XFINITY Race Preview: Charlotte

XFINITY Series

Elliott Sadler and Cole Custer currently are third and fourth, respectively, in the playoff standings. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Entry List | Schedule of Events | Driver Averages | Driver Stats 

NASCAR XFINITY Series news, notes and fast facts in advance of Saturday's Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Radio: PRN, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: NBCSN, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Race Distance: 300 miles (200 laps)
Stage Lengths: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)

Races: 71
Pole Winners: 46
Youngest Pole Winner: Chase Elliott (10/10/2014 - 18 years, 10 months, 12 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Harry Gant (10/8/1988 - 48 years, 8 months, 28 days)
Race Winners: 34
Youngest Race Winner: Kyle Busch (5/29/2004 - 19 years, 0 months, 27 days)
Oldest Race Winner: Harry Gant (10/5/1991 - 51 years, 8 months, 25 days)
Races Won from Pole: 11
Last Race Won from Pole: Austin Dillon (10/9/2015)
Race Record: Mark Martin - 155.799 mph (5/25/1996)
Qualifying Record: Jimmie Johnson - 187.735 mph (10/14/2005)

  Last Race Most/Largest Fewest/Smallest
Cars: 40 45 (10/8/1994) 40 - 12 Times (9/29/2018)
Lead Changes: 12 26 (10/6/1984) 4 (5/25/1991)
Leaders: 7 12 (5/27/2006) 4 - 6 Times (10/6/2001)
Cautions: 12 14 (10/14/2005) 1 (5/25/1996)
Caution Laps: 52 67 (10/14/2005) 6 (5/25/1996)
Lead Lap Finish: 30 30 (5/27/2017) 1 (5/24/1986)
Running at the Finish: 34 37 - 2 Times (5/24/2014)  18 (10/10/1987)
Laps Led (Winner): 107 194 (10/4/1986) 1 (5/26/1990)
Margin of Victory*: 0.244 24.074 (9/17/2011) 0.055 (5/26/2001)

*Since 1993 (advent of digital timing and scoring); does not include races completed under caution

Round Of 12 Cutoff Race: Last Chance For Contenders To Move On In The Playoffs
As the Round of 12 of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs comes to a close this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, time is of the essence for the 12 contenders to either win their way into the next round or score as many points as possible to secure a spot. Below is the current NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff standings heading into this weekend for Saturday's Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Rank

Driver

Points

Leader

Cutoff

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

1

Justin Allgaier

2,107

0

54

2

3

23

2

William Byron

2,104

-3

51

3

3

26

3

Elliott Sadler

2,094

-13

41

0

5

20

4

Cole Custer

2,093

-14

40

0

2

7

5

Daniel Hemric

2,090

-17

37

0

2

9

6

Brennan Poole

2,082

-25

29

0

0

6

7

Matt Tifft

2,067

-40

14

0

0

4

8

Ryan Reed

2,055

-52

2

1

0

5

9

Brendan Gaughan

2,053

-54

-2

0

1

3

10

Michael Annett

2,048

-59

-7

0

0

1

11

Blake Koch

2,043

-64

-12

0

2

5

12

Jeremy Clements

2,035

-72

-20

1

0

5

Playoff Contenders In Position To Advance To The Round Of 8

Eight drivers are currently in position to move on to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs Round of 8. Below is a quick look each driver’s performance at Charlotte and what they will need to do to advance this weekend.

 

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) currently holds the Playoff standings lead with 2,107 Points; 54 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings).  Allgaier can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 on points with 3 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 1 point scored.  He can also clinch a spot with a win this weekend. Allgaier has made 14 series starts at Charlotte, posting three top fives, eight top 10s and an average finish of 11.8.

 

William Byron (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) is second in the Playoff standings following Dover with 2,104 points; 51 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Byron can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 on points this weekend with 7 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 5 points. Byron can also clinch a spot in the next round with a win this weekend. Byron made his series track debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this season; he started 13th and finished 14th.

 

Elliott Sadler (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) sits third in the Playoff standings with 2,094 points; 41 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Sadler can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend on points with 17 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 15 points.  He can also advance with a win this weekend. Sadler has made 21 series starts at Charlotte, posting five top fives, nine top 10s and an average finish of 17.1.

 

Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) sits fourth in the Playoff standings with 2,093 points; 40 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Custer can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend on points with 18 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 16 points. He can also advance to the next round with a win this weekend. Custer has made two series starts at Charlotte, posting one top five and two top 10s. His average finish at Charlotte is 5.5.

 

Daniel Hemric (No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) is currently fifth in the Playoff standings following Dover with 2,090 points; 37 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Hemric can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend on points with 21 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 19 points. Hemric can also advance to the next round with a win this weekend. Hemric made his series track debut at Charlotte earlier this season; he started fourth and finished 13th. 

 

Brennan Poole (No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) is sixth in the Playoff standings with 2,082 points; 29 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Poole can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend on points with 28 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 26 points. Poole can also clinch a spot in the next round with a win this weekend. Poole has made four starts at Charlotte, posting two top 10s and an average finish of 14.0.

 

Matt Tifft (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) is currently seventh in the Playoff standing with 2,067 points; just 14 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Tifft can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend on points with 44 points and a new winner, otherwise he would clinch on points with 42 points.  Tifft can also advance to the next round with a win this weekend. Tifft has made two series starts at Charlotte posting one top 10 and an average finish of 17.0.

 

Ryan Reed (No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford) is currently in the eighth and final transfer spot of the Round of 12 Playoff standings with 2,055 points; just two points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the first cutoff spot (ninth in the standings). Reed’s best chance to clinch a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend is with a win. Otherwise, he can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 on points with 53 points.  He could also clinch on points with a new winner and help. Reed has made eight series starts at Charlotte posting an average finish of 13.9.

Contenders Outside Playoff Cutoff And Looking In

Charlotte Motor Speedway is the host of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff Round of 12 cutoff race, making this weekend an ‘all or nothing’ scenario for the following Playoff contenders that are currently outside the cutoff to advance to the next round. Below is a quick look at what they will need to do to advance to the Round of 8, and their series career performance at Charlotte.

 

Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) is currently the first Playoff contender outside the cutoff to advance to the Round of 8, in ninth, with 2,053 points. Gaughan is only two points behind eighth-place Ryan Reed in the final transfer position.  Gaughan can advance with a win, but can only clinch on points with help. Gaughan has made 11 series starts at Charlotte posting one top five, three top 10s and an average finish of 14.4. He finished ninth at Charlotte earlier this season.

 

Michael Annett (No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) sits 10th in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff standings with 2,048 points; seven points behind eighth-place Ryan Reed. Annett can advance to the Round of 8 with a win, but can only clinch on points with help. Annett has made 11 series starts at Charlotte posting two top 10s and an average finish of 20.0.

 

Blake Koch (No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet) is 11th in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff standings with 2,043 points; 12 points behind eighth-place Ryan Reed in the final transfer position. Koch can advance to the Round of 8 with a win, but will need help to clinch on points.  Koch has made eight series starts at Charlotte posting an average finish of 23.9. Koch posted his career-best finish at Charlotte (12th) in last season’s Playoff race, ultimately advancing him to the next round.

 

Jeremy Clements (No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet) is currently ranked 12th in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff standings with 2,035 points; 20 points behind eighth-place Ryan Reed in the final transfer position. Clements is not out of it yet, he can advance with a win, and still could clinch on points with help. Clements has made 18 series starts at Charlotte posting an average finish of 21.8.

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.:

 

Angela Ruch Returns: Angela Ruch is the only female competitor to make a start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season, and is returning this weekend to attempt to qualify for the Drive for the Cure 300. It will be her third start of the season for B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the No. 78 Chevrolet. Though Ruch’s average finish is a 31.0, in each of her first two starts at Kentucky earlier this season she has posted positive place differentials of +10 and +3. Ruch is one of seven women all-time to compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series; the other six female competitors were Patty Moise, Danica Patrick, Johanna Long, Shawna Robinson, Jennifer Jo Cobb and Tammy Jo Kirk.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings Update Following Dover: William Byron holds the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings lead with 286 points, and has a 40-point gap between himself and Daniel Hemric in second with 246 points. Cole Custer is currently third in the rookie standings with 229 points; followed by Matt Tifft (200), Spencer Gallagher (137) and Ben Kennedy (134). This weekend the rookies will showcase their skills at Charlotte where Custer leads the young pack with an average finish of 5.5; followed by Hemric (13.0), Byron (14.0), Tifft (17.0), Kennedy (25.0) and Gallagher (30.0).

 

Monster Energy Drivers To Watch For: This weekend there will be eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers attempting to qualify for the Drive for the Cure 300  – Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Reed Sorenson, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Corey LaJoie, and Alex Bowman are all entered. Ryan Blaney will looking to make it two in a row after winning at Dover last weekend. The Drive for the Cure 300 will be Alex Bowman’s series season debut this weekend, and his team debut with Chip Ganassi Racing; driving the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.


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