After a nice two week lay-off, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase returns to race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge will get underway on Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 p.m. ET. The highly contested event can be seen on the NBC Network.
In April at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch led 150 of the 200 turned and drove his #18 NOS Energy Toyota to Victory Lane. Busch’s teammate Erik Jones, finished second and was the highest placed Xfinity Series Chase driver.
Only two contests remain in the final Round of 8, counting this race at Texas Motor Speedway. The Chase qualifiers will be looking to clinch a spot in the finale’ at Miami-Homestead.
So far, JR Motorsports Elliott Sadler, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suarez, Mathew Kaulig’s Blake Koch and JR Motorsports Justin Allgaier currently have collected enough points to be in the top four in the Chase standings.
Currently, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones, Rousch Racing’s Ryan Reed, Childress Racing’s Brendan Gaughan and Rousch Racing’s Darrell Wallace Jr. are in the fifth through eighth Chase positions.
Elliott Sadler is now tied with second-place Daniel Suarez in the Round of 8 Chase standings after Kansas. Nevertheless, Sadler holds the tie-breaker of a higher-finish during the current round. The veteran driver finished second, compared to Suarez third place result.
Elliott Sadler has made 17 series starts at Texas Motor Speedway, posting 10 top 10’s which also includes five top 10’s in his last six races at Texas Motor Speedway. The Chase racer struggled a bit in the first two practice rounds, posting the 16th fastest time in the first round and the 11th in the second.
Daniel Suarez sits right on Elliott Sadler’s bumper in the second spot. He leads the all Chase drivers in average finish (2.25) over the first four races of the playoffs. In fact, the Mexican born driver is on an eight race top 10 streak.
The Joe Gibbs Racing phenom heads into Texas Motor Speedway having made only three starts at the 1.5 mile venue. Suarez struggled here in the spring, finishing out his day in the 16th position. Last year, the 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year posted his best-finish (6th), at Texas Motor Speedway in this same event.
Blake Koch is the feel good story in the Xfinity Series Chase in 2016. Kaulig Racing’s #11 Chevrolet Camaro team, proudly stand third in the Chase Round of 8. Even more impressively, they are trying to become the first single-car team to win an Xfinity Series title in nearly 18 years.
JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier is tied with fifth-place Erik Jones in the Round of 8 Xfinity Chase standings. Fortunately for Allgaier, he holds the tie-breaker of higher finish in the current round. The feisty driver also edged Jones out at Kansas with a 14th-place to Jones’s 15th-place finish.
Justin Allgaier should post a solid result at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. In five of his last seven starts at the famed 1.5-mile speedway, Allgaier has accumulated one top 10 finish. Earlier this year in Texas, he started the race in the 23rd position and took the checkered flag in sixth.
Erik Jones has struggled to remain consistent in 2016. As a result, he finds himself on the verge of elimination with two races to go in the Round of 8. Jones also leads all the Chase contenders with four wins this season, but also leads them with four other did not finish results.
Luckily for Erik Jones, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Speedway have been good to him. The up-and-comer has an average finish of 2.3 at Texas and 4.0 in Phoenix. Plus, Jones is the only Chase driver that has drove his hot-rod into Victory Lane here.
Roush Racing’s Ryan Reed will need to improve over the next to events to make it into the final four in Miami. As of now, Reed is just two points behind Justin Allgaier and Erik Jones along the Chase cut-off line.
Therefore, driving his way into the finale with a chance at a championship is definitely doable. Reed has made five starts at Texas Motor Speedway. In those races, he has posted an average finish of 16.2. In the spring, the youngster guided his Ford into a 14th place finish.
Brendan Gaughan currently sits seventh in the Chase standings. He is also 17 points back of Justin Allgaier in fourth place. Gaughan’s had a horrible dismal performance at Kansas Speedway that resulted in him spinning through the infield on the way to a 31st place finish. Gaughan also finished 12th at Texas Motor Speedway, in the first race here in June.
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