The NASCAR XFINITY Series is in the midst of a long run to the championship. They will race every week into the fall. But, we have a stretch of four races coming up that will certainly shape who makes the 12 driver playoffs come September or not.
See, there’s little doubt on who the 12 will likely be. We’ve had five winners meaning seven spots are currently open for wildcard drivers. But, those drivers hold wide margins over the bubble.
Justin Allgaier is 296 points up. Austin Cindric is also over 200 points up at 242. Rookie Noah Gragson has a 221 point advantage. Fellow rookie Justin Haley is 186 points to the good. Ryan Sieg is 119 points up while Brandon Jones holds the 12th and final spot at the moment at +101.
With those margins, I doubt any one is catching them on points alone. So, it’s time to get lucky.
But, Gray Gaulding (-101), Brandon Brown (-148), Jeremy Clements (-157) and Ray Black Jr. (-212) could. See, we have two straight road course races coming up and three over the next four weeks.
It all starts next weekend at Waktins Glen, then the following week in Mid-Ohio. From there, it’s to a short track at Bristol then back to another road course in Road America.
That’s a tough stretch where strategy could allow one of those four not in to put themselves in contention to win. I mean, why not? They have nothing to lose. They can go off strategy and save fuel in the end to win.
That’s why despite the playoff battle being all but settled, they need to get through these next four races first. If someone can steal a win, then all bets are off.
I mean, Clements won in Road America in 2017. So, anything can happen.