This weekend, the NASCAR XFINITY Series is off, and the drivers and teams are regrouping for when the action gets back into full throttle for the fifth Playoff race on October 21st, the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 2 pm ET.
XFINITY Playoffs: Eight have Advanced
Heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend, 12 XFINITY Series Playoff contenders were vying for a chance advance to the Round of 8, and once the dust settled, eight remained. Below are the reset Round of 8 point standings following Charlotte and the close of the Round of 12:
Playoff Performances: A Look Back at the Round of 12
The 2017 XFINITY Series Playoffs kicked off with the Round of 12, which consisted of three races – Kentucky Speedway, Dover International Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Here is a quick look at some of the highlights and stellar performers of the Round of 12:
Three different winners: Tyler Reddick (Kentucky), Ryan Blaney (Dover) and Alex Bowman (Charlotte)
Three different pole winners: Kyle Benjamin (Kentucky), William Byron (Dover) and Daniel Suarez (Charlotte)
Playoff Top-Five In Stage Points: William Byron (35 stage points), Cole Custer (32 stage points), Daniel Hemric (29 stage points), Tyler Reddick (27 stage points) and Justin Allgaier (22 stage points).
Playoff Round of 12 Contender Average Finishing Positions (Kentucky, Dover, Charlotte):
Playoff Top Five In Positive Place Differential:
Five First-Time Winners this Season are Most Since 2014
Alex Bowman’s Charlotte Motor Speedway victory this past weekend made him the fifth different first-time winner of the 2017 XFINITY Series season; which is the most since 2014 (five first-time winners). The series record for first-time winners was set in the inaugural season (1982) with 14 first-time winners. Since then, the next most first-time winners in a single XFINITY Series season is six and it has happened seven times (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2004 and 2006).
So far, this season we have witnessed Ryan Preece (Iowa), Jeremy Clements (Road America), Tyler Reddick (Kentucky), William Byron (Iowa) and Alex Bowman (Charlotte) all get their first career series win.
Which begs the question, could we see a record-tying sixth first-time winner in 2017?
There is a good chance we do. Four of the remaining eight Playoff drivers have yet to win in the XFINITY Series – Brennan Poole, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Matt Tifft.
The next stop on the XFINITY Series Playoff schedule is Kansas Speedway. If a first-time winner captures the checkered flag on October 21st at Kansas, it will be quite the feat, as it will be the first time a driver has captured his first career series win at Kansas.
A Five-Season Look at the Top-Three Powerhouse Winning Organizations
Over the last five seasons (2013-Present) nine different team organizations have visited Victory Lane in the XFINITY Series. This season, we have seen seven of the nine organizations get one or more drivers a win – Joe Gibbs Racing (ten wins), Team Penske (six), Chip Ganassi Racing (five), JR Motorsports (five), Biagi-DenBeste Racing (one), Jeremy Clements Racing (one) and Roush Fenway Racing (one).
Leading the series in wins over the last five seasons (2013-Present) is Joe Gibbs Racing with 64 victories out of a possible 161 races for a winning percentage of 39.8%. The 68 wins were the result of eight different drivers capturing the checkered flag – Kyle Busch (40 wins), Erik Jones (eight), Denny Hamlin (six), Daniel Suarez (three), Matt Kenseth (three), Sam Hornish Jr. (three), Elliott Sadler (one) and Ryan Preece (one).
Next on the list of winning organizations over the last five years in the XFINITY Series is Team Penske with 36 wins out of a possible 161 and a winning percentage of 22.4%. The 36 wins came from the steady hands of five different drivers – Brad Keselowski (16 wins), Joey Logano (ten), Ryan Blaney (six), AJ Allmendinger (two) and Sam Hornish Jr. (two).
The organization with the third-most wins over the last five seasons in the XFINITY Series is JR Motorsports with 26 victories out of a possible 161 races; a winning percentage of 16.1%. The 26 wins came from eight different drivers – Kevin Harvick (six wins), Chase Elliott (five), Regan Smith (five), Elliott Sadler (three), William Byron (three), Justin Allgaier (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one) and Kasey Kahne (one).
Milestones: At Kansas on Oct. 21, Elliott Sadler (358 series starts) will tie Mike Bliss (359 series starts) for 10th on the all-time XFINITY Series starts list. Kenny Wallace now holds the record for the most all-time series starts with 547. Elliott Sadler made his first series start at South Boston back in 1995, driving a car owned by his mother, Bell.