Playoff Points: XFINITY and Truck Update After Iowa I

Brett Moist/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

On the Tuesday following each regular season points race, Kickin’ the Tires takes a deep look at the current playoff grids for both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series, evaluating the postseason picture for NASCAR’s second and third tours. 

XFINITY Series

William Byron earned five critical playoff points with his first XFINITY Series win. (Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Track: Iowa Speedway

Event: American Ethanol E15 250

Race Winner: William Byron

Stage Winner(s): Christopher Bell, Brendan Gaughan

Who Won Big

  • William Byron: No heartbreak this week. Byron took advantage of Bell’s crash and surged to his first-career XFINITY Series win. As a result, the Charlotte, North Carolina native officially stamps his bid into the playoffs, and brings along the five playoff points that come with a race win.
  • Ryan Sieg: One of 2016’s playoff surprises, Sieg took a major step toward rejoining the postseason field with a surprising second-place run in Iowa. The underdog Sieg now finds himself just 24 markers behind Blake Koch, with a wildcard race at Daytona International Speedway next on the schedule.
  • Dakoda Armstrong: If Sieg took a big step towards joining the playoff field, then Armstrong took a similar stride in maintaining his place on the postseason grid. Armstrong’s fifth-place finish proved enough to elevate the Hoosier to 11th in the championship standings, 25 points ahead of Sieg and one marker above Koch.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

  • Richard Childress Racing: It’s been a tough year for Richard Childress Racing in the XFINITY Series, and Saturday’s run did little to change that. Brendan Gaughan claimed his first stage win with a strategy call, but otherwise the organization had little to cheer about, finishing no better than 20th with any of their cars. With Gaughan and Brandon Jones both still chasing a spot in the playoffs, runs like Saturday’s need to stop.
  • Blake Koch: It wasn’t necessarily the team’s fault, but Koch’s 25th-place showing in Iowa dropped 2016’s underdog Kaulig Racing to within 24 markers of the wrong side of the playoff grid. It appears Koch and co. are due for another stressful summer.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
2 Justin Allgaier 1 477 226
3 William Byron 1 445 194
5 Ryan Reed 1 347 96
1 Elliott Sadler 0 502 251
4 Daniel Hemric 0 356 105
6 Brennan Poole 0 336 85
7 Cole Custer 0 322 71
8 Darrell Wallace, Jr.* 0 321 70
9 Matt Tifft 0 310 59
10 Michael Annett 0 304 53
11 Dakoda Armstrong 0 276 25
12 Blake Koch 0 275 24
Playoff Cutoff
13 Ryan Sieg 0 251 -24
14 Brendan Gaughan 0 249 -26
15 J.J. Yeley 0 225 -50
16 Jeremy Clements 0 219 -56
17 Brandon Jones 0 210 -65
18 Ross Chastain 0 206 -69
19 Spencer Gallagher 0 187 -88
20 Tyler Reddick* 0 173 -102
*Technically ineligible due to missed races. Would require a waiver to make the playoffs.

Playoff Points

Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Justin Allgaier 7
2 William Byron 6
3 Ryan Reed 5
4 Elliott Sadler 3
5 (tie) Daniel Hemric 1
5 (tie) Darrell Wallace, Jr.* 1
5 (tie) Brendan Gaughan 1

Stage Points

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Christopher Bell N/A 1 Brendan Gaughan 10 (+1 Playoff Point)
2 Sam Hornish, Jr. 9 2 William Byron 9
3 William Byron 8 3 Christopher Bell N/A
4 Justin Allgaier 7 4 Elliott Sadler 7
5 Elliott Sadler 6 5 Jeremy Clements 6
6 Kyle Benjamin 5 6 Ben Kennedy 5
7 J.J. Yeley 4 7 Ryan Sieg 4
8 Scott Lagasse, Jr. 3 8 Justin Allgaier 3
9 Ryan Reed 2 9 Ryan Reed 2
10 Daniel Hemric 1 10 Dakoda Armstrong 1

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Justin Allgaier 116 2
2 Elliott Sadler 113 3
3 William Byron 72 1
4 Daniel Hemric 53 1
5 Brennan Poole 50 0
6 Cole Custer 45 0
7 Darrell Wallace, Jr. 39 0
8 Brendan Gaughan 38 1
9 Ryan Reed 35 0
10 Kyle Benjamin 34 1
11 Blake Koch 32 0
12 Tyler Reddick 22 0
13 Matt Tifft 16 0
14 Brandon Jones 14 0
15 (tie) Sam Hornish, Jr. 9 0
15 (tie) Ryan Sieg 9 0
17 Michael Annett 8 0
18 Dakoda Armstrong 7 0
19 (tie) Jeremy Clements 6 0
19 (tie) Ben Kennedy 6 0
21 (tie) Spencer Gallagher 4 0
21 (tie) Ross Chastain 4 0
21 (tie) Mario Gosselin 4 0
24 (tie) Scott Lagasse, Jr. 3 0
24 (tie) J.J. Yeley 3 0
24 (tie) Harrison Rhodes 3 0
27 Josh Williams 2 0

Camping World Truck Series

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Track: Iowa Speedway

Event: M&M’s 200

Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek

Stage Winner(s): Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter

Who Won Big

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Just two weeks ago, Nemechek and NEMCO Motorsport faced an uncertain future as they worked to erase a large gap in both points and sponsorship. Their sponsorship troubles may not yet be completely resolved, but after back-to-back wins, Nemechek is well placed for a potential playoff run.
  • Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter: Neither driver was able to get the win they desired, but both of the championship contenders added a playoff point for stage wins to their totals – a perk that should pay dividends when the postseason arrives.
  • Grant Enfinger: While he scored just two stage points, Enfinger’s fourth-place finish helped him rise to eight points ahead of Ryan Truex for what is currently the final playoff position.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

  • Ryan Truex: Ouch. Looking to burst into the playoff field, Truex and Hattori Racing scored 10 critical stage points. But their run in Iowa ultimately proved unfavorable when overheating issues forced Truex off-track after 166 of 200 laps.
  • Matt Crafton: He still holds a healthy advantage over the playoff bubble, but Crafton’s crash in Iowa saw the winless two-time Truck Series champion’s gap drop to 46 points. Crafton can still afford one more slip-up, but his team will continue to sit uneasy as long as their winless streak continues.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
2 Christopher Bell 2 391 99
8 John Hunter Nemechek 2 280 -12
1 Johnny Sauter 1 433 141
10 Kaz Grala 1 247 -45
3 Chase Briscoe 0 357 65
4 Matt Crafton 0 338 46
5 Ben Rhodes 0 310 18
6 Grant Enfinger 0 300 8
Playoff Cutoff
7 Ryan Truex 0 292 -8
9 Noah Gragson 0 255 -45
11 Austin Cindric 0 217 -83
12 Timothy Peters* 0 194 -106
13 Cody Coughlin 0 188 -112
14 Justin Haley* 0 178 -122
15 Regan Smith* 0 144 -156
*Technically ineligible due to missed races. Would require a waiver to make the playoffs.

Playoff Points

Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Christopher Bell 14
2 John Hunter Nemechek 11
3 Johnny Sauter 10
4 Kaz Grala 5
5 (tie) Chase Briscoe 1
5 (tie) Matt Crafton 1
5 (tie) Ryan Truex 1

Stage Points

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Christopher Bell 10 (+1 Playoff Point) 1 Johnny Sauter 10 (+1 Playoff Point)
2 Noah Gragson 9 2 Chase Briscoe 9
3 Johnny Sauter 8 3 John Hunter Nemechek 8
4 Chase Briscoe 7 4 Christopher Bell 7
5 Ben Rhodes 6 5 Noah Gragson 6
6 Ryan Truex 5 6 Ryan Truex 5
7 John Hunter Nemechek 4 7 Austin Cindric 4
8 Justin Haley 3 8 Jesse Little 3
9 Grant Enfinger 2 9 Matt Crafton 2
10 Austin Cindric 1 10 Brandon Jones N/A

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Johnny Sauter 134 5
2 Christopher Bell 106 4
3 Chase Briscoe 102 1
4 Matt Crafton 95 1
5 Ben Rhodes 75 0
6 John Hunter Nemechek 70 1
7 Ryan Truex 61 1
8 Grant Enfinger 41 0
9 Timothy Peters 37 0
10 Noah Gragson 34 0
11 Kaz Grala 28 0
12 Austin Cindric 25 0
13 Jessie Little 16 0
14 Justin Haley 15 0
15 Todd Gilliland 14 0
16 Harrison Burton 8 0
17 Brett Moffitt 5 0
18 (tie) Joe Nemechek 4 0
18 (tie) Korbin Forrister 4 0
20 Myatt Snider 3 0
21 Austin Hill 2 0
22 Cody Coughlin 1 0

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