Playoff Points: XFINITY/Truck update leaving Phoenix

Nigel Kinrade/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: Phoenix Raceway

Event: Ticket Galaxy 200

Race Winner: William Byron

Stage Winner(s): Ryan Blaney (Won Both Stages)

Who Won Big

  • William Byron: The first five races of the playoffs had proven quiet for Byron, but the rookie bounced back in a major way with a win at Phoenix. One year removed from a heartbreaking playoff elimination, Byron is among the favorites to capture the XFINITY Series crown.
  • Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier: JR Motorsports’ three playoff contenders all entered Phoenix needing only to survive in order to advance to Homestead-Miami Speedway. While Byron went out and won, the other two contenders did just that. Now Sadler and Allgaier will get a chance to avenge their narrow loss to Daniel Suarez last season.
  • Daniel Hemric: Coming from a decorated career in Late Models, Hemric knows how to execute in crunch time. The Richard Childress Racing rookie proved that on Saturday, rallying from a heavy deficit in points to advance to the Championship 4.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

  • Cole Custer: By all accounts Custer’s 2017 playoff run was strong. But a handful of issues at Kansas Speedway proved too much to overcome. Custer put forth a spirited drive in Arizona, but it was outdone by Hemric’s, leaving the Stewart-Haas Racing rookie on the outside looking in as the checkered flag flew.
  • Brennan Poole: Coming into the weekend Poole held the final spot in the Championship 4. But the Chip Ganassi Racing sophomore threw his spot away when he crashed with the lapped car of Caesar Bacarella, ending his day early with a 38th-place result.
  • Matt Tifft and Ryan Reed: The first entered with a chance to race his way in on points, while the latter needed a win to keep his title chase alive. However, neither Tifft nor Reed proved capable of contending with the laps winding down in Phoenix, leaving each driver with a quiet postseason exit.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins in Round Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
1 William Byron 0 4000 N/A
2 Elliott Sadler 0 4000 N/A
3 Justin Allgaier 0 4000 N/A
4 Daniel Hemric 0 4000 N/A

Playoff Points

William Byron earned another win in Phoenix, though the playoff points gained won’t matter. (Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Potential Playoff Points Earned On-Track
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 William Byron 23
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

Phoenix Results

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Ryan Blaney N/A 1 Ryan Blaney N/A
2 Alex Bowman N/A 2 Erik Jones N/A
3 Erik Jones N/A 3 Daniel Hemric 8
4 Daniel Hemric 7 4 Justin Allgaier 7
5 Justin Allgaier 6 5 Christopher Bell N/A
6 William Byron 5 6 William Byron 5
7 Cole Custer 4 7 Cole Custer 4
8 Christopher Bell N/A 8 Austin Dillon N/A
9 Austin Dillon N/A 9 Blake Koch 2
10 Blake Koch 1 10 Ty Dillon N/A

Playoff Totals

Driver Playoff Stage Points Round of 8 Round of 12 Playoff Stage Wins
William Byron 56 21 35 1
Daniel Hemric 54 25 29 0
Cole Custer (e) 49 17 32 2
Justin Allgaier 44 26 18 0
Elliott Sadler 41 20 21 0
Brennan Poole (e) 27 18 9 0
Matt Tifft (e) 16 12 4 0
Blake Koch (e) 3 3 0 0
Ryan Reed (e) 2 0 2 0
Brendan Gaughan (e) 1 1 0 0
Michael Annett (e) 0 0 0 0
Jeremy Clements (e) 0 0 0 0
(e)=Eliminated from playoff contention

Season Totals

Rank Driver Stage Points Stage Wins
1 Elliott Sadler 266 5
2 Justin Allgaier 249 3
3 William Byron 183 3
4 Daniel Hemric 172 2
5 Brennan Poole 162 0
6 Cole Custer 139 2
7 Tyler Reddick 114 0
8 Brendan Gaughan 67 1
9 Blake Koch 63 2
10 Kyle Benjamin 60 0
11 Matt Tifft 59 0
12 (tie) Ryan Preece 49 1
12 (tie) Ryan Reed 49 0
14 Ben Kennedy 46 0
15 Sam Hornish, Jr. 40 1
16 Darrell Wallace, Jr. 39 1
17 Brandon Jones 26 0
18 James Davison 18 1
19 (tie) J.J. Yeley 16 0
19 (tie) Jeremy Clements 16 0
21 (tie) Dakoda Armstrong 15 0
21 (tie) Ross Chastain 15 0
21 (tie) Ryan Sieg 15 0
24 Justin Marks 14 0
25 Michael Annett 13 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) Harrison Rhodes 3 0
31 (tie) Jeb Burton 3 0
31 (tie) Scott Lagasse, Jr. 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

Track:  Phoenix Raceway

Event: Lucas Oil 150

Race Winner: Johnny Sauter

Stage Winner(s): Noah Gragson (Won Both Stages)

Who Won Big

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

  • Johnny Sauter: Walked out of the Round of 6 with two-straight wins. Not bad, champ.
  • Matt Crafton: Friday wasn’t exciting for Crafton, but the two-time Truck Series champion did enough to advance to the Championship 4 on points. Now he’ll get a chance to rise to the top of the tour once more.
  • Austin Cindric: He may have done it in dramatic fashion, but Cindric managed to keep his playoff hopes alive with a top 10 in Phoenix. The rookie will now get a chance to lead Brad Keselowski Racing to what would surely be an emotional championship in the current organization’s final race.

 Who Hurt Their Odds:

  • Ben Rhodes: For most of the race it appeared Rhodes would drive his way into the Championship 4. But a late pit stop and contact with Cindric sent Rhodes spinning into teammate Crafton and tumbling out of the playoff race.
  • John Hunter Nemechek: He didn’t have a great truck in Phoenix, but that didn’t stop Nemechek from doing everything he could to earn a playoff-advancing win. The NEMCO Motorsports shoe survived late-race attrition and rose up to second, but couldn’t find a way around Sauter for the victory.

Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Wins in Round Points Points Ahead/Behind Cutoff
1 Christopher Bell 0 4000 N/A
2 Johnny Sauter 0 4000 N/A
3 Matt Crafton 0 4000 N/A
4 Austin Cindric 0 4000 N/A

Playoff Points

Johnny Sauter won for the second-straight week at Phoenix Raceway. (Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Potential Playoff Points Earned On-Track
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Christopher Bell 35
2 Johnny Sauter 28
3 John Hunter Nemechek 11
4 Matt Crafton 8
5 (tie) Ben Rhodes 7
5 (tie) Noah Gragson 7
7 Austin Cindric 6
8 Kaz Grala 5
9 Ryan Truex 3
10 Chase Briscoe 2
11 Stewart Friesen 1

Stage Points

Phoenix 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 Noah Gragson 9 2 Noah Gragson 9
3 Matt Crafton 8 3 Matt Crafton 8
4 Ben Rhodes 7 4 Ben Rhodes 7
5 John Hunter Nemechek 6 5 Austin Cindric 6
6 Johnny Sauter 5 6 Johnny Sauter 5
7 Austin Cindric 4 7 John Hunter Nemechek 4
8 Todd Gilliland 3 8 Todd Gilliland 3
9 Grant Enfinger 2 9 Ryan Truex 2
10 Ryan Truex 1 10 Stewart Friesen 1

Playoff Totals

Driver Playoff Stage Points Round of 6 Round of 8 Playoff Stage Wins
Christopher Bell 90 45 45 5
Matt Crafton 80 43 37 1
Johnny Sauter 78 40 38 3
Ben Rhodes 67 34 33 1
Austin Cindric 46 26 20 0
John Hunter Nemechek 33 17 16 0
Kaz Grala (e) 25 15 10 0
Chase Briscoe (e) 23 8 15 1
(e)=Eliminated from playoff contention

Season Totals

Rank Driver Total Stage Wins
1 Christopher Bell 268 9
2 Johnny Sauter 248 8
3 Matt Crafton 245 3
4 Ben Rhodes 207 1
5 Chase Briscoe 185 1
6 Ryan Truex 171 3
7 John Hunter Nemechek 154 1
8 Noah Gragson 133 1
9 Austin Cindric 122 1
10 Grant Enfinger 86 0
11 Kaz Grala 78 0
12 Justin Haley 71 0
13 Stewart Friesen 45 1
14 Myatt Snider 38 0
15 Timothy Peters 37 0
16 Todd Gilliland 33 0
17 Jessie Little 16 0
18 Harrison Burton 14 0
19 Parker Kligerman 7 0
20 (tie) Austin Wayne Self 6 0
20 (tie) Cody Coughlin 6 0
22 (tie) Austin Hill 5 0
22 (tie) Brett Moffitt 5 0
22 (tie) Justin Shipley 5 0
25 (tie) Jason Hathaway 4 0
25 (tie) Joe Nemechek 4 0
25 (tie) Korbin Forrister 4 0
28 (tie) Mason Diaz 3 0
28 (tie) Rico Abreu 3 0
28 (tie) Victor Gonzales Jr. 3 0
31 Regan Smith 2 0
32 (tie) Cale Gale 1 0
32 (tie) T.J. Bell 1 0

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