placing 22nd last weekend at the ROVAL now has him almost in a must-win situation.
In five starts at Dover, he has scored only one top-10, which came in May with a 10th-place finish.
All Photos Courtesy of Nigel Kinrade Photography
EMAIL ASHLEY AT firstname.lastname@example.org
FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.