The Xfinity Series will find out its four Championship contenders in Saturday’s Round of 8 finale. The Ticket Galaxy 200 is set to get underway on Saturday, November 12th at 7:30 p.m. ET at Phoenix International Raceway. To put it bluntly, four drivers will continue and four will be eliminated from the postseason field.
Sprint Cup Series mainstays won the first two contests in the three race round. As a result, no Xfinity Series contender has a earned a spot in the final before the Ticket Galaxy 200. Daniel Suarez, driver of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Arris Toyota, is the front-runner in series standings. Suarez sits 17 points ahead of the Xfinity Chase of the cut-off line.
Elliott Sadler, Erik Jones and Blake Koch also sit behind Suarez in the Chase standings. If they maintain their positions after the event, all three will move on to the championship round with a chance to go for the gusto. On the other side of the coin, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Reed, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Brendan Gaughan have ground to make up.
The # 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver holds the NASCAR Xfinity Series lead by a single point over second-place Elliott Sadler. He is also 17 points ahead fifth-place Justin Allgaier. Suarez has been excellent during the 2016 playoffs, posting an average finish of 2.8.
The young Mexico native has made three series starts at Phoenix posting two top fives; including a third-place finish earlier this season. A win is the best guarantee to clinch a spot in the Championship 4, but Suarez can also clinch with 26 points.
The #1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet veteran has fallen to second in the Xfinity Series Chase standings. Unfortunately, he finished one position behind Daniel Suarez at Texas last weekend. Now, Sadler is only 16 points ahead of fifth-place Justin Allgaier and the Chase cutoff line.
Elliott Sadler has made 15 series starts at Phoenix, posting an average finish of 12.1; including finishing in the top 10 in six out of the last seven events. A win is the best guarantee to seal a spot in the Championship final. But, Sadler can also clinch with 26 points after the Ticket Galaxy 200.
The #20 Joe Gibbs Racing’s competitor could be named the most inconsistent driver in the 2016 Xfinity Series Chase. One minute the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate looks like he will be eliminated, and the next he is third in the Xfinity Chase standings. As of now, he sits seven points ahead of fifth-place Justin Allgaier and the Chase cutoff line.
The Michigan, native heads into the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix, which happens to be one of his best tracks. In four starts at Phoenix International Raceway, he has posted three top five’s, four top 10’s and an average finish of 4.0. That also includes starting on the pole and finishing second earlier this season.
The # 11 Kaulig Racing’s driver is hanging on to the final spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase by one point over fifth-place Justin Allgaier. Impressively, Koch’s Chase performance has been spear-headed by solid consistency. Koch has posted an average finish of 12.0. Currently, that is the fourth-best among Chase contenders.
If the #11 team can make the Championship race at Miami, they’ll have a chance to become the first single car team to win a title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in nearly tow decades. In 1998, Dale Earnhardt Inc. accomplished the feat in the #3 Chevrolet. Earlier this season, Koch put his hot-rod in the 12th starting position and finished 16th at Phoenix. Look for the pair to better their performance in the Ticket Galaxy 200 this Saturday.
The following drivers can only guarantee a spot in the Championship 4 with victory in the Ticket Galaxy 200. Each could also clinch on points with help. They are JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier who is currently one single point above the cut-off line.
Justin Allgaier is followed by Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed. Next, is Roush Fenway Racing’s Darrell Wallace Jr. He is also trying to become the first African-American to win a NASCAR title. Richard Childress Racing’s Brendan Gaughan is the final Chase driver that also has a chance to win the Ticket Galaxy 200 and get into the final at Miami.
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