Playoff Points: XFINITY/Truck update after Mid-Ohio, Michigan

Russell LaBounty/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

Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Event: Mid-Ohio Challenge

Race Winner: Sam Hornish Jr.

Stage Winner(s): Blake Koch, Sam Hornish Jr.

Who Won Big

Daniel Hemric solidified his top-five points position with a strong run at Mid-Ohio. (Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

  • Daniel Hemric: He couldn’t get the better of Hornish in the day’s final run, but Hemric’s strong afternoon at Mid-Ohio was still critical. The rookie’s first top five since Richmond International Raceway in April was enough to secure Hemric solidly in fifth in the standings, with Brennan Poole sitting just 14 points ahead in fourth.
  • Matt Tifft: There he is. The Joe Gibbs Racing rookie’s strongest run of the year – a third-place result – was enough to move Tifft 40 points clear of Ryan Reed for seventh in the standings, while also drawing him to within 11 points of Cole Custer for sixth. Given the lack of wins on the full-time XFINITY Series roster, every position and playoff point matters.
  • Brendan Gaughan: One of the few series regulars with a plethora of road-course experience, Gaughan finished third in Stage 1 before coming home in seventh. The resulting points day lifted the Nevadan off of the playoff bubble, with a 45-point edge on 13th-place Ryan Sieg.
  • Blake Koch: His 11th-place finish wasn’t spectacular, but Koch’s late surge in Stage 1 and subsequent stage victory gave the underdog his second confirmed playoff point. Koch will need every one he can get if he hopes to make a surprising playoff run.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

  • Michael Annett: Another week, another bad result for Annett. Yes, that’s the same introductory sentence as last week. Annett’s 19th-place run at Mid-Ohio dropped the JR Motorsports driver to the playoff bubble, just 34 points ahead of the chasing Sieg with two wild cards in Bristol Motor Speedway and Road America next on the schedule.
  • Ryan Reed: It was a long day for Reed – his No. 16 Ford looked more suitable for a demolition derby than a racetrack by day’s end. The Daytona winner lost ground to Tifft in the standings because of the result, a fact worth noting due to the additional playoff point that comes with the position.
  • Cole Custer: It was a brutal day in Ohio for Custer. First the rookie was forced to a backup after having issues in qualifying, then the backup car suffered a mechanical failure two laps into the race. Custer still sits sixth in the standings heading to Bristol, but he’s nearly a full-race behind Hemric in fifth.
  • Everyone That Needs to Win: It goes without saying, but the road courses are one of the few places where a surprise winner can pop up in NASCAR’s second series. Everyone outside of the top 12 in points saw their playoff hopes dwindle just a bit more as Hornish took the checkered flag.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
2 William Byron 3 682 306
3 Justin Allgaier 1 621 245
8 Ryan Reed 1 457 81
1 Elliott Sadler 0 763 387
4 Brennan Poole 0 581 205
5 Daniel Hemric 0 567 191
6 Cole Custer 0 505 129
7 Matt Tifft 0 494 118
9 (tie) Dakoda Armstrong 0 431 55
9 (tie) Blake Koch 0 431 55
11 Brendan Gaughan 0 421 45
12 Michael Annett 0 410 34
Playoff Cutoff
13 Ryan Sieg 0 376 -34
14 J.J. Yeley 0 364 -46
15 Ross Chastain 0 363 -47
16 Brandon Jones 0 345 -65
17 Darrell Wallace Jr. 0 321 -89
18 Jeremy Clements 0 296 -114
19 Spencer Gallagher 0 250 -160
20 Joey Gase 0 243 -167

Playoff Points

Playoff Points Earned
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 William Byron 17
2 Justin Allgaier 8
3 (tie) Ryan Preece 6
3 (tie) Sam Hornish Jr. 6 (+6)
5 (tie) Ryan Reed 5
5 (tie) Elliott Sadler 5
7 Blake Koch 2 (+1)
8 (tie) Daniel Hemric 1
8 (tie) Darrell Wallace, Jr. 1
8 (tie) Brendan Gaughan 1

Blake Koch’s strong first stage led to another playoff point for Kaulig Racing (Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Playoff Points if Playoffs Started Today
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 William Byron 27
2 Elliott Sadler 20
3 Justin Allgaier 16
4 Ryan Reed 8
5 (tie) Daniel Hemric 7
5 (tie) Brennan Poole 7
7 Cole Custer 5
8 Matt Tifft 4
9 (tie) Blake Koch 3
9 (tie) Dakoda Armstrong 2
11 Brendan Gaughan 1

Stage Points

Mid-Ohio Results

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Blake Koch 10 (+1 Playoff Point) 1 Sam Hornish Jr. 10 (+1 Playoff Point)
2 Brennan Poole 9 2 Daniel Hemric 9
3 Brendan Gaughan 8 3 James Davison 8
4 Ryan Reed 7 4 Justin Allgaier 7
5 Ross Chastain 6 5 Andy Lally 6
6 Jeremy Clements 5 6 Justin Marks 5
7 Ryan Sieg 4 7 Regan Smith N/A
8 Daniel Hemric 3 8 Ben Kennedy 3
9 Sam Hornish Jr. 2 9 Brennan Poole 2
10 Josh Bilicki 1 10 Blake Koch 1

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Elliott Sadler 176 5
2 Justin Allgaier 161 3
3 Brennan Poole 110 0
4 William Byron 107 2
5 Daniel Hemric 86 1
6 Cole Custer 68 0
7 Blake Koch 59 2
8 Brendan Gaughan 55 0
9 Kyle Benjamin 48 1
10 Ryan Reed 42 1
11 Tyler Reddick 41 0
12 Darrell Wallace, Jr. 39 1
13 Ryan Preece 35 1
14 Ben Kennedy 34 0
15 Sam Hornish, Jr. 31 1
16 Matt Tifft 30 0
17 Brandon Jones 26 0
18 (tie) Dakoda Armstrong 15 0
18 (tie) Ryan Sieg 15 0
18 (tie) Ross Chastain 15 0
21 Michael Annett 13 0
22 Jeremy Clements 12 0
23 James Davison 8 0
24 (tie) J.J. Yeley 6 0
24 (tie) Andy Lally 6 0
26 (tie) Spencer Gallagher 5 0
26 (tie) Justin Marks 5 0
28 (tie) Mario Gosselin 4 0
28 (tie) Casey Mears 4 0
30 (tie) Scott Lagasse, Jr. 3 0
30 (tie) Harrison Rhodes 3 0
30 (tie) Jeb Burton 3 0
33 (tie) Josh Williams 2 0
33 (tie) Ty Majeski 2 0
35 Josh Bilicki 1 0

Camping World Truck Series

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Track: Michigan International Speedway

Event: LTi Printing 200

Race Winner: Darrell Wallace Jr.

Stage Winner(s): Kyle Busch (Won Both Stages)

Who Won Big

  • Ryan Truex: He may not feel safe about his playoff odds just yet, but Truex’s back-to-back top fives have done a wonder for them over the past two races. If they can avoid disaster, Truex and Hattori Racing look poised to be a legitimate threat to contend for a win and potentially even the championship through the fall.
  • Christopher Bell: He fell one spot short of a victory in Michigan, but Bell’s strong run was enough to elevate the Oklahoman to a 37-point lead over Johnny Sauter in the championship standings. Bell already has 24 playoff points. An additional 15 for the regular season title would be enough to give the Kyle Busch Motorsports star a mulligan going through each round of the postseason.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

Grant Enfinger’s playoff odds may take a hit after post-race inspection issues in Michigan. (Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

  • Grant Enfinger: It was bad enough that Enfinger endured a subpar day in the Irish Hills while rivals Truex and Rhodes were mostly strong, but the Alabaman added insult to injury when his No. 98 Toyota failed post-race inspection. Now Enfinger finds himself at risk of losing 10 points and his crew chief for a week. Not good.
  • Johnny Sauter: If it could go wrong, it likely did for Sauter and GMS Racing on Saturday. The defending Truck Series champion ended a frustrating day a lap down in 18th, and saw his hopes of topping Bell in the regular season standings shrink because of it.
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Well, at least Nemechek’s No. 8 Chevrolet looked strong for the first few laps of Saturday’s race. The NEMCO Motorsports driver crashed out after just four circuits on Saturday, ending his day just ahead of father Joe Nemechek in 29th. The run cost the younger Nemechek two spots in the standings, and a couple potential playoff points in the process.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
1 Christopher Bell 4 572 160
8 John Hunter Nemechek 2 404 -8
2 Johnny Sauter 1 535 123
3 Matt Crafton 1 510 98
11 Kaz Grala 1 321 -91
4 Chase Briscoe 0 509 97
5 Ryan Truex 0 431 19
6 Ben Rhodes 0 426 14
Playoff Cutoff
7 Grant Enfinger 0 412 -14
9 Noah Gragson 0 382 -44
10 Austin Cindric 0 361 -65
12 Justin Haley* 0 316 -110
13 Cody Coughlin 0 281 -145
14 Wendell Chavous 0 214 -212
15 Stewart Friesen* 0 210 -216
*Technically ineligible due to missed races. Would require a waiver to make the playoffs.

Playoff Points

Playoff Points Earned
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Christopher Bell 24
2 John Hunter Nemechek 11
3 Johnny Sauter 10
4 Matt Crafton 7
5 Kaz Grala 5
6 (tie) Chase Briscoe 1
6 (tie) Ben Rhodes 1
6 (tie) Ryan Truex 1
6 (tie) Noah Gragson 1
6 (tie) Stewart Friesen 1

Darrell Wallace Jr.’s win and Kyle Busch’s early dominance kept the Truck Series field from scoring stage points. (Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Playoff Points if Playoffs Started Today
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Christopher Bell 39
2 Johnny Sauter 20
5 Matt Crafton 15
3 John Hunter Nemechek 14
4 Chase Briscoe 8
7 (tie) Ryan Truex 7
6 Ben Rhodes 6
7 (tie) Kaz Grala 5

Stage Points

Michigan Results

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch N/A 1 Kyle Busch N/A
2 Chase Briscoe 9 2 Ryan Truex 9
3 Matt Crafton 8 3 Christopher Bell 8
4 Ben Rhodes 7 4 Matt Crafton 7
5 Johnny Sauter 6 5 Ben Rhodes 6
6 Austin Cindric 5 6 Kaz Grala 5
7 Noah Gragson 4 7 Justin Haley 4
8 Ryan Truex 3 8 Noah Gragson 3
9 Darrell Wallace Jr. N/A 9 Chase Briscoe 2
10 Christopher Bell 1 10 Grant Enfinger 1

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Christopher Bell 144 4
2 Johnny Sauter 143 5
3 Chase Briscoe 138 1
4 Matt Crafton 136 2
5 Ben Rhodes 113 1
6 (tie) John Hunter Nemechek 102 1
6 (tie) Ryan Truex 102 1
8 Grant Enfinger 58 0
9 Noah Gragson 56 1
10 Austin Cindric 47 0
11 Kaz Grala 44 0
12 Timothy Peters 37 0
13 Justin Haley 36 0
14 Stewart Friesen 22 1
15 Jessie Little 16 0
16 Todd Gilliland 14 0
17 Myatt Snider 9 0
18 Harrison Burton 8 0
19 (tie) Brett Moffitt 5 0
19 (tie) Justin Shipley 5 0
21 (tie) Joe Nemechek 4 0
21 (tie) Korbin Forrister 4 0
23 (tie) Austin Hill 3 0
23 (tie) Rico Abreu 3 0
25 (tie) Cody Coughlin 1 0
25 (tie) T.J. Bell 1 0

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