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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Las Vegas Motor Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: South Point 400
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, September 27
The Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
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: Alsco 300
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, September 26
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Next Race: World of Westgate 200
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Friday, September 25
The Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

NASCAR Cup Series

Playoff’s Round of 12 drops the Green Flag under the lights at Las Vegas

Under the bright lights of Las Vegas, the NASCAR Cup Series will kick off the Playoff’s Round of 12 in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

2020 marks the first year the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 has opened at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Race No. 30 of the season). Las Vegas is the sixth different track to host the fourth race of the Playoffs. From 2004 to 2019 (Playoff Era) five different tracks have hosted the fourth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – Kansas Speedway (2004, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2014), Talladega Superspeedway (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012), Auto Club Speedway (2009, 2010), Charlotte Motor Speedway (2015, 2016, 2017) and Dover International Speedway (2018, 2019). Prior to the 2020 season, Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2018 and 2019 – Brad Keselowski won the 2018 Las Vegas Playoff race and Martin Truex Jr. won in 2019.

A total of 12 different drivers have won the fourth NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race (2004-2019), led by Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson with three victories (2009, 2011, 2016). Six of the 12 former race winners of the fourth race of the Playoffs are entered this weekend – Jimmie Johnson (three wins), Joey Logano (two), Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth (each have one).

Fourth Race of the Playoffs – Race Winners
Track Playoff Winners Date
Dover Kyle Larson Sunday, October 6, 2019
Dover Chase Elliott Sunday, October 7, 2018
Charlotte Martin Truex Jr Sunday, October 8, 2017
Charlotte Jimmie Johnson Sunday, October 9, 2016
Charlotte Joey Logano Sunday, October 11, 2015
Kansas Joey Logano Sunday, October 5, 2014
Kansas Kevin Harvick Sunday, October 6, 2013
Talladega Matt Kenseth Sunday, October 7, 2012
Kansas Jimmie Johnson Sunday, October 9, 2011
Auto Club Tony Stewart Sunday, October 10, 2010
Auto Club Jimmie Johnson Sunday, October 11, 2009
Talladega Tony Stewart Sunday, October 5, 2008
Talladega Jeff Gordon Sunday, October 7, 2007
Talladega Brian Vickers Sunday, October 8, 2006
Kansas Mark Martin Sunday, October 9, 2005
Kansas Joe Nemechek Sunday, October 10, 2004

Since the inception of the Playoffs in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2004, three times the winner of the fourth race in the postseason has gone on to win the title that same year:

  • In 2009, Jimmie Johnson won the fourth race of the Playoffs at Auto Club Speedway and went on to win his fourth-straight series title that same season. The victory was his second of four during the 2009 Playoffs.
  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won at Charlotte Motor Speedway and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series title the same season. The win was Johnson first of three during the 2016 Playoffs.
  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won at Charlotte Motor Speedway and went on to win the series title the same season. It was his first of three wins during the 2017 Playoffs.

No non-Playoff driver has ever won the Playoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but twice a non-Playoff driver has won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

  • Joe Nemechek won the fourth race in the Playoffs at Kansas Speedway in 2004, he was ranked 21st in the point standings at the time.
  • Brian Vickers won the fourth race in the Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway in 2006, he was ranked 16th in points at the time.

The worst finish in the fourth race of the Playoffs by the eventual series champion was:

  • At Kansas Speedway – 15th by Tony Stewart in 2011
  • At Talladega Superspeedway – 24th by Jimmie Johnson in 2006
  • At Auto Club Speedway – third by Jimmie Johnson in 2010
  • At Charlotte Motor Speedway – 20th by Kyle Busch in 2015
  • At Dover International Speedway – sixth by Kyle Busch in 2019.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted 25 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on March 1, 1998. The first Cup race at Las Vegas was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin driving for fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Roush. The 25 NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have produced 17 different poles winners and 13 different race winners. Kasey Kahne leads the series in poles at Las Vegas with three (2004, 2007 and 2012). Nevada natives Kyle Busch (2008, 2009) and Kurt Busch (2010, 2016) lead all active drivers in poles at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with two each. Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four victories (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010). Seven of the 13 different series Las Vegas winners are entered this weekend – Jimmie Johnson (four), Matt Kenseth (three), Brad Keselowski (three), Kevin Harvick (two), Martin Truex Jr. (two), Joey Logano (two) and Kyle Busch (one). Joey Logano is the most recent winner at Las Vegas in the NASCAR Cup Series, taking the checkered flag at the 1.5-mile track back in February.

The Playoff Dozen

With the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s Round of 16 coming to a close, four drivers – Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer, William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto – have been eliminated from the postseason, making way for the Round of 12 and it’s dozen competitors to battle it out for a spot in the Round of 8. Once again after the three races in the Round of 12 (Las Vegas, Talladega, Kansas), four more drivers will be eliminated from the postseason.

This season’s Round of 12 is made up of five Ford drivers, four Chevrolet drivers and three Toyota drivers from six different organizations.

Rank Driver Points Starts Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts from Cutoff
1 Kevin Harvick (P) 3,067 29 9 7 67 62
2 Denny Hamlin (P) 3,048 29 6 8 48 43
3 Brad Keselowski (P) 3,035 29 4 7 35 30
4 Joey Logano (P) 3,022 29 2 6 22 17
5 Chase Elliott (P) 3,021 29 2 7 21 16
6 Martin Truex Jr. (P) 3,016 29 1 4 16 11
7 Alex Bowman (P) 3,009 29 1 4 9 4
8 Austin Dillon (P) 3,005 28 1 0 5 0
9 Aric Almirola (P) 3,005 29 0 2 5 0
10 Kyle Busch (P) 3,004 29 0 2 4 -1
11 Clint Bowyer (P) 3,004 29 0 3 4 -1
12 Kurt Busch (P) 3,001 29 0 1 1 -4
13 Cole Custer # (P) 2,067 29 1 0 5 Eliminated from The Playoffs
14 William Byron (P) 2,062 29 1 2 7
15 Ryan Blaney (P) 2,058 29 1 3 13
16 Matt DiBenedetto (P) 2,054 29 0 0 0

Below is a look at the current 12 Playoff contenders and their career performances at Las Vegas Motor Speedway ahead of this weekend’s South Point 400 on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. (Playoff contenders are in order of seeding).

  1. Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) leads the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,067 points – 62 points above the Round of 8 cutline. Harvick’s 2020 Playoffs have been off to a strong start winning two of the first three races (Darlington and Bristol) of the postseason and making the Round of 12 for the seventh time in his career (2014-2020). He now has a total of 16 career Playoff wins on his resume. Harvick turns his attention to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, the first race of the Round of 12. The Californian, Harvick, has made 22 series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway posting two wins, seven top fives and 11 top 10s.
  2. Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) sits in second in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,048 points – 43 points ahead of the Round of 8 cutoff. Hamlin’s Round 16 performance didn’t quite have the same swagger he ended the regular season with, only posting two top-15 finishes, but he managed to make the Round of 12 for the sixth time in his career (2014-2017, 2019, 2020). The Virginia native, Hamlin, is looking to bounce back this weekend at Las Vegas; a track he has made 17 starts putting up two top fives and seven top 10s.
  3. Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford) holds on to third in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs standings with 3,035 points – 30 points up on the Round of 8 cutoff. Keselowski also kicked off the 2020 Playoffs in impressive fashion winning the second race of the Round of 16 at Richmond Raceway. The 2020 Playoffs mark the seventh time in his career Keselowski has made the Round of 12 (2014-2020). The Michigan native, Keselowski, head to Las Vegas looking to build on his early postseason success. He has made 14 series starts at the 1.5-mile track collecting three wins, seven top fives and 10 top 10s.
  4. Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford) resides in fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,022 points – 17 points ahead of the Round of 8 cutoff. The 2020 Playoffs mark the sixth time Logano has made the Round of 12 (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020).  The Connecticut native, Logano, has put up two top-five finishes in the first three races of the 2020 Playoffs. Looking ahead to Las Vegas, Logano has made 14 series starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, posting two wins, six top fives and 10 top 10s; which includes bringing home the checkered flag from Vegas back in February.
  5. Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) rests in fifth in the NASCAR cup Series Playoff standings with 3,021 points – 16 points ahead of the Round of 8 cutoff.  This season is the fifth time in Elliott’s career he has qualified for the Round of 12 (2016-2020). In the Round of 16, Elliott put up one top five and two top 10s. The Georgia native, Elliott, heads to Las Vegas this weekend having made seven series starts at the 1.5-mile raceway posting two top fives and three top 10s.
  6. Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) is sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with 3,016 points – 11 points ahead of the Round of 8 cutoff. The 2020 Playoffs mark the sixth time Truex has made the Round of 12 (2015-2020). Truex looked strong in the first round of the Playoffs but had mixed results only posting one top-five finish. Now the New Jersey native, Truex, turns his attention to Las Vegas where he has made 17 series starts posting two wins, five top fives and eight top 10s. Truex is the defending winner of the 2019 Las Vegas Playoff race.
  7. Alex Bowman (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) hangs on to seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,009 points – just a scant four points ahead of the Round of 8 cutoff.  The 2020 Playoffs mark the third straight season he has qualified for the Round of 12. Bowman made good use of the tracks in the Round of 16 putting up two top-10 finishes. The Arizona native, Bowman, is hoping to continue his postseason success at Las Vegas this weekend. Bowman has made seven series starts at the 1.5-mile facility posting one top-10 finish – a ninth-place finish in the Playoff race last season.
  8. Austin Dillon (No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) grasps the eighth and final transfer spot to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,005 points. Dillon is tied in points with Aric Almirola in ninth – the first spot outside the Round of 8 cutoff – but Dillon holds the tiebreaker of best finish in the Round of 16. The 2020 Playoffs mark just the second time Dillon has advanced to the Round of 12 in his postseason career (2016, 2020). Dillon was impressive in the Round of 16 amassing two top-five finishes.
  9. Aric Almirola (No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) clings to ninth, the first spot outside the Round of 8 cutoff, in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,005 points. Almirola is tied in points with Austin Dillon in eighth – the final transfer spot into the Round of 8 – but Dillon holds the tiebreaker of best finish in the Round of 16. This is the second time Almirola has qualified for the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2016, 2020). Almirola was consistent in the Round of 12 posting one top five and three top 10s. Now, Florida native, Almirola, looks to build on his Round of 16 performance in the Round of 8 opener at Las Vegas. Almirola has made 14 series starts at Las Vegas posting three top-10 finishes.
  10. Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), the defending series champion, holds on to 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,004 points – just one point behind the Round of 8 cutoff. Busch is currently tied in points with Clint Bowyer in 11th, but Busch holds the tiebreaker – best finish in the Round of 16. The 2020 season marks the seventh time Busch has made the Round of 12. The Las Vegas native, Busch, put up one top five and two top 10s during the Round of 16. Now the two-time champ heads to his home track to keep his Playoffs hopes churning. Busch has made 18 series starts at Las Vegas posting one win, seven top fives and nine top 10s.
  11. Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) clenches the 11th spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 3,004 points – just one point behind the Round of 8 cutoff. Bowyer is currently tied in points with Kyle Busch in 10th, but Busch holds the tiebreaker – best finish in the Round of 16. This is the third-straight season Bowyer has made the Round of 12 in the Playoffs. Bowyer’s consistency of three top-10 finishes in the Round of 16 helped catapult him into the Round of 12. Now the Kansas native, Bowyer, focuses on Las Vegas Motor Speedway; a track he has made 17 starts posting one top five and four top 10s.
  12. Kurt Busch (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) clutches the 12th and final spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s Round of 12 with 3,001 points – four points behind the Round of 8 cutoff. The 2020 Playoffs mark the fourth time in his career he has advanced to the Round of 12 (2015, 2016, 2018, 2020). Busch posted just one top-10 finish in the round of 16. Now, the elder of the two Busch brothers, heads to his home track looking to rebound in the Playoff standings. Kurt Busch has made 21 series starts at the 1.5-mile Vegas track posting two top fives and five top 10s.

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Records (2004-2019)

Below are the all-time record performances by drivers during the 10-race Playoffs in the NASCAR Cup Series:

  • Most Wins: 5 – Tony Stewart (2011).
  • Most Runner-Ups: 4 – three times: Jimmie Johnson (2006), Jeff Gordon (2014), Chase Elliott (2017). 
  • Most Top Fives: 9 – Martin Truex Jr. (2017)
  • Most Top 10s: 9 – 11 times: Kurt Busch (2004), Jeff Gordon (2007), Jimmie Johnson (2009, 2010, 2013), Kevin Harvick (2010, 2019), Carl Edwards (2011), Kyle Busch (2016), Martin Truex Jr. (2017, 2019).
  • Most Laps Led: 986 out of a possible 3,156 (31.2%) – Jimmie Johnson (2009).
  • Best Average Start (all 10 races):  4.2 – Denny Hamlin (2017)
  • Best Average Finish (all 10 races): 4.3 – Martin Truex Jr. (2017)
  • Top 3 Best Driver Rating Performances (all 10 races): 125.8 – Jimmie Johnson (2013), 120.8 – Martin Truex Jr. (2017) and 120.3 – Kevin Harvick (2014).
  • Perfect Driver Ratings: Only been five Perfect Driver Rating (150.0) performances in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – Kevin Harvick at Phoenix (2006, 2014), Clint Bowyer at New Hampshire (2007), Carl Edwards at Homestead-Miami (2010) and Jimmie Johnson at Texas (2013).

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Denny Hamlin & Michael Jordan form new team for 2021 – This week NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin and former NBA champion/Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan announced they will be forming a new NASCAR Cup Series team for the 2021 season and named Bubba Wallace as the driver.

“The timing seemed perfect, as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more,” said Michael Jordan.

“Eleven years ago, I met Michael Jordan at a then-Charlotte Bobcats game, and we became fast friends,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “Not long after, I joined the Jordan Brand as their first NASCAR athlete. Our friendship has grown over the years, and now we are ready to take it to the next level.”

Jordan becomes the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team since the NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott drove his own race car in 495 races from 1961 to 1973. Scott’s 1964 victory at the Jacksonville 200 is the only win by a Black driver in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Ross Chastain to drive Ganassi’s No. 42 in 2021 – This week Chip Ganassi Racing announced Ross Chastain will drive the No. 42 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021.

I can’t thank Chip (Ganassi) enough for this opportunity,” said Ross Chastain. “The faith he and the organization showed me back in 2018 was a real turning point in my career, and I am extremely happy for the chance to join the team again especially with all the great guys they have on the 42 and to be able to team with a champion like Kurt Busch. Racing in the Cup Series with a serious contender has always been my goal, and I’m looking forward to joining what is a very strong team. I know I have my work cut out for me, but I’m ready to get to work and help bring more success to the organization.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series

The stage is set for the NASCAR Xfinity Series 2020 Playoffs

The NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season ended last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway with a thrilling rub-and-run by Chase Briscoe on Austin Cindric with six laps left. The victory marked Briscoe’s seventh of the season, his first at Bristol and the ninth of this career.

Heading into the race weekend at Bristol, there was only one spot up for grabs in the Playoff field. Brandon Brown, who had been holding onto the 12th and final spot for a few weeks, was able to clinch a Playoff berth with a 12th-place finish at Thunder Valley.

Ross Chastain finished third, Harrison Burton fourth and Justin Allgaier, who swept the stages, rounded out the top five.

With that, the Playoffs begin on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the Alsco 300 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Briscoe will lead the field to green on Saturday with his fellow Ford competitor alongside him on the front row.

The Alsco 300 will be 200 laps and 300 miles. The first stage will end on Lap 45 and the second stage will end on Lap 90.

Briscoe is the most recent winner at the track (February) and Tyler Reddick won this race last season for the series. Briscoe will look to go back-to-back for the second time this season. Earlier on, he won back-to-back races at Pocono Raceway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. If he wins, it will also be a Las Vegas Motor Speedway sweep for the driver of the No. 98.

Harrison Burton has the best driver rating at Las Vegas at 108.8. There have been 19 different race winners in 26 races run and 17 different pole winners. Kyle Busch still holds the qualifying and race record at the track for the series. Kevin Harvick has the most top fives (11) and Allgaier has the most top 10s (12) and most finishes on the lead lap (12).

The current seedings are as follows:

  • Chase Briscoe
  • Austin Cindric
  • Justin Allgaier
  • Noah Gragson
  • Brandon Jones
  • Justin Haley
  • Harrison Burton
  • Ross Chastain
  • Ryan Sieg
  • Michael Annett
  • Riley Herbst
  • Brandon Brown

NASCAR Xfinity Series 2020 Driver Playoff Bios

Chase Briscoe – No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang

Date of Birth: December 15, 1994

Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana

Organization: Stewart-Haas Racing

Crew Chief: Richard Boswell II

2020 Wins: 7 (Las Vegas, Darlington, Homestead, Pocono, Indianapolis Road Course, Dover, Bristol)

Playoff Points: 50

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked No. 1 in the Playoff standings with 2,050 points – is tied in points with Austin Cindric, but Briscoe holds the tiebreaker – most wins.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Briscoe has posted seven wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s.
  • Has won five stages and accumulated 50 Playoff points.
  • Has led 538 of 4,339 laps completed (12.3%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 7.1 and average finishing position, 7.6.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the second time Chase Briscoe has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2019, Briscoe made the Playoffs posting four top fives and six top 10s during the seven-race postseason. He finished the year a career-best fifth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
  • In 2018, he failed to make the Xfinity Series Playoffs because he only competed part-time (17 races) for Roush Fenway Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing; he finished the year 24th in the championship standings.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Atlanta driving for Roush Fenway Racing.

Austin Cindric – No 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang

Date of Birth: September 2, 1998

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Organization: Team Penske

Crew Chief: Brian Wilson

2020 Wins: 5 (Kentucky-1, Kentucky-2, Texas, Road America, Daytona Road Course)

Playoff Points: 50

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked second in the Playoff standings with 2,050 points– is tied in points with Chase Briscoe, but Briscoe holds the tiebreaker – most wins.
  • 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Champion.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Cindric has posted five wins, 17 top fives and 21 top 10s.
  • Has won 10 stages and has accumulated 50 Playoff points.
  • Has led 812 of 4,010 laps completed (20.2%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 7.1 and average finishing position, 7.5.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the third time Austin Cindric has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2019, Cindric made the Playoffs posting four top fives and six top 10s during the seven race postseason. He finished the year a career-best sixth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
  • In 2018, Cindric qualified for the Playoffs in his rookie season and posted four top fives and five top 10s in the seven-race Playoff.  He finished the season eighth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2017 at Road America driving for Team Penske.

Justin Allgaier – No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: June 6, 1986

Hometown: Riverton, Illinois

Organization: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Jason Burdett

2020 Wins: 3 (Dover, Richmond-1, Richmond-2)

Playoff Points: 33

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked third in the Playoff standings with 2,033 points.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Allgaier has put up three wins, eight top fives and 15 top 10s.
  • Has 12 stage wins this season and has accumulated 33 Playoff points.
  • Has led 896 of 4,230 laps completed (21.1%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 10.4 and average finishing position, 13.2.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the fifth time Justin Allgaier has made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs – all with JR Motorsports.
  • In 2019, Allgaier qualified for the Playoffs and then posted one win (Phoenix) and five top fives during the postseason making the Championship 4 round and finishing fourth in the final standings.
  • In 2018, Allgaier made the Playoffs and then posted two top fives and three top 10s in the postseason but finished seventh in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
  • In 2017, Allgaier qualified for the Playoffs and then posted three top fives and four top 10s during the postseason making the Championship 4 round and finishing third in the final standings.
  • In 2016, Allgaier qualified for the Playoffs and then posted two top fives and six top 10s during the postseason making the Championship 4 round and finishing a career-best third in the final standings.

Noah Gragson – No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: July 15, 1998

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Organization: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: David Elenz

2020 Wins: 2 (Daytona, Bristol)

Playoff Points: 25

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked fourth in the Playoff standings with 2,025 points.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Gragson has posted two wins, 11 top fives and 19 top 10s.
  • Has eight stage wins and has accumulated 25 Playoff points.
  • Has led 524 of 4,211 laps completed (12.4%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 6.6 and average finishing position, 9.2.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the second time Noah Gragson has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2019, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and then posted two top fives and five top 10s during the postseason but finished the year eighth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
  • Made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Richmond Raceway driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Gragson made three starts for the JGR team in 2018.

Brandon Jones – No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra

Date of Birth: February 18, 1997

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Organization: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Jeff Meendering

2020 Wins: 3 (Phoenix, Kansas, Darlington)

Playoff Points: 20

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked fifth in the Playoff standings with 2,020 points.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Jones has posted three wins, eight top fives and 14 top 10s.
  • Has two stage wins and has accumulated 20 Playoff points.
  • Has led 143 of 4,064 laps completed (3.5%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 7.3 and average finishing position, 13.5.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the fourth time he has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs (2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020).
  • In 2019, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and posted a win (Kansas) and three top 10s, but was eliminated in the Round of 12; ultimately finishing the season 10th in the final standings.
  • In 2018, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and posted five top 10s during the postseason, but was eliminated in the Round of 12, ultimately finishing the season a career-best ninth in the final standings.
  • In 2017, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 16th in the final standings.
  • In 2016, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and one top-10 finish during the postseason. He finished the season 10th in the championship standings after being eliminated in the Round of 12. 

Justin Haley – No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: April 28, 1999

Hometown: Winamac, Indiana

Organization: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Alex Yontz

2020 Wins: 2 (Talladega, Daytona)

Playoff Points: 18

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked sixth in the Playoff standings with 2,018 points.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Haley has posted two wins, eight top fives and 16 top 10s.  o Has won three stages and has accumulated 19 Playoff points.
  • Has led 101 of 4,295 laps completed (2.3%).
  • 2020 average starting position, 7.7 and average finishing position, 10.1.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the second time Justin Haley has made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2019, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs as a rookie and then posted one top five and three top 10s during the postseason. He finished the year a career-best 12th in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 12.
  • Made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Iowa Speedway driving for GMS Racing. Haley made three starts for the GMS team in 2018.

Harrison Burton – No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra

Date of Birth: October 9, 2000

Hometown: Huntersville, North Carolina

Organization: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Ben Beshore

2020 Wins: 2 (California, Homestead)

Playoff Points: 14

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked seventh in the Playoff standings with 2,014 points – one of just two Sunoco rookies to make the postseason in 2020 (Riley Herbst).
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Burton has posted two wins, 13 top fives and 18 top 10s.
  • Has yet to win a stage but has accumulated 14 Playoff points.
  • Has led 186 of 4,255 laps completed (4.3%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 7.2 and average finishing position, 9.5.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the first time Harrison Burton has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • Harrison Burton has become the 15th different Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to qualify for the NASCAR Xfinity Series ‘elimination style’ Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016; joining Erik Jones, Brandon Jones, and Brennan Poole from 2016, William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt

Tifft, and Daniel Hemric from 2017, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric and Tyler Reddick in 2018, Chase Briscoe, John H. Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Justin Haley in 2019.

  • Burton and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Riley Herbst are the only two rookies to make the Xfinity postseason in 2020.

Ross Chastain – No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: December 4, 1992

Hometown: Alva, Florida

Organization: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Bruce Schlicker

2020 Wins: 0

Playoff Points: 10

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked eighth in the Playoff standings with 2,010 points.
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Chastain has posted five runner-up finishes, 13 top fives and 22 top 10s.
  • Has won two stages and has accumulated 10 Playoff points.
  • Has led 460 of 4,280 laps completed (10.7%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 8.1 and average finishing position, 7.9.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season is the second time Ross Chastain has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs (2018, 2020).
  • Competed in a part-time Xfinity Series schedule in 2019 making 19 starts driving for Kaulig Racing and JD Motorsports.
  • In 2018, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and then posted one top-five finish during the postseason. He finished the year a career-best 10th in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 12.
  • In 2017, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 13th in the final standings.
  • In 2016, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 16th in the final standings.

Ryan Sieg – No. 39 RSS Racing Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: June 20, 1987

Hometown: Tucker, Georgia

Organization: RSS Racing

Crew Chief: Kevin Starland

2020 Wins: 0

Playoff Points: 2

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked 10th in the Playoff standings with 2,002 points – is tied with Michael Annett in points but Sieg holds the tiebreaker – best finish o Through the first 26 races of the season, Sieg has posted four top fives and eight top 10s
  • Has won two stages and has accumulated two Playoff points.
  • Has led 81 of 3,954 laps completed (2.0%).
  • 2020 average starting position, 10.3 and average finishing position, 15.7.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the third time Ryan Sieg has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs (2016, 2019, 2020).
  • In 2019, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and then posted three top 10s during the postseason. He finished the year 11th in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 12.
  • In 2018, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 16th in the final standings.
  • In 2017, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 15th in the final standings.
  • In 2016, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and then posted one top-10 finish during the postseason. He finished the year a career-best ninth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 12.

Michael Annett – No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: June 23, 1986

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Organization: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Travis Mack

2020 Wins: 0

Playoff Points: 2

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked ninth in the Playoff standings with 2,002 points – is tied with Ryan Sieg in points but Sieg holds the tiebreaker – best finish o Through the first 26 races of the season, Annett has posted three top fives and 16 top 10s.
  • Has yet to win a stage but has accumulated two Playoff points.
  • Has led 29 of 3,870 laps completed (0.7%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 8.4 and average finishing position, 11.9.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the third time Michael Annett has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2019, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and then posted one top five and four top 10s during the postseason. He finished the year ninth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
  • In 2018, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 14th in the final standings.
  • In 2017, he qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and then posted one top-10 finish during the postseason. He finished the year ninth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 12.
  • Did not participate in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016.

Riley Herbst – No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra

Date of Birth: February 24, 1999

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Organization: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Dave Rogers

2020 Wins: 0

Playoff Points: 1

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked 11th in the Playoff standings with 2,001 points – one of just two Sunoco rookies to make the postseason in 2020 (Harrison Burton).
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Herbst has posted four top fives and 16 top 10s
  • Has yet to win a stage in 2020 but he has accumulated one Playoff point.
  • Has led 8 of 3,984 laps completed (0.2%).
  • 2020 average starting position, 10.6 and average finishing position, 15.0.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the first time Riley Herbst has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • Riley Herbst has become the 16th different Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to qualify for the

NASCAR Xfinity Series ‘elimination style’ Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016; joining Erik Jones, Brandon Jones, and Brennan Poole from 2016, William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt Tifft, and Daniel Hemric from 2017, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric and Tyler Reddick from 2018, Chase Briscoe, John H. Nemechek, Noah Gragson and Justin Haley from 2019, and Harrison Burton in 2020.

  • Herbst and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton are the only two rookies to make the Xfinity postseason in 2020.

Brandon Brown – No. 68 Brandonbilt Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro

Date of Birth: September 4, 1993

Hometown: Woodbridge, Virginia

Organization: Brandonbilt Motorsports

Crew Chief: Doug Randolph

2020 Wins: 0

Playoff Points: 0

2020 Season Stats:

  • Enters the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs ranked 12th in the Playoff standings with 2,000 points
  • Through the first 26 races of the season, Brown has posted four top 10s
  • Has yet to win a stage in 2020 or accumulate any Playoff points.
  • Has led 5 of 4,031 laps completed (0.1%)
  • 2020 average starting position, 15.1 and average finishing position, 16.5.

Previous Xfinity Playoff Stats:

  • The 2020 season marks the first time Brandon Brown has qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2019, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 15th in the final standings.
  • In 2018, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 42nd in the final standings.
  • In 2017, he failed to make the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 36th in the final standings.
  • In 2016, he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Richmond Raceway driving for Brandonbilt Motorsports. He made three series starts in 2016.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff Outlook following Bristol-2:

Rank       Driver Points Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Chase Briscoe 2,050 7 5 50 48  
2 Austin Cindric 2,050 5 10 50 48  
3 Justin Allgaier 2,033 3 12 33 31  
4 Noah Gragson 2,025 2 8 25 23  
5 Brandon Jones 2,020 3 2 20 18  
6 Justin Haley 2,018 2 3 18 16  
7 Harrison Burton # 2,014 2 0 14 12  
8 Ross Chastain 2,010 0 2 10 8  
    9 Ryan Sieg 2,002 0 2 2 -8  
10 Michael Annett 2,002 0 0 2 -8  
11 Riley Herbst # 2,001 0 0 1 -9  
12 Brandon Brown 2,000 0 0 0 -10  

Past Las Vegas performances

Chase Briscoe won the race earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the second race of the season and Briscoe started from second.

Austin Cindric finished right behind Briscoe, making it a Ford one-two sweep.

Ryan Sieg got a career-best finish of third at the track after starting 32nd.

Noah Gragson finished fourth, Harrison Burton fifth, Brandon Jones finished sixth and Michael Annett was seventh.

Justin Allgaier finished eighth while Riley Herbst finished ninth, Ross Chastain came in 10th, Brandon Brown finished 11th and Justin Haley finished 12th.

Every single Playoff driver finished in the top 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season.

Of all the active drivers vying for a championship, Allgaier has the most starts at the 1.5-mile track with 12. His JR Motorsports teammate Annett is right behind him with 10.

Chastain’s first Xfinity Series win was in 2018 at Las Vegas.

Both Gragson and Herbst are from Las Vegas, Nevada so they will both be heading to their home track to kick off their Playoff runs.

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 

Rolling the dice to Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series wrapped up the first race of the 2020 Playoffs last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. This weekend the series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the World of Westgate 200 (9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Sam Mayer, 17, took his GMS Racing Chevrolet that he runs on a part-time basis for the team, to Victory Lane, beating his GMS Racing teammate Brett Moffitt and Playoff contender, to the finish line by 4.413 seconds.

A few hours later, Mayer capped off a sweep of Thursday racing at Thunder Valley by winning the ARCA Menards Series event.

Moffitt led 117 of the 200 laps but with new tires, Mayer was able to pull away for his first victory in the series. In perfect timing, JR Motorsports and Mayer announced earlier in the week that he would run for the team at the end of the 2021 season before taking the reins fulltime in 2022.

Moffitt ended up finishing second as the highest-finishing Playoff contender. Tanner Gray finished third, Parker Kligerman finished fourth and Chandler Smith finished fifth.

Playoff drivers Grant Enfinger and Tyler Ankrum finished sixth and seventh. Ross Chastain finished eighth while veteran Johnny Sauter finished ninth and his ThorSport Racing teammate and Playoff contender Matt Crafton rounded out the top 10.

Austin Hill was involved in an incident on Lap 156 and would up finishing 25th, the lowest finishing Playoff contender.

The drivers will take on Sin City for the second race of the 2020 Gander Trucks Playoffs. Moffitt will lead the field to green with Tyler Ankrum joining him on the front row.

The race will be 134 laps and 201 miles with Stage 1 ending on Lap 30 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 60.

Enfinger and Hill are the only two active drivers with previous wins at the track. Hill won this race last season.

Clinch Scenarios: Who can make it to the next round?

Currently no drivers have clinched a spot in the next round of the Gander Trucks Playoffs.

Can clinch via points:

If there is a win among the Playoff drivers, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the seventh winless driver in the standings

  • Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum and Matt Crafton: could only clinch with help

If there is a winner outside of the Playoff drivers, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the eighth winless drivers in the standings. They would also clinch if there was a new winner among Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum or Matt Crafton and being 56 points above the seventh winless driver in the standings.

  • Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum, Matt Crafton, and Ben Rhodes: could only clinch with help

Can clinch via win:

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone:

  • Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum, Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Austin Hill, Christian Eckes, and Todd Gilliland

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff Outlook following Bristol:

Rank Driver Points Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Brett Moffitt (P) 2,068 0 6 16 36
2 Sheldon Creed (P) 2,060 3 5 26 28
3 Zane Smith # (P) 2,057 2 5 22 25
4 Grant Enfinger (P) 2,056 3 1 19 24
5 Tyler Ankrum (P) 2,051 0 1 3 19
6 Matt Crafton (P) 2,045 1 0 9 13
7 Ben Rhodes (P) 2,038 1 1 14 6
8 Austin Hill (P) 2,034 1 2 22 2
9 Christian Eckes # (P) 2,032 0 0 5 -2
10 Todd Gilliland (P) 2,026 0 2 3 -8

Playoff driver numbers at Las Vegas

Here’s a look at how the Playoff drivers have fared at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Brett Moffitt will make his sixth start at the 1.5-mile track on Friday night. In his first start in 2018, he finished with a track-best third. He has two top fives, three top 10s with an average start of 6.2 and an average finish of 7.8.

Sheldon Creed has made three starts at Las Vegas and has finished in the top 10 in all of those starts. He has a best finish of fourth in 2019. Creed has an average start of 5.7 and an average finish of 6.7.

Zane Smith will make his second career start on Friday night. His first start was earlier this season and he started 15th and finished sixth.

Grant Enfinger has eight starts under his belt at the 1.5-mile track. He has one win (2018), two top fives and four top 10s at the track. He’s led 47 laps and has an average start of 7.9 and average finish of 13.6. In his last two starts, Enfinger did not complete all the laps run as he had an engine crash in 2019 and earlier this season he was involved in a crash.

Tyler Ankrum will make his third start at the track this weekend. In both of his starts, he has finished 11th.

Matt Crafton has 22 starts at Las Vegas but has never gotten a win at the track. He has nine top fives and 13 top 10s. He has an average start of 11.3 and an average finish of 12.0. Earlier this season, Crafton finished fourth.

Ben Rhodes will make his eighth start at the track this weekend. He has one win (2017), three top fives and five top 10s at the track. He has an average start of 13.9 and an average finish of 8.9. He has finished in the top 10 in all seven starts except two.

Austin Hill has five starts at Las Vegas. He won this race last season from the seventh position. He has two top fives and three top 10s. His average start is 9.6 and average finish is 13.4.

Christian Eckes will make his third start on Friday night. Of his two starts, he had one top fives and one top 10. Earlier this season he finished 23rd but in his debut last season, he finished third.

Todd Gilliland will head to Las Vegas for the fifth time in his career. He has one top fives and three top 10s to his name. Most recently, he finished seventh. He has an average start of 12.8 and an average finish of 11.5.

Conor Daly, Travis Pastrana team up to run Gander Trucks race at LVMS

From virtual to real-life, Nitro Circus founder Travis Pastrana is teaming up with NTT IndyCar Series star Conor Daly to compete in Friday night’s World of Westgate 200 (9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The two competed together during the spring in the LCQ League, a private iRacing league featuring motorsports and action sports legends racing in cars of all types. The two will have support from iRacing, Elliott’s Custom Trailers, Pit Viper, Fatheadz, and Wienerschnitzel as they pilot the Nos. 42 and 45 for Niece Motorsports.

Daly and Pastrana are also getting fans involved during the week leading up to the race with the opportunity to race the duo through a series of invitation-only events. They will release information on their iRacing social media channels.

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Etc.

Lupton back in Vegas: DGR-Crosley announced that Dylan Lupton will return to the team for a minimum of three more NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races this season. He will run Friday night’s World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas in the No. 17 Ford in addition to at Texas Motor Speedway and the season-finale at Phoenix Raceway. He will also compete for DGR in the ARCA Menards Series finale at Kansas Speedway on Friday, Oct. 16.

— NASCAR —