Playoff Points: XFINITY/Truck update leaving Kentucky, New Hampshire

Russell LaBounty/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

Following each 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: Kentucky Speedway

Event: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300

Race Winner: Tyler Reddick

Stage Winner(s): Cole Custer (Won Both Stages)

Who Won Big

A strong day from part-timer Tyler Reddick kept the playoff grid close leaving Kentucky. 
(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

  • Cole Custer: Have yourself a day, rookie. Custer enjoyed on of his strongest performances to date for Stewart-Haas Racing, winning two stages and making a statement about his playoff odds with a fifth-place run in Kentucky.
  • Brennan Poole: He probably wishes his teammate would’ve skipped out on the race, but Poole’s strong second-place performance capped off an unexpected showing of dominance from Chip Ganassi Racing. Now the Texan sits 21 points clear of the cut line with two races remaining in Round 1 of the playoffs.
  • Matt Tifft and Ryan Reed: Make no mistake, Tifft and Reed weren’t dominant in Kentucky. But the duo did what they needed to do, tallying top 10s and staying on the right side of the playoff cutline. If they can repeat the feat two more times they should be fine to advance to the second round.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

  • Jeremy Clements: It wasn’t unexpected, but Clements struggled in his underdog debut as a playoff driver. The South Carolinian finished 22nd and fell 14 points out of the Round 2 grid. That won’t be easy for Clements’ humble team to make up.
  • Brendan Gaughan, Blake Koch and Michael Annett: There’s no way around it – these three struggled in Kentucky. The trio finished outside of the top 10 in the XFINITY Series’ playoff opener, dropping below the cut line and hurting their championship chances in the process. They’ll need to be better to keep their postseason hopes alive.
  • William Byron: Much like Erik Jones last season, Byron entered the playoffs among the favorites only to endure a difficult day in the postseason opener. The JR Motorsports rookie is still likely fine due to his playoff point cushion, but he could serve himself well to avoid enduring any additional incidents moving forward.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins in Round Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
1 (tie) Justin Allgaier 0 2057 31
1 (tie) Cole Custer 0 2057 31
3 Elliott Sadler 0 2055 29
4 Daniel Hemric 0 2052 26
5 William Byron 0 2051 25
6 Brennan Poole 0 2047 21
7 Matt Tifft 0 2036 10
8 Ryan Reed 0 2034 8
Round 2 Cutoff
9 Brendan Gaughan 0 2026 -8
10 Blake Koch 0 2025 -9
11 Michael Annett 0 2022 -12
12 Jeremy Clements 0 2020 -14

Playoff Points

Total Playoff Points
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 William Byron 25
2 Justin Allgaier 23
3 Elliott Sadler 20
4 Daniel Hemric 9
5 Cole Custer 7
6 Brennan Poole 6
7 (tie) Ryan Reed 5
7 (tie) Blake Koch 5
7 (tie) Jeremy Clements 5
10 Matt Tifft 4
11 Michael Annett 3
12 Brendan Gaughan 1

Cole Custer tallied two playoff points with a strong day in Kentucky. (Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Playoff Points Earned On-Track
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 William Byron 17
2 Justin Allgaier 13
3 (tie) Ryan Preece 6
3 (tie) Sam Hornish Jr. 6
5 (tie) Ryan Reed 5
5 (tie) Elliott Sadler 5
5 (tie) Jeremy Clements 5
5 (tie) Tyler Reddick 5
9 (tie) Daniel Hemric 2
9 (tie) Blake Koch 2
9 (tie) Cole Custer 2
12 (tie) Darrell Wallace, Jr. 1
12 (tie) Brendan Gaughan 1
12 (tie) James Davison 1

Stage Points

Kentucky Results

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Cole Custer 10 (+1 Playoff Point) 1 Cole Custer 10 (+1 Playoff Point)
2 Tyler Reddick 9 2 Tyler Reddick 9
3 Kyle Benjamin 8 3 Daniel Hemric 8
4 Ryan Preece 7 4 Ryan Preece 7
5 Brennan Poole 6 5 William Byron 6
6 Daniel Hemric 5 6 Brian Scott 5
7 Matt Tifft 4 7 Kyle Benjamin 4
8 Elliott Sadler 3 8 Ben Kennedy 3
9 Brian Scott 2 9 Ryan Reed 2
10 William Byron 1 10 Elliott Sadler 1

Playoff Totals

NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff Stage Points
Driver Playoff Stage Points Playoff Stage Wins
Cole Custer 28 2
Brennan Poole 25 0
Daniel Hemric 24 0
Matt Tifft 23 0
Elliott Sadler 20 0
William Byron 19 0
Ryan Reed 18 0
Brendan Gaughan 17 0
Blake Koch 8 0
Michael Annett 7 0
Jeremy Clements 3 0
Justin Allgaier 2 0

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Elliott Sadler 229 5
2 Justin Allgaier 205 3
3 Brennan Poole 140 0
4 Daniel Hemric 131 3
5 William Byron 123 2
6 Cole Custer 110 2
7 Tyler Reddick 68 0
8 Brendan Gaughan 66 0
9 (tie) Blake Koch 60 2
9 (tie) Kyle Benjamin 60 1
11 (tie) Ryan Reed 49 1
11 (tie) Ryan Preece 49 1
13 Matt Tifft 47 0
14 Ben Kennedy 46 0
15 Darrell Wallace, Jr. 39 1
16 Sam Hornish, Jr. 31 1
17 Brandon Jones 26 0
18 James Davison 18 1
19 Jeremy Clements 16 0
20 (tie) Dakoda Armstrong 15 0
20 (tie) Ryan Sieg 15 0
20 (tie) Ross Chastain 15 0
23 Justin Marks 14 0
24 Michael Annett 13 0
25 J.J. Yeley 12 0
26 Brian Scott 7 0
27 (tie) Andy Lally 6 0
27 (tie) Casey Mears 6 0
29 Spencer Gallagher 5 0
30 Mario Gosselin 4 0
31 (tie) Scott Lagasse, Jr. 3 0
31 (tie) Harrison Rhodes 3 0
31 (tie) Jeb Burton 3 0
34 (tie) Josh Williams 2 0
34 (tie) Ty Majeski 2 0
36 (tie) Josh Bilicki 1 0
36 (tie) Sheldon Creed 1 0

Camping World Truck Series

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Event: UNOH 175

Race Winner: Christopher Bell

Stage Winner(s): Christopher Bell (Won Both Stages)

Who Won Big

  • Christopher Bell: It was a dream opener for Bell, who swept the stages and the race to add seven points to his series-best playoff point total. The regular season champion is quickly beginning to look like a lock for the Championship 4.
  • Ben Rhodes: One week removed from clinching himself into the playoffs on a tiebreaker, Rhodes tallied 13 stage points and a seventh-place finish to rise to fourth in the playoff standings and establish himself as a legitimate championship threat.
  • Austin Cindric: He didn’t make a lot of noise on Saturday, but Cindric added some legitimacy to his controversial postseason birth with a top 10 in his playoff debut. Cindric left the first race of Round 1 sitting fifth in the standings – eight points clear of the cutoff.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

John Hunter Nemechek finds himself in an early playoff hole leaving New Hampshire. (Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

  • John Hunter Nemechek: A transmission failure came at the worst possible time for Nemechek, placing the NEMCO Motorsports driver last on the playoff grid after the postseason’s first race.  The playoff points from his two wins kept Nemechek within just seven points of the cut line, but he can’t afford any issues over the next two races.
  • Chase Briscoe: A rare off-day for Briscoe and his Brad Keselowski Racing squad dropped the rookie to seventh in the playoff standings, one spot short of the current Round 2 field. Briscoe will need to run better over the final two races of Round 1 if he hopes to keep his championship fight alive.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins in Round Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
1 Christopher Bell 1 2100 66
2 Johnny Sauter 0 2060 26
3 Matt Crafton 0 2059 25
4 Ben Rhodes 0 2050 16
5 Austin Cindric 0 2043 9
6 Kaz Grala 0 2038 4
Round 2 Cutoff
7 Chase Briscoe 0 2034 -4
8 John Hunter Nemechek 0 2031 -7

Playoff Points

Total Playoff Points
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Christopher Bell 47
2 Johnny Sauter 25
3 Matt Crafton 14
4 John Hunter Nemechek 14
5 Chase Briscoe 9
6 (tie) Ben Rhodes 7
6 (tie) Austin Cindric 7
8 Kaz Grala 5

Christopher Bell increased his advantage with a dominant day in New Hampshire. (Photo: Lesley Ann Miller/NKP)

Playoff Points Earned On-Track
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Christopher Bell 32
2 Johnny Sauter 15
3 John Hunter Nemechek 11
4 Matt Crafton 7
5 Austin Cindric 6
6 Kaz Grala 5
7 Ryan Truex 3
8 (tie) Chase Briscoe 1
8 (tie) Ben Rhodes 1
8 (tie) Noah Gragson 1
8 (tie) Stewart Friesen 1

Stage Points

New Hampshire Results

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Christopher Bell 10 (+1 Playoff Point) 1 Christopher Bell 10 (+1 Playoff Point)
2 Ben Rhodes 9 2 Matt Crafton 9
3 Noah Gragson 8 3 Ryan Truex 8
4 Austin Cindric 7 4 Grant Enfinger 7
5 Johnny Sauter 6 5 Kaz Grala 6
6 Matt Crafton 5 6 Stewart Friesen 5
7 Ryan Truex 4 7 Ben Rhodes 4
8 Todd Gilliland 3 8 Todd Gilliland 3
9 Grant Enfinger 2 9 Justin Haley 2
10 Stewart Friesen 1 10 Johnny Sauter 1

Playoff Totals

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Stage Points
Driver Playoff Stage Points Playoff Stage Wins
Christopher Bell 20 2
Matt Crafton 14 0
Ben Rhodes 13 0
Johnny Sauter 7 0
Austin Cindric 7 0
Kaz Grala 6 0
Chase Briscoe 0 0
John Hunter Nemechek 0 0

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Christopher Bell 198 7
2 Johnny Sauter 173 5
3 Matt Crafton 178 2
4 Chase Briscoe 162 1
5 Ben Rhodes 154 1
6 Ryan Truex 141 3
7 John Hunter Nemechek 121 1
8 Noah Gragson 85 1
9 Austin Cindric 83 1
10 Grant Enfinger 82 0
11 Kaz Grala 53 0
12 Justin Haley 52 0
13 Timothy Peters 37 0
14 Stewart Friesen 28 1
15 Todd Gilliland 23 0
16 Jessie Little 16 0
17 Myatt Snider 11 0
18 Harrison Burton 8 0
19 Austin Wayne Self 6 0
20 (tie) Brett Moffitt 5 0
20 (tie) Justin Shipley 5 0
20 (tie) Parker Kligerman 5 0
23 (tie) Joe Nemechek 4 0
23 (tie) Korbin Forrister 4 0
23 (tie) Jason Hathaway 4 0
26 (tie) Austin Hill 3 0
26 (tie) Rico Abreu 3 0
26 (tie) Victor Gonzales Jr. 3 0
29 Regan Smith 2 0
30 (tie) Cody Coughlin 1 0
30 (tie) T.J. Bell 1 0

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