XFINITY Race Preview: Kansas

William Byron

Top-seeded William Byron heads to Kansas Speedway for the opening race in the semifinal round of the 2017 XFINITY Series Playoffs. (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 Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.

Radio: MRN, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: NBC, 3 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: 16
Pole Winners: 12
Youngest Pole Winner: Parker Kligerman (10/3/2009 - 19 years, 1 month, 25 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Matt Kenseth (10/17/2015 - 43 years, 7 months, 7 days)
Race Winners: 12
Youngest Race Winner: Joey Logano (10/3/2009 - 19 years, 4 months, 9 days)
Oldest Race Winner: David Green (10/4/2003 - 45 years, 8 months, 6 days)
Races Won from Pole: 2
Last Race Won from Pole: Kyle Busch (10/15/2016)
Race Record: Jeff Green - 129.125 mph (9/29/2001)
Qualifying Record: Kenseth - 184.906 mph (10/17/2015)

  Last Race Most/Largest Fewest/Smallest
Cars: 40 43 - 12 Times(10/20/2012) 40 - 4 Times (10/15/2016)
Lead Changes: 17 21 (10/2/2010) 7 (10/17/2015)
Leaders: 7 15 (9/28/2002) 2 (10/17/2015)
Cautions: 10 12 (10/20/2012) 5 (9/29/2001)
Caution Laps: 51 51 - 2 Times(10/15/2016) 29 (9/29/2001)
Lead Lap Finish: 13 24 (10/2/2010) 10 (10/4/2014)
Running at the Finish: 31 36 - 2 Times (10/2/2010) 22 (10/20/2012)
Laps Led (Winner): 150 173 (10/8/2011) 4 (10/3/2009)
Margin of Victory*: 4.025 4.025 (10/15/2016) 0.03 (10/8/2005)

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

With an exhilarating Round of 12 completed in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, the remaining title contenders have turned their attention to the Round of 8. Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway are the three tracks that make up the round, and the Playoff drivers that win the next three races, or are in the top four on the leaderboard at the conclusion of the race at Phoenix, will advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Below are the seedings for the eight drivers who advanced to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs:

Rank

Driver

Points

Leader

Cutoff

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

1

William Byron

3,026

0

19

3

3

26

2

Justin Allgaier

3,023

-3

16

2

3

23

3

Elliott Sadler

3,020

-6

13

0

5

20

4

Daniel Hemric

3,009

-17

2

0

2

9

5

Cole Custer

3,007

-19

-2

0

2

7

6

Brennan Poole

3,006

-20

-3

0

0

6

7

Ryan Reed

3,005

-21

-4

1

0

5

8

Matt Tifft

3,004

-22

-5

0

0

4

2016 Playoff Race Quick Recap: Last season’s Playoff race at Kansas Speedway was won by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Busch led 150 laps of the 200 lap of the event. It was his third consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Kansas Speedway. Busch leads the series in wins at Kanas with four wins. The highest finishing 2016 Playoff contender in the event was Elliott Sadler, who finished second.  Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez were tied for the Playoff points lead after the 2016 Kansas race.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff Contenders: Round Of 8

The tension continues to heighten with each round in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs. Below is a look at the eight drivers who are still in contention for a title this weekend:

William Byron (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 as the No. 1 seed with 3,026 points. During the Round of 12, he posted one top five and an average finish of 12.3. Byron also accumulated 35 stage points in the Round of 12 – the series-most. Byron will be making his series debut at Kansas this weekend, a track he won at last season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.7 (third-best)
  • Three wins, nine top fives, 18 top 10s and two poles
  • Led 228 laps
  • Average Finish of 11.2 

    Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 as the second seed with 3,023 points. During the Round of 12, he posted two top fives and an average finish of 12.7. Allgaier also accumulated 22 stage points in the Round of 12 – the fifth-most in the series. Allgaier has made six series starts at Kansas, posting one top five, four top 10s and an average finish of 8.3. He started fifth and finished 14th in last season’s Playoff race.

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.6 (second-best)
  • Two wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s and one pole
  • Led 495 laps
  • Average Finish of 13.5

    Elliott Sadler (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 as the third seed with 3,020 points. During the Round of 12, he posted three top 10s and an average finish of 8.3. Sadler has made seven series starts at Kansas, posting three top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 11.4. In last season’s Kansas Playoff race, he started eighth and finished second. 

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.4 (series-best)
  • 11 top fives, 22 top 10s and one pole
  • Led 123 laps
  • Average Finish of 9.4

    Daniel Hemric (No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 as the fourth seed with 3,009 points. During the Round of 12, he posted three top 10s and an average finish of 6.0 – second-best. Hemric also accumulated 29 stage points in the Round of 12 – the third-most in the series. Hemric will be making his series debut at Kansas this weekend, a track he finished third at in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last season.

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.7 (sixth-best)
  • Six top fives, 15 top 10s and one pole
  • Led 70 laps
  • Average Finish of 12.6

    Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) starts the Round of 8 as the fifth seed with 3,007 points. During the Round of 12, he posted one top five, three top 10s and an average finish of 6.3. Custer also accumulated 32 stage points in the Round of 12 – the second-most in the series. Last season, Custer made his series track debut at Kansas with JR Motorsports; he started 19th and finished 35th due to an incident.

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.4 (fifth-best)
  • Five top fives and 16 top 10s
  • Led 119 laps
  • Average Finish of 14.1

    Brennan Poole (No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 as the sixth seed with 3,006 points. During the Round of 12, he posted three top fives (most among Playoff contenders) and an average finish of 4.0 – series-best. Poole has made two series starts at Kanas, posting one top-10 finish. In last season’s Playoff race at Kansas, he started 12th and finished seventh. 

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.5 (seventh-best)
  • Four top fives, 15 top 10s and one pole
  • Led 14 laps
  • Average Finish of 13.2

    Ryan Reed (No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford) starts the Round of 8 as the seventh seed with 3,005 points. During the Round of 12, he posted one top 10 and an average finish of 12.7. Reed has made three series starts at Kansas, posting an average finish of 15.0. In last season’s Playoff race at Kansas, he started 22nd and finished 16th.

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 76.7 (ninth-best)
  • One win, two top fives and six top 10s
  • Led 16 laps
  • Average Finish of 18.0

    Matt Tifft (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) starts the Round of 8 as the eighth seed with 3,004 points. During the Round of 12, he posted three top 10s and an average finish of 8.0. Tifft will be making his series track debut this weekend at Kansas, though he is no stranger to the 1.5-mile track. He made two starts there in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, posting a best finish of 14th last season.  

    2017 Performance Stats Rundown

  • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.6 (eighth-best)
  • Two top fives and 10 top 10s
  • Led 11 laps
  • Average Finish of 14.3

NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.

Christopher Bell Hopes To Play Spoiler at Kansas: The recently announced full-time Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR XFINITY Series driver for 2018, Christopher Bell, is looking to win this weekend at Kansas Speedway and play the spoiler. Series Playoff contenders need a win to advance to Championship 4, but Bell, a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports, is not going for the NXS title this season, and therefore showcasing his skills and getting his first series win are all that matters to upcoming star from Norman, Oklahoma. Bell has made four NASCAR XFINITY Series starts this season for JGR, posting a pole, a top five, two top 10s and an average finish of 11.2. This will be his series track debut at Kansas this Saturday.  

Jennifer Jo Cobb Returns To NASCAR XFINITY Series: BJ McCleod Motorsports will have NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb behind the wheel this weekend as she will attempt to make her series season debut at Kansas Speedway. Cobb will become the second female competitor to make a start this season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series alongside Angela Ruch, who made three starts for BJ McCleod Motorsports earlier this year. Jennifer Jo Cobb is from Kansas City, Kansas and has a total of eight series starts at Kansas Speedway in her career, posting an average finish of 29.6. 

Monsters Competing In XFINITY: This weekend the NASCAR XFINITY Series will have six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers competing in the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 21 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Gray Gaulding, Reed Sorenson, Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones. Interestingly, none of the MENCS drivers entered this weekend are former series race winners at Kansas Speedway. 

NASCAR XFINITY Series And Kansas: The NASCAR XFINITY Series has held 16 races in the state of Kansas and all were at Kansas Speedway. The first series race at Kansas Speedway was on September 29, 2001, and the event was won by former series champion Jeff Green driving the No. 10 Ford for car owner Greg Pollex. … A total of 17 drivers who have made at least one start in a NASCAR national series race have their home state recorded as Kansas. Of the 17 Kansas drivers, only six have made a start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, led by Clint Bowyer (Emporia) with 181 starts. Bowyer also leads Kansas drivers in series wins with eight. 

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Nov. 22, 2017 12:00 PM ET

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