Bubble Trouble: Who’s in, out in Xfinity Playoffs?

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Points leader Austin Cindric got his third victory of the season at Dover International Speedway last weekend. He holds onto the Playoff standings points lead with Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton and Myatt Snider all in on wins with him. 

Two drivers without wins yet this season that are comfortable in the points right now are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton. Hemric continues to be the highest ranked driver without a win in sixth with a 144-point cushion ahead of the Playoff cutoff. And Harrison Burton is behind him in seventh 132 points ahead of the cutline.

The next five drivers in the Playoff outlook are all within 75 points of the postseason cutoff – Noah Gragson (+69 points), Justin Haley (+61), Jeremy Clements (+46), Michael Annett (+13) and Brandon Jones (+9). 

Gragson’s rough start to the 2021 season has come full circle after a couple strong finishes in a row and winning the three Dash 4 Cash installments so far. After Dover, he jumped another spot above the cutline to eighth. 

Clements has been in the Playoff standings for the entire season, showcasing the consistency and talent of his small family-owned race team. Clements has posted four top-10 finishes this season and is riding a string of six top-15 finishes into this weekend.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones has had an up-and-down season so far, with four DNFs of 30th or worst; including a 35th-place finish at Dover last weekend. The Georgia native’s Playoff hopes are on life support with him dropping to 12th – the final postseason transfer spot just nine points above the cutline. 

Following Darlington Brandon Brown fell out of the top 12 in the driver standings but has been hanging on to 13th the first spot outside the postseason cutoff. Heading to Circuit of The Americas this weekend, Brown is looking to get back in Playoff contention. Brown has put up four top 10s this season; including an eighth-place finish at the Daytona Road Course earlier this season. 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Dover:

RankDriverPointsStartsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff
1Austin Cindric437103520In On Wins
2Justin Allgaier316102111
3AJ Allmendinger34210116
4Jeb Burton31810105
5Myatt Snider28210105
6Daniel Hemric37510033144
7Harrison Burton36310011132
8Noah Gragson3001002269
9Justin Haley2921001161
10Jeremy Clements2771000046
11Michael Annett2441000013
12Brandon Jones240100119
13Brandon Brown23110000-9
14Riley Herbst20610000-34
15Ryan Sieg19610000-44
16Tommy Joe Martins18510000-55
17Landon Cassill16710000-73

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Manufacturer standings heading to COTAChevrolet is leading the manufacturers championship standings right now with six wins and 376 points. With Austin Cindric’s win last weekend, Ford’s gap in points became smaller with 345 points and three wins. Toyota has one win this season so far and 341 points. 

Reddick running for Jordan Anderson Racing at COTA: Jordan Anderson Racing announced that Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick will drive the No. 31 Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series race at COTA on Saturday. Reddick, who is the back-to-back Xfinity Series champion in 2018 and 2019, will use his time behind the wheel on Saturday to help him prior to the start of Sunday’s Cup race. Jordan Anderson Racing will compete in the Xfinity races that they are eligible for in the current COVID-19 qualifying protocol with cars from RCR and engines supplied by ECR.

Cindric pulling double duty in TX: Austin Cindric will make his fifth Cup Series start of 2021 at COTA this weekend. Cindric has a road racing background and is always out front at road courses in the Xfinity Series. He will pilot the No. 33 Team Penske Ford on Sunday with sponsorship from Pirtek. In his four starts in the Cup Series, he has an average finish of 21.8 with a best finish of 15th at the Daytona 500 in February.

Harvick doubling down at COTA: Kevin Harvick will pull double duty this weekend. It was announced on Monday that Harvick will run the No. 5 Ford for BJ McLeod Motorsports in Saturday’s Xfinity race sponsored by Rush Truck Center. Harvick hasn’t competed in the Xfinity Series since 2018. But Harvick is the 2014 Cup Series champion and can use the additional laps to prepare for the inaugural Cup Series race on Sunday. B.J McLeod Motorsports has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2016, the organization’s best finish in the series is fifth at Daytona with driver David Starr in 2017. Harvick is a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion with 47 career Xfinity victories.

100th start for Tommy Joe Martins this weekend: Tommy Joe Martins will make his 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series start this weekend at COTA. Diamond Gusset Jean Co. will service as the primary sponsor of the No. 44 Chevrolet. This is the first ever company that sponsored Martins. Martins Motorsports is sitting in the top 20 in owners points following a top-20 finish at Dover.

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